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Making a life change with Changers Laundry and Dry Cleaners

Christian Jonah Effiong knows the importance of resilience better than most aspiring business leaders. After being homeless, struggling with "street jobs" as a bus conductor and okada driver, gaining a job, losing his job, and losing his life savings and having to start again, Christian's very survival hinged on his ability to bounce back, stay focused, and keep moving forward. Read more.

'We have to get urbanization right': A Q&A with Felipe Calderón on cities in the New Climate Economy

2015 is a year of utmost importance for the global sustainable development agenda, and cities will play a pivotal role. Landmark global decisions over the next 12 months provide opportunities to unlock the potential of cities and improve quality of life for billions worldwide. We sat down with Felipe Calderón, Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and keynote speaker at the upcoming Transforming Transportation 2015 conference, to learn more about how cities can drive forward sustainable, low-carbon economic growth. Read more.

Evaluando el impacto de los programas y políticas de desarrollo social

En esta nueva entrada quisiera comentar el importantísimo documento que publicó en Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social (CONEVAL) denominado Informe de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social 2014, el cual incorpora información de las más de 1,500 evaluaciones que se han realizado a diversos programas, acciones y políticas de desarrollo social durante 2007-2014. Leer más.

Otras variables a considerar

Sin duda alguna, el año 2014 fue uno de claro oscuros muy marcados. La primera mitad del año señalaba "una historia" muy diferente a la que marcó la segunda mitad. Debido a diversos hechos, el cierre del 2014 no fue el óptimo en varios rubros: el político, el económico, aunado a un importante malestar social por parte de un porcentaje importante de la sociedad. Leer más.

Alain Bertaud on "Top Down Design vs. Spontaneous Order: Impact on Housing Affordability"

The spatial structure of large cities is a mix of top-down design and spontaneous order determined by the market. In his talk at the Cities and Development conference, Alain Bertaud argued that although top-down design is indispensable for establishing city-wide primary infrastructure, the city planners' urge to control often goes too far. At the neighborhood level, he explained, cities need spontaneity. Read more.

Edward Glaeser: "Cities in the Developing World"

In his talk on "Cities in the Developing World," Edward Glaeser started by arguing that cities do not make people poor, but rather attract poor people who previously lived in more rural areas. Today, the world’s poorest countries are urbanizing rapidly. This is a stark difference from richer countries in the Global North, which had comparatively more wealth before their respective historic periods of rapid urbanization. Glaeser suggested that one of the main explanations for this divergence is the state of the global agriculture industry. When western nations underwent urbanization in the 19th century, the global trade economy was relatively small. In order for large parts of the population to move to cities, a country’s agricultural industry had to already be well-developed enough to sustain the national population as fewer and fewer people worked on farms. A country needed to reach a certain level of wealth before urbanization could happen. Today, with a global economy in which food can be shipped all over the world, individual countries do not require a strong domestic agricultural industry in order for many people to move to cities, and so urbanization can occur in poorer contexts. Read more.

William Easterly and Laura Freschi on "A Long History of a Short Block"

William Easterly and Laura Freschi proposed a new approach to tackling the question of whether development flourishes under planned or spontaneous conditions. Rather than examining development at the nation-state level or city level, they zoomed in to a single New York City block: Greene Street, between Houston and Prince streets. Read more.

Enugu's journey to resilience

This is my first post that is not focused on Lagos, Nigeria's most populated city and its commercial hub. Today we travel hundreds of miles eastwards, to the city of Enugu, capital of Enugu State, and one of the 35 cities that made this year’s '100 Resilient Cities' (100RC) list. Read more.

Paul Romer on "The Power of the Grid"

Professor Paul Romer started his talk by suggesting that the interventions we have come to associate with international development – like cash transfers, women's self-help groups, deworming, bed nets and better stoves – are not necessarily the big drivers of economic growth and development. These approaches did not play a role in the economic development of rich countries in Europe and North America, so why do we assume they will help countries in the Global South? Read more.

Brighten Up! Advances in Lighting Technology Present Transformational Driver

Lighting creates safe passages at night and some security at home. Lighting enables the completion of tasks after the sun goes down such as caring for families, reading, and doing homework. As urban centers in the developing world continue to grow at a fast clip, the demand for energy is growing at a faster rate than supply. And lighting options have always been limited and often dangerous in remote places. Read more.