Finding pathways to urban equality in Asia is an urgent matter that requires thinking beyond the ineffective development approaches focusing on economic growth, which understand inequality merely as an income-related issue. Urban equality is a multidimensional experience for urban dwellers encompassing access to income and services, recognition of diverse social identities, and inclusion in decisions that affect them (KNOW, 2018).
Community networks and the organizations supporting them in Asia have developed innovative, self-managed community-based finance systems and forged local partnerships that are enabling poor communities to access land, basic services and housing. Through these processes, they have unlocked the capacities of poor communities to become empowered citizens actively contributing to the planning and construction of their cities.
The session will have two components. The first includes a round table, where each of four research teams will present their analysis of inequality in their city, along with their understanding of the main drivers of inequality. Embedded in an understanding of communities’ lived experience of inequality, the presentations will also focus on the diverse and innovative ways in which organized community groups have sought to address their position. The second part of the session will take the form of facilitated open discussion with audience members. Other community organizations, NGOs and academic organizations members of ACHR, as well as government allies and development partners, will be invited to comment on the presentations and provoke a larger discussion on the subject of poor communities shaping pathways to urban equality.