Affordable housing
Affordable Housing in the Urban Global South: Seeking Sustainable Solutions. By Jan Bredenoord, Paul van Lindert, and Peer Smets. (Editors and co-authors) London: Earthscan/Routledge Publisher. Contents. Download

The book highlights sustainable solutions concerning physical, financial and social elements of the building process in which stakeholders from the public and private sector join hands with organized citizens. In the Global South, there is a population crisis as well as a housing crisis. But these should be viewed as part of the poverty crisis, which is still prevalent on a very large scale in many undeveloped countries. The fight against poverty is dependent on the economic development of a country, the employment opportunities for the households, and the development of good education and health care. Adequate housing is a next step and the building power of the population is one of the instruments that should be used to address this issue in developing countries. Today, almost one-third of the urban global population lives in slum conditions and in many places a decent house is not available for every household. Households always take initiatives to improve their homes and housing environments, even if they are poor. In most developing countries, it is not possible for the government to meet the housing needs of the (very) poor. Therefore the formulation of alternative and innovative housing policies is necessary, especially to serve those who are not capable of paying for a decent home on the housing market. Government assistance to poor households can entail, for example, the development of sites-and-services schemes to facilitate self-help housing. The role of the local government and other local actors is crucial herewith.


Voorkant Special issue Special Issue: ‘Equal Access to Housing’; Habitat International, Volume 34, Issue 3, July 2010. Bredenoord, J., Van Lindert, P. and Smets, P. (Editors).

Contents. DOWNLOAD

The special issue contains two general articles, namely on 1) the revaluation of the potential of (assisted) self-help housing for the urban poor, and 2) housing finance for incremental construction and improvement of houses. In addition, it presents a series of articles on self-help housing and institutional housing in eight countries, specifically South Africa, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico. Although some articles focus primarily on housing in specific metropolises, such as Bangkok (Thailand) and Kolkata (India), all contributions focus on the occurrence of self-help housing and/or institutional housing. The roles played by the national governments were found to differ, but were nevertheless essential to the fight against urban poverty and efforts to improve the habitat conditions of the urban poor.

Own article: Equal access to shelter: Coping with the urban crisis by supporting self-help housing (2010),
By Jan Bredenoord and Paul van Lindert.

The housing situation in developing countries is determined strongly by self-help activities and the most important actors in the shelter delivery processes are the households themselves. Very many families are busy with self-help activities, in one way or another, because other options are absent or (for some) fully out of reach. The first aided self-help housing projects were developed in the 1950s and later, as sites-and-services or land-and-utilities schemes, they were combined with some form of assistance for the self-builders. In many countries, the housing construction was and still is mainly provided by self-help, and the massive rural-urban migration was one of the main reasons for that. In some countries, the self-help housing in and after the 1970s was seen as the most appropriate form of housing and urban development. For a while, the widespread practice of self-help housing did not obtain any attention from governments and housing specialists. Integral land development and neighborhood improvement are more popular with a broad habitat approach. In national housing plans, the self-help housing is only rarely addressed and the focus is mainly on developing towards decent housing programs, benefitting the middle and lower-middle income classes. UN-Habitat focuses on the five shelter deprivations and attempts to find new solutions such as better housing finance and improved local governance. Meanwhile, the actual question is how to overcome the housing deadlock. Herewith, well-organised, large-scale solutions are desirable while self-help housing remains a popular activity. When cooperation within a family, household, or group is possible, a self-building process can run smoothly, especially when mutual aid is possible. Other families are practicing an advanced form of self-help housing, contracting out works and becoming small-scale building principals.


The challenge ... of social innovations The Challenge of Social Innovation in Urban Revitalization, 2008.
Paul Drewe, Juan-Luis Klein and Edward Hulsbergen (eds).

This book looks at bottom-up actions, where residents and local organizations took charge. It shows residents taking risks to improve their living conditions and build a new future, mobilizing a wide range of resources. After a theoretical introduction, case studies are presented of a series of initiatives which have borne fruit over a long period of time: the revitalized industrial areas of Montreal, those of Mondragon in the Basque country, the Eldonian projects in Liverpool, the search for urban scenarios in Jerusalem, as well as cases in Nicaragua, Peru, France, the Netherlands and EU-wide projects. Jan Bredenoord’s chapter (9) examines the ongoing participation of inhabitants and entrepreneurs, with their skills in self-help construction and self-organization. This issue is mainly investigated in the desired future development district of León, Nicaragua, namely the urban expansion project of León South-East, a new urban district of 6,000 residential plots. In most cases, the self-help construction process appears spontaneously because low-income households do not have any alternative in the housing market. Therefore, the municipality has incorporated self-help processes within local policies and urban-planning strategies. This helps locally operating NGOs and local governments support the establishment of small associations, such as housing cooperatives.


