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Spring 2011 - 62010 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Housing Practices & Public Policy: Sustainability & Renewable Energy Applications for Low Income Housing

Instructor(s): Ward, Peter M.
Unique Number: 62010
Day & Time: M 9:00 - 12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.316/350
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Final Exam Information:May 11, 2011 - 2:00pm - 5:00pm SRH 3.124
Course Overview

Topics for these policy seminars have included environmental and natural resources policy, health-service delivery policy, social welfare policy, transportation policy, science and technology policy, international affairs, national security, urban and regional growth policy, and political campaigns.


Section Description

This cross-listed course with the LBJ School of Public Affairs (PA388K), Community and Regional Planning/Architecture (CRP388), Latin American Studies (LAS 381) and the Law School (TBA) is a research-and-teaching project that forms part of the “Sustainable Cities” interdisciplinary doctoral program anchored in the School of Architecture. The class will build upon a similarly structured class in the Spring of 2010 which reviewed the array of approaches for self-built and self-managed home improvements in low-income irregular settlements of Latin America; colonias and informal subdivisions in Texas; and the “innerburbs” of Austin. 

Against the backdrop of informal settlement growth and housing policies in Latin America of the past half-century, an initial phase of the class project will be to explore generic housing rehab and conservation policy experiences from Europe, the USA and Latin America. This will allow us to begin to address the primary goal of the class project which is to develop policies appropriate for upgrading and rehab of the older (now) consolidated irregular self-built settlements that now occupy the intermediate ring of many Latin American cities. Settled some thirty or more years ago, these stable working class settlements now have high densities, low mobility, and are often quite deteriorated with urgent infrastructure and home improvement needs. They are now the object of succession and inheritance from one generation to another which is often complicated by new patterns of informality and clouded titles. While more recently formed settlements remain the focus for housing actions, little research is being undertaken to explore the rehab and renovation needs for the existing and consolidated settlements of yesteryear.

Housing and urban rehab will be set within a broader understanding of the nature of these housing production systems, and other aspects of sustainability in such areas – intermediate technology for drainage and wastewater systems; fiscal sustainability; and social sustainability (mobilization of human capital); juridical sustainability & inheritance; and how best to introduce such research into the policy process in Latin America.

Baseline data for the class will come from an eleven city study in Latin America coordinated by Professor Ward at the University of Texas at Austin ( and will provide housing rehab policy inputs to that network as they move forward into the final phase of the study which will outline and disseminate policy approaches appropriate for self-help dwelling and community renovation. It will lead to a capstone conference in April 2011.