1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: The Social Effects of Globalization

Urban Governance: Social Integration at the Grassroots: The Urban or "Pavement" Dimension

  • Project from: 1994 to 1996


The project sought to document and analyse the experiences of community-based and volunteer organizations working with vulnerable or marginalized urban populations in 16 cities around the world, and to highlight the current and potential contributions of volunteer effort toward social integration at the local level. The project emphasized two elements: to hear from the volunteers in their own words; and to provide a perspective of marginalized groups on the causes, consequences and solutions to the grave problems they face daily in large cities. Work on Urban Governance continued in 2000-2001, as well as with UNRISD's contribution to Istanbul+ 5.

Funding was provided by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV). The project was largely carried out by community volunteers and activists, assisted in some cases by university and NGO-based researchers. The cities in which studies and information gathering took place included: Johannesburg-Soweto and Nairobi in Africa; Calcutta, Karachi, New Delhi, Mumbai and Shanghai in Asia; Kingston, Lima, Mexico City and São Paulo in Latin America and the Caribbean; and Chicago, East St. Louis, Los Angeles and New York in North America.