The Legacy Effect of Squatter Settlements on Urban Redevelopment

Ignacio A. Navarro and Geoffrey K. Turnbull

in Urbanization and Development

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590148
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595493 | DOI:

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

The Legacy Effect of Squatter Settlements on Urban Redevelopment

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The chapter presents a theoretical model that seeks to answer the question of why former squatter settlements tend to upgrade/redevelop at a slower pace than otherwise similar settlements originating in the formal sector. We argue that squatter settlers' initial strategy to access urban land creates a ‘legacy effect’ that curtails settlement upgrading possibilities even after the settlements are granted property titles. This chapter tests our model using the case of Cochabamba, Bolivia, and obtains results consistent with the theoretical model prediction. The chapters's results suggest that the commonly used ‘benign neglect while keeping the threat of eviction’ policy has profound impacts on how land is developed in the informal sector and this poses costly consequences for local governments after legalization.

Keywords: informal settlements; neighbourhood upgrading; squatters; urban development; urban redevelopment; JEL classification; R52; O43

Chapter.  7033 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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