Urban Upgrading

progareaAVSI la baia di Ribeira Azul 680x200

A growing population of the world lives in cities, often in informal areas crowded with makeshift dwellings that lack basic utilities.

By and for the community

AVSI has sought to address this through projects to upgrade informal urban areas, integrating two components: physical infrastructure rehabilitation and socioeconomic support for the community in order to build human and social capital necessary for sustainability over the long-term. Both components always give priority to a participatory approach, supporting and strengthening local associations, intermediary bodies, public and private providers serving these areas, promoting their integration into the surrounding city.

Scaling up and South-South success

National governments and global institutions engaged in urban revitalization, including Cities Alliance, the World Bank and the European Union, have recognized AVSI's work and methodology of intensive community participation at all stages of the complex programming effort. As a result, fruitful collaboration with a range of stakeholders has led to considerable scaling-up of existing programs and replication in other regions and countries, in a promising example of South-South cooperation.

A.  Technical assistance to large-scale government urban planning using community participatory approach

 Brazil, Mozambique

B.  Planning and implementation of physical infrastructure improvements at the community level, including housing rehabilitation and support for property and land tenure rights issues.

 Brazil, Haiti, Peru


Resources related to Urban Upgrading

  • What Kind of Urbanization?: Facing the Challenge of Inclusion [PDF]

Slide Presentation given by AVSI’s Fabrizio Pellicelli in South Africa in 2011

  • Alagados: The Story of Integrated Slum Upgrading in Salvador Brazil [PDF]

Cities Alliance report documenting the elements of the PATS program in Ribeira Azul (73 pages)

  • The Importance of the Human Factor: A Case Study of AVSI in Brazil [PDF]

Slide presentation on how AVSI's method is put into practice in the integrated urban upgrading approach, presented in New York in 2011.

  • The Human Being: the Core of a Sustainable City [PDF]

Presentation from Rio+20 in Brazil in 2012, highlighting educational components of urban upgrading interventions in Bahia State in Brazil

Judy L. Baker for the World Bank, February 2006. Study of integrated urban upgrading in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Key findings point to the importance of community participation, clear roles and responsibilities in institutional arrangements, the need for strong local government participation, and the high costs and challenges of providing housing for the poor.

  • Pobreza y Patrimônio: A Comunidade do Planalto II. [PDF]

Printed in Italian and Portuguese, this volume presents issues of poverty and the inherent human potential that exists even within situations of poverty with an in-depth look at one community in Brazil and the experiences of AVSI there.

  • Manual Temático: Trabalho social em programas e projetos de habitação de interesse social

Three-part manual developed by Cities Alliance, AVSI and the Italian Development Cooperation: