Inclusive planning and housing

July 2014 — Millions of poor people in cities of the Global South live in informal settlements with low-quality living conditions, due in large part to the lack of affordable and adequate housing. Policies are needed to regulate, support, and provide incentives for the development of affordable housing in both the private and the public sectors. In addition, such housing must be inclusive by design, so that the urban poor are integrated into local communities rather than being marginalized by income and class.

Follow this topic here during the month of July to see and discuss reports from the 23 cities in the network about efforts by governments, NGOs, and communities to make inclusive housing a reality — and please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Housing initiatives for workers in the growing ready-made garments sector

Dhaka, 29 July 2014 — In order to address the problem of housing for ready-made garment workers who frequently relocate to Dhaka from more suburban or rural areas, several NGOs are creating hostels and other housing initiatives to raise the quality of life for this expanding population. See more.

تأمين سكن للفقراء في القاهرة...هل هناك مخرج للأزمة؟

Cairo, 28 July 2014 — عندما نتحدث عن أزمة سكن الفقراء، فإن مشروع أشوكا الوطن العربي ساهم في حل تلك الأزمة إلى حد ما في مدينة القاهرة عن طريق استحداث منصة تمد المستفيدين بخدمات البناء والمواد السكنية والقروض الصغيرة في إطار مشروع المؤسسة -"منزل للجميع" إقرء المزيد

Tantangan pengembangan rumah susun bagi masyarakat berpenghasilan rendah

Jakarta, 27 Juli 2014 — Pemerintah Jakarta bertanggung jawab dalam penyediaan rumah susun bagi masyarakat miskin perkotaan. Tantangan utamanya adalah bagaimana menggandeng pihak developer dan pada saaat yang sama memberikan sanksi bagi mereka yang melangar. Penegakan hukum dan partisipasi aktif masyarakat dalam proses pembangunan membantu transparansi dan akuntabilitas kegiatan pembangunan. Baca lebih lanjut.

The market at the bottom of the housing pyramid

Bangalore, 25 July 2014 — Like many Indian cities, Bangalore is in dire need of new housing options to meet the needs of its working poor. With an increasing ability to pay and new financing approaches available, families residing in slums have the means to pay for better conditions, yet few alternatives exist. Ramesh Ramanathan launched an affordable housing initiative to fill this growing gap, but found many unexpected barriers along the way. See more.

Ciudad Verde: riesgos de los macro proyectos en Bogotá

Bogotá, 24 julio 2014 — Los macro proyectos se concibieron como una forma de aliviar los problemas de vivienda entre las familias con menos recursos. Las economías de escala y el marco regulatorio que facilitaba su construcción eran señalados como sus ventajas. La falta se servicios públicos y de infraestructura están plagando su implementación. Leer más.

Novo Plano Diretor de São Paulo: a necessidade de aumentar a qualidade de vida de todos os cidadãos

São Paulo, 23 julho 2014 — São Paulo está no processo de aprovação do seu novo Plano Diretor Estratégico, que irá determinar as novas diretrizes urbanísticas da cidade até 2030. O plano tem como principal proposta equalizar o acesso a oportunidades na cidade e o desafio de reduzir o déficit habitacional de 700 mil moradias. Leia mais.

Housing the (radical) everyday

Cape Town, 22 July 2014 — Unlike the fall of regimes in many other parts of the world, with the fall of apartheid South Africans chose a very specific and unusual path to reconciliation, "that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united." But to what extent has post-apartheid housing facilitated this inclusive vision? See more.

Vivienda como estrategia urbana

Caracas, 21 julio 2014 — Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela ha construido cerca de 25,000 viviendas en Caracas en los últimos tres años sin contemplar la necesidad de infraestructura, seguridad y espacios públicos en la ciudad. Se propone que la vivienda no debe ser entendida por si sola sino como una oportunidad de diseño urbano. Leer más.

The illusion of urban renewal and the magicians' ghetto

Delhi, 20 July 2014 — Is 'unlocking the value of land' — ​the ​rationale behind urban renewal schemes — an illusion in itself? The elite urbanists who want to render the spatial morphology of Delhi with the appearance of progress are struggling in the face of opposition from residents of urban renewal sites such as Kathputli Colony. See more.

