Urban Project Design & Housing Policy

Geoffrey Payne, director of GPA, began his research on housing policy and practice as a Commonwealth Universities Research Scholar in India in 1970. The project involved a detailed study of two squatter settlements in New Delhi and comparisons with similar settlements in other major Indian cities. This in turn, led to an even larger research project on housing and urban growth in Ankara, Turkey funded by the Hacettepe University in Ankara. Since then GPA has been involved in research, consultancy, teaching and professional training in housing policy, application and practice all over the world.

In 1987 Geoffrey Payne led an international team of consultants to undertake a national Training Needs Assessment for the shelter sector in India, over the last two decades GPA has undertaken shelter sector policy reviews in Armenia, Guyana, Iraq, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Sierra Leone. GPA has also been involved with more direct projects in urban housing project design, working with governments to design new settlement areas or upgrade existing ones in Cuba, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.

Selected Projects

1998 – 2000:

  • Cuba – Participatory urban design project

Design of a participatory urban development project in collaboration with local professionals.

1998 – 1999:

  • Armenia – Housing Policy Study

Assessment of housing needs and policy options for GHK International and Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick on World Bank project.

1997 – 1998:

  • Turkey – World Bank housing policy study

External adviser to team of Turkish researchers preparing national housing policy study for the Turkish Social Science Association.


  • Guyana – Shelter Sector Diagnostic Study

Prepared for the Inter-American Development Bank.


  • Sierra Leone – National Housing Policy Workshop

Moderator for the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements to review and revise a Draft National Housing Policy.


  • UK – Project approach to shelter delivery for the urban poor

Overview report on international experience commissioned by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements.

1989 – 1990:

  • Pakistan – Shelter for low-income communities

Shelter for Low-Income Communities with T P O`Sullivan and Partners. Prepared national Housing Sector Review and organised a national housing policy conference.


  • India – Training Needs Assessment for Human Settlements

Team Leader and Training Advisor on British Government funded for the Housing and Urban Development Corporation. Co-ordinated inputs by senior staff from two British consultantcy firms and advised an Indian firm of management consultants. The project involved surveys of, and proposals for, all key public sector agencies and training institutions.


  • UK – Unregulated urban housing sub-markets in Third World cities

Undertook literature review for ODA., focusing on the role of illegal subdivisions in urban land markets.


  • Iraq – National Capital Region, Greater Baghdad and Baghdad City

Prepared housing policy recommendations for the Japan Consortium of Consulting Firms (JCCF).


  • Papua New Guinea

Responsible for housing programme evaluation and proposals for future policies and projects funded by the Department of Urban Development for the European Association for Co-operation.


  • Jordan – Amman low-cost housing projects

Prepared detailed proposals for World Bank squatter settlement upgrading project. The project was commended by the Aga Khan Foundation awards for architecture.

1977 – 1978:

  • Egypt – Ismailia Demonstration Projects

Architect/Planner and Deputy Team Leader jointly responsible for housing policy proposals. Prepared detailed proposals to expand an existing predominantly low-income settlement. The projects were awarded an Honourable Mention in the 1986 Aga Khan International Awards.


  • Turkey – Housing and urban growth

Directed research project sponsored by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) to assess housing options open to low-income households in Ankara, the ways in which these had evolved over time and the effects of public sector intervention concerning them. The study involved a social survey of nearly one thousand households, detailed studies of twelve neighbourhoods and individual case studies.