Urban Planning Development

Housing Policy Matters: A Global Analysis by Shlomo Angel

By Shlomo Angel

This e-book unifies housing coverage through integrating industrialized and developing-country interventions within the housing area right into a finished international framework. 100 signs are used to match housing guidelines and stipulations in fifty three international locations. Statistical research confirms that--after accounting for monetary development--enabling housing rules bring about superior housing stipulations.

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Even at the very low levels of income in African countries, this sector does perform as a market, using prices and rents to allocate the resources of both producers and consumers. It does meet basic needs, in so far as it produces cheap housing that does not consume in an inordinate share of household incomes. That the quality of much of such housing reflects poverty goes without saying. But its elementary building technology does not require access to capital markets, is not subject to international competition, and is not dominated by foreign concerns.

Using land use controls, in conjunction with controls on the location and timing of urban infrastructure, local government coordinates and regulates the expansion of the city to meet population and economic growth requirements, while seeking to protect the property values of sitting residents by restricting unregulated urban growth. It is a mistake, however, to expect local government (or higher levels of government for that matter) to put effective limits on urban growth. Even when it can restrict development, say within a specified administrative boundary or within a "green belt/'no government has the power to block migration into the metropolitan area as a whole.

The radical no-growth agendas, for example, that prescribe uncompromising controls on "urban sprawl" in the name of nature conservation are clearly in the interventionist tradition. They already herald the rejection of the enabling paradigm as being too prone to the predatory practices of unrepentant and conspiratorial "urban growth machines" building cities gone astray. For its true believers, the more benign chant of Nimby! " Even the term "enabling" has now acquired a derogatory connotation: in current use in psychotherapy, it is a term describing the behavior of weak-willed family members of violent spouse abusers, drug addicts, and alcoholics who enable them to continue their abusive behavior.

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