David Satterthwaite's blog posts

6 June 2018 |

A paper in the latest issue of the journal Environment and Urbanization explores how affordable public transport – via a Bus Rapid Transit system – can make housing affordable for low-income groups. David Satterthwaite describes how a roll-out of this public transit could work in Mumbai.  

17 May 2018 |

Aid agency staff find it difficult to work in informal settlements. There is little or no data about their residents. For many, there are no maps or street names. There are often complex political struggles that frustrate development projects. But this can be addressed by working with grassroots organisations and federations – as they have the knowledge and it is their needs that aid is meant to be addressing.

6 March 2018 |

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change convenes an international scientific conference in Canada this week to explore how to strengthen cities' ability to withstand climate change, David Satterthwaite urges them not to forget the people living in informal settlements.

7 June 2017 |

While welcoming the support from Michael Bloomberg for a new city-focused global public health initiative, David Satterthwaite and Sarah Colenbrander raise concerns about what is not included.

8 May 2017 |

Urban centres can be among the world's most healthy places to live and work – but many are among the least. How healthy they are is powerfully influenced by local government competence, local information, and support for local action.

26 April 2017 |

For the billion urban dwellers living in informal settlements, there are many risks. Those who are more susceptible to these risks, or less able to cope, are termed vulnerable. But they are not vulnerable if the risks are removed. We need to focus more on removing the risks and less on endless lists of 'vulnerable groups', argues David Satterthwaite.

18 April 2017 |

Whose lives are most at risk in urban areas of the global South – for instance from preventable diseases and disasters? And what are the most serious risks they face? We need a fuller picture/better data/more evidence on urban risk to inform governments and aid agencies and to guide their investment in risk-reducing infrastructure and services (such as safe, sufficient, affordable water, and good-quality sanitation, electricity, healthcare and waste collection).

1 December 2016 |

An index from 2001 needs updating to reflect how policies championed by US President-elect Trump threaten global ecological sustainability.

7 October 2016 |

A new report suggests that most of the world's largest cities in 2100 will be in Africa – including many with over 40 million inhabitants. This blog suggests growth in numbers will hinge more on the extent of economic development.

16 August 2016 |

International agencies must support local processes if we are to achieve ambitious global goals – so benefits reach urban communities on the ground whose needs these goals are set up to meet.

19 July 2016 |

Ten concise points respond to the current draft of Habitat III's New Urban Agenda which is lengthy, dense and gives too little attention to the key roles of local government and civil society.

26 April 2016 |

In the week of the urban-themed 10th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation, we ask what is needed for this approach to succeed in urban spaces.

19 April 2016 |

Can cities prosper while meeting their responsibilities for acting on climate change? This is the focus of a new book by IPCC authors, co-edited by IIED's David Satterthwaite.

9 March 2016 |

As discussions on the SDG indicators are under way in New York, David Satterthwaite asks where are the indicators that report on local needs and support local action in urban areas.

12 October 2015 |

The new development framework lays out a groundbreaking vision on the common good. But it doesn't say enough about how this is to be achieved, by whom and with what funding.