Monday, January 16, 2006

The Problem of Property

Id21, published by the Institute of Development Studies of the UK's University of Sussex, has a spate of articles devoted to property ownership in the developing world.

Here are some representative quotes: "The value of properties in Black Townships is currently estimated at 68.3 billion Rand. These properties could provide significant collateral for low income households to secure credit for a range of business uses."

"Governments should provide at least short-term security to residents in informal settlements and, in the vast majority of cases, cease to evict settlers and demolish houses."

"Urban poor people are using systems that better suit their needs than the formal alternatives."

As you can see, these essays argue diverse position. But the research and conclusions are always interesting.


Anders Ese said...

In relation to the quote "Urban poor people are using systems that better suit their needs than the formal alternatives", this link may be of interest. is a test of European urban obsevational tools in Third World urban spaces.

Philippe de Rougemont said...

Now that is what I call news ! Real world news.
I was interviewed on the radio, being asked about press agencies, the media , what should hit the front page etc. And I could have given this "id21" example. Instead of telling the bad news untill the (literal) end of the world, at a certain time the news has to become the debate between solutions, or on solutions. Also, instead of talking politics as a struggle between a dominant male against another dominant male, comes a time when the issues nust hit the news.
And I'm sure the readers can be as excited about thinking a way out of chaos, than about a "no future" approach...

rn said...

Thanks, Anders, for the lead on protourban. I love the architecture of the site. Seems quite theoretical, though. I wonder if anyone at protourban has risked any on-the-ground work in Cape Town.

And, yes, Philippe, solutions are key to good reporting. Messy and certainly not perfect, but key. Otherwise the problems seem so overwhelming. I'm going to try to get ahold of some of the detailed research described in the id21 dispatches.