Client: Interamerican Development Bank
Date: 2020
Status: Complete
Program: Capacity building and research for the urban and social improvement of housing, sustainability and intersectionality
Scope: Consultation and development of a manual

This research, developed by Ecosistema Urbano for the Inter-American Development Bank, follows a path that has been explored by the IDB in recent years on the issues of housing, sustainability –understood in its broadest sense– and intersectionality, in a global context and with a particular focus on Latin America and the Caribbean with publications such as “Vivienda ¿Qué viene? De pensar la unidad a construir la ciudad” (“Housing, What’s Next? From Thinking About Unity to Constructing the City”), by Verónica Adler and Felipe Vera, published in 2019. 

Ecosistema Urbano’s consultancy aims to develop a manual that can support national governments of Latin American and Caribbean countries in defining strategic lines on the issues of housing models including an environmental and intersectionality perspective. The starting point of this research is to address the complexity of what the term sustainability entails from a systemic viewpoint, while including management tools capable of adapting quickly and responding to different scenarios and urgent challenges that this sector demands. 

In particular, in the current situation of health, social and economic emergency that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought in a global context, the search for a affordable and quality housing model of that guarantees the appropriate conditions both at the individual level –the inhabitants of the dwelling itself– and at the urban level, with a long-term vision, becomes an absolute priority. Betting on models that guarantee quality housing standards, and that offer real and tangible solutions to urban and social inequity, is an objective that should no longer depend exclusively on the political will of each country, as it has been established as one of the Sustainable Development Goals for the 2030 agenda at the United Nations World Summit (Goal number 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable). To pursue this ambitious goal, now more than ever it is necessary to share knowledge, experiences and good practices among the many cities in different parts of the world that are addressing these complex challenges, on which there is still much to research, plan, develop and experiment. 

The content of the report mainly includes a compilation of international best practices, be they built projects, programs or initiatives. The cases, which are all focused on housing, address the issue of environmental impact from a systemic viewpoint, and include relevant elements of intersectionality, i.e. they address in some way the diversity of identities to improve people’s physical, economic and political autonomy. The case studies prioritized and analyzed have been selected because they significantly represent innovative aspects in each of the three areas mentioned above.


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