Introducing Dr. M. Alaa Mandour’s book

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The failure of many formal solutions for low income housing has often been the lack of understanding of the informal phenomenon which is an alternative to those excluded from the formal housing market.

The informal sector represent a solution that appears to deny conventional planning orthodoxy, and clearly the priorities of this sector are not those of the municipal authorities. The way they shape their environment is often completely different than what is shaped for them. Space takes precedence over permanence and use defines need: a porch may be build before a bathroom, an adjoining work place may be more important than a private bedroom and outdoor seating may be constructed before an enclosed space. This apparent inversion of values is especially evident in the public spaces.

A new set of settlement standards needs to be accommodated, rather than to merely reorganize. They should reflect the reality -sometimes harsh -of the urban poor, and they should respond to “real” requirements not to an idealized set of criteria.

VDM-Publisher, Germany, ISBN 978-3-639-27055-6-Congress Library

Availabe in market  August 2010, online Amazon.


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