Cities Alliance is contributing to two round table discussions about informality, slums and housing at the Europe Housing Forum organized by Habitat for Humanity.

The time has come for key decision makers and stakeholders in the housing industry to cooperate to build a sustainable future for all and to bring the issue of decent housing to the forefront of the agenda in Europe.

The Europe Housing Forum aims to bring together virtually housing sector players to learn, collaborate and position housing as a key driver of sustainable cities and economic growth.

Against this background, Cities Alliance is supporting the Forum through two sessions on Tuesday 16 November 2021:

15:00 -16:15 CETInformal settlement upgrading post-COVID-19: Moving from upgrading to revitalization and sustainability. In the face of a global scenario where more than one billion people live in informal settlements, actions related to slum upgrading are crucial to improving living conditions in these areas, ranging from approaches to deliver better infrastructure to activities that can enhance social, economic and institutional aspects of these communities. This session proposes a discussion on the state-of-the-art of informal settlement upgrading in different regions of the world, picking up from successful examples of practices and existing challenges that need to be overcome. Speakers will also dwell on how to strengthen partnerships which are key in the uptake of slum upgrading projects.


  • Patrick Canagasingham, Chief Operating Officer, Habitat for Humanity (moderator)
  • Julian Baskin, Principal Urban Advisor, Cities Alliance
  • Kerstin Sommer, Slum Upgrading Unit Leader, Project Leader Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme, UN-Habitat
  • Ajay Suri, Senior Adviser, Inclusive Development National Institute of Urban Affairs, India
  • Chryssy Potsiou, Professor of Cadastre and Land Management, National Technical University of Athens, Honorary FIG President, former Vice-Chair of WPLA. 

17:00-18:15 CET Informality and Housing: How to improve housing affordability, adequacy and resiliency to meet the needs of low-income households? In the global south, one-third of urban populations live in informal housing, facing inadequate conditions, a lack of infrastructure and basic services, and the threat of eviction or demolition. This roundtable will bring together experts in informality and housing from developing countries to analyse some of the driving elements and existing challenges for delivering housing improvements in informal settlements, discuss scaling up the offer of quality and affordable construction materials and engagement of community construction workers. Furthermore, the group will reflect upon connections between housing financing and incremental housing and how to stimulate housing value chains to provide more affordable, adequate and resilient housing. 


  • Chris Herink, Vice President, Program Effectiveness at Habitat for Humanity International (moderator)
  • Kecia Rust, Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa, South Africa
  • Anacláudia Rossbach, Regional Director for Latin America  Manager of the Global Programme on Informality, Cities Alliance, Brazil
  • Stephen Seidel, Senior Director, Global Program Design and Implementation at Habitat for Humanity International, USA.

More information about the Europe Housing Forum here.

The forum will take place online. Register here

This image shows two logos: The one from Habitat for Humanity and the one from the Europe Housing Forum. Both depict a house's roof


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