Top down . . . bottom up . . . what works? This book explores development from the
perspective of the poor. Who are they? What lives do they live? What matters to
them? And most importantly, what can they do about it?
Martin and Mathema debate how people can be given legitimate control of their
own environment, and how governments can work with them. How do communities
and conditions drive behavior? What interventions are appropriate and how can we
approach development imaginatively?
This is not about usurping governance - but revisiting structures that the developed
world has come to accept, and placing the power of decision in the hands of the
people it affects.
Nor it is about money . . . it's about people, and about how we can make our world
work for everyone.
About the Author:
Richard Martin is an architect/town planner who became engaged with informal settlements when he started working in Zambia in the 1960s. He taught in the field of sites and services and upgrading at Bouwcentrum International Education. He has written widely and worked in many countries in Africa in the field of housing and informal settlements.
Ashna Mathema is a city planner/architect specializing in low-income housing and urban development. Her work in informal and underserviced settlements spans 20 countries, mostly in Africa, and East and South Asia. Through in-depth field work and personal interviews with local residents, she draws on their aspirations, struggles, and successes to establish a development process that is participatory and more responsive to their needs.