Spring 2016 - 60300 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Spring 2016 - 60300 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Housing Policies & Practices in Latin America

This one semester course is part of a sequence of classes tied to the Latin American Housing network research initiatives (www.lahn.utexas.org).  UN-Habitat convenes bi-decennially: the first meeting was in Vancouver in 1976; the second in Istanbul in 1996; and the third will take place in 2016 (October 15-17, in Quito, Ecuador).  Each meeting basically reviews the progress of policy and practice since the previous meeting, and sets the housing and urban development agenda for the next 20 years. Since 2002 more regular meetings of the World Urban Forum take place intermittently (every two to three years).

It is hoped that the research and policy findings of the LAHN study and Ward et al. recent (2015) publication Housing Policy in Latin American Cities: A New Generation of Strategies and Approaches for 2016 UN-HABITAT III  http://www.routledge.com/9781138776869/ will form part of the agenda as governments turn back to the existing stock of the city and emphasize housing and community rehab as an integral part of urban development. However, the primary aim of the class will be to review: 1) how the changing paradigms in development political and development sociology have come to shape urban development and housing policy since the early 1970s; 2) the extent to which these modes of thinking and policy advocacy became integrated into the two previous  UN-Habitat meetings; 3) the impact that the congresses have had in shaping the agendas of housing policy, rights to the city, the expansion and support of housing NGOs, sustainability and changing urban governance practices, etc.; and 4)  and how these activities are embedded within macro-economic and development policies of the past 50 years.  Our seminar discussions will trace housing and urban development policy in Latin America over the past 50, against the backdrop of research paradigms and approaches and the literature.  Working in groups, students will undertake detailed archival review and content analysis of the two previous congresses, together with several of the WUF meetings as a basis to better understand the dynamics and calculus of conference agenda-setting, and of policy change in the subsequent period.  In addition we will undertake a detailed analysis and review of the preparations and framing of the 2016 UN-Habitat.

Two sets of student products are anticipated. First, a major paper that reviews and analyzes the dynamics and impact of  HABITAT I & II as measured by UN Habitat sponsored publications meetings, and institutional support for government and non-government institutions and the extent to which this how this appears to feed into HABITAT III.   This will not only review UN documentation and reports but will also gauge how a number of specific countries have shaped their policies (or not) as a result of the changing conventional wisdoms arising from UN-Habitat.  Second, students will draft a series of position statements that we view as imperatives for consideration in HABITAT III and which arise from: contemporary interdisciplinary research, from critical theory and from contemporary urban and housing challenges that Latin American and other developing areas confront.  In short, whither housing policies and practice in the next 10-20 years?  Depending upon the level of interest and financing, it is anticipated that 2-3 students will have the opportunity to participate in UN-Habitat III conference to present those UT-Austin position papers.