Author Archive

  • Alarife's Bernadette Baird-Zars co-presented a paper at the Issam Fares conference in Princeton making the case to look at municipalities as leaders of change and agents in reconfiguring states in the region. The paper,  “From the fragments up: expansions of municipal autonomy in Syria and Tunisia,”  is co-authored with Lana Salman and will be published later this year. http://www.aub-princetonconference.org/photo-gallery.htmlRead More »

  • Andrea presented at the IDB on an Alarife led project to develop and assemble a housing indicator platform for 19 cities in Latin America. The platform will be hosted by the IDB and assembles over 80 indicators from an unusual diversity of sources and definitions. Although no two cities define information in the same way, extensive notes document these differences, and so will allow for more rigorous comparisons -- and easy updating for subsequent years. The platform also highlights the 'missing areas'  of information in housing and will be a space for city and national housing policymakers to add in their ...Read More »

  • Contracted by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Alarife completes report for Infonavit, Mexico's largest provident fund. With several intensive field research visits, dozens of interviews and hours of data-sifting, we came to learn a great deal about the reasons behind the boom in housing development and abandonment as well as pinpoint the spaces for innovation in housing, land and local government in Mexico. Read More »

  • With the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set to expire at the end of next year, many have begun questioning the achievements of the UN-led program, as well as the merit of long-employed methods of international aid provision. It’s true that some of the MDGs have been attained, like cutting in half the number of people worldwide living off of less than a dollar a day. But other goals, like reducing child mortality by two-thirds, haven’t yet been met. For example, in 2010 more children under five died in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia than when the MDGs were first set.   Read More »

  • Alarife's Bernadette Baird-Zars is presenting a paper entitled "Using Evidence-Based Global Housing Indicators for Policy Evaluation of Rental Housing and Vacant Properties" at the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, held between April 8th and 11th of this year.  Bernadette's co-authors were Jane Katz and Maria Luisa Alvarado of Habitat for Humanity Cesar Bouillon Buendia and Ophelie Chevalier of the IADB and Naveen Jawaid, a former DUSP colleague.   Here's the abstract, but you can read the full first draft on the conference website.    Secure, formal, and affordable rental housing is a crucial component of healthy housing markets, especially ...Read More »

  •     At the World Bank's 5th Global Housing Finance Conference, Alarife's Bernadette Baird-Zars made a presentation entitled, "Leveraging Urban Land in AWQAF (Islamic land trusts) for Mixed-use Affordable Housing."   Here's a summary of her presentation:   One-fifth to two-thirds of all land in the historic centers and rapidly-urbanizing peripheries of Middle Eastern cities is held in permanent trusts for charitable purposes —waqf (or awqaf, plural). These plots of land represent a powerful asset to leverage substantial inclusive developments, but are almost universally underutilized. Current neglect is in part due to restrictions ...Read More »

  • [caption id="attachment_941" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Agricultural lands outside of Addis Ababa "][/caption] In April, The Guardian published an article entitled "This will be the Arab World's Next Battle: Population growth and water supply are on a collision course. Hunger is set to become the main issue."  The article describes how MENA countries are increasingly running into trouble meeting grain demands because of depleting water supplies and enormous population growth.  That country's like Saudi Arabia are phasing out grain production because water aquifers are drying out, and instead they are ...Read More »

  • Here comes an interesting lens for understanding urban settings: this UN-Habitat-WHO report explores cities from the health perspective. It looks at the health conditions that people undergo in their neighborhood, homes, work, and the health systems that they can access. In cities across the globe people face health inequity. This report will lead us to think about the importance of considering health issues when building a city. In the following website you can find the full report, an executive summary and a photo gallery of the cities that inspired this report: Read More »

  • As much of the Arab world increasingly becomes the stage for popular movements demanding improved living conditions, the lack of adequate economic opportunities for youth has come to the foreground.  Widespread nepotism and astronomical unemployment rates, despite relatively high economic growth in many countries, have highlighted the deep inequalities within these societies and the need to provide avenues to take advantage of these enormous reservoirs of human capital. _ Saudi Arabia, although not host to the popular uprisings seen elsewhere, contains one of the largest youth populations in ...Read More »

  • Some ideas on where urban planners and designers can contribute to improve the living environment for the urban poor --> http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=72598Read More »