OverviewThe IssueThe IHC Program

IHC Global — Changing Cities for Good

IHC Global is an independent, non-profit global membership coalition of  organizations, businesses and individuals  engaged in urban development worldwide.  IHC Global serves its members through advocacy and awareness;  policy and practice-focused research; and sharing of good practice.

With more than 3 billion people living in cities, IHC believes that what happens in cities globally will profoundly shape the world’s future.  The growing inequity in cities is a critical global concern with many ramifications.

IHC is committed to the principle that greater income equality and greater shared urban prosperity for all are possible if barriers to inequality are recognized and overcome.  For example, poor housing, inadequate sanitation, unclean water, food insecurity, vulnerability to natural disasters and the effects of climate change, and insecure tenure all drive inequality.  Solving these problems will help not only to bring about greater equity but also to stimulate local economies and make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Cities will prosper and markets will flourish when each city has a vision of its future which all citizens have had a role in shaping.   To achieve these ends,  IHC Global advances practical solutions, raises awareness about the issues, and advocates for equitable urban development worldwide.

IHC’s membership includes NGOs, civil society organizations, private sector companies, corporations, and associations.  It also is open to individuals who support equitable urban development and sustainable, inclusive cities. 

In 2008, the global urban population exceeded the rural for the first time in history. Population growth is expected to add 2.5 billion people by the year 2050. Sixty-Six percent of that population– about 6.5 billion– will be living in urban areas.

Today, more than 1 billion people (almost 15% of the world’s population) live in slums, where many struggle to access adequate shelter, water and sanitation, healthcare, and sufficient employment.

Yet cities also hold tremendous potential for equitable growth and new opportunities for the poor. Creating sustainable cities can:

  • Spur economic advancement for the poor and accelerate economic growth;
  • Engage the poor as members of an inclusive society;
  • Boost private sector opportunities for housing, infrastructure and services; and
  • Improve public health conditions, educational opportunities and empower women and girls.

Rapid urban population growth is a tough challenge. City level planning, investment and governance structures are often outpaced by such rapid growth. Global attention and funding to address urban poverty is limited and often focused on acute needs rather than the underlying causes.

Global Goal 11 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls on cities to become inclusive, resilient safe and sustainable.  This vision for more equitable urban development can be achieved with the right opportunities.

With inclusionary policies and investment, cities and slums don’t have to come as a package deal.

IHC seeks to build global constituency of advocates, aware of global and local implications, challenges and solutions for more equitable urban development. We work to sway public opinion, shape public policy and increase resource allocation and programs to enhance urban equity and opportunity. IHC aims to do this by:

  • Being an aggregating voice through its membership and constituency;
  • Influencing policy and practice through solution-oriented analyses and information sharing;
  • Keeping a steady light shining on the needs and rights of the urban poor, and their central place within the entire global Agenda for Sustainable Development, aligning with like-minded organizations;
  • Educating and advocating about key urban equity drivers;
  • Developing and sharing knowledge and innovation supporting the new vision of the city embodied in Global Goal 11, including the pathways to prosperity that can be forged through policies and investments designed with Goal 11 in mind; and
  • Educating and advocating about delivery of inclusive housing, which includes improved access to basic services and the full range of opportunity provided by cities.

IHC will also expand and add value to membership through services and information, continuing advocacy, and internationalizing membership.

What happens in cities will determine our collective future!

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