Housing and the urban premium
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Housing policy is experiencing a revival in many countries of the South after a period of neglect. There is a risk that mass housing projects may produce inefficient, exclusive and environmentally-damaging urban outcomes. Human settlements policy should serve a broader purpose than constructing more housing units. A carefully-designed approach can help to lift households out of poverty by creating opportunities for people to become more productive. It can help urban areas to function more efficiently, and expand economic activity, investment and jobs. For housing to contribute to the urban premium, it should be situated within a broader city-wide development strategy, with density, connectivity and diversity as core objectives. Implementation is challenging and requires a range of institutional reforms to facilitate coordination and capacity-building.