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Thursday, 2 October, 2014 - 09:30 to Sunday, 5 October, 2014 - 01:30

" Cities by and for their inhabitants? "

This question will be at the core of the debates and discussions of the Social Production of Habitat Forum that will take place from October 2 -4, 2014, at the Maison des Associations in Geneva. The event, organized by urbaMonde at the occasion of the World Habitat Day, will be the occasion to gather representatives of civil society organization and professionals engaged for a just, adequate and sustainable habitat around knowledge exchange workshops, round tables, project presentations and the screening of a documentary.

 

Civil society - actor of the production of the city!

Civil society organizes in order to advance innovative, feasible and sustainable solutions to the housing crisis, tenure insecurity and the resulting inequalities and precarious living conditions. Beyond the recognition of the accelerated pace at which the world is urbanizing, it is important to recognize that inhabitants produce their cities through creative, complex and innovative processes.

Housing cooperatives not only constitute a historical model in Switzerland but are also gaining ground in other countries such as Belgium (habitat groupé), Canada (Milton Parc), Nicaragua (Cencovicod) and Cameroon (Coophylos). Community Land Trusts are also engaged in substracting the housing sector from the speculative market and have proven successful in response to the real estate crisis. CLTs are currently expanding to other countries, for instance in France, Belgium and England. In Peru, rural immigrants excluded from the capital city Lima have joined and built a whole city in the middle of the Peruvian desert. In several African and Asian countries, slum dwellers organize in networks and establish partnerships for improving their habitat and adapting their environment to their needs and their imagination. These few examples are part of the Social Production of Habitat and the processes and challenges underlying this form of production will be addressed during the debates of the Forum.

 

 

 

Resilient social structures for an adequate, just and sustainable habitat

The aforementioned civil society initiatives, each presenting their own specifities, are part of a general movement of resistance to economic and political crisis that aims at establishing resilient social structures and that is grounded on the principles of cooperation and solidarity. The objective of this Forum is to share experiences, to shed light on the capacity of organization and of collective solution-making in the context of a highly unequal global system. The Forum will be the occasion to present the impact of inhabitants' organizations on public policies, as well as to emphasize the importance of solidarity and exchange both between the different organizations and on the international level ; particularly in the perspective of advancing a common advocacy for the United Nations' "Habitat III" Conference (2016).