WHAT IS THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE HOUSING?

“Adequate housing was recognized as part of the right to an adequate standard of living in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.”

Housing as a concept is not limited to shelter, or having a roof over your head. And it’s not a matter of affordability either. Housing is one of the most important life components giving shelter, safety and warmth, as well as providing a place to rest with dignity and security. The right to housing adequacy attempts to holistically develop the concept of housing such that it moves beyond the number game of space and affordability to present a list of key elements that need to be considered to make housing adequate. 

Photo: Rajesh Vora

Adequate housing is universally viewed as one of the most basic human needs. The right to adequate housing is one of the economic, social and cultural rights to have gained increasing attention and promotion, not only from the human rights bodies but also from the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements. The United Nations Declaration on Social Progress and Development (1969) and the United Nations Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements (1976) recognize a universal right to adequate housing. The right to adequate housing includes ensuring access to adequate services, extending but not limited to seven important elements: legal security of tenure, availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure, affordability, habitability, accessibility, location and cultural adequacy. 

What do these terms mean? Consider “security of tenure”, a major obstacle to ensuring this facet of adequate housing is eviction. “Protection against forced evictions is a key element of the right to adequate housing and is closely linked to security of tenure.”1 According to the 2011 Census, there are 1.77 million homeless people in India which make up around 0.15% of the population. A report published by the Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN), estimates that about 190,000 Indian people get evicted from their homes every year. and as many as 14.9 million face a threat of eviction and displacement. To counter this extreme condition of urbanity, the right to housing adequacy insists that Nations take responsibility to  ensure that evictions are only permitted in exceptional circumstances, and adhere to the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-based Evictions and Displacement, the International policy along with reinforcement through National and State level law and governance intends to provide protection to vulnerable persons and affected groups. 

The right to adequate housing attempts to establish the connection between health and dwelling, it recognizes that secure shelter and basic sanitation are essential for living a healthy and stable life. Key elements to recognize housing adequacy include the availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure. “In India it is estimated that 17 percent of the urban population currently has no access to any sanitary facilities at all, while 50–80 percent of wastewater is disposed of without any treatment.”2 Furthermore, a WaterAid report in 2016 ranked India among the worst countries in the world for the number of people without safe water. An estimated 76 million people in India have no access to a safe water supply, and the situation is only getting more serious. The right to adequate housing ensures that housing encompasses sustainable access to natural and common resources, clean drinking water, energy for cooking, heating and lighting, sanitation and washing facilities, site drainage and emergency services.

Source: 2013_State of Housing in India_A Statistical Compendium_MHUPA; 2011_Report of the Technical Group on Urban Housing Shortage(TG-12)

Housing has always been closely associated with affordability. The case of India is particularly lacking in this regard. The Urban Housing Shortage (households) in 2012 was 18.78 Million, 56% of this total came from the economically weaker section with a monthly income of up to ₹5000, 40% from the lower income group with a monthly income between ₹5000 to ₹10000 and the remaining 4% comes from the middle income group with a monthly income of above ₹10000. The right to adequate housing establishes the need to develop affordable housing for all income groups by providing the citizens a greater expanse of policies and fiscal benefits to buy/build a house. “The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) that precluded it, are initiatives of the Government of India which aim to provide affordable housing to the urban poor by the year 2022. The RAY scheme was launched in 2011, and amended into the PMAY in 2015. The interest rate for the PMAY scheme starts at an interest subsidy of 6.5 percent on housing loans availed upto a tenure of 15 years”3, these government initiatives attempt to generate positive externalities of consumption through housing.  PMAY aims to develop affordable housing in a public-private sector partnership and promote affordable housing for urban poor through credit linked subsidy. However the rollout has faced multiple hurdles. “At this rate, it will take 66 years to achieve a target of 10 million units, 120 years to build 18 million units”.4

Another key component of the right to adequate housing is habitability of housing. According to the WHO, habitable houses should comply with health and safety standards; including providing the inhabitants with adequate space, “protection against cold, damp, heat, rain, wind or other threats to health and structural hazards.”1 Habitability ensures inhabitants  the needed space to live in dignity and peace, as well as protection from natural elements, structural hazards and disease vectors which threaten their physical well-being. Indian habitability standards are developed by respective National and State housing agencies and lack international applicability. The right to adequate housing understands that humans are the direct beneficiary of habitability and that there is a need to evolve habitability standards that reflect the perceptions, expectation, and satisfaction of humans in line with their unique multi-cultural residential landscape.

