After sites and services : planned progressive development strategies in low income housing during the 1990s
Author(s)Reimers, Carlos A
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
MetadataShow full item record
Planned progressive development strategies and low-income housing have been out of the international development agenda since funding agencies cut-off support to sites and services and similar housing schemes. These projects were among the most widely used approaches to address the need for low-income housing during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The last fifteen years since their abandonment in the mid 1980s have been characterized by the absence of major investments in shelter for the poor in developing countries and the lack of new paradigms in housing. This study argues that planned progressive development strategies in low-income housing were inappropriately abandoned by international sponsors. The prevalent explanation is that projects were discarded because the minimum standards established by governments and donors in these projects made them unaffordable and unsustainable. While this study finds support for this explanation, it also finds that projects became too complex because of the inclusion of many components to the single idea of experimenting with progressive development under controlled conditions of planning. In addition, implementation criteria were too rigid and contrary to the principle of flexibility which is central in progressive development. The criteria used to assess these projects by donors, focusing on affordability, cost recovery and replicability, were inappropriate because they assumed that the process of progressive development which had been observed in informal housing would also occur in planned progressive development projects, but failed to evaluate this directly. A central aspect of this housing strategy was thus assumed rather than evaluated directly. The thesis reviews assessments made to sites and services after international funding of planned progressive developments and shelter projects was withdrawn. In addition, the study collected, organized and analyzed evidence about recent planned progressive development strategies that have continued on a small, local scale in several developing countries around the world. The outcome of these recent experiences demonstrates that these simpler strategies were more viable in addressing low-income housing needs, and that projects can be implemented with very little initial investment and without external support. Thus, planned progressive development strategies are still a promising approach to low-income housing.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2002.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 83-90).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.