Sunday, March 28, 2010

Urban Upgrading

What is urban upgrading?
View the topics in the index below by clicking on the red button. Click on the red buttons to go to that topic. View photographs of 'Success Stores' from projects around the world.  Camera


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What is a slum?

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What is urban upgrading?

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What is needed to make it work?

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What is the demand for upgrading?

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What are the benefits of upgrading?

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Why have Government programs failed to reach the poor?

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What about the urban – rural linkages?


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Will it cost a lot?

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Are the costs sustainable?

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Why is community involvement important?

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Are 'squatter slums' different from 'city-center' slums?

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What other actions need to be taken to complement upgrading?


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Why not tear down slums and build new?

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Why does relocation not work?

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Where is the evidence that in-place slum upgrading is the best action?

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Isn’t it better to invest more in economic development?

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But what about improving the houses?

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What about preventive measures?


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Why were only a few projects city-wide or national in scope?

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What are the fundamentals for scaling up?

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What the issues in scaling up?


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Why the strong interest now in slum upgrading projects?

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What lessons have been learned about the past 25 years of upgrading?
Photo of Zambian Women fetching water

Some Issues

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If squatters are given tenure will others be encouraged to move to the cities?

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Why should slum dwellers be given tenure on valuable land in a city which would be better used for commercial development?

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Why should single story or low rise upgrading be permitted on valuable central city land which could be developed to a higher density?

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If the slums are upgraded on private land, is public money being used to make the rich slumlords richer?

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Do slum dwellers use their own resources to improve their living conditions? Does public money need to be used?

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What is the value to the citizens who do not live in slums, when upgrading slums rather than demolishing them?

Doing Upgrading
View a series of photographs on urban questions. Camera

You can view the topics by clicking on the red button Click button to view this topic. in the index below.
They are categorized according to the phases in project implementation.
Phase 1 Click button to view this topic. Getting Started

Initiation of project/program

What do you need to do?
  • Act as catalyst in identifying and mobilizing resources for potential project/program.
  • Identify and develop interest among potential stakeholders.
  • Identify parameters of project/program.
  • Determine feasibility.
Phase 2 Click button to view this topic. Setting It Up

Definition of project/program. Reach agreement with all stakeholders.

What do you need to do?
  • Prepare policies and designs with alternatives for discussion with stakeholders.
  • Agree on a final design.
Phase 3 Click button to view this topic. Carrying It Out

Implementation and supervision of projects/programs

What do you need to do?
  • Prepare implementation and management plan.
  • Carry out project/program and monitor progress to support development.
  • Consider impacts on surrounding areas and changes within community.
Photo Bogota Hill Side
Phase 4 Click button to view this topic. Capturing Experience

Evaluation, monitoring and incorporation of lessons.

What do you need to do?
  • Prepare mechanism for lesson drawing and identifying ‘best practices’.
  • Develop approach for incorporating lessons.
  • Identify skills needed and training required.
Issues and Tools
You can view the Issue or Tools topics by clicking on the green squares in the index below. They are categorized according to the phases in project implementation: Getting Started, Setting It Up, Carrying It Out, Capturing Experience. A more general category Miscellaneous is also included.



Issues provide options, tradeoff and debates as reference for practitioners in deciding on actions.
Tools provide a resource for understanding how to carry out and perform actions.

Getting Started


Green Rectangle
What is the underlying perception of the housing situation: crisis? shortage?
Click Square
How does the project fit into the broader development context?
In the context of city development initiatives, characteristics of a 'good project' are reviewed . A housing policy map shows the shifts in thinking and relation of other development programs. Notes on the more recent City Development Strategy, of the World Bank, are shown as an example of city-level planning in which upgrading is coordinated. A summary and example of the Comprehensive Development Framework of the World Bank suggests a structure at the country level.
Click Square How does the area fit into the urban structure? Understanding the process of settlement and housing priorities within a rapidly growing city offers a reference for community upgrading strategy.
Click Square Is the area a good candidate for upgrading? Two sets of criteria are included. One focuses more on criteria, and the other more on policies.
Green Rectangle
What are the boundaries to the project?
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What are the underlying interests of the stakeholders?
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At What Stage and Level Should Participation Occur?
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Is the level of intervention appropriate: catalyst to get things started or more intense supporting/implementing efforts?

