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Securing land for housing and urban development

Journal, 615 pages

In urban areas, the struggle by low-income groups to get housing and basic services is often a struggle to get land on which to build or to get tenure of land they already occupy. The October 2009 issue of the journal Environment and Urbanization documents how the scale and scope of what the urban poor can do is much increased when they are organized and when they offer government partnerships in addressing their needs for housing. Where national and local governments respond positively, much can be achieved as shown by papers on government-federation partnerships in Thailand, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. Other papers include: the struggles to avoid eviction caused by infrastructure improvements in Karachi and Surabaya; the Urban Poor Development Fund in Cambodia; large-scale squatter upgrading in Argentina; and the limitations of land titling programmes. What delivers for the urban poor is not the provision of legal title but governments and international agencies that listen to, work with and support them, including providing finance that they can draw on as and when needed. The journal’s Climate Change section includes papers on migration, the implications of population growth and urbanization for climate change and the performance of the Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED).

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