Cities for Human Development: A Capability Approach to City-Making



For the last 30 years, the idea of ‘cities as engines of growth’ has played a key role in capturing the imagination of decision-makers and encouraging public and private investments into cities. However, at the same time, the world has experienced the urbanisation of poverty and inequality. Urban development and planning practice focused on the ideal of enhancing GDP has not been able to address conditions of marginalisation and deprivation in cities. In fact, they have contributed to deepen urban social and spatial segregation.

Drawing on the work of Amartya Sen and others from the field of human development and capability debate, this book aims to approach city-making from the lens of the capability approach. What if we understand cities not as engines of growth but of human development? What if we see cities not for what they are, but what they do to people and nature? Alexandre Frediani sets out a capability response that starts with condemning violations of human rights, recognising the collective agency of urban dwellers, and calling for public actions and interventions that address uneven distribution of opportunities and burdens, while promoting democratic processes to imagine and design the cities we value.

1. Towards cities as engines of human development

2. Justice, City-making and the Capability Approach

3. Drivers: Evictions and well-being of dwellers in Lagos waterfront informal settlements, Nigeria

4. Practices: Experiences and claims for participation in London’s Euston area, United Kingdom

5. Aspirations: Re-imagining urban regeneration in Woodstock, Cape Town, South Africa

6. Abilities: Housing (un)freedoms in Nova Primavera estate, Salvador da Bahia, Brazil

7. Opportunities: Democratising urban governance through Neighbourhood Planning Associations in Kisumu, Kenya

8. Agency: Claiming rights through the occupation of vacant buildings in inner São Paulo, Brazil

9. Trajectories: Pursuing ‘Buen Vivir’ through participatory neighbourhood planning in Quito, Ecuador

10. Learning: Expanding capabilities through knowledge co-production about city-making in Freetown, Sierra Leone

ISBN: 9781788531474
Publisher: Practical Action Publishing
Pub Date: 09/2021
Format: Paperback
Weight: 0.59lbs
Size: 9.21h x 6.14w x 0.40d

Additional information

Weight 0.59 lbs
Dimensions 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.40 in