“Urban inequality is a blight experienced by many cities, even in the developed world. In developing countries like India, these social and economic inequalities become even more pronounced, with living conditions in certain populations crossing the line to the abysmal”5. The Indian society is highly stratified and hierarchical in character. The stratified and hierarchical nature of Indian society involves institutional processes that economically and socially exclude, discriminate, isolate and deprive some groups on the basis of characteristics like caste, ethnicity or religious background. The right to adequate housing promotes the development of housing that is free from discriminatory practices against the disadvantaged or the marginalized. It tries to establish housing as a practice that does not restrict accessibility in any way, shape or form. 

The right to adequate housing has an important focus on ‘location’, this not only establishes the need for available employment opportunities, health-care services, schools, childcare centres and other social facilities but also ensures that housing is not displaced in zones of extreme pollution or conflict. According to the National Disaster Management Plan 2019 (NDMP), 68% of India’s land is prone to drought, 60% to earthquakes, 12% to floods and 8% to cyclones, this makesIndia one of the most disaster prone countries in the world, affecting 85% of Indian geography and more than 50 million people. Considering the influence of social, cultural, climatic and economical factors, location becomes a key aspect in determining whether the conditions of adequate housing are being met. Furthermore, the right to adequate housing ensures the expression of cultural identity. Since culture is not a constant, it keeps changing and also accommodates changes. People tend to have changes in their aspirations — and accordingly culture, due to the influence from neighbouring cultures, education, globalisation, economic empowerment or other parameters. The expression of culture and its identity is also enshrined as a key element in determining the adequacy of housing. 

“Human rights are interdependent, indivisible and interrelated. In other words, the violation of the right to adequate housing may affect the enjoyment of a wide range of other human rights and vice versa.”1 The World Health Organization has asserted that housing is the single most important environmental factor associated with disease conditions and higher mortality and morbidity rates. Having access to adequate, safe and secure housing substantially strengthens the likelihood of people being able to enjoy certain additional rights. Housing is a foundation from which other legal entitlements can be achieved which makes the right to adequate housing a fundamental right that needs to be recognized and practiced in equal spirits. 

References

  1. Fact Sheet No. 21/Rev.1, The Right to Adequate Housing, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 
  2. Draft National Urban Sanitation Policy, 2007
  3. PMINDIA
  4. business-satndard.com_22May 2017
  5. Social Marginalisation in Urban India and the Role of the State, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, 2015
  6. Forced Evictions in India in 2019: An Unrelenting National Crisis, Housing and Land Rights Network, New Delhi, 2020
  7. Right to Shelter is just a Constitutional Right and not Fundamental Right : Part 1
  8. Basic Principles And Guidelines On Development Based Evictions And Displacement

CATEGORY: URBAN DOCUMENTATION

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CRITIQUE OF CENTRALISED SCHOOL COMPLEX AT CUJIRA

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JURY:

Sandra Barclay:
Sandra Barclay is Principal of Barclay & Crousse Architecture, based in Lima, Peru. She co-founded Barclay & Crousse Architecture with Jean Pierre Crousse in Paris in 1994. Sandra teaches at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. She has represented Peru at the 13th Venice Biennale, and in the 2016 Co Curated the Peruvian Pavilion at the 15th Venice Biennale. 

