Affordable housing is a universal fundamental right. But why is it still a global problem? More and more working Dutch people cannot afford a house. And in China, there are more people living in slums than ever, and that after 35 years of continuous economic growth. It is therefore not surprising that emerging countries such as South Africa, Rwanda and Ghana are struggling with this challenge.
WeLoveTheCity sees two challenges. The first is political. Decision-makers in Europe, Asia and Africa see housing construction as something relatively simple and therefore pass it on to the market: “You solve that task”. The result: production for low and middle incomes hardly gets off the ground. The second challenge is about space. The battle for this most scarce resource in our growing cities is fierce, and affordable housing and nature often lose out.
Together with international partners, WeLoveTheCity has drawn up the Inclusive Densification 15-step Plan. The focus is on inspiring political decision-makers and identifying space (or ‘land’) that is overlooked by others. WeLoveTheCity has implemented the Inclusive Densification 15 Steps Plan in Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (850,000 inhabitants) and in Dr. Beyers Naudé Municipality (85,000 inhabitants), as part of the Local Government Capacity Programme of VNG International.
Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities also wants to work with the Inclusive Densification 15 Step Plan. We are assisting them with hands on implementation in the six astonishingly fast growing cities of Musanze, Rubavu, Muhanga, Huye, Nyagatare and Rusizi.
The training increased the capacity of the local staff to design, implement urban upgrading projects as well as the possible financing models for participatory urban development projects.Paskaliah Kachieng’a, VNG International