27 April 2018

Lecture 3: Ecological Planning

Author/Compiled by
PhD candidate (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

A large per cent of the world’s urban poor population lives in slums and squatter settlements, the majority of them in developing countries. One can question how this large number of the urban poor manage or get access to urban land in developing countries. This is where the term informal urban land delivery processes or simplistically referred to as ‘squatting’ comes into being. Although these processes have been in existence for a long time, very little in-depth research has been done to understanding exactly how they function – the relationship between the institutions (rules and social norms) and actors involved. The main focus of this lecture is to understand informal land delivery processes and power dynamics in the formation of three squatter settlements in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, a developing country in South Asia.

How did these three squatter settlements come into existence? How did the households get access to urban land? Who are all the actors and what are all the networks involved in these informal urban land delivery processes? How then do these squatter households secure their claims to both land and infrastructure? In this lecture, the formation of these three squatter settlements will be illustrated through stories of ‘starter’ households.

Furthermore, the increase in the per cent of world’s population living in slums is in many ways inevitable as these informal urban land delivery processes continue to function amidst the formal processes; therefore the more challenging question would then be pointing towards its implication to policy. In other words, can these processes be institutionalised in any manner? And to whose benefit could institutionalisation of these processes be? See also invalid link and policies and legal framework.

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