Somewhere to Live
Rising to the global urban land and housing challenge
This is not by accident, but by design, since the forms of economic management that have held sway for four decades are intended to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a small elite, excluding the vast majority from meeting their basic needs. They force countless vulnerable, yet enterprising groups to migrate in search of a better life, and also ignore the rich cultural traditions and practices that provide a sense of belonging and identity that is a key feature of all places we love to visit or live in.
Since the planet can no longer sustain unlimited economic growth, and humanity is facing an existential crisis, land and housing have become an expression of this crisis. However, the Covid pandemic has provided a wake-up call to encourage us to change the way we treat both the planet and each other, and many examples exist of innovative, demand-sensitive approaches that provide the basis, not just for meeting the need for land and housing, but for providing a better quality of life.
This book shows how to turn a crisis into an opportunity.
|2.The cultural context|
|3. Cities, growth, and the climate crisis|
|4. The scourge of inequality|
|5. People on the move|
|6. Utopia or dystopia: Changing visions of urban development|
|7. To have and to hold|
|8. The global move to market|
|9. From feudal to market - the UK|
|10. State-led land management in China, Cuba, Ethiopia and Vietnam|
|11. From state to market in Mongolia, Albania and Cambodia|
|12. From customary to market Lesotho and Vanuatu|
|13. Growth and sustainability|
|14. Managing urban land markets|
|15. Promoting tenure security and diversity|
|16. Spatial planning and land use for adequate housing|
|17. Homes not housing|
|18. Making it happen|
‘Somewhere to Live is an exhaustive and optimistic introduction to the urban land and housing challenge faced by countries in the global North and South alike. It addresses the complex and integrated issues of urban economic and social development and cultural respect and conservation in the contemporary context of climate change and pathogenic pandemic, in great analytical detail. It is fully supported by illustrative case studies that draw on Geoffrey Payne’s extensive worldwide research and policy advice to governments, non-governmental organisations and international development aid agencies. The book is essential reading for students of urban development and policy makers and urban planning and management professionals, universally.’
Patrick Wakely, Professor Emeritus of Urban Development, University of London, (former Director, Development Planning Unit DPU, University College London UCL)
'Geoffrey Payne has been a leading global expert on land and housing for many decades. This book pulls together an extraordinary amount of knowledge about local conditions, project initiatives, and policy dilemmas. The result is a major contribution to the global debate in this field. Payne shows that, despite the staggering number of people needing "somewhere to live", global accomplishments in providing shelter, in changing ideas, and finding a balance between efficiency and equity are considerable. Nonetheless, as a Swahili proverb reminds us, "Those who have arrived have a long way to go.'
Michael Cohen, Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Doctoral Program in Public and Urban Policy, The New School, USA
‘Geoff offers an impressive global coverage of historical and geographical precedents of themes associated related to access to housing: the origin of difficulties and the ingenuity of attempted solutions. The reader is exposed to a savvy collection of illustrations to how and where people find, or does not, a place to survive in world cities.
Among the many issues covered in the book, how land connects to housing stands out. Land is villainized often as one if not ‘the’ main impediment for a wider, more socially responsible provision of affordable housing. Land speculation being the usual suspect, though seldom convincingly explained how exactly the connection is made. The remedy is yet more abstract and unspecific! Geoff does a great and opportune job filling this gap. The reader will find in this book an authoritative rationalization of concrete experiences contributing to more sensible and effective policies.’
Martim Oscar Smolka, Senior Fellow and Director of the Latin America and the Caribbean Program, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
‘For decades, Geoffrey Payne has been at the forefront of studies and policy advice on issues of housing the urban poor in developing countries. Through his studies of land issues, his work on intermediate forms of land tenure and his recommendation to adapt regulatory frameworks to the needs of the poor, Payne has made significant contributions to the understanding of urban poverty and housing and to the refinement of policies and programmes. In this new book, Payne goes one step further and places the urban low-income housing problems in the context of global economic inequality, the climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, a situation which, he argues, is not accidental, but the intended outcome of a form of economic management designed to benefit a small elite at the expense of the vast majority of people.’
Yap Kioe Sheng, Thailand, Independent consultant
'The book is an outstanding contribution dealing with issues of land and housing that are so important in today's globalizing world. It is theoretically framed whilst providing many useful and excellent examples based on the author's impressive portfolio of work. The book adds great value to professionals, politicians, community groups, NGOs and everyone concerned about this important topic.'
Professor Georgia Butina Watson, Oxford Brookes University
'Somewhere to Live is a compelling argument for turning wider social, economic and environmental challenges facing humanity into opportunities for promoting pragmatic people-centric approaches for the provision of urban land and housing, enabling future cities that are congenial, socially diverse, and adaptable.’
Banashree Banerjee, Independent Architecture & Planning Consultant, India
‘Building on over 50 years of experience, Geoff Payne provides us with a comprehensive examination of international land and housing policy that is both broad in scope and methodically executed in terms of rigour, detail of information and critical analysis. Utilising a range of case studies from around the globe – representative of different approaches to land and housing delivery from state management to market transition and delivery – it undertakes an intelligent critique of the neoliberal model while setting out practical alternatives for achieving a sustainable and just urban development. This latter point is what is often missing in many critiques of neo-liberal development model. I would wholly commend this book to both novice students who can easily follow the storytelling approach of the narrative and established researchers and academics who would appreciate its depth of analysis, range of information and engaging policy debates.’
Ramin Keivani, Head of School of the Built Environment, Oxford Brookes University
‘Building on the foundations of the great names in land and housing studies and based on five decades of his own personal experience, Geoffrey Payne takes us with him on a beautifully illustrated walk through all of the complexity of the contemporary urban challenge. Ambitious in its scope and wise in its insights, this is essential reading for any serious urban scholar and practitioner, ultimately offering clear recommendations based on a realistic vision of a more equal and happy urban future for all.’
Mark Napier, Principal Researcher at CSIR and Visiting Professor at University of the Free State
'Somewhere to Live offers a synopsis of shelter challenges globally, including ongoing research on the sustainability transitions, and how to deal with affordable housing in the context of the SDGs. Geoffrey Payne provides an essential foundation for understanding the complexity of finding a place to live, the positive as well as negative features, and the options for achieving affordability. It is essential reading for all involved in addressing the housing and urban development issues in the world where the relationship between Somewhere to Live and the various forces that formulate the built environment is critical to social, economic, and political development.'
Professor Ahmed M. Soliman, Alexandria University, Egypt
'Not having a place to live is a reality for increasingly more people in this time of colonization of land and housing by finance. This book will not only help you to understand why but also to demonstrate that another destiny is possible, through its valuable and practical suggestions of planning and land management policies.'
Raquel Rolnik, Professor of Urban Planning at the University of São Paulo; UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing 2008 to 2014
Geoffrey Payne is a housing and urban development consultant based in London. He is author of Making Common Ground: Public-private Partnerships in Land for Housing also published by Practical Action Publishing.