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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

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.

Communication across the co-ordination team continues post the conference. Activities continue to seek to encourage wider participation in the group; to consider the possibility of jointly editing a themed issue of a journal; and to seek funding opportunities for research collaboration and/or activities outside of the main conference events. Current international priority to the UN Sustainable Development Goals offers a range of opportunities for research and collaboration which the co-ordinators are pursuing (e.g. UK-Turkey funding possibilities, Co-ordinators Isobel Anderson, Yurdanur Dûgleroğlu and Gülden Erkut). The UN-Habitat Global Sample of Cities (200 cities) confirms that the issue of housing affordability and mechanisms of housing finance remain a critical issue for both ownership and rental sectors (Co-ordinator Claudio Acioly). Going forward, the working group plans to draw on the framework for operationalizing the New Urban Agenda and action-oriented recommendations on Sustainable Development Goal 11 (particularly the target 11.1 for affordable housing and slum upgrading). In 2018, the group will seek to elaborate further ideas on these issues, as well as lessons emerging from the Tirana Conference to stimulate a broader discussion. Co-ordinator Isobel Anderson will attend a ‘Global Engagement Meeting’ in Pretoria, South Africa on 5-6 December 2017 which is an opportunity to promote housing and urban issues in the UK’s international collaborative research programme to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She will also meet with research colleagues in Pretoria and Johannesburg to discuss collaborative research opportunities and participation in the ENHR working group.

Recent activities
The Conference of ENHR 2017 on the theme of “Affordable Housing for All" took place in Tirana during September 4-6, 2017. Working Group Co-ordinator Kosta Mathey was a keynote speaker for the session Housing as a Human Right vs Housing as a commodity – redefining the roles of public and private sectors. The session was very well attended and the presentation ‘Affordability and Social Housing in the Global South’ is available on the 2017 conference website. The Workshop on Housing in Developing Countries accepted nine abstracts for the conference. Out of these, five authors attended the Conference and presented their papers, with around a dozen participants attending the three workshop sessions. Topics presented included: the right to adequate housing following natural disasters; housing characteristics in less developed areas (Pakistan); communal values in adoption of solar panels (Ghana); changes in Chilean Housing Policy; and strategies for designing new settlements in developing countries. Full papers were also received on Government’s role in affordable housing (Turkey) and Upgrading of informal settlements (South Africa) although the authors were not able to attend for the conference. The number of papers was similar to 2016, and the quality papers by scholars coming from different parts of the world led to good discussions in Tirana. The workshop leaders who were able to attend the 2017 conference were Kosta Mathey and Isobel Anderson, who jointly chaired the WG sessions in Tirana.

Future plans
The co-ordinators are planning either a face-to-face meeting or tele-conference early in 2018 to discuss the group’s ideas and proposals, and expect to offer a workshop at the Uppsala conference in June 2018.