Diana Mitlin discusses co-producing sustainable cities

Diana Mitlin, University of Manchester, argues that coproduction is an essential component of an inclusive urban agenda. It is essential for three reasons:
• Contesting negative identities related to lack of income and poverty
• Ensure service delivery addresses the needs of the most deprived groups that are not benefiting from services
• Building neighbourhood organizations able to represented the interests… Read more

Jay Livingston: The Reverse Ferguson Effect: Which Way to Point the Causal Arrow?

FBI director, James Comey, didn’t call it the “Ferguson Effect.” Instead, he called the recent rise in homicide rates a “viral video effect” – a more accurately descriptive term for the same idea: that murder rates increased because the police were withdrawing from proactive policing. The full sequence goes something like this:  Police kill unarmed Black person. Video goes viral. Groups like Black… Read more

Luke Beck: Marriage ‘inequality’ is a threat to religious freedom – and it is probably unconstitutional

Despite the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team promising to vote against it, a bill authorising a plebiscite on marriage equality will soon come before federal parliament. Whether a plebiscite happens or a parliamentary free vote takes place instead, the marriage equality debate is ramping up. A core issue of that debate is the idea, propounded by those who support existing marriage laws, that amendments to the MarriageRead more

Simon Chapple: Australia can learn from the limitations of New Zealand’s welfare reforms

The Australian government is embarking on welfare reform to try and wean people off long term benefit reliance. Social Services Minister Christian Porter has indicated that New Zealand’s investment approach is one to follow, after the government flagged it would be cracking down on people cheating the welfare system during the election campaign. This isn’t the first time this idea has been floated in Australia,… Read more

Minority Representation in the US and NZ Carceral Systems

In the United States, there are 2.3 million incarcerated individuals, an increase of 500% over the last forty years. This represents a quarter of the worldwide prison population with around 700 per 100,000 Americans locked up, despite the US as a whole constituting only a twentieth of the global population. This is the highest of any advanced nation in the world – even the more authoritarian ones like Russia (by… Read more

Karlo Mila: Why Disney’s Maui is so wrong

I’ll admit that I’ve been a Māui fan-girl for a long time. What’s not to love about the archetypal trickster of Polynesia? Despite colonisation and missionary moralising, the stories about Māui live on. In classrooms across the country, Māui still slows the sun, steals the secrets of fire, and continues to try to cheat death between the legs of a woman. The odds were against Māui, right from conception. He… Read more

There’s a world of difference between sex and sexism in advertising

Advertising and sex are two of the oldest professions in the world. Indeed, one of the earliest uses of advertising was to advertise sexual services; prostitutes in Ancient Greece carved ads into the soles of their sandals so that their footprints read: “Follow me”. Sex and sexism, however, are different things. One is fun and most people do it at some time in their lives; the other is offensive and should never be… Read more

Tackling inequalities in the lighting of towns and cities

The way that urban spaces, such as social housing estates, are lit reinforce the increasing levels of inequality faced by cities says a new report by the Configuring Light research programme, based at LSE. According to the research, the over-illumination of social housing estates –  to allow for better CCTV surveillance and the prevention of anti-social behaviour and crime –  mark some spaces out as less valuable… Read more

The tolerant UK I love seems to be vanishing

Yesterday was my ultimate personal watershed moment in the referendum campaign. Why? Because Vote Leave released its post-Brexit road map. And it completely ignores European Union citizens already resident in the UK (as well as British citizens living in continental Europe). Never mind that we have been the subject of populist scaremongering, often clearly xenophobic, for months. Suddenly they couldn’t care… Read more

Moana Maniapoto: Māori bashers and the morality of the media who empower them

They’re back. There I was, a fortnight ago, strapped into a plane bound for Whangarei, unfolding my Sunday paper and settling in for a leisurely read. And there, on the front page, was a huge shot of Mihingarangi Forbes. That’s nice, I thought. Must be about The Hui, her new show on TV3. I knew that was coming up after she — and a number of others — had bailed out of Māori TV. Then I read on. Something about clothes missing… Read more