EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: Smart Cities are Inclusive Cities

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EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: Smart Cities are Inclusive Cities

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We need a shift in perspective. What if smart cities were also inclusive cities? - http://bit.ly/12m7Veg #sustainability

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EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: Smart cities are inclusive cities

Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 9:15am


CONTENT: Article

By Jonathan Hursh – Executive Director and Founder of INCLUDED

Up to one-third of the world’s population will soon live in a migrant slum. It’s the greatest issue of our century, changing life as we know it.

When migrants move to a city, they are looking for the same things as you and me. A better life for their children and a chance to work and study hard.

But what they find is often far from what they imagined. As they arrive in a city, they bounce back and land on the edges of its borders and on the edges of our society. This is because of two main barriers: informality and instability.

Informality says they don’t belong here. It means they have informal jobs, education, healthcare and housing.

Informality says they aren’t included.

Instability says their gains are easily wiped out. It reduces their motivation to invest and build.

Instability says this isn’t their home.

This is a loss for their families, for their slums, and for the cities they live in. It’s an economic and social loss for our shared future.

If nothing is done, migrant slums could become places of unrest and deep poverty. These slum dwellers risk becoming a disenfranchised majority-minority – a fringe group who are regarded as second-class citizens, competing for resources outside the rules of the city. 

We need a shift in perspective. What if smart cities were also inclusive cities? Leaders of smart cities recognize that migrants are an asset . They build the cities, grow the economies, provide the diversity. Migrants do well with opportunity because that is what brought them to the city.

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