Asia-Pacific Housing Forum



The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals call for improvements in the lives of 100 million slum dwellers. The sustained effort needed to meet these goals is increasingly threatened by the growing impact of natural disasters and adverse climate change.
Millions of families who lack safe and durable shelter live in vulnerable locations, their communities exposed to such risks as rising sea levels, storms, landslides, earthquakes and other crises. Sustainable housing initiatives to shelter and protect the poor now need to take into account the impact of a changing global climate.
Governments have a responsibility to protect their citizens, especially the old, the sick, the poor and the marginalized, against the worst of natural and man-made calamities. The private sector, academia, civil society groups and local communities share that responsibility. The challenge is to work together to find practical solutions to protect and safeguard the homes and communities of those in greatest peril.
The Forum
The Asia-Pacific Housing Forum in a biennial event that gathers stakeholders engaged in providing urban poverty housing solutions. Building on the foundations of two previous events, this year’s forum is themed “Sustainable Shelter in an Age of Climate Change and Disasters.” The conference aims to:
  • Explore and share solutions that address the urgent and widespread problem of substandard housing in the context of sustainable housing needs and a changing global climate;
  • Share strategies and experiences of how best to build resilient communities, including better designs for sustainable homes and settlements;
  • Explore how such strategies and experiences can be integrated into ‘bottom-up’ development planning processes

The theme of the 3rd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum & Exhibition is “Sustainable Shelter in an Age of Climate Change and Disasters.” The forum will focus on four major tracks including:

Housing Policy and Climate Change

Present-day housing solutions need to respond to the realities of today. The focus of this track is on the question of what policies need to be adopted to address the shelter problem in response, not only to a highly urbanizing world, but also one which is facing the effects of climate change and the threat of disasters. What policies should be introduced and supported to make poor communities more productive, economically sustainable and resilient? Are there experiences of effective policies which have been adopted to meet the realities and needs of poverty housing in an integrated solution that takes into consideration employment, productivity, health and sanitation, and address land issues?

Housing Finance in Response to Climate Change and Disasters

Innovative housing finance solutions need to be adopted in ways that will address the realities of people in need. While housing finance for the low-income group is already a challenge in itself, what are the implications when placed in the context of climate change and disasters? Would housing finance for this group be an effective strategy for poverty reduction given these additional challenges? Are there successful experiences and what are the key factors of success? Are there market-based solutions and how could these be made affordable to those living in poverty housing?

Disaster Mitigation, Response and Sustainable Development

This track will focus on how poverty housing solutions could factor in the realities and impacts of climate change and disasters. Sustainable housing solutions need to be considered and integrated in disaster relief plans and efforts to develop community resilience. This requires advance planning and preparation which would involve not just governments but communities, civil society and the private sector. How can this be done effectively to ensure greater accountability? And how does one promote greater synergies and collaboration between humanitarian and development actors?

Technologies for More Resilient Homes and Communities

This track seeks to answer the key question of how to make technology work in favor of the poor who are facing threats from climate change and disasters? Presenters will share appropriate and culturally-acceptable shelter designs and technologies with multi-hazard disaster-resilient features which could be adopted by communities in need. Serious consideration should be given to new architectural typologies, green housing technologies, including clean and sustainable energy sources as part of an over-all campaign to adapt to climate change realities. It is also important to find effective means to combine global technical expertise with local knowledge and find ways to make this affordable.

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