Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research
Elgar original reference
Edited by Frank Moulaert, Diana MacCallum, Abid Mehmood and Abdelillah Hamdouch
Chapter 15: Venturing off the beaten path: social innovation and settlement upgrading in Voi, Kenya
Access to land in Kenyan towns is severely constrained by supply (Yahya 2002; Bassett 2005). The official land delivery processes premised on conventional state and market mechanisms have proved inadequate in coping with the demands imposed by rapid urbanization (Midheme 2010). The result has been a steady proliferation of informal settlements in major towns, particularly as poor households seek alternative spaces for housing and livelihood opportunities. Meanwhile, policy makers are confronted with the twin challenge of improving the quality of housing already existing within informal settlements and expanding access to land and housing for those without it. Accordingly, informal settlements upgrading has been advocated as one way of improving both the quality and quantity of the urban housing stock (Bassett 2005). It has been claimed for example that settlement upgrading, particularly where it adopts the ‘assisted self-help’ model, ‘is the most affordable and intelligent way of providing sustainable shelter for the urban poor’ (UN-Habitat 2005, p. 166).
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