In 1993 Sandra received the Robert Camelot Prize for best Architectural Thesis. 2018 Architect of the Year Prize, Women in Architecture, Architectural Review, London.  Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and Foreign Honorary member of the French Académie d’Architecture, 2019 Norman Foster Visiting Professor of Architectural Design, Yale University.

Barclay & Crousse Architecture studio was recognized by the 2018 Mies Crown Hall of the Americas Award and the first Oscar Niemeyer Prize, among other international awards. Their work has been acknowledged by the International Committee of Architectural Critics (CICA) with the 2013 Latin America Prize and the Peruvian Architecture National Prize in 2014 and 2018. Their projects have been exhibited and published worldwide.

  1. South American Architects Sandra Barclay and Gloria Cabral Win 2018 Women in Architecture Awards https://www.archdaily.com/890023/south-american-architects-sandra-barclay-and-gloria-cabral-win-2018-women-in-architecture-awards
  2. http://www.barclaycrousse.com/

Kapil Gupta:
Kapil Gupta is the co-founder of Serie Architects and Principal of Serie Mumbai. Kapil leads and manages Serie’s project portfolio in India with projects ranging across housing, commercial and institutional sectors. He is closely involved with the development of projects from inception to completion. He has written on the challenges of south Asian urbanisation and is currently involved with ecological and land regeneration strategies in India as a response to climate change.

He has served as a visiting critic at numerous schools in India and been on several jury panels for competitions and design awards including Archiprix in 2010. Gupta is currently the Charles Correa Design Chair at the Goa School of Architecture for 2020.

He graduated with honours from Sir JJ School of Architecture in 1996, Mumbai followed by postgraduate studies at the Architectural Association, London. He was a Director at the Urban Design Research Institute, Mumbai between 2003 and 2008, where he led India’s first entry to the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2006.

  1. https://www.serie.co.uk/office/publications
  2. https://www.serie.co.uk/

Bill McIlroy:
Bill McIlroy is an architect and urban designer, based in Boston, Massachusetts. He established with Nancy Shapero, a landscape architect, Shapero/McIlroy Design in 1990. The studio has designed and built projects ranging from houses and gardens, to buildings and landscapes for small institutions, to urban design interventions, most of which are embedded in the local community. He has been a visiting critic at Harvard’s GSD urban design reviews, MIT and other local design schools.

He studied architecture at the University of Toronto. He participated in Aldo van Eyck’s design studio at the University of Pennsylvania. He attended Harvard’s Graduate School of Design Urban Design program, graduating as the first recipient of the Druker Travelling Fellowship which enabled him, with Nancy Shapero, to visit India, Nepal, China and Japan. During this six month trip, through drawing, photography and mapping, he investigated, in a series of case studies, the transforming relationships between cityscape and landscape at their interface. The trip had a profound effect on his way of thinking about design, especially as it affects human experience, a view that he continues to carry forward in his design work today and in comments to students at their studio reviews.

  1. https://www.shaperomcilroydesign.com/ourPractice/practice01.html

Jagan Shah:
Jagan Shah is the Director of National Institute of Urban Affairs, the premier thinktank associated with the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India. He has 20 years of professional work experience in various aspects of urban development in India. 

He taught at the School of Planning & Architecture (SPA) from 1998 till 2006. He was the Chief Executive of Urban Space Consultants, providing consultancy in policy formulation, spatial planning, heritage conservation, transportation and livelihoods development. He works as the Senior Infrastructure Adviser in the Department for International Development devised by the Government of UK, where he leads a programme to support the PPP Cell of the Indian Ministry of Finance and is devising a new programme for developing inclusive, investible and resilient cities.

He has been deeply involved in creating innovative urban plans, among such is the heritage plan for Jaipur, city development plans for 14 cities in Madhya Pradesh, Master Plan for Delhi, the National Urban Policy framework and the policy implementation of India’s Smart Cities Mission. Shah has authored Contemporary Indian Architecture and his writings have been published in leading journals in Indian and abroad, co-editor of Round, an annual journal of Asian writings on architecture.

