Community Organizing

Building a Dialogue around Race to Change Political Institutions, the City of Seattle Starts the Race and Social Justice Initiative

As candidate Greg Nickels visited different communities during his campaign for mayor of Seattle, news reports erupted over the death of Aaron Roberts, an African American male. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

“During the traffic stop, police said, Roberts grabbed a [police] officer's arm, stepped on the gas and dragged him. The officer's partner scrambled to the passenger side of the car and fired a round that killed Roberts.”

The Case of the South Park Bridge: Infrastructure Concerns and Community Resilience in Seattle

On a Tuesday evening in April 2010, South Park residents and local business owners gathered at the local Machinists Union Hall to hear King County representatives make a surprising and disheartening announcement: the South Park Bridge would close. The bridge was the main link between the largely low-income and industrial neighborhood of South Park and downtown Seattle, and supported traffic flow onto the main retail corridor in South Park. This traffic provided much of the customer base on which the small businesses depended almost entirely.

Defining Sustainability in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy

Chief Minister Taib has set in place a massive sustainable dam project (SCORE) to increase energy production throughout Malaysia and develop Sarawak’s economy by bringing foreign industrial investment to the area. The SCORE project dams have been qualified as sustainable by the International Hydropower Association’s (IHA) Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Forum, and construction on the Murum Dam, the third of a potential 12 dams, was completed in 2013.

Kigali, Rwanda: Urban Agriculture for Food Security?

This case evaluates the premade decision of the Kigali City Council (KCC) to incorporate urban agriculture into the city’s long-term development agenda, as the key tool to address the problem of food security. A land-scarce country characterized by a predominantly rural population, Rwanda has a history of unsustainable approaches to food security, exacerbated by the collapse of the coffee industry in the 1980s and the genocide in the 1990s. After the genocide, international donors swept in to rebuild the war-torn country, which included projects designed to combat food insecurity.

Maboneng: Place of Light. A Case Study in Urban Regeneration in Johannesburg, South Africa

Until the 1970s, Johannesburg’s Central Business District (CBD) was the economic center of South Africa and, arguably, of the entire African continent. In the 1980s, however, a series of events and an epidemic of violence led to a mass exodus from the CBD to Johannesburg’s safer northern suburbs. The CBD became a virtual ‘no-go’ zone and quickly lost its significance as the center of Johannesburg. The city shifted to a decentralized sprawl and the CBD fell into a state of abandoned disrepair.

Regularization of Illegal Electricity Consumers: Non-Technical Loss Rates in Rio de Janeiro

Electricity theft represents a major problem in developing, emerging and even developed countries. This case study focuses on Rio de Janeiro, a city that is growing rapidly yet is also struggling to overcome basic challenges in the electricity sector. Known formally as non-technical losses, electricity theft and electricity fraud have contributed to a precarious situation in Rio de Janeiro in which regularized consumers effectively pay increased tariffs to compensate for high electricity theft levels.

Jakarta Under Water: Keeping Riverside Communities and the Rest of the City Dry

Jakarta is the largest urban center in Indonesia and faces frequent floods with growing intensity. In addition to the geomorphic, climate and natural phenomenon that make the city prone to frequent flooding, rapid urbanization, lack of interagency coordination, and other human factors have aggravated the situation. Informal settlements around riverbanks have resulted in the drastic reduction of the river’s capacity due to encroachment and disposal of solid waste.

In New Delhi, No Place to ‘Go’

India’s economic reforms of the 1990s have led to an exponential growth in industrial and commercial activities, which in turn has led to rapid urbanization. India’s capital city, New Delhi, has been struggling to provide its approximately 17 million residents with adequate amenities. This struggle is particularly prominent in the nearly 700 squatter settlements known as Jhuggi Jhopri clusters (JJ clusters), also known as Delhi’s slums, which are on public land owned by multiple civic bodies.

The Colombo Port Expansion Project: Can a rising tide lift all boats?

This case raises the question of whether infrastructure development can foster inclusive growth and poverty reduction for an entire population. After decades of civil war, Sri Lanka witnessed rapid gains in economic and human development, vaulting the country to low middle income status. The Mahinda Chintana (national development strategy) attempts to refocus the county on a broader developmental agenda. In pursuit of the Mahinda Chintana goals, Sri Lanka aims to harness rapid economic growth by reorienting its economy toward knowledge-based and high value-added sectors.

Qatarstrophe or Success? The 2022 World Cup in Qatar

Qatar has received much attention since winning the bid to host the 2022 World Cup, and not all of the attention has been positive. A major component of Qatar’s winning bid to host the World Cup was the small nations emphasis on sustainability. In order to achieve this vision for sustainability many innovative technologies have been proposed to deal with issues of heat and energy production. While stadium construction is still in its infancy, controversies over human rights violations, expenses, and cultural aspects have already erupted.