Home Webinar Housing rights and river front development in Asian cities: Time for a change




  • Bahar Sakizlioglu
    Bahar Sakizlioglu

    Bahar Sakizlioglu is an urban sociologist working at IHS as a member of the Urban Housing, Equity and Social Justice team.Among her main research interests are gentrification, displacement, housing, feminist urban studies, social reproduction and the city and comparative urbanism. She has published papers on the politics of gentrification and displacement experiences of disadvantaged groups in gentrifying neighbourhoods and on gender-gentrification nexus.

  • Banashree Banerjee
    Banashree Banerjee

    Banashree Banerjee has been associated with INHAF since its inception. She is an architect and urban planner who is a teacher, researcher and practitioner. Currently she works as an independent consultant, teaches at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Rotterdam and provides professional support to a number of NGOs. In the past she has worked with Kerala Government, HUDCO and Delhi School of Planning and Architecture. Her professional work focuses on urban poverty and informality, affordable housing, inclusive and participatory planning and urban land management. Banashree has experience of working in several countries besides India, including Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh, Philippines, Korea and Egypt. Banashree has several publications to her credit.

  • Maartje van Eerd
    Maartje van Eerd

    Dr Maartje van Eerd is an assistant professor Housing and Social Development at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam. She is a Human Geographer by profession with extensive experience as researcher, trainer and advisor on housing and social development issues. At IHS she teaches in the Urban Housing Equity and Social Justice specialization on housing rights, resettlement, migration and gender. Since her PhD research which focused on resettlement in Chennai, India, she has been teaching and conducting research on the long-term impact of resettlement, with a specific focus on rights, gender, employment and currently frugal innovation.
    She has managed and coordinated accredited academic courses on housing and urban development dealing with informal settlements, housing justice, participatory approaches to housing, and gender and housing, with experience in over 15 countries mostly in the global south. Besides, she has worked in research and training projects of many international agencies including UN-Habitat, GIZ, SIDA and ADB.
    With local partners she currently has produced a participatory documentary on the gender impact of resettlement in Chennai India. Besides that, she is the principal investigator, in collaboration with the Media Department of Anna University in Chennai, of a project funded by the GoI called “Communication for development (c4d): interventions in urban resettlement to improve livelihood outcomes for poor women”. The project aims to, through a participatory process, develop and implement an ICT device for women in resettlement sites that will: raise affected women’s awareness of their rights; support women in creating business opportunities and reaching clients, help women connect with their community and provides them with access to support groups, and; provide them with information about government services and programs in and around the new resettlement site. The two-year project includes student research from both universities.

  • Melissa Quetulio-Navarra
    Melissa Quetulio-Navarra

    Melissa Quetulio-Navarra is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines. She was a former visiting scholar in Refugees Studies Centre, University of Oxford (2013). She earned her Master’s in International Studies from Kobe University, Japan and her PhD in Sociology from Wageningen University, The Netherlands. During her years in the Philippine government, as Head of the Resettlement Division, she designed, pioneered, and led government’s Community Organizing Approach in Resettlement Monitoring in different provinces in the Philippines and likewise led the participatory remedial interventions in 18 resettlement sites with around 30,000 families. She has published research on areas of social capital, food security, housing, and involuntary resettlement in the Philippine and Indonesia setting. Melissa is also active in the Joly Homes Foundation, an NGO that implements community organizing in informal settlements and resettlement sites towards formation of cooperative and social enterprises, and initiates policy review and formulation in the area of resettlement and housing.

  • Rabia Ezdi
    Rabia Ezdi

    Nigraan-e-Lahore is a voluntary collective of urbanists concerned with a people-centred development of the city of Lahore. The group carries out short-term projects with the objective of encouraging research and discourse on the city, with a focus on under-represented segments of the population such as the urban poor. Among the central themes of the association is the concept of the ‘right to the city’. The word ‘nigraan’ means caretakers therefore shifts the narrative from top-down development, to envisioning the citizens as the caretakers of the city.
    The Nigraan-e-Lahore research team for the Ravi project includes Rabia Ezdi, Mishele Ijaz, Maha Aslam and Maria Rana. Mishele Ijaz and Maha Aslam are urbanists and specialists in their respective fields, with Masters degrees in urban design and planning. Maria Rana is an architect with an interest in communities and urbanization. Rabia Ezdi is an IHS alumnus with a Masters in Urban Development and Management. She is associate professor at the National College of Arts, Lahore.