  1. Achieving urban transformation
    https://www.livemint.com/Specials/0wxSvak7tbTqqjYXjjD1LO/Achieving-urban-transformation.html
  2. Singaporeans don’t use the word smart, they talk about livable cities: NIUA Director
    https://www.businesstoday.in/opinion/interviews/niua-director-jagan-shah-on-benefits-of-building-smart-cities/story/216071.htm
  3. Urban Resilience – a collaborative approach
    http://bwsmartcities.businessworld.in/article/Urban-Resilience-a-collaborative-approach/03-07-2018-153776/

Ilze Wolff:
Ilze Wolff co-directs Wolff Architects with Heinrich Wolff, a practice
concerned with an architecture of consequence.

In 2017 she received an International Prize for Scholarly Works in Modern and Contemporary Art and Architecture in Rome, for her book Unstitching Rex Trueform, the story of an African factory. In 2018 she was shortlisted for the Architectural Review’s Moira Gemmil award and between 2017-2019 she was a fellow at the University of the Western Cape’s, Centre for Humanities Research.

She co-founded Pumflet a publication for art and architecture, which has since received institutional support from William Kentridge’s Centre for the less good idea, the Chicago Architecture Biennial and formed part of the publishing against the grain exhibition at the Zeitz Mocaa Museum. Through the practice and with her colleagues at Wolff,  their space in Bo-Kaap has hosted exhibitions, interventions, publications and talks in collaboration with artists, activists and scholars and in that way developing an enduring apublic culture around the city, space and personhood

  1. Unstitching Rex Trueform
  2. The Story of an African Factory
  3. Rex Trueform
  4. Further reading here

Nagari:

The CCF Bioscope on Cities

This year, the Nagari Short Film Competition is looking for films that address the question, 

How could one tell the story of housing adequacy in urban India”?

India has the largest number of urban poor and landless people in the world. According to the 2011 census, approximately 13.75 million households, or approximately 65 – 70 million people, reside in urban slums. Homeless people, based on the 2011 census, are an additional 1.8 million. The numbers are staggering. In some cities, such as Mumbai, those residing in slums represent around 50% of its population. Housing, and more importantly adequate housing, is in a state of crisis in India – a case reinforced by the migrant exodus that we witnessed in Indian cities in March 2020, as a result of a national lockdown imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Adequate housing was recognized as part of the right to an adequate standard of living, in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in their report on The Right to Adequate Housing have identified 7 elements that encompass the right to adequate housing. 

  1. Legal security of tenure: Regardless of the type of tenure, all persons should possess a degree of security of tenure which guarantees legal protection against forced eviction, harassment and other threats;
  2. Affordability: Personal or household financial costs associated with housing should not threaten or compromise the attainment and satisfaction of other basic needs (for example, food, education, access to health care);
  3. Habitability: Adequate housing should provide for elements such as adequate space, protection from cold, damp, heat, rain, wind or other threats to health, structural hazards, and disease vectors;
  4. Availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure: Housing is not adequate if its occupants do not have safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, energy for cooking, heating and lighting, sanitation and washing facilities, means of food storage, refuse disposal, etc;
  5. Accessibility: Housing is not adequate if the specific needs of disadvantaged and marginalized groups are not taken into account (such as the poor, people facing discrimination; persons with disabilities, victims of natural disasters);
  6. Location: Adequate housing must allow access to employment options, health-care services, schools, child-care centres and other social facilities and should not be built on polluted sites nor in immediate proximity to pollution sources;
  7. Cultural adequacy: Adequate housing should respect and take into account the expression of cultural identity and ways of life.

For further information:

Fact Sheet No. 21/Rev.1, The Right to Adequate Housing, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 
The Human Rights to Adequate Housing and Land in India: Report to the United Nations Human Rights Council for India’s Third Universal Periodic Review 
2011 Census 

Competition Brief: The Nagari Short Film Competition

The competition brief is out!

