No Time to Waste: Applying the Lessons from Latin America’s 50 Years of Housing Policy to Rapidly Urbanizing Countries

Resource Library | Author: Eduardo Rojas| Date: December 2016

The United Nations’ New Urban Agenda (NUA) adopted by Habitat III and Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) respectively call for housing to play a prominent role in urban development and for cities to become more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable places. The lessons from past experiences in urban development and housing can make a significant contribution in designing and implementing the policies and programs needed to achieve these goals. Latin America, as the most urbanized developing region of the world, offers more than 50 years of experience of housing policies and urban development. Some experiences are good while some represent failures. This paper reviews the findings of recent publications that analyse the experience of this region and which can provide useful lessons for the rapidly urbanizing countries of South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. The lessons identified are also relevant for Latin American countries that are lagging behind in improving the housing conditions of their populations and for those that are not dealing effectively with the urban effects of their housing policies.