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UN-Habitat Capacity Building Workshop

In October 2014, Rapid Urbanism delivered a UN-Habitat capacity building workshop on inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable urban development with a focus on affordable housing. In Colombo, Sri Lanka, government officials from national institutions in disaster management, housing and construction, representatives of finance institutions, donors and development practitioners participated in a two day workshop entitled ‘Designing & Financing Incremental Housing’ held in Colombo. Organized by UN-Habitat at the request of the European Union Delegation in Sri Lanka, the forum discussed the principles and advantages of incremental housing within a broader framework of public policy and a private sector business model generator for affordable housing. Read more here:


Group working on a comprehensive policy analysis and program design exercise.
(Picture courtesy of Jaime Royo-Olid)

The workshop was based on the Rapid Urbanism Pattern Language and expanded on an earlier workshop conceptualized by Reinhard Goethert (SIGUS/MIT), Deidre Schmidt (One Roof Global) and Matt Nohn (Rapid Urbanism) for the 2014 UN-Habitat World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia. Download the training documentation here:

Rapid Urbanism Pattern Language

The Rapid Urbanism Pattern Language promotes synergies between spatial planning, social organizing, economic development and regulatory tools. Learning from informality, the Language devises truly inclusive interfaces between formal and informal systems, rather than forcing the latter to formalize. Thereby, the Language aims to develop simple, affordable and sound mechanisms that are capable of addressing rapid urbanization at speed and at scale.


Spatial planning

Social organizing

Economic development

Regulatory tools