Registrations Closed

Interested participants are required to fill the form and attach their CVs, a brief outline of the film script, and a note on the audio-visual treatment.

To Register for The Nagari Short Film Competition, click here.

For any queries, write to us at nagari@charlescorreafoundation.org

Z-axis 2020 Lecture Series out now!

The Z-axis 2020 Lecture Series has ended. You may watch recordings of all the sessions on our YouTube channel, click on the sessions below to watch the recordings:

01 CHARLES CORREA MEMORIAL LECTURE

02 REDEFINING THE CITY FOR THE PUBLIC

03 COMMONS AND THE CITY

04 STREETS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

05 HOMES IN THE STREET

Registered participants are eligible to as participate in the Design Competition.

Bharat Bhavan listed amongst the ‘Top 20 Most Visited AD Architecture Classics’ by ArchDaily

BB1The terraces and courtyards reflect Correa’s concern with progression through space – the maze or puzzle – where parts are casually revealed and the complex of internal streets act rather like a village layout. In this way the architect makes the building reflect Bhopal’s own organizational layout.

Bharat Bhavan, one of the key projects of Charles Correa, has been listed amongst the ‘Top 20 Most Visited AD Architecture Classics’ by ArchDaily.

The Correa Map

The Charles Correa Foundation is proud to publish a map of his work. This map plots buildings designed by Correa in his six decades of practice; projects built worldwide, though many of them in India.

We believe that the theories discussed by Charles Correa in his many writings can be best understood through his built work. We hope that this map can help interested visitors locate these buildings, visit them, and understand them in their context.

In case the map or relevant cover images fail to load, you may have to clear your browser cache: First, ensure that the browser is open and selected, and press Ctrl-Shift-Delete (Windows) or Command-Shift-Delete (Mac), then you may refresh the page and view at your convenience.

The list is arranged chronologically and buildings are tagged by typology.

Final Colour Swatch for Z-Axis 2018
Commercial            Leisure                   Housing                   Institutions           Urbanisation

There are yet a few projects by Correa that we know were built, but due to rapid urbanisation all around, we are now unable to locate. They are:

  • Plutonium Plant, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Humanities Department, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand, Gujarat
  • Suhrid Geigy – Laboratory and Processing Plant, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Palm Avenue House, Kolkata, West Bengal
  • Sen-Raleigh Polytechnic, Asansol, West Bengal
  • Thakore House, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Carbide Battery Plant, Hyderabad, Telangana
  • Dutta House, New Delhi
  • Ferreira House, Mumbai
  • Menezes House, Pune, Maharashtra, 
  • Gobhai House, Golvad, Dahanu, Maharashtra

If you could help us locate these buildings, please send us a recent image and a location pin to research@charlescorreafoundation.org with the subject “CCA Map: name of building 

Also, please let us know over email or in the comments below, if you think we have left out any of his built projects. We hope this map will grow to become an inventory of the many buildings that Charles Correa designed.

Car is King: Goa at the mercy of parking rule

The CCF team discusses the parking issue in Goa, and the state’s much-awaited response.

 

If you have ever found yourself driving past your destination and circling around for that elusive space free of a ‘No Parking’ sign (or ignoring that), you are part of an overwhelming majority in Goa. The situation isn’t unusual in a state where the annual vehicle growth rate is almost 10 times that of the population growth rate (2001-2011) (Source: Draft Parking Policy, IPSCL).

draft-parking-policy_ipscdl-7-e1553841170779.jpg

Source: Draft Parking Policy, IPSCL

This phenomenal increase in traffic volume coupled with limited road space in major cities in the state account for the state’s parking woes. An unreliable public transport system and the general attitude towards car ownership, with its attached social status, evince that, without an efficient implementation of a holistic parking policy, the problem will not go away any time soon. The problem isn’t without irony: according to the Central Road Research Institute, an average car’s steering time in only 400 hours a year. That means a typical vehicle stays parked 95% of the time!

