The Metropolis initiative «Mentoring on Upgrading Informal Settlements» is part of the “I’m a City Changer” global movement of the World Urban Campaign promoted by UN-Habitat, the city agency of the United Nations. This movement recognizes projects that improve the quality of life of cities and their citizens. This particular initiative promotes social inclusion in urban life and joins the awareness-raising campaign promoted by the platform.
Metropolis Initiatives build a network of metropolitan governments and their collaborating partners to promote projects in partnership for urban sustainability, understood simultaneously in its environmental, economic, social and cultural aspects. Eight projects were promoted in January 2012 which are the bases of the Metropolis Action Plan and which have a global reach.
The Initiative «Mentoring on Upgrading Informal Settlements» led by Durban, São Paulo, and UCLG applies practical experiences from São Paulo housing policies to Durban, as the two cities have been exposed to accelerated urban growth which has led to informal settlements. It also offers lessons for African cities aiming to move from a delivery approach to integrated solutions. The project builds on the two cities’ strong commitment and is expected to serve as a pilot experience for the current reform process of South African and African housing policies. Adequate housing is considered crucial for poverty reduction, but only integrated responses that include social services, local economic development, and empowerment can be sustainable.