Following the subject of our last blog post, the ‘Mapping for Change’ capacity building workshop hosted by SLURC and Development Planning Unit staff, we have been undertaking community-led mapping in 15 of Freetown’s neighborhoods. The aim of this process is to collect localised data on the various risks faced by residents of these informal settlements – what the problems are, where they are located, who is vulnerable to them, and what is being done to mitigate them.
Mapping for change - hazards, vulnerabilities and capacity to act: capacity building workshop in Freetown
During the workshop, mapping of the settlement was undertaken in two informal settlements, both in the west of the city, namely, Dwazark, a hillside community, and Cockle Bay, a coastal community. At the community level, the team brought together men and women from each of the two settlements, to discuss and decide where to map, why and how, as a way to apprehend their community profile, infrastructure, capacity to act and a means to document and monitor
where, feeding feed spatial and temporal details into an interactive online database about specific hazards, who is affected, where, how and why. The fieldwork exercise tested various participatory tools such as focus group discussion, mapping using smart phones and applications such as Ramblr to collect data that feed the information gathered into ReMapRisk.
The New Urban Agenda: Need for Cohesive Vision and Platform for Transformative Change in the Development of Urban Sierra Leone
The United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) held in Quito in October 2016 offer the opportunity to make transformative commitments in pursuit of a sustainable and just urban future more real than the Habitat Agendas of 1976 and 1996. The New Urban Agenda (NUA) is a 24-page document – a global 20-year vision for cities that are equal, accessible, and people centred. The NUA is a complementary framework that drills into what it will take to achieve a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals but particularly Goal #11 that ensures that ‘cities and human settlements are inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable’, as well as other targets across the SDGs, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Reinforcing Habitat III’s position, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development also emphasizes that ‘there is a critical need for a transformational change in development, so that no one is left behind’.
Harnessing ideas, partnerships and resources to transform urban Sierra Leone: insight from SLURC participation in the UN Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador.
Seven Transformative Themes for Researching Freetown’s Slum Communities NA WAN-WכD KIN PLIT KOLA. ‘’Unity (agreement) can split a cola nut’’ Krio Proverb
Despite the obstacles of slum living in Sierra Leone’s capital of Freetown, there thrives dynamic and purposefully-built communities. These communities already hold many of the solutions to the challenges of planning, designing and managing sustainable and productive urban development.