Rethinking Sustainable Housing in Sub-Saharan Africa

Friday, February 12, 2016: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Hoover (Marriott Wardman Park)
According to UN population studies, the world’s urban population is predicted to increase from 3.3 billion in 2007 to 6.3 billion by 2050. Developing countries will account for a disproportionately large part of that growth. This will lead to exponential growth of urban poverty and informal settlements, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, and will compound existing problems: housing deficits; lack of access to social and infrastructural services; urban density/congestion; and high poverty and income disparities. In addition, the rise of both natural and man-made disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, epidemics, and large-scale terrorist attacks, has underscored the pressing need for global leadership in science, technology, and innovation. For example, the recent deadly, multinational Ebola outbreak demonstrated how international travel and migration have transformed cities—and crowded informal settlements in particular—into highly contagious hubs for the transmission of infectious disease. The symposium emphasizes the often downplayed interfaces between the housing sector and other components of international sustainability. The participants’ collective experience is used to enhance the understanding of housing as a chain of economic and productive relationships within the construction sector and labor markets, with a direct bearing on sustainable development.
Esther Obonyo, Pennsylvania State University
Abraham Goldman, University of Florida
Wilkistar Otieno, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Khanjan Mehta, Pennsylvania State University
Sustainable Housing as an Economic Opportunity
Simion Kintingu, National Housing and Building Research Agency; Esther Obonyo, Pennsylvania State University
Research and Development-Driven Delivery of Affordable Housing in Tanzania