Caroline Skinner was the lead editor for the October 2016 Environment and Urbanization Special Issue on Urban Livelihoods. The launch of the issue coincided with the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III – in Quito, Ecuador. The New Urban Agenda explicitly recognises ‘the contribution of the working poor in the informal economy’ advocating a ‘people-centred’ approach and stronger urban governance including mechanisms that ‘empower and include urban stakeholders’. This marks a significant global shift in thinking. The articles included in the special issue, drawing on WIEGO’s (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing) wealth of urban informal economy research, policy and advocacy work, supports this agenda. They present statistics, survey findings and detailed case evidence that together show that including the informal economy in urban policy and practise is both necessary and possible.
Papers in the issue include:
- The Editorial: Urban livelihoods: reframing theory and policy by Martha Chen, Sally Roever and Caroline Skinner
- Home-based workers and cities by Martha Chen and Shalini Sinha
- Street vendors and cities by Sally Roever and Caroline Skinner
- Waste pickers and cities by Sonia Maria Dias
- Promoting workplace health and safety in urban public space: reflections from Durban, South Africa by Laura Alfers, Phumzile Xulu and Richard Dobson
- Technology, informal workers and cities: insights from Ahmedabad (India), Durban (South Africa) and Lima (Peru) by Martha Chen
See also ‘Urban livelihoods: reviewing the evidence in support of the New Urban Agenda’ by Martha Chen, Sally Roever and Caroline Skinner.