Click Square What type of project is appropriate: upgrade in place, clear and redevelop, clear and relocate? Considerations in deciding include the impact of highrises and the poor when redeveloping or relocating, the notion of ‘temporary’ upgrading in particularly problematic areas and demolition.
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What will be the Scope and Objectives: Project or Program? Basic services, economic development, social, education and health improvement?
Click Square What about Preventive measures? Large-scale physical frameworks can channel future growth. Two examples highlight experiences
Click Square How does it consider scaling-up? A supply-side strategy improving the delivery of how we prepare and execute programs is proposed as the key issue in scaling-up in an excerpt looking at the policy level.
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How to relate user demands and services?
Click Square How to deal with historical context? Two excerpts are included: one deals with the basic guidelines when working in historical areas, and the other offers suggestions on how municipalities can capture profits after upgrading.


Green Rectangle
Selecting Type of Project
Green Rectangle
Selecting Target Areas
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Identifying Stakeholders
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Positioning Issues: The Problem Tree
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Interactive Community Planning
Green Rectangle
Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA)
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Tradeoffs: Bertaud Affordability Model
Green Rectangle
Setting Priorities
Click green button Rapid Reconnaisance/Assessment Included are several excerpts: one is a an example of mapping with the community, another proposes simple but effective Tips for surveying in the often confusing, high density squatter areas, and the last are some cautions for understanding survey data.
Photo Photo

Setting It Up


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What are the basic issues and key tradeoffs in any project/program?

Green Rectangle
What is the institutional structure for managing the project?
Click Square Are gender issues appropriately considered? The first article is a general overview of gender-related issues to consider when planning a project, while the second points out general concerns when including women in the process with a focus on economic development considerations.

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The case for security of tenure.
Green Rectangle
How will renters/landlords be considered?
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What are the policies and procedures for realignment/readjustment and legalization of individual lots?

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What are options for financing service provision?
Click Square How will costs be recovered? Use fees, taxes, loan repayments, subsidies.
Green Rectangle
How will costs be collected?
Green Rectangle
How will family house improvement loans be structured: cash/materials, collateral, repayment?
Green Rectangle
What is the policy and procedure on defaults?

Basic Services:
Click Square What standards will be used? Setting Appropriate Standards explores the different agendas of the various actors involved in service provision. The Problems Involved in Standards examines the importance of distinguishing between what ought to be and what can be achieved when setting standards.
Click Square What are the alternatives in service options? Three excerpts highlight a range of alternatives. General service delivery standards are proposed with three levels of service drawing on experience from throughout the world, followed by physical design standards used in the Calcutta Urban Development Project, India, and the very minimum ‘more appropriate’ standards used in the early Lusaka, Zambia, project. A fourth article deals with concepts for restructuring the land centered around the critical circulation layout.
Click Square
Water Supply and Sanitation
Click Square Waste Collection Waste collection and removal are serious health issues. A table summarizes the main collection systems. Criteria and design of handcarts follows in a short summary.
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Using Small-scale Service Providers


Click green button Logical Planning Framework A 1-page summary of why a project is carried out, what the project is expected to achieve, how it will achieve the results, which factors are crucial and a sense of what it will cost. Several variations exist. Included is an example from a project by the GTZ.
Click green button Interactive Community Planning Included is an overview of four main types, a more detailed description of each of the main types, and a detailed, step-by-step example from South Africa of how to carry out an interactive workshop.
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Interactive Dwelling Design
Green Rectangle
Setting Standards
Click green button Regularization of Land: Land Sharing Included are several summaries of articles dealing with ways of carrying out land readjustment. One details an example on reblocking together with the community. A second deals with Land Sharing where the slum dwellers meet with the land owner and agree on a reorganization, and a third deals with Land Pooling.
Green Rectangle
Alternative Tenure Arrangements
Green Rectangle
Cost-benefit Analysis
Click green button Staffing Projects Two articles are included which provide a guide in setting up a project office. Organizing the field office offers suggestions when hiring staff; localization of staff addresses the issue of expatriate vs local staff, which is important when considering sustainability.
Green Rectangle
Affordability and Willingness to Pay/Willing to Access
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Consensus Building
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Basic Services Alternatives

