Access to Secure Land for Housing in Freetown, Sierra Leone
Urban planning, land tenure, governance, housing, health, WASH, climate, resilience, community-led
Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre (SLURC) in partnership with Federation of Urban and Rural Poor – Sierra Leone (FEDURP) with the support of Architecture Sans Frontières – UK and The Bartlett Development Planning Unit of University College London.
Unplanned growth and the lack of adequate access to secure land for housing are among the main challenges faced in Freetown. More than 30% of Freetown’s population live in informal settlements, and local or national governments do not have any specific policy focused on informal settlement upgrading. There is no coordinated effort to secure tenure for those living in informal settlements or to improve their living conditions. This challenge is being addressed through the development of the Community Action Area Planning methodology (CAAP). CAAP aims to identify key development principles and potential actions for the upgrading of informal settlements in Freetown. Cockle Bay and Dwarzack were the first informal settlements to engage in this process, and its development aimed to recognise and enhance the capacity of local residents to respond to the settlement’s development challenges, support efforts to avoid evictions, and promote community-led in-situ upgrading initiatives. A governance structure to the implementation of the CAAPs was set up, which aimed to build community ownership of the process, as well as institutional avenues to ensure that the outputs would be endorsed by Freetown City Council and relevant national ministries. This resulted in the setting up of a community learning platform (involving key representatives from the settlement) and a city learning platform (composed by key urban stakeholders). Click here and here for more information.
RELEVANCE TO THE CALL TO ACTION ON SUSTAINABLE URBANISATION ACROSS THE COMMONWEALTH
These examples have been chosen because of their relevance to the Call to Action, as shown by the direct quotes provided below. To view the Call to Action click here.
- “Cities and human settlements are responsible for ensuring delivery of essential services including water, sanitation, healthcare, education, public transport, and housing, upon which their citizens depend.”
- “Sustainable urbanisation requires a commitment to good governance, integrated planning, effective service delivery together with fiscal and political empowerment.”
- “Sustainable urbanisation demands collective action – genuine multi-level governance – to empower, enable and support cities and their citizens.”
THIS EXAMPLE HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED): https://www.iied.org/