  • Vanessa Peter
    Vanessa Peter

    Vanessa Peter completed her graduation in history in 2003 and continued her education in Stella Maris for post graduation. Though she completed her post graduation in International Studies, Vanessa was particularly interested in the development sector and joined an international NGO in 2005. Soon after the Tsunami hit the southern part of the country in December 2004, Vanessa commenced her work with fishermen and allied-fishing communities in Tamil Nadu for their relief and rehabilitation.

    While so, she also started working for informal settlements (slums and the urban homeless) across the State. Having been associated with the office of the Advisor to the Supreme Court, Vanessa was monitoring the implementation of ‘Shelter for the Urban Homeless’ programme. As a result of her lobbying and advocacy, there are 120 shelters across all the Corporations and major Municipalities across Tamil Nadu. She was also instrumental in the designing and implementation of ‘Shelter for Urban Homeless’ for the Greater Chennai Corporation. Presently, she is a member of the Shelter Advisory Committee to monitor the programme.

    Vanessa is also the member of the State-level Project Sanctioning Committee, constituted by government of Tamil Nadu to clear proposals and to ensure the quality of the programme. Currently, she is the member of the Supreme Court appointed state-level committee to monitor the functioning of the Shelter for urban homeless in Tamil Nadu.

    Through her policy research and social audits, Vanessa has been striving to bring about pro-poor policies by the government of Tamil Nadu. In 2013, Vanessa started the ‘Information and Resource Centre for Deprived Urban Communities’ – a social initiative that seeks to address the disconnect between the poor, policy and the policy makers. Vanessa continues to be a policy researcher and a social activist since 2005.


Aug 17 2020


Indian Standard Time
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm



Housing rights and river front development in Asian cities: Time for a change

The current pandemic has very sharply brought to the forefront the interconnectedness of housing, health and sanitation, food security and livelihoods. It also vividly shows the scale of the challenge with respect to the number of people living in precarious situations worldwide. Those living in informal settlements and under-serviced isolated resettlement sites, in totally inadequate housing, many of whom depend on informal labor who have lost all sources of livelihoods due to the lock down, the huge number of homeless, whose numbers are increasing as evictions are even continuing during the lock-down (Gokhale & Chari Article 14). This crisis forces us to rethink our development model and our ways of meeting the urban challenges. Kirtee Shah writes “this crisis gives us the opportunity to rethink the way we live, produce, consume, interact transact, move, grow and develop” (ACHR E-News 2020). So, what does this mean for the field of housing, and how should we move from here after this pandemic is under control? In this webinar we will zoom into the current river front development projects in Asia and the lessons that can be drawn with respect to the impact on low income communities, who are often paying the price for this type of ‘development’. Can we continue to move the urban poor out to far of and isolated places where they are rehoused in huge settlements, in high-rise apartment blocks lacking access to services, schools, hospitals and most importantly employment. Settlements that are in violation with the right to adequate housing, that pose a threat to health and livelihoods. Is it time to rethink this model? Questions that we would like to address in this webinar are:

1. What lessons can be learned from current river front development projects and its impact on housing for low-income communities?

2. What needs to change after the pandemic with regards to realizing the right to adequate housing for communities affected by river front development?



Assistant professor housing and social development, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Urban Planner and Associate Staff IHS

Assistant Professor, Urban and Housing Studies, IHS



Founder & Managing Trustee, Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC)

Assistant Professor, Ateneo de Manila University

Co-Founder, Nigraan-e-Lahore

  • 00


  • 00


  • 00


  • 00