Mortgaging future social houses: a new hope for the urban poor

Ho Chi Minh City, 18 July 2014 — Starting on 16 June 2014, low-income earners in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam are allowed to mortgage their future social houses, according to Joint Circular 01/2014, a government initiative to overcome the "low purchase criteria, high loan conditions" dilemma that is preventing the urban poor from benefiting from social housing projects. See more.

Partisipasi dan pembangunan kembali rusunawa

Surabaya, 17 Juli 2014 — Pembenagunan rusunawa telah dilakukan oleh Pemkot Surabaya untuk menjawab kekurangan rumah murah bagi masyarakat berpenghasilan rendah, namun tampaknya kita melupakan bahwa banyak permasalahan muncul ketika mereka mulai menempati rusunawa. Pembangunan kembali dengan konsep re-development dan pemberdayaan masyarakat di daerah kumuh bisa menjadi jawabannya. Baca lebih lanjut.

Community slum mapping — a housing solution?

Dar es Salaam, 16 July 2014 — When discussion turns to an 'inclusive' housing policy and planning in developing cities, the focus often turns to criticising slums and the current housing the poor call home. Within this article the focus shifts — what happens when we recognise slums as homes and a basis for inclusive urban planning? See more.

The city of Lagos' tenancy and home ownership schemes

Lagos, 15 July 2014 — Housing is a challenge in Lagos, especially for the urban poor, due to city density and high costs. This situation has led to the prominence of slum areas with megacity upgrades, resulting in slum demolition and homelessness. In response to this, the city has devised a scheme to provide Lagosians with homes. See more.

Población pobre y vulnerable participa en los planes de vivienda del DF

Mexico D.F., 14 julio 2014 — El gobierno del DF se coordina con OSC's para incluir a la población pobre y vulnerable en los planes de vivienda; a través de microcréditos, planeación conjunta y la capacitación para la elaboración de la materia prima y construcción de las viviendas. El éxito es la inclusión de los actores por medio de acciones participativas. Leer más.

Edificando conjuntos de ingresos mixtos y respetuosos con el medio ambiente

Cali, 11 julio 2014 — Ciudad Santa Barbara, un proyecto de 16.000 unidades en construcción en Palmira, cerca de Cali, reserva hasta un 33 por ciento de sus unidades para familias de bajos ingresos pero que pueden acceder a la vivienda gracias a ayudas públicas. Así se busca evita la segregación que generan los macro proyectos destinados 100 por ciento a estas familias. Leer más.

Planning for a more inclusive city

Mumbai, 10 July 2014 — What would an alternative future for Mumbai look like? For the first time in India's economic capital — and perhaps in the country — the people themselves have drafted a vision for their city. Standing in opposition to the current trajectory, the People's Vision turns top-down planning on its head. See more.

Community mobilising in the face of a housing crisis

Lilongwe, 9 July 2014—With a growth rate of 4.3 percent per annum, Lilongwe needs an average of 10,000 new dwellings per year to cope with demand, none of which are forthcoming. To improve the situation, local NGO CCODE works with the poor, helping them to develop their own solutions to address the housing crisis. See more.

The awkward terrains of post-apartheid housing

Johannesburg, 8 July 2014—After two decades of democracy, the post-apartheid housing landscape in South Africa still reveals physical and social environments created within the compromised space of the inheritances of apartheid capitalism. This demands either a timely revisit of the pragmatic compromises on neoliberal terms initially made for South African democratization to work, or a higher order of involvement of institutions whose priority is the public good or, in the very least, they prompt reflection—not rhetoric—on the kind of post-apartheid society and spaces that are actually being shaped. See more.


Join the discussion in the comments below!


Nora Lindstrom's picture

Carlin, interesting read about the People's Vision for Mumbai. Sounds like a great initiative, though I'm sure facing several challenges. Unni mentions that the consultations etc. on the DP are (unsurprisingly) not mandated in the MR&TP act; I wonder if you are aware of any efforts to formalise consultation/participation into the process? While having the right to participate and/or be consulted of course by no means ensures consultation/participation happens or that it is meaningful, it can nevertheless be used as a reference point to demand that right.

