Learning Globally: Innovations and Ideas from Abroad

Article excerpt

The following are examples of local government innovations and ideas from around the world.

Safer Cities

In a bid to publicize the need to engage young people in crime prevention activities, a young Briton wounded in an armed robbery in Nairobi two years ago began his ascent up Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak. Tim Challen, 33, said he hoped to raise at least US$50,000 from the climb: "I have been waiting for this day to come. I strongly believe in turning my misfortune into raising awareness to the problems of crime."

In May 2003, Challen, a staff member of United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU), was shot in the leg and badly injured by armed robbers in Nairobi. After extensive surgery and a long period of rehabilitation, he decided to help address some of the harsh realities of crime in East Africa and try to make a positive change.

With support from U.N.-Habitat's Safer Cities Program and initiatives that use sports and athletics to assist "at risk" youth, Challen hopes that his climb will help strengthen civic responsibility within communities, engage youth and prevent crime.

Funds raised by the climb will go towards grassroots projects which include the renovation of a soccer field in Nairobi's Kibera slum, start-up money for small businesses run by youths to help fund neighborhood night security patrols, and a water project in Dar el Salaam, Tanzania. Sales from the water project will fund a security-watch group. U.N.-Habitat will oversee disbursement of the money.

For further information on the Safer Cities Nairobi and Dar el Salaam projects. visit www.unhabitat.org/safer cities.


The 2006 Greater Cities in a Smaller World Conference will take place in Cambridge, United Kingdom, July 4-5 and will focus on the changing role of cities in the global economy and the lessons for strategic planning.

The conference will bring together practitioners in government and commerce together with leading academics in the field to explore a series of practical questions for advisers and policy-makers, informed by the latest evidence and analysis of urban change in the United Kingdom. …