Cities are at the forefront of responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Economic, social, health, and mobility patterns have been severely impacted. Informal settlements are exposed to challenges such as limited access to water and sanitation, little or no waste management, overcrowded public transport, and lack of basic services. These issues in informal settlements have been exacerbated by the pandemic, as local economies have been severely affected, utilities are less affordable, and lockdown restrictions have limited access to services.
Recovery from the crisis involves rethinking how informal settlements can be included in a city’s urban fabric. This means providing fair and equitable access to water, energy, and transportation; ensuring information is accessible and improving citizens’ opportunities to engage in participatory decision-making processes.
The UNECE Housing and Land Management Unit, and the UNECE nexus on Smart Sustainable Cities for all Ages jointly organized the thematic workshop on “Building Back Better in Informal Settlements as a Step Towards more Sustainable Urbanization” in preparation of the Post COVID-19 Recovery Action Plan for Informal Settlements in the UNECE Region.
The workshop focused on how to design, implement, and monitor equitable access to resources for those living in informal settlements and have considered the implications of these measures for inclusivity and civic participation. A thematic focus is on transportation, water, and energy.
The workshop brought together lead experts and policymakers to discuss best practices on how to ‘build back better’ in informal settlements, to ensure recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, but also strengthen resilience for future shocks.
The event was held on Zoom platform in English and Russian.
This workshop is part of the RPTC Project: Post COVID-19 Recovery in Informal Settlements in the ECE Region.