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close this bookTechnologies for the Provision of Basic Infrastructure in Low-income Settlements (HABITAT)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentForeword
View the documentExecutive summary
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsI. Characteristics of low-income settlements
Open this folder and view contentsII. Requirements for infrastructure and services in low-income settlements
Open this folder and view contentsIII. The magnitude of the problem in developing regions
Open this folder and view contentsIV. Institutional and social aspects of the provision of infrastructure services in low-income settlements
Open this folder and view contentsV. Appropriate infrastructure technology for low-income settlements
Open this folder and view contentsVl. Costs of infrastructure
Open this folder and view contentsVII. Financing infrastructure projects


It is well known that the provision of basic infrastructure - that is, water supply, sanitation and solid-waste disposal services - in low-income communities is often badly neglected. The concern of national and international organizations with this situation was expressed at Habitat: United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, held at Vancouver, Canada, in 1976. Subsequently, the United Nations Water Conference, held at Mar de Plata, Argentina, in 1977, recommended that the period 1981-1990 be designated International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade. The Decade was launched in November 1980, and, since then, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) has actively participated in its activities. The Centre was requested by the Commission on Human Settlements, in its decision 4/16 of 6 May 1981, to embark on a work programme to assist developing countries in the provision of adequate infrastructure in low-income communities. The work programme defines a role for the Centre which would complement the activities of other United Nations agencies and take advantage of its particular strengths in information transfer, training and demonstration projects.

This report has been prepared to assist agencies and individuals concerned with providing services in low-income settlements. This comprehensive technology review describes various technical approaches and examines social factors which require consideration in planning, installing and managing infrastructure in disadvantaged communities. Improvements in infrastructure in these areas stimulate other development activities and can thus make a positive contribution to ameliorating the conditions of the poor in the developing world.

The review was specifically designed to demonstrate the broad range of approaches that might be adopted in infrastructure activities during the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless (IYSH). The IYSH programme addressed the improvement of shelter and neighbourhoods through individual and community action as an essential means of meeting the basic shelter and service needs of the poor. The programme sought to secure renewed political commitment and effective action within and among countries to help the millions of poor all over the world to build and improve their shelter and neighbourhoods and, by so doing, to become integrated with the process of economic development.

In recognition of the overall development benefits in improving infrastructure in deprived areas and the current deficiencies in meeting these service requirements, activities of the IYSH devoted special emphasis to promoting the multidisciplinary integrated, approaches outlined in this resort