Planning regulations, standards and administrative procedures inevitably express the world view of political elites and professionals who seek a form of urban development conditioned by the world they are familiar with, or seek to emulate or aspire to. The outcome of these circumstances is that increasing numbers of people and particularly poorer groups live in settlements deemed informal or largely illegal in many cities. Marginalisation in these settlements is increased by formal markets for land and housing which largely exclude the urban poor living in informal settlements. Reaching even the bottom rung of the legality ladder is beyond the resources of many people in these settlements. The author describes a DFID funded project undertaking a regulatory review in six different developing countries – Bolivia, India, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania and Turkey, at varying stages of economic development. This involved collection of information in each of the countries on planning regulations, standards and administrative procedures, an audit to assess the costs and required changes to increase access to legal shelter, followed by a negotiation process with stakeholders on an implementation phase to make the necessary changes.
Paper presented at the Second RGUU International Workshop held at Bourton on Dunsmore, UK, March 2003, 19 pp.