Carlin Carr's picture

Nora, very good point, and it's something I'm sure this group would advocate for, if they aren't already. Since the DP happens only ever 20 years, it's seems to me just as important to think about how this group's efforts can be harnessed in the intervening years. It's rare to have so many different sectors come together in the city, even though the issues are so often very inter-related. It's even rarer to have the officials take notice of these groups. It will take some effort to keep this momentum going.

The housing deficit prevalent in the city of Lagos cannot be address by HOMS initiated by the Lagos state government because the influx of Nigerians seeking greener pasture in the economic capital state of Nigeria increases geometrically than the number of housing provided by the governor. Historically, the failure of the Jakande estate to address the housing deficit when the population growth in Lagos is not high compare to the 2000s indicates that HOMS cannot address the problem. For the housing problem to be address, the federal government must embark on even development of the country so that residents in each state will be engaged in productive work. Also, the Lagos state government can partner near-by state to build satellite towns to absorb the excess population in Lagos state.

Olatawura Ladipo-Ajayi's picture

Damilare, thanks for your inputs.You are very right the issue of housing goes beyond the state government, given that its a challenge emanating from other social issues which are not necessarily concentrated in Lagos. People come to Lagos in droves. The state is trying to tackle this as best within its capacity hence the home ownership schemes. Where I would have loved to see better planning was in the execution of the scheme towards targeting the low middle income and poor which recently they seem to be doing. I recently heard the scheme now has a hire-purchase element to it that allows people rent-to own the property, an improvement that definitely works better fo rteh current challenges. I suppose the city could put more pressure at officials at the national level to ease the strains you have spoken about.

María Fernanda Carvallo's picture

Ana Cristina, coincido totalmente en que la vivienda es un elemento fundamental que determina cómo las ciudades se expanden en el territorio; pues bien no solo es dotar de un techo a los habitantes, sino que las viviendas estén conectadas a las zonas en donde se encuentran los servicios básicos, infraestructura de transporte, que sean zonas fuera de riesgo de desastres naturales, etc. Al igual que en Caracas, la Ciudad de México vive la misma problemática en donde la expansión de la mancha urbana se desarrolló dependiendo de la oferta y demanda de vivienda sin integrar una lógica de planeación; en este sentido hoy nos encontramos con la misma dificultad en donde ya no hay donde generar vivienda nueva que albergue a la población vulnerable o a la que se encuentra asentada de manera informal. Un gran reto de las ciudades es identificar alternativas innovadoras que contemple en donde albergar a toda la población sin comprometer los demás factores de las ciudades.

Gracias por tu comentario María Fernanda. Estoy de acuerdo contigo, pero pienso que el reto de las ciudades es urbanizar, no crear viviendas para albergar familias que deben viajar horas para buscar trabajo y prefieren vivir en los asentamientos informales dentro de las grandes ciudades.

Shaima Abulhajj's picture

Hello Gemma,
Great article on Dar Essalam crisis and informal housing issue, as we have here in Cairo. Slums mapping is great idea, however, is there a real strategy developed by the government and civil society to take this mapping to further stage, i.e. improving the slums status, legalizing houses, creating utility networks for the slums for healthier accommodations...etc
I believe it is very important to have a comprehensive strategy in this case, starting with mapping and ends with implementation plan for better housing conditions.
Thank you,

Gemma Todd's picture

Hey Shaima, thanks for your response, I completely agree! In order to think about scaling up the idea of community mapping as a effective solution the government needs to think about utilising it as a tool for inclusive housing, which requires them changing how they see slums in the first place. At the moment there are no specific government initiatives to show that the strategy has been implemented, but I have provided a link below which provides some hope. I have attached a link to Slum Dwellers International and a article was written in January on 'getting to know your city' through data and mapping. The article discusses a meeting that took place last year, inviting East African stakeholders to discuss the theme of Community Profiling for Urban Planning. One of the conclusions is stated nicely in the SDI article, it states how the stakeholders (including government officials) recognised the positives of improving data and the our understanding of the city for effective planning, and also how the data would provide a basis for creating trust at multiple scales (governments to communities). However, what is worrying is the fact there hasn't been little development since. There needs to be more capacity building in communities and CSOs to carry out such tasks and hold governments accountable to such solutions, and promises they make to include communities in discussions on housing and service provision. One of the issue is how can plans progress in Tanzania. There are frequent meetings, but progress to the next stage, to effective implementation, has been limited. Which is a question of both what is going on the ground, and why are governments taking the time to push to the next stage.

