Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal
E and U Oct 2016 cover detail

Current issue: Urban Livelihoods

The network Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) guest edited this issue, drawing on its experience of working since 1997 to improve the situation of the working poor in the informal economy. The themed papers in this issue therefore focus on informal employment in particular sectors and contexts, providing both comprehensive surveys of the related literature and grounded accounts of the working lives of specific groups. The occupational groups span street vendors, waste pickers, fisherwomen, and home-based workers.

Geographically, the papers examine India (Ahmedabad and Udupi), South Africa (Durban), Tanzania (Arusha) and Peru (Lima). And in terms of theme, the papers explore the ways gender, youth, class and caste intersect with employment that is often precarious or under-valued, as well as the resourceful solutions that the urban informal workforce is drawing upon to improve health, safety, and earnings. All this leads to concrete policy suggestions for ways to strengthen urban livelihoods. A strong gendered component runs through the papers on urban livelihoods, as WIEGO particularly works to mobilize female workers.

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Book notes

Small towns are an essential but often-neglected element of rural landscapes and food systems. They perform a number of essential functions, from market nodes to providers of services, goods and non-farm employment to their own population, as well as that of the wider surrounding region. In demographic terms, they represent about half of the world’s urban population, and are projected to absorb much of its growth in the next decades.

The transfer of funds by migrants to their home countries (cash remittances) is at an all-time high. By 2017, it is predicted to rise to US$ 500 billion – and there is a growing policy consensus that cash remittances can be mainstreamed into development. Equally, food remitting also has a role to play in urban and rural food security. Yet despite its importance, researchers and policymakers tend to ignore food remitting.

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E&U's sister journal  Medio Ambiente y Urbanizacion focusses on Latin America

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