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WSUP – Climate-proofing urban WASH

June 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP): Practice Note 4: Climate-proofing urban WASH: a rapid assessment method, 2011.

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Climate change is happening, and the urban poor are extremely vulnerable to its impacts. Demand for water and sanitation services in low-income urban areas is likely to increase, while flooding and water shortages may become more frequent.

This Practice Note outlines a rapid assessment method, developed for WSUP by Cranfield University, that can be used to plan the climate-proofing of a city’s water and sanitation services.

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WSUP – GIS & mapping tools

June 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Water and Sanitation for thew Urban Poor (WSUP): Practice Note 3: GIS & mapping tools for water and sanitation infrastructure, 2011.

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Recently developed tools that enable web-based geographical representation of data have exciting applications in the design and monitoring of WASH systems. This note introduces three tools currently being used in the sector.

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New Book – Urban Health: Global Perspectives

May 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Urban Health: Global Perspectives, 2011.

Order information: http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reportinfo.asp?report_id=1772268&t=d&cat_id=

Authors:  David Vlahov,  Jo Ivey Boufford, Clarence Pearson

Table of Contents

1. Urban Health in a Global Perspective (David Vlahov and Jo Ivey Boufford).
2. Globalization (Ted Schrecker and Ronald Labonté).
3. The Demographics of Urbanization in Poor Countries (Mark R. Montgomery).
4. Migration, Health Systems, and Urbanization (Ndioro Ndiaye, Manuel Carbhallo, and Rougui Ndiaye-Coïc).
5. Immigrant Health in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Arnoud P. Verhoeff and Roel A. Coutinho).
6. City Case Studies: Global Climate Change and Cities (Tord Kjellstrom and Patricia Monge).
7. Age-Friendly New York City (Ruth Finkelstein and Julie Netherland).
8. Global Infectious Diseases and Urbanization (Thomas C. Quinn and John G. Bartlett).
9. City Case Studies: Confronting the New Epidemics in Our Cities (Stephen Leeder, Angela Beaton, Cathie Hull, Ruth Colagiuri, and Michael Ward).
10. Chronic Disease Care in Nairobi’s Urban Informal Settlements (Catherine Kyobutungi and Alex Ezeh).

Read more…

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WHO country profiles on urban health

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Country profiles were developed for the purpose of visualizing urban health issues, especially focused on urban health inequity.

These profiles cover key information on urban health with selected indicators of health outcomes, health system outputs, health risk factors, and health determinants. While not a comprehensive overview of health and its determinants these profiles provide a snapshot of some key issues in urban areas for which there is standardized available data across countries.

Link: http://www.who.or.jp/urbanheart/uhprofiles.html

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How urban societies can adapt to resource shortage and climate change

May 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 13 May 2011 vol. 369 no. 1942

How urban societies can adapt to resource shortage and climate change

Link to full-text

David Satterthwaite, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), 3 Endsleigh Street, London WC1H 0DD, UK

david@iied.org

With more than half the world’s population now living in urban areas and with much of the world still urbanizing, there are concerns that urbanization is a key driver of unsustainable resource demands. Urbanization also appears to contribute to ever-growing levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Meanwhile, in much of Africa and Asia and many nations in Latin America and the Caribbean, urbanization has long outstripped local governments’ capacities or willingness to act as can be seen in the high proportion of the urban population living in poor quality, overcrowded, illegal housing lacking provision for water, sanitation, drainage, healthcare and schools.

But there is good evidence that urban areas can combine high living standards with relatively low GHG emissions and lower resource demands. This paper draws on some examples of this and considers what these imply for urban policies in a resource-constrained world. These suggest that cities can allow high living standards to be combined with levels of GHG emissions that are much lower than those that are common in affluent cities today. This can be achieved not with an over-extended optimism on what new technologies can bring but mostly by a wider application of what already has been shown to work.

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Dengue vector control strategies in an urban setting

May 13, 2011 Leave a comment

The Lancet, Volume 377, Issue 9778, Pages 1673 – 1680, 14 May 2011

Dengue vector control strategies in an urban setting: an economic modelling assessment

Dr Paula Mendes, et al.

Background – An estimated 2·5 billion people are at risk of dengue. Incidence of dengue is especially high in resource-constrained countries, where control relies mainly on insecticides targeted at larval or adult mosquitoes. We did epidemiological and economic assessments of different vector control strategies.

Methods – We developed a dynamic model of dengue transmission that assesses the evolution of insecticide resistance and immunity in the human population, thus allowing for long-term evolutionary and immunological effects of decreased dengue transmission. We measured the dengue health burden in terms of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) lost. We did a cost-effectiveness analysis of 43 insecticide-based vector control strategies, including strategies targeted at adult and larval stages, at varying efficacies (high-efficacy [90% mortality], medium-efficacy [60% mortality], and low-efficacy [30% mortality]) and yearly application frequencies (one to six applications). To assess the effect of parameter uncertainty on the results, we did a probabilistic sensitivity analysis and a threshold analysis.

Findings – All interventions caused the emergence of insecticide resistance, which, with the loss of herd immunity, will increase the magnitude of future dengue epidemics. In our model, one or more applications of high-efficacy larval control reduced dengue burden for up to 2 years, whereas three or more applications of adult vector control reduced dengue burden for up to 4 years. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of the strategies for two high-efficacy adult vector control applications per year was US$615 per DALY saved and for six high-efficacy adult vector control applications per year was $1267 per DALY saved. Sensitivity analysis showed that if the cost of adult control was more than 8·2 times the cost of larval control then all strategies based on adult control became dominated.

Interpretation – Six high-efficacy adult vector control applications per year has a cost-effectiveness ratio that will probably meet WHO’s standard for a cost-effective or very cost-effective intervention. Year-round larval control can be counterproductive, exacerbating epidemics in later years because of evolution of insecticide resistance and loss of herd immunity. We suggest the reassessment of vector control policies that are based on larval control only.

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Practical Design for the Urban Poor

April 21, 2011 Leave a comment

The "Q Drum," a durable container that can transfer 75 liters of clean water, is one of the design solutions of "Design for the other 90%." Photo by AIDG.

April 20, 2011 – The United Nations will be hosting an exhibition on design solutions to improve the quality of life for the urban poor. Titled, “Design for the Other 90%: CITIES,” the exhibition is by Cooper-Hewitt, the Smithsonian National Design Museum, and it is part of an ongoing series originally started in 2007 to focus the attention of the professional design community to the problems of the other 90 percent of the world’s population. “The majority of the world’s designers focus all their efforts on developing products and services exclusively for the richest 10% of the world’s customers,” says Dr. Paul Polak, the founder of International Development Enterprises, a nonprofit organization that creates income opportunities for poor rural households. “Nothing less than a revolution in design is needed to reach the other 90%.”

The exhibition will explore design solutions to the problems of rapid urbanization in developing countries and the marginalization of the urban poor. “Close to 1 billion people live in informal settlements, and that population is projected to swell to 2 billion people by 2030,” Dexigner’s Levent Ozler says, further emphasizing the rapid growth and concentration of an under-served population in urban areas.

The exhibition will consist of six themes, each one highlighting an important aspect design solutions must follow in order to create useful remedies. Below are the theme areas with short descriptions, as summarized from the press release:

Read more…

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