The actions of transformers – dwellers who change and adapt housing to their own needs and wants, and of home-based enterprises (HBEs), are important in the development of settlements of poor people. Planning and building regulations, which facilitate these processes, are generally beneficial, but in most urban areas regulations are generally inflexible and restrictive. However, there are also negative aspects, such as pollution, personal risks and traffic, of completely unrestricted settlement development, and a reasonable balance between restriction and freedom of action needs to be established. Establishing viable working partnerships of stakeholders is an important consideration in effective settlement upgrading. Building and planning regulations are now being relaxed and are becoming more participatory in a number of countries, including Kenya and India, but it has been a long and difficult process.
Paper presented at the First RGUU International Workshop held at Bourton on Dunsmore, UK, May 17-18, 2001, 16 pp.