Agile urban planning and phased housing construction for migrating populations

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Various environmental, social and economic disruptions trigger the displacement of people and create the need for an agile provision of affordable housing. The responses of architects and urban planners to that need are pointing towards solutions based on the concepts of ephemeral urbanism and phased construction of housing, which rely on self-sufficiency in terms of building materials and, very often, construction. The paper presents examples of ephemeral urbanism and architectural design of affordable, phased housing applied in many developing countries facing a significant influx of people into cities due to radical changes in political, socio-economic or environmental contexts. They range from remediation interventions in illegally built settlements, to support for the development of affordable housing, which includes up-skilling of the population to self-build with locally available building materials.
The discussion focuses on the need to include the concepts of agile urban planning and architectural design in the education of architects and urban planners as the means for an efficient provision of affordable housing in the context of global population growth and migrations from rural to urban areas. It also proposes that urban planning strategies of local authorities need to consider scenarios and develop models for responsive and rapid urban planning interventions when faced with potential multiple disruptions of the envisaged urban development. The paper concludes by outlining areas of potential future research that will inform the education of architects and urban planners, as well as architectural and urban planning practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Impact of Illegal Construction, Poor Planning and Design
Subtitle of host publicationIMPEDE 2019
EditorsMarina Mihajlovic
Place of PublicationBelgrade
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2019
EventEnvironmental Impact of Illegal Construction, Poor Planning and Design - Academy of Engineers and Technicians of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia
Duration: 10 Oct 201911 Oct 2019


ConferenceEnvironmental Impact of Illegal Construction, Poor Planning and Design
Abbreviated titleIMPEDE 2019
Internet address


  • agile urban planning
  • phased housing construction
  • migrating populations
  • ephemeral urbanism
  • construction up-skilling


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