Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
SEEP would like the thank the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their support of this project.
Today, there is an unprecedented global momentum for poverty eradication. Not only the United Nations, but also high profile global leaders—Bill and Melinda Gates, Mohamed Yunus, as well as popular figures like Bono and Angelina Jolie—have become determined to make significant strives in eradicating global poverty. They join community leaders and professional development specialists who have struggled against poverty for decades. They bring new human and financial resources and stimulate new ways of thinking.
One new frontier is urban poverty. While the majority of the world’s poor still live in rural areas, urban poverty is significant and growing fast. This year, for the first time in history, over half of the world’s population live in cities—by the year 2030, towns and cities in developing countries will be home to over 80 percent of the world population. How are these cities preparing for this growth? Will people have the homes, education, jobs, freedom, and opportunities they hope for? Or will they live in the squalor of slums, where one-sixth of the world’s people live today? What are the environmental, political, and security implications of this kind of growth? How can we support sustainable cities? These are the big picture questions facing urban developers. For people concerned with global poverty, urban poverty is the next frontier.
This paper explores how one poverty eradication tool—value chain development—might be applied to help address the challenge of urban poverty and the goal of sustainable cities. It invites practitioners and other experts in both urban development and enterprise development to learn about each others’ disciplines and explore potential synergy. How can cross-sector learning and partnerships strengthen our response to the challenges of our urban future? Urban development is a diverse community of practice. This paper summarizes some critical topic areas, approaches, and issues, inviting urban development experts to clarify and add their perspectives:
• Representation and governance
• Shelter and housing
• Food security and nutrition
• Environmental sustainability
• Infrastructure (and human services)
• Local economic development (and livelihood security)