People-Centered Slum Upgrading: South Africa and LAC Exchange

Approaches To Informal Settlement Upgrading in a Covid-19 Era:

The Kosovo Upgrading Project


Housing Laboratory  on 11 June 2020 - 2 pm CEST ( 7 am Mexico time) 


Watch the discussion: 



Both South Africa and LAC countries have a long-standing experience with informal settlements, yet different approaches. The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges but also opportunities for more focused and targeted dialogue towards appropriate, sustainable and inclusive slum upgrading.

This is the second session of the South Africa - Latin America series on Slum Upgrading, in the context of Covid-19. 


The exchange between South African and LAC experts, will focus on the Kosovo Upgrading Project, located in Cape Town, South Africa. The project is driven by the Western Cape Provincial Government. Despite weak human development indices (poverty, unemployment skills and financial assets), the community is shaped by great social assets (a relatively well established community of some 30 years); huge potential for urban integration and alternative tenure option possibilities to offer alternative housing options linked to economic development that caters for household life cycle choices.


Latin American and South African practitioners will provide specific technical advice from a multisector perspective, assess the potential for replication in other South African cities, and identify what major policy changes in the regulatory, legal, financial and planning frameworks are required to address slum upgrading at scale, on the urgent pace set by the COVID-19 pandemic.


In addition to the Kosovo Upgrading Project presentation, brief snapshots of similar experiences from cities will also be provided, including Latin American experiences.


The open debate will be guided by the following questions:


  1. What are the key elements of the financial framework and what needs to be changed and/or created? Subsidies, public, household, and private investments, land-based financing.
  2. The social function of land, densities, and sustainability: how to maximize the use of well-located areas (reducing costs and increasing social and environmental sustainability) through the city and national regulatory and legal frameworks?
  3. Governance: What are the roles and responsibilities at community, city, regional, and national levels in its interface with knowledge institutions?



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