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Untitled Document
Housing in Developing Countries

Created in 1990

Yurdanur Dûgleroğlu (contact person)
Department of Architecture
Faculty of Architecture
Istanbul Technical University
Istanbul, Turkey

Chris Watson
Centre for Urban and Regional Studies
University of Birmingham
Birmingham, Great Britain

Claudio Acioly Jr
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Nairobi, Kenya
Kosta Mathéy
Global Urban Studies
Berlin, Germany

Gülden Erkut
Urban and Regional Planning
Faculty of Architecture
Istanbul technical University
Istanbul, TURKEY

Isobel Anderson
Department of Applied Social Science
University of Stirling
Stirling, Great Britain


Central theme
Half the world's population lives in urban areas. Future population growth (more than 80 per cent of it in urban areas) will be concentrated in developing countries. Yet the growth of urbanization in the developing world has not been matched by a commensurate growth in the supply of decent housing. The shortcomings of policy, lack of political will, limitations of housing finance, poor land management in urban areas, lack of security of tenure, and lack of infrastructure and services are just some of the issues that confront citizens and policy-makers in developing countries, and provide a strong theme for research, analysis and action.

Sub themes
Focus on approaching holistically to following urban issues:

  • Environmental pollution by crowding and intense construction
  • Resource scarcity (financial, economical, etc.)
  • Socio-cultural polarization
  • Homelessness and unaffordability of urban housing
  • Urbanization and globalization dynamics
  • Squatter settlements and gated communities
  • Diversity of needs for urban housing typology
  • Urban transformation to allow renewal of urban housing stock and to offer the residents to get old in their same home environments

These issues require the integration of resources of the government and private sector; efforts of various disciplines to work together on the possible ways of integrating the conflicting demands on urban land in LDCs for housing and international commercial development to become a world city; and joint research of the scholars, intellectuals and practitioners of housing projects in the housing market constantly providing feedback to each other. Thus liveable cities of the future can be achieved in the urban areas of the developing world which are affected by the crises the most and which needs the integration of projects into policies more urgently than their counterparts in the developed countries for sustainable urban growth and housing development.

Recent activities
The Conference of ENHR 2016 on the theme of “Governance, Territory and Housing" took place in Belfast during June 28-July1st, 2016.

The Workshop on Urban Issues and Housing in Developing Countries welcomed ten participants, who delivered papers in three different sessions.  Seven abstracts were submitted and all were selected to develop their abstracts into full papers. Out of these, six authors attended the Conference and presented their papers.  Topics presented included housing policy and subsidy arrangements in African counties; case studies of state, local government and informal sector roles in housing in Asian countries; and the possibilities for researching housing across global regions (Europe/Latin America & Caribbean). The number of papers was fewer than in previous years but high quality papers by scholars coming from different parts of the world led to good discussions and alternative solutions to some of the urban issues. 

The workshop leaders who were able to attend were Prof Chris Watson, Kosta Mathey, Isobel Anderson (who joined the working group recently) and Yurdanur Dülgeroğlu-Yüksel. The two other members; Claudio Acioly and Gulden Erkut were unable to attend due to their active duties towards HABITAT III in Quito. Those workshop leaders able to attend the Belfast conference met outside of the workshop, along with Chris Watson to consider future planning of the Working Group. It was agreed to offer a workshop at the Tirana ENHR conference in September 2017; to seek to encourage wider participation in the group; and to consider the possibility of jointly editing a themed issue of a journal. Co-ordinators agreed to continue liaising regarding future WG activities, including the possibility of co-ordinators meeting outside of the main conference events.


Future plans
The coordinators are aiming to run a workshop in Tirana and to review the Working Group’s activities.