Shifting Sence voorblad Shifting Sense in Spatial Planning (2006).
Edward Hulsbergen, Ina Klaasen, Iwan Kriens (Eds)About Planning.

Municipal Planning and the Strategies for Carrying it out.
Author: Jan Bredenoord. Pages 317-330. Delft University of Technology and Techne Press Amsterdam, 2006. Delft/Amsterdam.

In Shifting Sense in Spatial Planning, various contributors from different universities (Barcelona, Delft, Gent, Liverpool, Paris, San Antonio, and Utrecht) and practices (public and private) offer their experiences and views. The initiators belong to the Chair of Spatial Planning in Delft University of Technology. The occasion of the book is the retirement of Professor Paul Drewe, the chair holder for more than thirty years, whose work seems metaphoric for the development of the discipline. The other authors were requested to contribute to the book because of their long-standing relationship to Delft Spatial Planning. Jan Bredenoord’s chapter (24) focuses on master planning and how it is practiced within some municipalities in the Netherlands. This is compared with similar municipalities in Latin America. Of particular interest is the North-South co-operation between the Dutch municipality of Utrecht and the Nicaraguan municipality of León, which has resulted in the development of a planning system for León. Bringing this priority urban development project into a form in which it can be carried out, is a goal of both countries.

Voorkant boek leon Urban Development Strategies in León Nicaragua (2005)
Estrategias de desarrollo urbano en León, Nicaragua (2005)
Bi-lingual book. Author: Jan Bredenoord.
Utrecht University and Dutch University Press, Amsterdam.

The author describes in this book the important role of the municipality of León regarding housing and urban planning. One of the most important developments in Nicaragua is the self-sufficiency of municipalities in relation to ‘Managua’, which in this respect the national government as well as the heads of the two main political parties, the F.S.L.N. and the P.L.C., which both have a strong influence at the regional and local level. Municipalities in Nicaragua are rather young institutions. Under Somoza, municipalities did not play any role and all power was concentrated in Managua and all tax income was located there. During the Sandinista-government the first Municipal Law (Law 40) was established, but the governmental practice remained top-down. Since 1990 there has been a movement towards decentralization of government and since 2000 concrete measures have been taken towards increasing the participation of the population and the private sector at the regional and local level. This is a hopeful development for the country because it will promote local as well as national democracy. Strengthening local government is necessary in order to use the potentials of residents and entrepreneurs to improve the quality of life and the economy in their own environment. The facilitation of self-help activities as described is mainly a municipal task, which might bring social and sustainable development closer.

voorkant first step Sustainable Urban Design – The Next Step (2010)
Editors committee: Martin Dubbeling, Femke Adriaans, Jan Bredenoord.
Stichting Beurslage Projecten Amsterdam, Michael Meijer, et al. (Amsterdam). Uitgeverij Blauwdruk, Wageningen. Co-author and co-editor: Bredenoord, J. 2009-2010.; Wageningen, the Netherlands.

Urban planning and design faces the enormous challenge of creating and maintaining livable towns and cities. Sustainability must be the guiding principle. ‘Sustainable Urban Design – the Next Step’ reviews the current situation in the development of sustainable urban design. This book is a fully revised edition of ‘Sustainable Urban Design – Examples and Perspectives’ (2005). The publication received the Gerd Albers Award for the best publication from the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP). The book contains five examples of sustainable urban planning and one of them is De Hutten project in Ulft. Jan Bredenoord and Martin Dubbeling made the initial urban design that is the basis for the development project that took place between 2000 and 2015. Martin Dubbeling was the leading planner in the development process through the years. The town of Ulf is part of the Municipality of Oude IJsselstreek in the east of the Netherlands. In 1745, the industrial production of iron in the Netherlands began here, on the banks of the Oude Ijssel river. The original agricultural village grew into a small industrial center where metalworking companies such as DRU, Becking and Bongers (later Benraad), ATAG and ETNA were founded or located. Two huge former industrial sites are located on either side of the town center: Hutten-South and Hutten-North. Both sites and the central district are located on the shore of the Oude IJssel river. Hutten-South is redeveloped as a compact housing estate. Hutten-North – under the name Het Gietelinck – is a site with cultural heritage which is completely redeveloped with cultural amenities, workplaces, offices and new forms of housing. In this way, a new urban landscape appeared that is highly connected to in the river, which itself received new ecological and recreational features. Thus, the redevelopment of the two industrial sites was the driver for new interconnected landscapes – urban, recreational, natural and rural.