Sub-theme 2. Commons towards urban transformation
Urban Commons in Drylands
Dryland cities have received little attention among rich research on urbanization. There is both limited empirical knowledge and under-conceptualization of the dynamics of dryland cities – how they are connected to or different from urban trends, characteristics and concerns elsewhere including urban commons. Although throughout history urban centers existed at the margins of drylands, their growth seems to accelerate upon shifting socio-economic and climate contexts. Recently drylands are increasingly inserted into the global circuits of capitalist productions through new forms of extractivism such as renewable energy projects. Concurrently, climate change effects entangled with conflicts in resource use are driving people to move to cities. These people are differentially located and positioned to common resources in the city. While rural commons are being challenged by ongoing land grabs, turning people into idle labor looking for livelihood opportunities in the city, emerging studies also highlight rural commons remain the common and strong supports to livelihoods in cities.
We consider dryland cities as carries of social-ecological-spatial relations. This session welcomes presentations that empirically, methodologically and theoretically offer new ways of understanding urban commons in the dryland city context. They may explore but not limited to the following topics/questions:
- What urban commons mean in dryland cities;
- How urban commons in drylands are linked to rural commons, e.g. from relational and translocal perspectives;
- Whose urban commons, e.g. drawing on intersectional perspectives;
- What role the commons can play in shaping the imaginaries of future dryland cities as lived space and in making sustainable dryland cities.
1. Fires of Hope – Lessons from coping with urban food crises through a community kitchen in Mukuru informal settlement of Nairobi
TMG Research, Berlin, Germany
Increasing urbanisation of Nairobi City has been accompanied by emergence and expansion of informal settlements in riparian reserves, refilled quarries, dumpsites, and land under high voltage power lines.
Communities in these settlements are vulnerable to multiple crises, the recent ones being forceful evictions and COVID-19. While COVID-19 resulted in job losses for many families, forceful evictions, and demolition of business structures by the government exacerbated communities’ food insecurity.
We argue that communities in informal settlements have agency that often goes untapped by governmental interventions intended to uplift them from food insecurity.
Using a recent case of forceful evictions in Nairobi’s Mukuru informal settlement, we document lessons from our participatory action-research through a women-run community kitchen.
The action research resulted in 300 meals provided per day and a six-month process of collective learning in seeking ways of collaboration and meaning for the kitchen.
Leveraging on their social capital, the women provided each other social safety nets based on information and knowledge sharing. Saving schemes emerged from the women group enabling them cope with the rising cost of food. The skills gained from the collective undertaking gave them insights of commercialising a catering service
The action research highlights the kitchen’s pivotal social and economic role as a convergence centre for strategizing coping mechanisms for responding to the evictions and in creating a building block for structuring an income generating business for the women.
2. Transportation and Agricultural Bagging Systems in Federal Capital Territory Abuja Nigeria
Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation, Nigeria
Transportation and Agricultural Bagging Systems in Federal Capital Territory Abuja Nigeria
Transportation and bagging systems are essential components of agricultural production. Two area councils of the Federal Capital Territory (Gwagwalada and Kuje area council) were visited. To look into the methodology and technology involved in the transportation and bagging systems of sweet potatoes in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, Nigeria. The impact of transportation and bagging of sweet potatoes on the profitability To make a suggestion: Due to financial constraints Twenty potato farmers were selected and interviewed, and a few farm visits were also made. Data was collected and analysed. Pictorial representations and oral groups discussion and meeting with potato marketers and consumers; farmer and consumer visits; partnership development with stakeholders; report drafting; and hope to have a validation workshop to deliberate more and add value to the effect. The study showed that head porters, motor cycles, motor vehicles, and pick-up vans were used in the transportation, and nylons were used in the bagging of sweet potatoes. Therefore, in order to encourage the farmers to produce more sweet potatoes, it is recommended that adequate transportation and bagging systems must be provided.
Keywords : Transportation, Agricultural, Bagging, Systems, Territory, Abuja, Nigeria
3. International Law and Urbanism towards the Commons
Air Force University, Brazil
The General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) established the 31st October as World Cities Day by UNGA Resolution 68/239. The goal of the countries organized in the General Assembly of the UN is that the symbolic date “promotes the interest of the international community in global urbanization, boost cooperation between countries to find opportunities that address the challenges of urbanization and contribute to urban development sustainable around the world”.
Urbanization offers the potential for new forms of social inclusion, including greater equality, access to services and new opportunities, engagement and mobilization
that reflect the diversity of cities, countries and the globe. However, this often it is not the form of urban development. The Inequality and exclusion abound, many times at rates above the national average, in detriment of sustainable development that works for everyone (UNITED NATIONS, 2021).
In fact, the city is a phenomenon history accompanying human existence from the sedentary period and the domain agriculture, with an accentuated local trait, but generally a range with repercussions regions that transcended the territories of the kingdoms and powers, in a concept that today it would be international. Five thousand years of development and our cities have undergone transformations, advances and setbacks in its trajectory, not rarely replacing its existential sustainability in poorly organized agglomerations, depending on of a temporal and governmental context.
From cities like Uruk, in Babylon, to Republican Rome, life was permeated for moments of work, coexistence and trade, forming ties of the most diverse so the Law may be a tool to it?