LAS 381 • HOUSING PRACTICE & PUBLIC POLICY IN LATIN AMERICAN: FROM SAN ANTONIO TO SANTIAGO
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
This graduate course aims to introduce students to different interpretations and methodologies used to evaluate the production processes and the nature of low-income housing in Latin America, and to assess the rationale and effectiveness of public policy. It does so in such a way as to include the equivalent self-managed (colonias) housing areas of Texas, and in part asks the question: What can we learn from the Latin American experience about housing policy here in Texas, and in the US more broadly? This is tied to Professor Ward's current research which will be interpolated within the classes. The course will adopt a "political economy" paradigm of the housing process that examines the way in which housing production assists capital accumulation and serves to integrate low-income groups socially and politically as urbanites and as citizens. The changing nature of housing processes and the adequacy of public policy initiatives to respond to effective housing demand, will allow us to begin to interpret both the rationale underpinning state intervention and to evaluate the relative effectiveness of public policy. The course begins with a broad overview of housing production as a development issue, and a student-led workshop will identify urbanization and housing data trends for several Latin American countries. It is tied to a multi-city study of housing policy for urban regeneration of inner suburban areas of Latin America that is currently being directed by Professor Ward and there a capstone conference in November will include a "capstone" conference in November. Students will be expected to undertake some basic reading for each class in order that they participate fully in the student led-seminar presentations. In the final hour/45 minutes of each class I will then offer an overview perspective and, where appropriate this will be related to our discussion of current research in Texas and elsewhere. Each student will be expected to lead discussion and present two "Practice and Policy" generic papers on Latin America relating to one of a selection of substantive issues (access to land; self-help housing; gender and housing; renting and non-ownership; infrastructure; community participation and management; housing finance, and so on). Finally, "round-up" seminars will address the future policy imperatives for both Latin America at the national and sub-national levels, as well as for Texas, looking back at the 2007 Legislative Session, and to the future legislative imperatives. There will be one fieldtrip to colonia-type subdivisions in central Texas, and possibly another to the border cities of Del Rio/Ciudad Acuña. A reading knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese is desirable, but not essential, for participation in this course. There will be extensive use of Blackboard.