SDI Makes a Splash at World Urban Forum

by James Tayler

By Louise Cobbett, SDI Secretariat 

Slum Dwellers International is, by far, the largest delegation at the fifth World Urban Forum, which is being held in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. All delegates wore bright green t-shirts with the slogan “Making Cities Inclusive” to the opening ceremony on the 25th. The 67 strong green contingency proved to be an incredible visual statement of the Slum Dweller presence, and if nothing else, broke the monotony of beige suits. SDI is going to challenge the discourse put forth by the beige suit majority – and highlight and demand, that direct community involvement is the key to appropriate and sustainable development. Decisions made without the consultation of the communities will always result in sub-par outcomes.

SDI held a discussion on the protocols of large informal settlement upgrading, where the settlements of Dharavi in India, Joe Slovo in South Africa, Old Fadama in Ghana, Kibera in Kenya and Osasco in Brazil were used as case studies. What followed was an active and dynamic discussion of the challenges facing informal settlements in their fight for security of tenure and basic services.

SDI will continue to highlight the centrality of communities to successful upgrading and development process.

Check the blog for further reports on WUF 5.