The provision of accommodation of migrants from the countryside to the city continues to be a major challenge in the “Global South” (Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia). The supply of formal housing to accommodate the enormous demand for migrants has never been sufficient. As a result, many migrants end up in informal settlements with limited access to basic services and social infrastructure.

The Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) would like to use this opportunity to discuss the housing challenges brought about by the rapid urbanisation of cities in the Global South. Together with other organisations that address the housing challenges in the Global South, this event will share experiences of addressing housing challenges while working in the Global South. The focus will be on social housing principles and experiences from across the globe to stimulate the much needed pro-active formal and affordable housing solutions in these rapidly growing urban areas.

To some extent, the situation of rapidly growing cities in the ‘Global South’ is comparable to what European cities faced in the age of industrialisation in the late 19th Century. Many migrants settled in semi-formal and informal dwellings with limited access to water, care, and other basic amenities. This situation gave strong impetus for the development of social housing as it is known today in the Netherlands and other European countries. Reference is made to the principles of this Dutch (and European) social housing experience and its application to the experiences in the Global South.

This event is a collaboration of IHS with other organisations actively involved in the Global South. Cities Alliance and REALL and have confirmed that they will share their experiences of providing affordable housing in the Global South. TU Delft’s Global Housing Study Centre (TUD-GHSC) will contribute to the workshop with a focus on design of social (affordable) housing.

The event is targeted to a broad range of social (affordable) housing professionals and academics/researchers (from policy makers to designers) both with and without experience of working in the global South. The set-up of the workshop enables both knowledge exchange between organisers and participants as well as among participants and provides opportunities for networking between professionals.



The workshops begins with a short presentation of housing challenges in the Global South. This is followed by a highly participatory coffee table exercise in which participants engage in small groups on statements related to the challenges of social housing in the Global South. This session is scheduled from 13-15hrs.

After a coffee/tea break there is a short re-cap of the first session after which participants choose one of two workshops: policies or design.  TUD-GHSC hosts a design workshop called Southopolis; in a parallel session Cities Alliance, IHS and REALL will share some specific country and case study experiences from across the Global South. The afternoon ends around 17hrs with a plenary feedback session.


Southopolis design workshop (organized by TUD-GHSC):

Southopolis is a game that tackles the challenges of designing affordable housing in the context of the global urban South. The aim of Southopolis is to address the issues related to designing an affordable housing complex that is attuned with both the demands and needs of cities in the South Hemisphere, according to the resources and capacities of local communities.

The game can put the players in contact with conflictive situations in the design decision-making process, and promote creative proposals to cope with these challenges. The participants will get to know some actors that may play an important role in the design of low income dwelling in the global South. Furthermore, there is a simulation of situations that generates common awareness of the complexities of the design process. While playing Southopolis, the participants will get familiar with some of the key issues related to the design of affordable housing in the global urban South within a holistic approach.

Case studies presented by Cities Alliance, IHS and REALL

Information will follow.



For IHS:

   Alonso Ayala, senior housing specialist

   Ellen Geurts, housing specialist

For Cities Alliance:

   Omar Siddique, senior urban specialist


   Marie-Odile Zanders, Programme Director of Enterprise Consulting


   Nelson Mota

   Ana Chagas Cavalcanti




The Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) is an international centre of excellence of the School of Economics (ESE) and the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, operating on a global scale by offering post-graduate education, training, advisory services and applied research. Our mission is to develop human and institutional capacities to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life in cities.

Today more people live in cities than ever before. Our urban future confronts us with great innovations and challenges. Cities need urban professionals who can understand, face and manage these developments by creating urban futures that improve the quality of life in cities. IHS trains and advises these professionals on a global scale through its integrated approach in education, advisory services and research that offers practice and theory on urban management and development.


Cities Alliance is the global partnership for poverty reduction and the promotion of cities in sustainable development.

We are a responsive and dynamic global partnership committed to innovation, improved collaboration and coherence of effort. Members promote longer-term and integrated work programmes, while actively promoting gender equality throughout all activities.


Reall is growing a global network of effective housing development enterprises to deliver land, housing and basic services at scale and in perpetuity to low income urban communities in the developing world.

Our mission is to develop a network of self-reliant, multi-scale housing development enterprises in Africa and Asia, capable of creating financially, environmentally and socially sustainable settlement, shelter and services solutions for people living at the bottom of the income pyramid.

TU Delft’s Global Housing Study Centre (GHSC) is a new research centre created under the auspices of the chair of Architecture and Dwelling at the TU Delft. GHSC carries out research, education and outreach activities in The Netherlands and abroad. Through research, conferences, teaching and projects, the research centre aims to shape new methods, tools and strategies for the design of affordable housing and dwelling environments. GHSC is currently involved in the creation of PAD (Platform for Affordable Dwelling), a digital platform for the exchange of knowledge on design approaches to the production of affordable housing.



Date, time: Tuesday 20 June 2017, 13:00 to 17:30 hrs

Location: Het Schip Museum, tower room

Fee: none (advance registration necessary)

Language: English

Organizer: Ellen Peters Geurts geurts@ihs.nl (key contact person)