AAR5210 - Current Challenges in Urban Practice


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment and Report
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Approved report 1/2
Assignment 1/2

Course content

This course will explore two current critical issues for urban practitioners - partnerships and HLP (Housing Land and Property).

Partnerships: This part of the course will deal with what is meant by the term ‘partnership’ in a development context through an examination of its different definitions, approaches and forms. Arguments for and against the theory of partnering will be analysed and practical experiences drawn upon to assess the pros and cons of working in this way. As well as looking at some of the skills needed to effectively combine different sector drivers, incentives and resources, the course will also address the challenge of evaluating partnerships and consider issues relating to status and power, governance, accountability and engagement.

HLP: This part of the course will offer an insight into issues concerning shelter, access to land and rights to land and tenure for marginalised communities in urban areas and displaced/affected persons in situations of disaster and conflict. The course will deal with the evolution of theoretical positions on housing and shelter with a special focus on the strategic role of housing in recovery and securing of livelihoods.

The course will examine various urban contexts where the right to land and housing is contested and the implications this has for shelter provision, both in an urban development and emergency perspective. Issues of the formal-informal linkages in the access to land and housing, the clientalistic relationships that skew the fair distribution of resources and the informal land delivery processes that fill the gaps of service delivery in the dominant practice of urban governance will also be explored.

Learning outcome

For partnerships -
1. Understand and apply the term ‘partnership’ and its key features
2. Appreciate the challenges of partnership-building
3. Analyse the key skills required for partnering
4. Assess the appropriateness of a partnership methodology within different development/ emergency contexts
5. Negotiation, consensus building, compromise, identifying trade-offs
6. Teamwork and Presentation.

For HLP -
1. Develop an understanding of the critical issues related to housing and access to land
2. Understand the interrelationships between housing and land rights and urban resilience
3. Critically examine the continuum of formal and linformal linkages that form part of informal land delivery processes

Learning methods and activities

This course primarily engages group work around real case studies. Groups engage in role play, exploring real examples from differing perspectives, and learn – and critique – real outcomes.
Concentrated workshops with lectures and group colloquiums.

Further on evaluation

You can register for a re-scheduled examination in the next exam period

Required previous knowledge

Not applicable

Course materials

Indicative reading list:
Caplan, K. (2003) ‘The Purist’s Partnership: Debunking the Terminology of Partnerships’. Partnership Matters 1, The Copenhagen Centre.
Findlay Brooks, R., Visser, W. & Wright, T. (2007) ‘Cross-Sector Partnership as an Approach to Inclusive Development’, CPI Research Paper Series: No. 4, 2007
Tennyson, R. (2004) The Partnering Toolbook, IBLF & GAIN, London & Geneva
Stott, L. & Keatman, T. (2005) ‘Tools for Exploring Community Engagement in Partnerships’. BPD
Practitioner Note, London. http://www.bpdws.org/bpd/web/d/doc_19.pdf
Tennyson, R. (2005) The Brokering Guidebook, IBLF, London http://thepartneringinitiative.org/w/resources/toolbook-series/
Angel, Shlomo (2000), Housing Policy Matters: A Global Analysis, Oxford University Press, New York.
Hamdi, Nabeel (2010), The Placemaker’s guide to building community, Earthscan Publications, UK. The Evolution of Development and the Placemaker’s Tools
Payne, Geoffrey (2001), Urban Land Tenure Policy options: titles or rights?, Habitat International, Vol. 25, pp. 415 - 429
Pugh, Cedric (2001), “Housing Studies: The Theory and Practice of Housing Sector Development for Developing Countries, 1950-99” http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1080/02673030120066527
UN – HABITAT (2003), The Challenge of Slums: Global Report on Human Settlement 2003
Skotte, Hans (2004), Tents in concrete: What Internationally Funded Housing does to support recovery in areas affected by war: The case of Bosnia – Herzegovina, Dr. Ing Thesis, NTNU, Trondheim


Detailed timetable


Examination arrangement: Assignment and Report

Term Statuskode Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Room *
Spring ORD Assignment 1/2
Spring ORD Approved report 1/2
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date.
If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.