Carrying It Out


Click green button Does it support local initiatives in construction? General guidelines are offered at the government level and for aid agencies which consider job creation and wealth generation. Considering the informal sector as ‘hidden consumers’ suggests that they are best served by the formal private sector, with a materials and tools ‘supermarket’ as interface.
Green Rectangle
How to assure continuity of staff and community representatives?
Green Rectangle
What is your role during contruction: direct supervision, delegated supervision, periodic review?
Green Rectangle
What is the role of NGOs during implementation?
Photo of kids in a window


Green Rectangle
Monitoring Construction
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Providing Technical Assistance to Homeowners
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Interactive Realignment of Properties (See: Regularization of Land)
Green Rectangle
Contracting Procedures for Small Companies
Click green button Community Contracting A few notes drawn from experience are included, followed by a more detailed description of how to undertake community contracting.
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Street Addressing: The Addressage System
Click green button Providing Information to Communities Included are excerpts on preparing handbooks, posters, and leaflets; an article on general thoughts on communication, and checklist for making public awareness posters.
Green Rectangle
Working with Development Agencies
Click Green Square
Checklist for Hiring consultants
Click Green Square Income Generation This section includes suggestions for supporting informal economies, guidelines for organizations promoting entrepreneurship, a discussion of employment generation opportunities in upgrading programs, and ends with a story on community savings groups.

Capturing Experience


Green Rectangle
How are lessons being captured? Who does it?
Green Rectangle
How are lessons being incorporated?

Click Square What are the indicators for evaluations? Criteria that must be met for an upgrading project to be considered successful is suggested in General Project Indicators.
Green Rectangle
Whose interests are being served? Who pays?

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How will the reporting system be setup?

Green Rectangle
What are the policies on displacement and spillover?


Green Rectangle
Assessing Projects and Programs
Click green button Indicators To See If You Got It Right Typical indicators and alternatives in measuring impact are highlighted in Measuring Upgrading Impact. A structure for establishing indicators oriented around poverty reduction is provided in Determining Indicators.
Click green button Training cum Assessing Workshop Aleppo Case Example
This workshop is an example of a rapid, field-based, action-oriented training workshop.
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Setting Up a System for Monitoring and Evaluating Program Implementation



Click Square
History: World Bank's 25 Years of Urban Development Lending
Click Square How Can Information Technology Be Useful for Upgrading? eCommunities offers thoughts on linking community interests and upgrading efforts.

Photo Zambia

The sections may be accessed directly by clicking on the red buttons.  Click on the red buttons to go to that topic.  

Click on the red buttons to go to that topic. Organizations Who Can Help?

Contains a brief description of key agencies that are involved in upgrading. Each agency includes mailing address and web site URL. Organizations are grouped according to their contribution: 1) those that provide technical assistance, 2) those that provide technical assistance and funding, and 3) those that provide only funding.
Information is provided at two levels: 1) A Basic Format to rapidly capture the example, and 2) The Standard Format with full information.

Click on the red buttons to go to that topic. Web Sites Resources on the Web

Contains a listing of key web sites that offer information on upgrading. There are three major areas:

Click on the red buttons to go to that topic. Glossary

Words of particular relevance to upgrading.

Click on the red buttons to go to that topic. Useful Downloads

A collection of posters and a PowerPoint presentation explaining upgrading.
Photo, India Slum Roofs

Click on the red buttons to go to that topic. Bibliography Key References

Contains a listing of key books and reports and their Table of Contents. References may be accessed in three ways by topic, title, and when using "search", by author or title.

