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Sustainable Design
 
Sustainable livelihoods and housing environment
Poverty is acknowledged to be the main obstacle to accessing adequate housing among the urban poor in developing countries.

A new approach to tackling poverty is the 'Sustainable Livelihoods Approach,' which builds on and uses the assets of the poor rather than focusing on what they lack.

Can the assets of the poor achieve meaningful improvement in the upgrading of informal settlements? What supports, structures and processes are necessary in improving the livelihoods of the poor whilst at the same time impacting positively on the improvement of their built environment? What is the role of the architect under such a development approach?
Stephen Diang'a
Responses
 
Sustainable livelihoods and housing environment
Poverty is a condition, wherein, I believe, the potentials of a people/ region are underutilised.

The development approach should aim at recognizing and optimising these potentials. However, the social aspect also must be borne in mind. Financial improvement will help eleiinating poverty to an extent, but the society should be moulded in a way that it improves itself after the initial momentum given. Only if a development appraoch to eliminate poverty is multifaceted and evolved to be sustainable can it be successfully implemented.

The importance of social development should not be undermined. For instance, you cannot erase poverty by providing for the poor endlessly; providing them with help or charity in cash or kind only makes people more apathetic.

But if they are taught to earn money and status and the importance of the same, it will be valued; it is only then that the proposal is self-sustaining.

Erasing poverty is recognising and directing the potentials and resources of a society for improvement of economic and social standards of life.
Eram Ansari
Sustainable livelihoods and housing environment
Very interesting, in fact a balanced society has many strata of economic groups dependent upon each other, as well consumer culture and indebted living is not encouraged in such societies; all modern governments are trying to make balanced economic structures and social environments but this is difficult.

Poverty can be overcome by just payment of every services taken by a person, not by dole outs, so an architect can take care of site workers by getting them proper due payment.

To me sustainibility in economics is a virtue to be adopted by individuals/groups of people; architects can only facilitate it.
Dushyant Nathwani
Sustainable livelihoods and housing environment
Consider the evolution of the species as the contributing factor in poverty:

Humans are among the latest in the evolving species. And such being the case, humans as an entire species across the board do not know yet what a chest thumping, big, 400 pound gorilla knows. That is, when to feel denied, threatened, or when to call it a hoax.

So unlike the richest man primate, (is it Bill Gates?), the gorilla does not feel threatened about losing his stature in making his own bed and picking berries for himself.

In the evolutionary process every man (he) will eventually catch on to that, even without the help of faster means of communication. Meanwhile, even if you are Galileo, the system expects you to obey your teacher's whims, be that the teacher in the grade school or graduate school.

Gandhi had observed thus: it is not in the interest of the factory worker to co-operate with the rich. It is in the worker's interest to non-cooperate with the rich. It is not the money that is evil. It is the wrong use of it that is the cause.

See if you can do that.
Shailesh Dave
Sustainable livelihoods and housing environment
This is an issue about the ongoing migration of rural people moving into urban areas to improve their lives. If someone moves from the countryside into a city without money, living is focused upon the immediate problems of eating and housing: therefore so long as urban authorities are happy to exploit this source of cheap labour for minimal outlay, then there will always be a problem caused by such rural to urban migration: a problem compounded by urban authorities who do not help.

A better way would be to stop the migration from the rural areas by upgrading rural areas. Unfortunately, the current economic trap of regarding rural food production as something of very little value, means people in the rural areas have no way of improving or upgrading their quality of life.

If I was a rural dweller, I would BOYCOTT any urban area which wanted food supplies at prices which keep the rural areas permanently undeveloped.

But given that the National Laws of all countries on Earth are made in urban areas and then forced upon people in the rural areas by city people. I do not see the situation changing until the rural people stop migrating into the cities and start asking for a proper value for their skills, energy and time.
Frank John Snelling
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