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By : Alazar G Ejigu, Tigran Haas

The growing alienation of modernist public housing estates and their ethnically and socially excluded residents, as well as the neglected human potential-capital they symbolize (not social burden), is a grotesque expression of the failure of a system driven by the profit motive and failed housing, planning and social policy, rather than by the requirement to satisfy sustainable urbanism and dignified and just housing for all. The modernist concept of architecture & urban planning, which emerged in response to a very particular set of regional circumstance, spread throughout the world in the 20th century. The result, where the idea was simplistically accepted, had disastrous consequences. The postmodernist approach on the other hand has given up altogether on the social agenda of architecture and housing. Paying particular attention to housing, this paper discusses the contrasting results of modernist and ľor post modernist planning approaches in housing and its consequences. It also looks at the rather recent Sustainable Urbanism paradigm and the possibility that it might offer as an alternative or a new complement to housing planning and design; this in contrast to the modernist satellite-suburban generic type of living in most major European cities as well as in the developing countries. The study is based on multiple methods which include, descriptive and exploratory qualitative approach (observation, introspection, analysis and deduction), as well as Futurescape Method of selected cases in the American Housing Program HOPE VI, and from ethnographic survey of an ongoing large scale housing program in Ethiopia known as Integrated Housing Development Program (IHDP).
Keywords: Sustainable Urbanism, Modernism, Hope VI, Integrated Housing Development Program, IHDP.

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