The biggest problem facing cities today is not the rising rate of urbanisation, but rather the refusal of policy makers to adopt collaborative and responsive models of urban administration. This position is untenable regardless of its reasons for existing; be it intellectual and practical distance from the most pressing issues, power-mongering and personal interest, structural problems within governance that make long-term planning difficult, or a complicated combination of the above.
To build inclusive and self-sustaining rather than self-cannibalising cities, we must move past narrow and exclusionary visions of urban progress. Instead, we must begin to look to the people within our cities, living and thriving in spite of existing inadequacies, for guidance on how to create and safeguard a sustainable shared future.
OluTimehin Adegbeye, OluTimehin Adegbeye is a Nigerian writer, speaker, and activist whose work focuses on Gender, Urban Poverty and Sustainable Development. Her TED Talk, "Who Belongs in a City?", was delivered at TEDGlobal 2017 in Arusha, Tanzania and was chosen by TED Lead Curator, Chris Anderson as one of the ten most notable talks of 2017, alongside Pope Francis, Elif Shafak, Elon Musk and Sara Menker.
Ms Adegbeye had the opportunity at the 2017 NORLA Conference to speak with Crown Princess Mette-Marit about her work. She has also interviewed other important figures in the Norwegian political space, including the Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Jens-Petter Kjemprud; former Deputy Minister (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Laila Bokhari, and National Librarian, Aslak Sira Myhre. Ms Adegbeye has addressed audiences in Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Norway, Uganda, and the United States, and has worked with the European Union in Nigeria, Shining Hope for Communities, UN Women and other international civil society organisations. She writes regularly for local and international outlets, including Klassekampen and Bistandsaktuelt. Her essay, “Vi lever et liv i konstant motvind”, has been used as background for textbooks in Norwegian junior colleges. To learn more about OluTimehin and her work, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and visit her website, www.ohtimehin.com