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Property, possesion and conflict in Re/building settlements

This research project, funded by The Research Council of Norway's Poverty and Peace Program, is a joint project between The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB).

The research project starts with a prerequisite that one of the fundamental factors for successful implementation of poverty alleviation in post-conflict interventions is that appropriate forms of property relations are present. Without functional property relations, efforts for reducing poverty may be left ineffective, or even create new or worsen the original conflict. Thus, the purpose of this project is to examine the meanings and forms of property and to explore their implications for and impacts on the physical and social development and making of settlements particularly in situations of post-conflict.

Project website: www.propocon.com

Goals:
1) To examine the meanings and forms that property takes and to explore their implications for and impacts on the development and making of settlements particularly in post-conflict contexts.
 
2) From lessons learned to assist international donors, especially Norway given its commitment to development aid, to reduce the economic, social and cultural vulnerabilities that threaten the process of rebuilding and in turn development particularly when dealing with post-conflict situations.
 
3) To provide important insights in helping to resolve both academic and practitioner debates about the impact of property titling on the making of settlement.
 
4) To create a sustainable international network of scholars and practitioners dedicated to providing through better physical and social interventions appropriate and durable strategies for both rebuilding settlement and resettlement in post-conflict situations.

Sites:
Nairobi, Kenya:
Ongoing conflict rooted in ideas about and uses of property form. 2,500 squatters ordered to move due to claims from legal owners.
 
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Massive post-conflict shift in property relations.

St Lucia, South Africa:
Different regimes of conflict, in a long term perspective. Our research will build on existing studies on the area.

Approach:
Each case will be confronted in approximately the same way, with a standard set of methodical tools to ensure ability to draw more general lessons from the case studies. The cases will be analyzed along the following lines:

  • analysis and mapping of allocation of property, how property defines or is defined by social relationships, forms of ownership, how claims are substantiated, how competing claims are mediated,  how property claims are secured, and who is seen as legitimate property holders.
  • how various forms of property affect social communities, individuals in such communities, does it create stability or conflict, does it create commitment to the community - all critical elements to building durable communities and settlements in post-conflict settings.

Publisert  2011