BUILDING INCLUSIVE CITIES #5

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BUILDING INCLUSIVE CITIES

Featuring : Prof. Geeta Mehta, Professor at Columbia University and co-founder of Asia
Initiatives
Yusmadi Yusoff, Senator, Parliament of Malaysia
Moderator : ElsaMarie DSilva , Red Dot Foundation
Prathima Manohar , The Urban Vision
On 15 April 2020, ElsaMarie DSilva, Founder & CEO of Red Dot Foundation (Safecity) and Prathima Manohar, Founder of The Urban Vision, both alumni of Stanford Centre of Democracy Development and Rule of Law’s (CDDRL) Leadership Network for Change hosted a webinar on Building Inclusive Cities to explore the ideas for urbanism to make our cities more inclusive and humane.
Geeta Mehta, Professor at Columbia University and co-founder of Asia Initiatives, and Yusmadi Yusoff, Malaysian Senator, lent perspective to different ideas regarding our imperatives post- Covid-19 to establish a more inclusive global order, including elevating the profile of cities in policymaking .

The discussion highlights the following themes:
CHALLENGES
● In India, we face issues of inequity, inclusivity and right to the city. Here, 1% of the population enjoys 54% of assets whereas 10% has a mere share of 0.2% assets. Also 50-60% of the population lives in informal settlements squeezed into tight spaces.
● Abdication of responsibility by governments in managing the public goods. India spends 11% of its GDP on defence goods and only 2-3% on healthcare.
● Gated communities and ghettos of the rich and ghettos of the poor have resulted in increased violence and lack of public safety. These large disparities have held our economy back for some time now. Covid-19 has finally thrown light on these inequalities.
● We don’t have a holistic approach towards development. We are majorly focused on financial capital and are excluding social capital and ecological capital.
● One of the major issues is the management of vulnerable groups such as refugees,
differently-abled, students, etc.
● During Covid-19, the challenge of communication between governments and different
stakeholders has been highlighted and as a result we saw that power was grabbed by certain people, there was transmission of fake news, and people went on to defy rules during the lockdown.