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close this bookGATE - 1/92 - Economic Building with Local Materials (GTZ GATE, 1992, 52 p.)
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Dear Readers,

The “Global Strategy for Shelter“ approved by the UN in 1988 assigns the governments and development aid organizations of the industrialized countries a new role in meeting the basic need for adequate shelter. Governments are called upon to remove obstacles which hinder individuals, serf-help groups, communities or NGOs in the construction of decent housing. This means providing statutory regulations, building standards and financial aid, for example.

According to the UN's Strategy technical development aid should be geared to the actual needs of people in the developing countries, and help them to produce basic building materials using locally available resources.

BASIN, the Building Advisory Service and information Network, to which GATE belongs, is helping numerous self-help groups and NGOs by promoting a small-scale building materials and low-cost construction sector. The two case studies in the Focus section of this issue show how, if the social and cultural context is respected, careful technoloqycal innovations can help a local building materials industry to flourish.

As regards our second main theme in this issue, it's “back to the basks“ The debate about the importance of Appropriate Technology has flared up again. In the run up to a GATE symposium on the future of AT, to be held in Frankfurt in May this year, we publish some discussion papers.

Peter Bosse-Brekenfeld