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Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health

Together for more healthy years
Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health

Conference Human Development and Capability Association Buenos Aires

From:Th 30-08-2018
Until:Sa 01-09-2018
Where:UCA University, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Conference Theme

“Human Development and Social Inclusion in an Urbanizing World”

Today more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and the share is expected to reach 66 per cent by 2050. While the intense social, cultural and economic interaction implied by the agglomeration of people in cities offers diverse benefits for human and economic development it also poses numerous challenges. Social fragmentation, spatial segregation and the widespread growth of informal settlements, or slums, reflect the persistence of social and economic inequality in the context of the expansion of cities. The rapid demographic shifts and resulting urban sprawl, coupled with the environmental stresses caused by cities, hinder the adequate provision of public services and effective urban governance. The recent flow of immigrants from poor and unstable countries to the cities of developed nations present new obstacles to economic, social and cultural participation in the Global North. All of these trends challenge governments and society as a whole to find new ways to foster human development and social inclusion for all.

Latin America, as the most unequal and urbanized region of the world, with the largest concentration of megacities, is a particularly relevant place to host the conference. Issues such as residential segregation, urban inequality, social marginalization and exclusion, violence, addictions, environmental degradation, among others, have acquired particular relevance in the region and their origins are rooted not only in the urbanization process but also complex historical, political and cultural factors. The continent also has produced relevant innovations in the design of social safety nets (for example, conditional cash transfers) and policies to foster urban integration.

The 2018 Conference theme proposes to analyse these urban issues through the lens of the capability approach and human development framework and in light of global experiences. It will examine how the approach can provide innovative tools and criteria to assess quality of life and how its conditions are distributed in the context of cities. The conference will also examine how the capability approach can contribute to critically thinking on how to design adequate policies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. It can also frame the discussion on how to address the Urban Agenda set out by UN-Habitat III: 1) ending poverty in all its forms and dimensions by ensuring equal rights and opportunities, socio-economic and cultural diversity, integration in the urban space; 2) achieving sustainable and inclusive urban economies by promoting full and productive employment and decent work for all and 3) promoting environmental sustainability, by promoting clean energy, sustainable use of land and resources in urban development.