Adaptation to climate change and resilience to risks has the face of a woman. In the neighborhoods of El Alto and the hillsides of La Paz, women not only train in risk management but also become builders of rainwater harvesting systems. THEY are the ones that guarantee life, building the future.
City and accomodation
The Circles of Sustainability fi gure used throughout this book provides a relatively simple view of the sustainability of a particular city, urban settlement, or region. The circular fi gure is divided into four domains: ecology, economics, politics and culture. Each of these domains is divided in seven subdomains, with the names of each of these subdomains read from top to bottom in the lists under each domain name. Assessment is conducted on a nine-point scale. The scale ranges from ‘critical sustainability’, the fi rst step, to ‘vibrant sustainability’, the ninth step. When the fi gure is presented in colour it is based on a traffi c-light range with critical sustainability marked in red and vibrant sustainability marked in green. The centre step, basic sustainability, is coloured amber – with other steps ranging in between amber and red or amber and green. The grey-scale used here is intended to simulate the colour range.
In Loma del Esmeraldal, residential sector of the municipality of Envigado in the valley of the Aburra (Colombia), the indiscriminate urban densification, product of the speculation and misrepresentation of the regulations to facilitate construction licenses provoked a response from the citizens. The Ciudadano Envigado Collective (Citizen´s Collective Envigado) managed with resistance and proposals the recovery of lands ready for construction and turned them into public spaces, improving the quality of life of the residents.
The Hip Hop culture with BreakDance and other scenic arts become lifestyles and ways of thinking for young people in the different districts of Metropolitan Lima. Cultural manifestations of young people have managed to transform the stigmatization that civil society had generated on their attitudes.
Human settlements such as Virgen de la Candelaria, on the outskirts of Lima, are a very frequent phenomenon in large cities. Low-income families are looking for a place to live close to the apparent economic and educational opportunities of the metropolis. Selective laws and norms result in the consolidation of these neighborhoods and make the progress of their habitants extremely difficult. These conditions force majorities in large cities to find an informal housing solution, dealing with a perverse logic of laws that are not made for those who have been taken to critical circumstances by the development model. This situation ends often in a paradoxical picture: majorities of the population excluded by laws that protect the interests of the system instead of responding to the needs of the majority.
“We have never been against the construction of the urban railway, but not at the price of being expelled” says Margarita Monforte, president of the neighborhood association “Quinta Virgen del Quinto Patio”, the struggle of forty families in downtown Lima to exercise their rights in front of the megaproject of the electric train as part of a mass transportation system in the Peruvian capital.
The fight for the right to decent housing, a recognized right, is in fact denied to many families in the country, who live in precarious housing conditions, without access to basic services and invisible in their just demands. This harsh reality led a group of tenants from Cochabamba to dream about the possibility of a community living space. The Organization of Tenants of Cochabamba (OINCO) is facing a hard struggle, due to the commercialization and speculation of urban land, carrying out the task of building community and community housing. One of these efforts allowed access to a land in lending that allows affiliates of the OINCO to produce healthy food, organizing the Popular School of Agroecology, as part of its philosophy of learning and teaching to manage the soil.
Accountability by public authorities in compliance with transparency protocols is often the result of the persevering pressure exerted by dynamic sectors of the civil society in a local context; is sometimes the only viable way to achieve quality in public services.
Leading women, who have emerged from neighborhood social organizations in El Agustino and other districts in the eastern sector of Lima, share their experiences on the road to changing relations with authorities on the subject of local development. They put in the talk what they have achieved: the you to you with the municipality.
In Peru, state social housing programs are dominated by construction companies, making it impossible for families to self-construct. The Banks, which are in charge of placing the state subsidy, accentuate the problem because low income families, as the main target group of this state subsidy do not qualifydue to a lack of solvency. The example of the «Movement of the Homeless of Lima / Peru» breaks down schemes and barriers, achieving from its persistence access to the decent housing.