The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU Working Paper - No. 71

Impact of Current Global Housing Strategies On Development of The Housing Sector In Colombia


25 July 1995

Authors: Carolina Ortiz Duran

Publication Date: 1995

The process of global urbanisation is projected to continue increasing, so that by the year 2000, 2.4 billion inhabitants will live in big cities. "The speed of urbanisation in developing countries today is not faster than normal, but the numbers involved are unprecedented" (Harris 1992). This paper recognises the importance of current global shelter strategies for developing countries. It examines the impact upon the poor of past and present global shelter strategies and speculates upon the prospects for the future development of those strategies.

Colombia is used as a case study because it has been an innovator and close follower of global shelter strategies since the 1970s. It has not, however managed to solve its housing problems. It will be seen here that Colombia's housing strategies have experienced the same failures as those noted by the most recent World Bank policy paper (World Bank 1992) and that some of the current strategies have already been tried in Colombia with no significant beneficial results upon the poor. This paper argues that the political, economical and social environment should be taken into account before applying any general model and that many developing countries are unable to counter and respond adequately to the proposed `free market strategy' at the speed that modern economies require. 

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