With accelerating urbanization, rapid economic growth and rising inequality in Asia, housing problems in Asia have grown alarmingly. Formal government and market supply systems have been unable to provide housing for all, and increasing numbers of poorer citizens have had no choice but to make their housing and survival systems in informal settlements. As a result, 600 million people - almost 30% of all Asia's urban citizens - live in Asia's slums.
Urban poor communities and their support groups in the region are offering alternative, adaptable and cost-effective housing solutions that they plan and develop themselves - by working together. These housing solutions strengthen communities at the same time they provide secure, decent permanent housing. Asia's rich stock of collective, community-driven housing experiences is growing, and it brings valuable new tools and knowledge about how to address Asia's housing problems at scale.
In this session, poor community members who have developed collective housing in their cities will share their experiences, along with their supporters and partners from local and national government, NGOs, academia, architects and other stakeholders. The discussion will examine various systems which can support and enhance the collective in housing the poor: collective land tenure, community finance systems, self-help construction, on-site upgrading, community design and management systems, and citywide networks and partnerships. The session will also mark the launch of an important region-wide initiative to expand the understanding of and support for collective housing in Asia, through meetings, learning exchanges, documentation, online information platforms and other networking activities.