Case examples are selected to illustrate specific issues and provide insights for project design and development. The goal is to include sufficient information to highlight lessons while allowing the practitioner to judge whether these lessons would apply to another context. When available, the conditions necessary for successful implementation are included.
Information is either in an abbreviated form which only includes a brief description and a key source of information, or in a more complete form which includes lessons learned and ‘tips’. Direct contributions from users are encouraged and specifically noted.

World Map
The Case Examples listed below in the table may be accessed directly by clicking on the green square. 
You can also view this list by issues.
Case Example

See also Regional Overview and Country Assessments: Summary, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Namibia, Senegal, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia
Lobito Benguela Urban Environ. Rehab.
Spontaneous scaling-up
Pilot Community Infrastructure Works/Capacity Building Project
Building stakeholder capacity, encouraging entrepreneurship
Promotion of district towns
Transitioning to demand-driven loans
Kenya Urban Services Improvement
The importance of technical assistance
Mathare 4A Slum Upgrading Project
Cost-effective, sustainable housing development
Tanzania-Bondeni Community Land Trust Project
Community land tenure
Nouakchott, Nouadhibou
National program
Self Resettlement
Unfunded community self-resettlement
Click Square
Kalingalinga Integrated Upgrading Project
Comprehensive Integrated Project
Lusaka upgrading
Evaluation, mutual-help construction, community participation

East/North Africa
Jordan National Urban Development
Innovative financing
The Rabat Project
Cost-effectiveness of upgrading
Fourth Urban Development Project
Scaling up of upgrading

Latin America
Favela-Barrio (Rio)
Integration of favelas into urban fabric, Prevent Future Land Invasions, The Importance of City Cooperation
Integrated Urban Management, Prevent Future Land Invasions
Novos Alagados
Prevention of Spontaneous Settlements, Scaling-Up Upgrading
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Sustainability, community participation in planning
El Salvador
Large scale private sector land development
Small-Scale Water Entrepreneurs
Large-Scale Community-Based Housing Development, Scaling-Up Upgrading
Caracas Slum Upgrading Project
Community Participation in Planning, Scaling-Up of Upgrading

South East Asia/South Asia
Slum Improvement Project (SIP)
Community Organization and Participation, Including Women in Development, Scaling-Up of Upgrading
Slum Welfare Cooperative Society
Community initiated and managed program
Kampung Improvement Program (KIP)
Community participation, scaling-up of upgrading
Kathmandu community temple program (GTZ)
Orangi Pilot Project (OPP)
Community organization/mobilization, scaling up of upgrading
Lahore Urban Development Project
Institution building
Tondo Urban Development Project
Community participation

Useful Downloads

‘An Overview of Urban Upgrading’

A 10-slide series which explains the general concepts of upgrading through photographs and summary text.
(Powerpoint format; 1.5MB file size)
Download: overview.ppt
Photo from 10 slide series

‘Year 2001 Upgrading’

A 12-month calendar updated from 2000, with photographs illustrating upgrading issues.
(11 inches x 25 inches; .pdf format 488K file size)
Download: calendar.pdf
Year 2001 Upgrading Calendar

‘Community Action Planning’

This chart ‘Plan for Action’ highlights a 15-step process of interactive planning. The chart is based on a series of workshops held in Bangladesh with technical staff and community groups. It is useful for explaining and understanding process, as well as a guide for carrying out ‘action planning’.
(May be enlarged to 24 inches x 36 inches; .pdf format, 1.2MB file size)
Download: WallChart.pdf
Small graphic showing wall chart.

Click for: Introduction
Click for: What is Upgrading?
Click for: Doing Urban Upgrading
Click for: Case Examples
Click for: Issues and Tools
Click for: Resources
Click to: Contribute Your Experience
Click to: "Ask Grady" for Upgrading Help
Click for: Site Map to Get Started
Click for: Useful Downloads
Upgrading Urban Communities

Edition 2001


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