UN-HABITAT has teamed up with the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum and the United Nations Academic Impact agency to stage a glittering urban design exhibition in the visitor's lobby of the world body's global headquarters.
The exhibition showing some 60 displays from 23 countries, is open daily to the public through 9 January 2012, and is intended to depict inclusive urban design showing how cities can improve the lives of those living in poverty.
"Placing people at the centre of the solution is paramount to gaining the required insight to meet the challenge of coping with the rapid expansion of informal cities," said Ms. Cynthia E. Smith, the museum's curator of socially responsible design. "Indeed, the participation of slum dwellers and the urban poor is changing the dynamics of design at all levels."
The CITIES exhibition shows ideas such as the way balloons or inflated garbage bags can be used to take aerial photographs of slums in Lima, Peru, how affordable building materials are used in Paraguay, or how boats are used as floating schools, or clinics in Bangladesh. Material at hand includes an urban design manual for use in Buenos Aires which carries information for new immigrants, and a series of urban best practices.