Bamboo housing in Costa Rica: an analysis of a pilot program
Ham, Adrienne Camille Balaty
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Present-day Latin American governments are hard pressed to provide solutions to their housing problems. Early attempts at providing the poor with traditional housing units constructed from modern Western materials failed, partly because of the facts of basic arithmetic: often a country's resources could not equal the tremendous need for housing units. Failure has also been rooted in the disinclination of governments to recognize that their supposedly "improved" environments were not meeting the social, psychological, economic, or cultural needs of the people. Many Third World governments arestill trying to plan and build cities which only exist in the minds of politicians, scientists, and engineers (Rodwin, 1987). Overdesigned public housing units are promoted under the mistaken notion that solid houses are the definitive answer to housing the masses. It might be argued that governments do not seem to realize that giving people access to employment and services, and elevating their self-esteem by giving them some voice in their own housing development, are worth far more in the long run in terms of housing satisfaction.