The past decade’s figures reveal the extent of the problem: with a 14.5 lakh population (Source: Census 2011) and a whopping 54.8 lakh tourist footfall in 2018 alone (Source: Department of Tourism, Govt. of Goa), it is evident that Goa’s thriving tourism industry heavily relies on the rental automobile industry. Where is the road space for all these vehicles?

img_7235.jpgTwo-wheelers encroach upon footpaths, making pedestrians vulnerable to moving vehicles on the carriageway.

The conventional methods of dealing with parking have largely been to increase the supply to meet the demand, by providing additional infrastructure for the driver rather than providing enough choices for the commuters, in terms of alternative public transport. The former, a limited approach, only leads to a system which will be insufficient in due course of time as it attracts more and more vehicles, as against a fixed parameter of road capacity.

To tackle parking, it is important to derive logical solutions to parking, based on its types: on-street parking and off-street parking. In its proposed Decongestion Model for Panaji City Centre in 2014, CCF called for delineation of on-street parking and a paid parking strategy. A significant parking fee for visitors encourages them to park off-street, in strategically located multi-storey parking structures, and use a regulated hop-on hop-off bus system into the city. The Model recommended a discounted parking allowance for shop owners and free parking for residents.

141118_Decongestion report-41CCF’s proposed off-street parking management in the Decongestion Model of the Panaji City Centre

 

parkingCCF’s proposed on-street parking management in the Decongestion Model of the Panaji City Centre

In the Draft Parking Policy, Imagine Panaji Smart City Limited has envisioned the following parking management strategies:

  1. Delineation of on-street parking
  2. Introduction of parking reservations on streets
  3. Pricing for on-street parking
  4. Pricing for off-street parking
  5. Parking permit schemes for residential and work zones
  6. Use of technology for Smart Parking
  7. Instituting a Parking Cell for enforcement
  8. Reconsidering building regulations to reduce parking minimums
  9. Introduction of Proof of Parking attached to the owner’s residential location
  10. Planning parking for the relatively sustainable electric vehicles

Parking-Basics-7Source: Parking Basics, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy

The Smart City parking proposal reconsiders the status quo: the automobile should not dominate the street. With an aim to prioritise the safe movement of people, services and goods on the road network, it seeks to enhance walkability of the city.

With demand-based pricing formulated on various factors—land value, vehicle type and duration of parking, parking district, and existing demand in the parking—the policy “enhances turnover of parking bays and ensures access to limited on-street parking in high parking demand areas.” The proposal also provides for any plans for the future of mobility: electric vehicles, which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Parking-Basics-13Source: Parking Basics, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy

The implementation of such parking solutions has a rough road ahead. The pay-parking system, introduced in Panaji in 2016, failed to bring any discipline to the city’s chaotic and mismanaged traffic and was discontinued in 2017 after the expiry of the contract awarded to a private operator. (Source: Herald Goa) However, the Corporation of the City of Panaji has decided, in March 2019, to reinstate the system using its workers to implement it (Source: Times of India Goa). Other tourist-attracting centres, such as Candolim and Old Goa, have also implemented the system to restrict unregulated parking and gain revenue.

Over recent decades, it has become evident that parking is an issue constantly and disproportionately growing with city size, in India and across the world. With timely implementation of the parking policy in its major urban centres, Goa has the chance to buck the trend, and ‘park’ the issue at the kerb!

‘India’s Greatest Architect’ Charles Correa

About

India’s most iconic modern architect Charles Correa had a prolific career, having designed almost 100 buildings in India alone during his lifetime, but whether it was low-income housing or luxury condos, Correa maintained a universal approach that respected the local conditions, met the practical needs of its inhabitants and acknowledged the spiritual nature and beauty of his country.

Read the full article on architect Charles Correa by Charlotte Luxford here.

Critique of Centralised School Complex at Cujira

 

featureLocation: Goa
Status: Final Evaluation Report submitted via press conference
Year of Completion: 2017

Continue reading “Critique of Centralised School Complex at Cujira”