Tools of Government Interventions

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Quick Guide 1: Urbanization, urban development and housing policies

Urbanization, Urban Development and Housing Policies

Disclaimer
This is a draft of the Quick Guide on Urbanization, Urban Development and Housing Policies. It was prepared by Mr. Yap Kioe Sheng and Mr. Aman Mehta. The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city, or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers and boundaries. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. This publication has been issued without formal editing.

1. Introduction
The objective of this Quick Guide is to enhance the understanding of policy makers and national and local government officials about low-income housing within the framework of urban development and urban poverty, and to build their capacity to formulate and implement more effective urban low-income housing policies and programmes as part of their efforts to reduce urban poverty. The Guide presents trends and magnitudes of urbanization in the Asia-Pacific region and discusses issues such as rural-urban migration, current and future housing needs, the rights-based approach to housing and the problems of public-sector housing. It is to serve as conceptual framework and background material for the six other Quick Guides: • • • • • • Approaches to low-income housing Land for housing Housing finance Tackling evictions Community organization and development Rental housing

How to use it? The Guide is presented in a simple and user-friendly format, structured by the following sections: conditions, concepts, policies, tools and recommendations. In each of the sections, issues are presented followed by key messages in a box format. It is

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Quick Guide 1: Urbanization, urban development and housing policies

expected that target audience (national and local government officials) would be able to easily understand and apply these messages presented in undertaking the various roles. To ensure that the users can relate the issues, concepts and options studied, links to good practices from different countries, particularly in Asia, are presented. The Guide ends with an annotated list of websites that provide additional information on the topics covered by the respective sections. The list has been included for users that are interested to know more about the topics.

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Quick Guide 1: Urbanization, urban development and housing policies

2. An urbanizing world
The aim of the section is to explain the factors that are responsible for the shortage of adequate housing for many population groups in urban areas. The section reviews the current trends of urbanization, rural-urban migration, past efforts to contain ruralurban migration and their impact, the links between urbanization and poverty. Urbanization trends Asia is urbanizing. Over the last five decades, Asia has experienced a number of demographic transformations. One of those is urbanization1, i.e. the level of urban population relative to the total population or the rate at which the urban population is increasing. In 1950, some 232 million people lived in urban areas; this was 16.6 per cent of Asia’s total population. In 2005, the urban population of Asia counted 1,6 billion people or 39.9 per cent of the total population. Asia will continue to urbanize. Still, Asia is not a very urbanized region; only Africa is less urbanized, with 39.7 per cent of its total population living in urban areas in 2005. As the Asian region develops, the level of urbanization will definitely increase. The United Nations estimates that the rate of urbanization in Asia for the period 20052010 will around 2.50 per cent per year. As a result, more than half (51.4...
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