Mrs. Tibaijuka delivers the Gandhi Memorial Lecture.
UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka on Wednesday delivered the 10th Gandhi Memorial Lecture at the University of Nairobi.
Addressing the dons, students and members of the public who gathered at the university’s Taifa Hall, Mrs. Tibaijuka highlighted three emerging issues she said scholars could take on for research and policy analysis.
These included understanding the link between rapid and chaotic urbanization and the urbanisation of poverty. “Understanding this link will be critical to our collective ability to attain not just the slum and water and sanitation targets of the Millennium Development Goals, but practically all of the MDGs,” she said.
Secondly, she cited understanding the link between rapidly growing, poorly planned and managed cities with increasing volatility in the prices of food, energy and water. This link was vital to developing effective strategies that recognised the importance of urban-rural linkages and managing the complexities of metropolitan development, she said.
The third issue she raised was understanding the link between rapid and chaotic urbanisation and climate change. “This link is born form the realisation that any serious attempt at climate change mitigation and adaptation must include our cities as front line actors,” she said.
Fielding questions from the audience after the lecture, Mrs. Tibaijuka maintained that urbanisation was irreversible. “People move because of expectation that things will improve,” she said.