Following the success of their Global Urban Lectures debut in 2014, our partner UN-Habitat has launched its third season of free online lectures by leading experts in the field of sustainable urban development.
Season 3 kicks off with the lecture “The federation model of community organizing” by Sheela Patel of Slum Dwellers International and founder director of the Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC), a Mumbai-based NGO that has been working on housing and infrastructure rights for the urban poor for since 1984. SPARC has been a close collaborator of our program, having hosted many of our students during their internships over the years. (Read what our students wrote about it here, here and here.)
In the past two decades through a process called “Enumeration” through which the members collect at city level data about slums, Slum Dwellers International have created a mechanism which serves to create a city wide network of urban informal settlements with the intention of the dwellers to see themselves as part of a larger subsection of the city, whose needs have been neglected and whose voice has to reach the city and the national government.
Recruited from UN-Habitat’s UNI partners as well as associated experts working on UN-Habitat’s focus areas, lecturers have included development workers, architects and professors such as Anna Heringer and one of our very own faculty members, Nabeel Hamdi of Oxford Brookes University, which you can see in our picks from Season 1. Season 3 will also feature our friend and colleague Oscar Carracedo, former associate professor at our university, UIC School of Architecture.
Each 15 min lecture comes with a package of associated material: bio of the speaker, synopsis and related links. You can find both the video, mp3, synopsis, biography and additional reading materials for Sheela Patel in the full lecture package and find all the lectures from previous seasons here.