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News and Resources

News Update

News and Resources



“Equal Spaces” Project in South Africa: Official Launch & Update


 The "Equal Spaces: Social Housing to End Spatial Apartheid in South Africa Project” was officially launched in Johannesburg on April 26th  by Canada’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ian Shugart. Canadian High Commissioner to South Africa, Sandra McCardell also participated in the launch. The project, being implemented in partnership with Global Affairs Canada, will help revitalize inner city urban communities in four metros using well-managed, affordable and secure social housing developments as catalysts.

 The project has been working quite intensively – especially over the past six months with some very positive developments:

·         It has an active steering committee that is guiding the project and played a key role in the selection of the four metros participating in the project.

·         Terrific interest and commitment is emerging in the four metros – not only to participate in the project, but more importantly to provide land and other incentives for social housing in very well  located urban precincts.

·         Strong working relationships are being built with local partners to help meet key capacity building challenges especially support for new social housing institutions needed to respond to local and national government commitments to social housing.

 We are pleased to see that Canadian experience is valued especially in areas such as: precinct planning and development; building working and financial partnerships with public, private and not-for-profit actors; and, in social housing sector capacity building.

 Although South Africa is a relatively wealthy African country, this work will also resonate in the slums of sub-Saharan Africa where some 70% of urban Africans live. Innovative high-density and affordable housing close to jobs and along public transportation routes is desperately needed in the region. Sprawling slums or very low density incremental housing is not the answer. Over the next three years, we intend to demonstrate an alternative vision with social housing led precinct regeneration and development in well-located areas. This vision is also strongly endorsed by the New Urban Agenda which resulted from last year’s Habitat III Conference in Ecuador.

 You can follow progress on the Equal Spaces Project through the experiences of our two amazing Technical Advisors working in Johannesburg - Jo Ferris-Davies and Lizette Zuniga. See: https://rcblog1.wordpress.com/


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