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Florida State University

1. Cuadra Cardona, Judith Virginia. High Risk Informal Settlements and Participatory Planning.

Degree: PhD, Urban and Regional Planning, 2016, Florida State University

Governments in the developing world continue to struggle to find a solution to the issue of high risk informal settlements. The issue has been addressed with multiple approaches, the most popular of which is relocation. Unfortunately, relocation is more often a failure than a success in the developing context (Jha & Duyne, 2010). The main problem is a lack of understanding of the processes by which human settlements are established. There is evidence of success in relocation projects that include local knowledge in its design and implementation phases; on most cases local knowledge was best collected through various community participatory methods (Berke & Campanella, 2006; Cronin & Guthrie, 2011; Satterthwaite, 2011). There are also new approaches to create solutions for these groups, one of them is reconstruction and upgrade in place. This approach is rather new and few contexts allow for its implementation but it has proven to receive better community approval (Abbott, 2002; Horwood & Phillips, 2007; Werlin, 1999). This study delves into these complexities of urban poor populations, housing projects, and natural disasters. More specifically, this study discusses the implications of relocating or upgrading urban poor families through the ISF Housing Program of the Philippines and the Dichato Reconstruction Program in Chile. In both cases the analysis is drawn specifically to the role of multiple stakeholder participation and context specific characteristics in the design and implementation of the projects. This study explores the benefits and dilemmas encountered during implementation of relocation and upgrade national programs in two contrasting cases. Key findings in this research show that there is a complex array of circumstances that guide the observed communities’ decision to locate and struggle to remain on hazardous settlements. In both cases the relocation was initially well received by communities in the aftermath of great disasters. Just recently, after relocation, communities have started to experience important long term effects to the socioeconomic and emotional development that they had enjoyed in their former location. Participation in both cases was much encouraged but timing struggles impeded full implementation of participatory approaches. The takeaway of this study is that disaster stricken communities in vulnerable economic situations need solutions that not only provide safe housing but that also consider other basic needs like economic stability, social interaction and community life. Long term solutions for the urban poor in high risk areas are best crafted together through inclusive participation with the urban poor themselves.

A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Urban and Regional Planning in partial fulfillment of the Doctor of…

Advisors/Committee Members: Rebecca Miles (professor directing dissertation), Ralph S. Brower (university representative), William Butler (committee member), Petra Doan (committee member), Janet Dilling (committee member).

Subjects/Keywords: City planning

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Cuadra Cardona, J. V. (2016). High Risk Informal Settlements and Participatory Planning. (Doctoral Dissertation). Florida State University. Retrieved from ;

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Cuadra Cardona, Judith Virginia. “High Risk Informal Settlements and Participatory Planning.” 2016. Doctoral Dissertation, Florida State University. Accessed October 14, 2019. ;.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Cuadra Cardona, Judith Virginia. “High Risk Informal Settlements and Participatory Planning.” 2016. Web. 14 Oct 2019.


Cuadra Cardona JV. High Risk Informal Settlements and Participatory Planning. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Florida State University; 2016. [cited 2019 Oct 14]. Available from: ;.

Council of Science Editors:

Cuadra Cardona JV. High Risk Informal Settlements and Participatory Planning. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Florida State University; 2016. Available from: ;