Highlights from Charisma Acey's presentation at the USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation. Watch the full version here: https://youtu.be/N37DWcwA3IY
Urban poverty, beyond a symptomatic lack of income, is associated with inadequate access to public infrastructure, basic services such as safe water and sanitation, assets, housing, and mobility. Where there is segregation based on poverty, the urban poor face greater risk of environmental hazards that result in injury, illness and early death. Yet, globally, impoverished households pollute less and have a net positive impact on the environment. Where poor households do pollute, it is frequently due to decision-making that manufactures scarcity. In response, many poverty alleviation initiatives tend to focus on either income generation or introducing new technologies, avoiding the institutions that produce unjust vulnerability, isolation, and powerlessness. This talk highlights experiences from Professor Acey's work in African cities, focusing on three sources of innovation that offer new approaches to changing how governments respond to the poor.
Charisma Acey is an assistant professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at University of California, Berkeley. Her background includes work, research and travel to countries in West Africa, southern Africa and Central America. Her work focuses on local and regional environmental sustainability, with a focus on poverty reduction, urban governance and access to basic services. Her work relies on both quantitative and participatory, qualitative research approaches to understanding individual and household demand for improved infrastructure and environmental amenities.