Topic: Pobreza e inequidad

Oportunidades de becas

Premio Lincoln al periodismo sobre políticas urbanas, desarrollo sostenible y cambio climático 2024

Submission Deadline: August 9, 2024 at 11:59 PM

El Lincoln Institute of Land Policy convoca a periodistas de toda América Latina a participar del concurso “Premio Lincoln al periodismo sobre políticas urbanas, desarrollo sostenible y cambio climático”, dirigido a estimular trabajos periodísticos de investigación y divulgación que cubran temas relacionados con políticas de suelo y desarrollo urbano sostenible. El premio está dedicado a la memoria de Tim Lopes, periodista brasileño asesinado mientras hacía investigación para un reportaje sobre las favelas de Rio de Janeiro.  

Convocamos a periodistas de toda América Latina a participar de este concurso. Recibimos postulaciones para el premio hasta el 9 de agosto de 2024. Para ver detalles sobre la convocatoria vea el botón “Guía/Guidelines” o el archivo a continuación titulado “Guía/Guidelines“. 


Submission Deadline
August 9, 2024 at 11:59 PM
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mitigación climática, vivienda, planificación, pobreza, agua

Colorful buildings in Iztapalapa, Mexico

Exploring Sustainable Development in Latin America

By Carina Arvizu Machado, Mayo 14, 2024

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is the most urbanized region in the developing world, with 81 percent of its population—539 million people—living in cities, according to UN-Habitat. While there are differences in urbanization patterns across the region—for example, countries in Central America are less urbanized, but experiencing one of the fastest urbanization rates in the world, while South America is already home to major cities—poverty and inequality have characterized this growth regionwide, leading to the creation of precarious settlements whose populations face multiple vulnerabilities. These settlements are the result of insufficient access to adequate housing and unjust distribution of wealth and opportunities. The resulting vulnerabilities get reinforced and magnified by external factors such as migration and climate change.

To reflect on and tackle these related challenges, the Lincoln Institute’s Program on Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and the Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) co-organized a one-day workshop in early 2024. This event was part of an emerging initiative led by the Lincoln Institute and MIT that seeks to foster a call to action and build a regional vision that addresses critical challenges and advocates for systemic change.

Rooted in the experiences of team members from both institutions who have worked on these issues in their respective countries—Lincoln Institute LAC Program Director Anaclaudia Rossbach (Brazil), SPURS fellow Agustina Rodriguez Biasone (Argentina), and SPURS fellow Carina Arvizu Machado (México)—the workshop was designed to bridge the gap between academia and practical experience. It was an opportunity, said SPURS program director Bish Sanyal, to “theorize from practice.”

The workshop explored the multifaceted challenges facing vulnerable territories in Latin America and the Caribbean. One in five individuals in the region (110 million people) live in informal settlements. These areas face conditions of poverty and social exclusion, marked by inadequate housing, poor public services, and limited access to urban infrastructure and green spaces. In addition, the region is particularly vulnerable to climate change and has experienced significant migration flows in the past decades. LAC hosts approximately 3 million migrants from other areas and about 11 million internal migrants. Drawing inspiration from four case studies, the workshop explored innovative and integrated approaches that are paving the way for sustainable development and systemic change.

The workshop brought together over 50 individuals from diverse backgrounds, spanning academia, government, nonprofit organizations, and more, with a slate of speakers that included over 20 experts from Latin America and the Caribbean. Among them were former government ministers, executive directors, and professors from institutions such as Oxfam Mexico, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Yale University, The New School, Columbia University, and more.

The real-world cases showcased innovative approaches to addressing urban challenges. From the Neighborhood Integration program in Buenos Aires led by María Migliore (former Buenos Aires minister of Human and Housing Development), to México’s Urban Improvement Program spearheaded by Martha Peña Ordóñez (current head of the planning unit of the Secretariat of Agrarian, Land, and Urban Development, SEDATU), passing by the Utopias project for rehabilitation of public spaces in Iztapalapa, Mexico City, implemented by Raúl Basulto (current head of Urban Development of Iztapalapa), and the Manzanas del Cuidado, or care blocks, championed by Maria-Mercedes Jaramillo (former Bogotá secretary of Planning). After participating in discussions about the challenges in the region and exploring the four case studies, attendees imagined and discussed integrated strategies for effective solutions. Participants engaged in lively debates, shared best practices, and explored ways to leverage interdisciplinary approaches for positive impact.

Basketball court at Utopía Aculco, a fitness facility, cultural venue, and social services center in Iztapalapa, Mexico. Credit: Government of Mexico City.

Participants also explored the relationships among interventions in informal settlements, city planning, and the broader urban system, reimagining the relationship between nature and cities. Rethinking planning scales and alternative territorial governance, such as through elements like water supply and management, was at the forefront of the discussions, especially on the panel about climate change, moderated by Amy Cotter, director of climate strategies at the Lincoln Institute. Looking back to move forward, the panelists and participants drew inspiration from the historical constitution of cities through migration, and past interventions in informal settlements.

