Types of Development
Slum upgrading is a way of improving
the physical environment and basic services in existing communities, while
preserving their location, character and social structures. Usually upgrading
means that the houses, lanes, roads and open spaces are improved, without
changing the layout or plot sizes. Besides improving the physical conditions
and quality of life in these poor communities, the physical improvements
made under an upgrading process can act as a springboard for other kinds
of development among community members such as income generation, welfare
and community enterprises.
2. On-site REBLOCKING
Reblocking is a more systematic way of improving
the infrastructure and physical conditions in existing communities by
making some adjustments to the layout of houses and roads to install sewers,
drains, walkways and roads, but doing so in ways which ensure the continuity
of the community. Communities can then develop their housing gradually,
at their own pace. When communities opt for reblocking, some houses usually
have to be moved and partially or entirely reconstructed to improve access.
Some lanes may also have to be re-aligned to enable drainage lines, water
supply systems or sewers to be constructed. Reblocking is often undertaken
in cases where communities have negotiated to buy or obtain long-term
leases for the land they already occupy. In both cases, the process of
reblocking is an important step in the progress towards land tenure security
and improved housing.
2. On-site RECONSTRUCTION
In this upgrading strategy, existing communities
are totally demolished and rebuilt on the same land, either under a long-term
lease or after the people have negotiated to purchase the land. The new
security of land tenure on the already-occupied land often provides community
people with a very strong incentive to invest in their housing, through
rebuilding or new construction. Reconstruction also allows communities
on low-lying land to first raise the level of the land above floodlines
before investing in proper housing. Although the reconstruction option
involves making considerable physical changes within the community and
requires some adaptations to a new environment, the strategy allows people
to continue living in the same place and to remain close to their places
of work and vital support systems. This continuity is a crucial compensation
for the expense and difficulty reconstruction involves.
3. LAND SHARING
Land-sharing is a housing and settlement improvement
strategy which allows both the land-owner and the community people living
on that land to benefit. After a period of negotiation and planning, an
agreement is reached to “share” the land, where the settlement is divided
into two portions. The community is given, sold or leased one portion
(usually the less commercially attractive part of the site) for reconstructing
their housing, and the rest of the land is returned to the land-owner
to develop. There’s no rule about how the land is divided: the amount
of land the people get and how much goes back to the owner is settled
during the negotiations.
At the core of a land sharing process is the ability to translate conflicting
needs and conflicting demands into a compromise which takes a concrete
“win-win” form, and which is acceptable to all parties involved. The people
may end up with less area than they had before, and the land-owner may
get back less-than-all of his land, but the trade-off is that the poor
will no longer be squatters but the legal owners or tenants of their land.
And the landlord finally gets to develop the land.
Nearby or not-so-nearby
The greatest advantage of the relocation
strategy is that it usually comes with housing security, through land
use rights, outright ownership or some kind of long-term land lease. Relocation
sites can sometimes be far from existing communities, job opportunities,
support structures and schools. In these cases, community members who
want to keep their old jobs or attend the same schools must bear the burden
of additional traveling time and expense and must adapt themselves to
a new environment. But in many towns and cities around the country, resourceful
communities are finding bits of land to buy or rent cheaply for their
housing that are not far away at all.
In Baan Mankong, we distinguish between NEARBY RELOCATION
projects (within 5 kilometers of the original settlement) and RELOCATION
projects (more than 5 kms away).
In all cases of relocation - whether it is nearby or
not-so-nearby relocation - communities face the cost of reconstructing
their houses at the new site, and in some cases the additional burden
of land purchase payments. But tenure security tends to be a big incentive
to invest in housing and environmental development at the new community.