Heres the link:

Thanks Shaima! Do you know of any cases where they use slum mapping in Cairo?

Gemma Todd's picture

Also Shaima, this link may be of relevance. The LSE recently collaborated with UN-Habitat and UCLG to complete research into urban governance. The objectives of the survey was: how to counteract the data challenge of cities today in order to think about improving urban governance, and to explore how to communicate and map urban governance for public dissemination, comparative policy and research analysis. If CSO's, CBOs, and communities themselves, utilise slum mapping it could form a basis for improving urban governance.

Priyanka Jain's picture

There are consistent themes across the articles. First, where the projects on affordable housing are yet to be implemented or are in the process of, institutional roadblocks seems to be the biggest hurdle. There is entry of private sector but fear of systematic land grab under the guise of affordable housing. Second, most of the schemes have been unsuccessful in the integration of community participation inspite of the need and desire for participatory democracy. Third, provision of housing isn’t enough and basic services and transport accessibility are important factors in making affordable housing schemes successful.
Successful case studies such as one of Janaadhar in Bangalore, CCODE in Lilongwe, UDRI in Mumbai and INVI in Mexico provide valuable lessons. Having successfully implemented participatory processes to draft vision and needs of the community, they are now working out solutions to provide better quality of construction and finance mechanism that make the provision of affordable housing sustainable over a longer period.

Shaima Abulhajj's picture

Dear Gemma,
Thanks for your response. So, I believe now the mapping of informal areas is just a start and as you stated, what is worrying is the lack of progress in this regard. I believe even if CBOs get some capacity building and relevant training, without the government bodies involvement, it will be hard for those NGOs to proceed on their own. In Cairo, there are many initiatives for mapping of the informal areas. For example, Council of Ministers -Center of information and Decision Making conducted an inclusive study and precise mapping on those areas of more than 400 pages. You may check it here although it is in Arabic language. Some development happened during Mubarak regime, when the ex-first woman of Egypt adopted one local informal area called Zeinhom and at the same district she changed the utilities network for the houses there, ordered for building new modern buildings for the same people living there, ordered to establish a park at the same slum area and a library. The people of the slum were accommodation in new economic apartments for low consideration. So, as in Dar Essalam as in Egypt, government should proceed faster and without government real engagement, it would be hard for any party to step up. Looking forward to read your new article :)

Ana Cristina Vargas's picture

Jorge, me parece muy interesante tu artículo sobre los macro proyectos en Bogotá. Me pregunto si ayudaría que hubiesen pensando en ofrecer viviendas para distintos grupos sociales y así generar diversidad y quizás oportunidades de trabajo dentro del desarrollo de vivienda que parece una pequeña ciudad. Igual me pregunto por qué el desarrollo no busca apoyarse en los servicios existentes de Soacha y el gobierno invertir en servicios básicos para toda la zona. Al tener distintas ofertas de vivienda un grupo podría pagar algo de plusvalía para ayudar al desarrollo de la infraestructura.

widya anggraini's picture

Informal settlements mushroomed as people get in the city to find a living. And because informal settlements always unavoidable sometimes the government prepare less in anticipating the consequences. Several articles already mentioned how important community participation in planning process and identification of what they need as happened in Lilongwe or when people get involved in drafting Development Plan process in Mumbai. Participation is a vital element but always forgotten intentionally or unintentionally. In a country such as Indonesia, participation has been acknowledge within national development process regulation but the degree of participation is still questionable, and only few cities, as Ana’s stated, think housing as urbanization strategy.

With regard to housing mortgage, the current scheme in Indonesia allows people from middle-income families to have housing but not people from informal settlements that’s why government build social housing or flats with very low price for them to stay. Bank only has little involvement in this matter. That’s why I really interested in Vietnam case, how is the Bank response with the new policy and how do targeted communities react? is there any private developer involved in this scheme?

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