The resounding commitment echoed among participants was a determination to forge a more equitable and sustainable future for urban communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. As Enrique Silva, chief program officer at the Lincoln Institute, mentioned, this workshop was a great opportunity to build upon similar events in the past, such as the 2018 symposium “Slums: New Visions for an Enduring Global Phenomenon,” held at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and consolidate a more robust community of practice. The group agreed to continue this journey together, building bridges and creating lasting impact for the vulnerable territories of the region, forging new paths toward systemic change.

Key themes for future discussion based on the reflections at the workshop include:

  1. Exploring further the links and interdependencies of informality and informal settlements with migration, climate change and inequality, and the implications and complication of political polarization in the region.
  2. Connecting interventions in informal settlements to city planning, and the broader urban system.
  3. Reimagining the relationship between nature and cities, considering and integrating indigenous communities and their concepts and practices.
  4. Rethinking the scales of planning and alternative territorialities of governances, through alternative elements such as water.
  5. Looking back to better move forward, including looking at indigenous knowledge, how migration has affected the growth and development of cities, and previous interventions around informal settlements.

This initiative was made possible thanks in part to a grant from MIT’s Office of Experiential Learning.

Carina Arvizu Machado is a 2024 SPURS fellow at MIT and former Cities Director for Mexico and Colombia at the World Resources Institute, Mexico. She is the former national deputy secretary of Urban Development and Housing for Mexico, sustainable urban mobility consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank, and chief of urban projects for Mexico City.

Lead image: Utopía Aculco, part of the Utopía series of 12 parks and public cultural and sports facilities in Mexico City’s Iztapalapa neighborhood. The name doubles as an acronym for Unidades de Transformación y Organización Para la Inclusión y la Armonía Social (Units of Transformation and Organization for Inclusion and Social Harmony). Credit: Government of Mexico City.

Housing and Hope in Cincinnati

March 17, 2023

By Anthony Flint, March 17, 2023


In Cincinnati lately, good fortune extends well beyond the Bengals, the city’s football team, which has consistently been making the playoffs. The population is growing after years of decline, companies are increasingly interested thanks to its strategic location, and there’s even talk of southwestern Ohio becoming a climate haven.

But any resurgence in a postindustrial legacy city comes with downsides, as newly elected Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval has been discovering: the potential displacement of established residents, and affordability that can vanish all too quickly.

One of Pureval’s first moves was to collaborate with the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority to buy nearly 200 rental properties in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, outbidding more than a dozen institutional investors that have been snapping up homes to rent them out for high profits. That sent an important signal, Pureval said in an interview for the Land Matters podcast: transitioning neighborhoods will be protected from the worst outcomes of market forces in play in Cincinnati.

“These out-of-town institutional investors … have no interest, frankly, in the wellbeing of Cincinnati or their tenants, buying up cheap single-family homes, not doing anything to invest in them, but overnight doubling or tripling the rents,” he said, noting a parallel effort to enforce code violations at many properties. “If you’re going to exercise predatory behavior in our community, well, we’re not going to stand for it, and we’re coming after you.”

Pureval, the half-Indian, half-Tibetan son of first-generation Americans, said affordability and displacement were his biggest concerns as Cincinnati—along with Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and other cities hard hit by steep declines in manufacturing and population—gets a fresh look as a desirable location. Cincinnati scored in the top 10 of cities least impacted by heat, drought, and sea-level rise in a recent Moody’s report.

“Right now, we are living through, in real-time, a paradigm shift,” spurred on by the pandemic and concerns about climate change, he said. “The way we live, work, and play is just completely changing. Remote work is … altering our economy and lifestyle throughout the entire country but particularly here in the Midwest. What I am convinced of due to this paradigm shift is because of climate change, because of the rising cost of living on the coast, there will be an inward migration.”

But, he said, “We have to preserve the families and the legacy communities that have been here, in the first place. No city in the country has figured out a way to grow without displacing. The market factors, the economic factors are so profound and so hard to influence, and the city’s resources are so limited. It’s really, really difficult.”

Joining a chorus of others all around the U.S., Pureval also said he supports reforming zoning and addressing other regulatory barriers that hinder multi-family housing and mixed-use and transit-oriented development.

An edited version of this interview will appear in print and online as part of the Mayor’s Desk series, our interviews with innovative chief executives of cities from around the world.

You can listen to the show and subscribe to Land Matters on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

The show in its entirety can also be viewed as a video at the Lincoln Institute’s YouTube channel.



Anthony Flint is a senior fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, host of the Land Matters podcast, and a contributing editor of Land Lines.

Lead image: Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval. Credit: © Amanda Rossmann – USA TODAY NETWORK.

Further Reading

A Bid for Affordability: Notes from an Ambitious Housing Experiment in Cincinnati (Land Lines)

Activist House Flippers Take On Wall Street to Keep Homes From Investors (Wall Street Journal)

Meet Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval (SpectrumNews1)

They Told Him to Change His Name. Now Crowds Are Shouting It. (Politico)

Which U.S. cities will fare best in a warming world—and which will be hit hardest? (Washington Post)