Green Cities Require Green Housing: Advancing the Economic and Environmental Sustainability of Housing and Slum Upgrading in Cities in Developing Countries

  • Matthew A. French
  • Christophe Lalande
Part of the Local Sustainability book series (LOCAL, volume 3)


Cities throughout the developing world are in the midst of a housing crisis. Urbanization, population growth, rising economic development, the large stock of inadequate existing housing, and the need to rebuild after conflict and disasters necessitates the provision of affordable housing, the upgrading of slums, and retrofitting the existing housing on an unprecedented scale. This chapter explores these trends with a particular focus on the opportunities and challenges the green economy poses to affordable housing. Reviewing the current situation reveals that while there are many affordable housing and slum upgrading policies, programs, and projects, green economy dimensions are not sufficiently harnessed to maximize the economic and environmental opportunities that housing can provide to countries, cities, and households. The analysis highlights that there is an enormous environmental and economic potential for the greening of the housing sector in developing countries. Indeed, much of the housing stock is yet to be built and this presents a huge opportunity to build green today, reduce urban vulnerability and poverty, contribute to economic growth, and make significant environmental and economic savings in the future.


Housing Slum upgrading Housing policy Economic sustainability Developing countries 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UN-HabitatNairobiKenya

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