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Combating poverty for inclusive urban growth:  responsible governance of tenure of land and preservation of historic sites and sacred places 

Dr. Rosenfeld first joined the World Bank initiatives in 1999 and has since contributed to a range of initiatives that support the development of the Bank's poverty reduction and urban development strategies. These have included participation in major World Bank conferences and reports, as well as support to inter-governmental working groups.

Dr. Rosenfeld first contributed the initiative led by the World Bank in 1999. At the time, the World Bank was pioneering an initiative on preservation of historic sites and sacred places as the means to combat poverty and ensure sustainable urban and economic development. She documented 86 historical sites and sacred places in the Western Balkans during the conflict and ensured their record in the World Monuments Fund and the Centre of Jewish Art in Jerusalem. On the basis of this work, she was invited to the World Bank symposium ‘Preserving the Architecture of Historic Sites and Sacred Places’ and later included in the book ‘Historic and Sacred Sites: Cultural roots for Urban Futures’.  This important book brought a fresh contribution to the debate on the preservation management of built heritage and pioneered a better understanding of why historic places and sacred sites are important to city development, and how cultural roots may influence and improve urban futures. It demonstrated that taking care of humanity’s cultural heritage can regenerate the self-esteem and self-identities of disempowered peoples and revive local economies.

More recently, Dr. Rosenfeld supported the consortium of international organizations led by the World Bank on the implementation of Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. The consortium consisted of the FAO, UNECE and the World Bank. Dr. Rosenfeld connected the work of the consortium and provided research on informal settlements in 22 countries with economies in transition, including Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia and the Western Balkans. This resulted in publication 'Informal Settlements in Countries with economies in transition in the UNECE region'. This research examined the impact the economic transition from planned to liberal economy had on the urban development and the nature of informality that emerged as the result of these macroeconomic trends. It challenged the application of the term 'informal settlement' in this region. It argued that the term 'housing informality and illegal construction' better describe the observed informality and should be used to differentiate from the characteristics of informality observed in other parts of the world where the term 'informal settlements' originated. This finding set the basis for defining more adapted methods for addressing informality in countries with economies in transition. 

Publication on informal settlements in 22 countries for the World Bank

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Informal settlements in countries with economies in transition in the UN-ECE region 

A report examining nature and challenges of informal housing in 22 countries in Eastern Europe, Western Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia.


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