Los Fundamentos de Planificacion de Sitios

Fundamentals of
Site Planning


The United States Government, through the Office of International Affairs of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, sponsored a range of reconstruction efforts in the wake of Hurricanes Mitch and George  (1998).  One of these efforts involved contracting with the American Association of Planning (APA) to provide technical assistance in the area of improving site planning and development for the affected regions. including Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. The APA developed a manual - Fundamentals of Site Planning - with the assistance of several planning practitioners and academicians. Gordon Linden acted as one of several contributors and "peer reviewers" of the document which was published in 2002 and is available for purchase through the APA bookstore. The manual, along with a CD, was produced in the Spanish language and utilized at a program of workshops in the aforementioned countries. Participants in the workshops included representatives of NGO's (non-governmental organizations), professional planners, public officials, real estate agents, financial experts and teachers. The basic focus of the manual is on the development of housing which is distant from existing urban areas - especially that which is developed by people of low income outside the conventional housing markets. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Venezuela as well as Special Lecturer in Urban Planning in Mexico, Linden gained extensive experience with the forces generating urban developments which are outside of the standard market forces, including squatter settlements, which are the subject of the manual. Although many books, research papers and other publications on this subject are available, most are in English; therefore, this manual should be helpful to those, in Spanish-speaking countries, seeking practical guidance on sound urban development practices.

Above: Areas of ecological risk.

Diagrams illustrate basic types of housing

Diagrams illustrate neighborhood organization principles an example of an unplanned squatter settlement, typical of Central, South America and the Caribbean.