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* The global issue
* "Public service"
* Urban questions
* International solidarity
on land occupation and regularization with regard to rights to housing and to the city in the developing countries
|AITEC was actively
involved in the preparation and organization of the international seminar
held in Mexico City from 23-26 February 1993, entitled "Managing the access
of the poor to urban land : new approaches for regularization policies
in the developing countries". This seminar brought together 80 professionals
from 19 countries, working in research institutions, NGOs, national and
international organizations on urban housing issues, land management and
A summary of the conclusions
and recommendations of the seminar was disseminated in April 1993. The
present declaration by AITEC puts forward for more general discussion ideas
on some of the fundamental questions on rights to land, housing and urban
services which were discussed during the seminar
1. The international seminar in Mexico City adopted the following definition : "human settlement regularization is giving a specific content to the right to adequate housing, through a process that involves improving methods for recognizing occupancy (i.e. land occupancy which falls outside legally organized procedures) and legitimate access to credit, services and opportunities".
The seminar stressed that land regularization policies should be considered as forming part of the methods and techniques used for settlement improvement and land and housing development. It also stressed that the diversity of urban community initiatives and practices represent the grass roots of innovative land regularization programmes.
points of view and definition open up new perspectives for those working
in the field of housing for the poor.
Regularization programmes are not simply a technical means to be employed
in response to a problem that has emerged from nowhere. The reason
for their existence is that the urban poor, those who are excluded, have
no other housing alternative than creating so called "irregular settlements".
Developing regularization programmes does not provide the answer to the
core question: why is a significant part of the urban population - in some
cases the majority - compelled to be in an illegal situation regarding
land and housing ?
Negotiations between the inhabitants, on the one hand, and the economic
and political decision-makers on the other represent the decisive step
in any regularization process. This method of resolving conflicts deserves
particular attention, since negotiation implies at least a recognition
of the status of the populations concerned and sometimes acceptance of
4. Regularization is a form of land production. It does not concern only security of tenure but also housing improvement, infrastructure