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UNSR Reminds Govts. about Human Rights in Habitat III
22 October 2015
NEW YORK / GENEVA—The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, Leilani Farha, today has challenged governments to go further and commit to bold action to end homelessness and improve housing conditions on a global scale. “I am convinced we can end the scourge of homelessness

Shell No! Against Arctic Extraction
By: The New York Times/Idaho Conservation League
16 October 2015
  Shell Oil has been making waves in the Pacific Northwest [of the United States] lately with expanded oil drilling, hauling and refining plans. Earlier this year, dozens of activists made international news when they were arrested for blocking a Shell oil rig from leaving the Port of Seattle for the

Indonesia Forest Fires “Worst on Record”
02 October 2015
The forest fires blanketing Southeast Asia in choking haze are on track to become among the worst on record, NASA has warned, with a prolonged dry season hampering efforts to curb a crisis that has persisted for nearly two decades.   Malaysia, Singapore and large expanses of Indonesia have suffered for weeks

Confiscating Houses for the Greater Good
By: Vijeta Uniyal
29 September 2015
Governments across Europe are complying with European Union directives to accommodate tens of thousands of migrants arriving each day. Germany, which became the driving force behind the recent influx of migrants after it suspended Dublin convention, refuses to put any cap to the number of migrants it can absorb. The rules of

Francis I: “Rights to housing, land, environment and city”
25 September 2015
In his public appearance in New York City this week, Pope Francis delivered a spiritual message, but also addressed a bundle of corresponding human rights. Not least of these were the “three Ls”: lodging, land and labor. He also contextualized these essential elements of human dignity and human rights with

NYC Coop Seeks Permanently Affordable Real Estate
By: Cat Johnson, Shareable
24 September 2015
Faced with the rising rents of commercial properties in cities, one New York organization is modeling a way for people to invest in permanently affordable, commercial real estate. The New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative (REIC) leverages patient crowdfunding—small investments by a large number of people over time—to turn

Out in the Cold: UK Social Housing Emergency
By: Simon Hooper, Al Jazeera
24 September 2015
  Forcible evictions fuel a housing crunch amid sharp welfare cuts and surging rent costs in London.     London, England—Housing activists mounted a last-ditch fight on Thursday to stop a disabled man from being forcibly evicted from his home and left with "nowhere to go" to make way for private properties to be

Syria War Prompts 1st Doomsday Seed Vault Draw
By: Laura Wagner and EarthSky
23 September 2015
The Syrian Civil War prompts the first withdrawal from the "Doomsday Seed Vault" in the Arctic   The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was opened on 26 February 2008. Carved into the Arctic permafrost and filled with samples of the world`s most important seeds, it`s a Noah`s Ark of food crops to be used

Habitat III National Reporting Tool
21 September 2015
Habitat III National Reporting Guidelines (merged with State obligations)   This Excel file attempts to merge the national Habitat III report outline proffered by UN-Habitat with the already-standing commitments of states and UN bodies at Habitat II (1996). For those following UN-Habitat`s advice, the left column leads with the agency’s reduced six

Human Rights & Local Government Report
18 September 2015
On 22 September 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Council (Geneva) will consider the final Report on the Role of local government in the promotion and protection of human rights. The report is the outcome of a two-year study on the subject by the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee’s and

CESCR: Spain Violated Debtor’s Housing Rights
By: ESCR-Net
17 September 2015
New York—Today, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) published its first recommendations in response to an individual complaint, regarding a violation of the right to housing, under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR).   With its entry into force in

Right to the City and Yerevan’s Construction “Doom”
By: Garin Boghossian, Armenia Weekly
16 September 2015
The growth path of urbanization under capitalism is devouring the city of Yerevan. Luxurious high-rise hotels and residential towers, serving tourists and seasonal dwellers, are replacing Soviet social housing blocks that once lodged the ordinary Yerevantsis. The house where the president of the First Republic, Aram Manougian, lived and died—now

UK: 141 Families Evicted Make a way for Luxury Flats
By: Frances Ryan, the Guardian
15 September 2015
the story of Mostafa Aliverdipour, a 50-year-old wheelchair user raising his family on an estate in north London, could tell politicians plenty about what has become of the principle of social housing in our capital. Looking out on rows of boarded-up walls and metal grilles, Aliverdipour and his four children –

Question of Palestine Debated at Brussels
10 September 2015
Brussels—The UN General Assembly (UNGA) Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) is a unique mechanism at the political level of the United Nations that commemorates its 40th year of establishment. CEIRPP is comprised of a group of Members States that share a mandate in the UN’s

Developing Nations Outdo Big Powers in Climate Pledges
By: Renee Lewis, Al Jazeera
10 September 2015
Scientists find poorer nations more ambitious in plans to reduce global warming emissions ahead of UN summit   Developed countries “ought to be embarrassed” by less-wealthy nations’ pledges to fight global warming by changing agriculture, forestry and other land use practices, as the developing countries’ promises go much further and are more

Vision Critical in City Planning
By: David Dodwell, South China Morning Post
09 September 2015
Cities: love them or hate them, they are likely to be the future for most of our children. Developed well, they can provide high quality of life and convenience – and huge environmental efficiencies. But developed poorly, they create a blight that will take decades to eradicate. Today, 55 per cent

All of Europe Cities Open Doors to Refugees
By: Ian Mount , fortune.com
08 September 2015
The question now is how much city governments will be able to accomplish until there is a commitment at the national and EU levels. As August rolled to a close, Barcelona’s new left-wing mayor Ada Colau posted an emotional plea on her Facebook feed. Decrying the hundreds of migrants drowned in

The Refugees and the Imaginative Urban Planning
By: Jane Paulick , Deutsche Welle
05 September 2015
Not only politicians are looking for solutions to ease the refugee crisis. Architects are also devising ways to integrate new arrivals that avoid ghettos arising on city limits while also fostering urban regeneration. One fixture in the pictures that went round the world in the recent week of violent clashes outside

New Extractionism in Occupied Western Sahara:
31 August 2015
Amid Saharawi protests, San Leon Energy has begun to drill an on-shore well in occupied Western Sahara on 21 August.   The El Aaiun-4 conventional well is located on the so-called Tarfaya licence, near Foum el Oued, just above Western Sahara`s capital city El Aaiun. The drilling rig, a Cabot 750

The Hungary Games: Abusing Refugees
By: Kim Lane Scheppele, Politico
30 August 2015
How Hungary evades its obligations on migrants and refugees   The Hungarian government is building a fence on the border with Serbia to keep out the ever-increasing flow of refugees to Europe. But just look at a map. Serbia represents a tiny slice of Hungary’s meandering southern border. If desperate asylum-seekers have

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