Improving life in Namibia’s informal settlements through sustain-able urban development

Project description

Title: Inclusive Sustainable Urban Development (ISUD)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Namibia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Rural and Urban Development
Overall term: 2020 to 2023

Ringvorlesung „Welt im Wandel: Agenda 2030“


Namibia is experiencing a rural-urban transformation. Since independence, the urban population increased threefold with trend-projections predicting 75 per cent of the population living in cities by 2050. This results in a shift of developmental challenges such as poverty, education and health to an urban context. Urban growth in Namibia is mostly driven by the establishment, densification and extension of informal settlements in which the residents do not have secure tenure and live under precarious conditions. The formalisation efforts by different actors struggle to address the broad range of challenges, including affordability, but also softer issues of development such as resilience, safety, hygiene, or local livelihood generation. With the support of its partner ministry, the project seeks to combine the efforts of residents, local authorities and multidisciplinary professionals with the aim of co-creating liveable neighbourhoods as a positive vision and element of inclusive and sustainable urban development in Namibia.


The living and housing conditions in Namibia’s informal settlements are improved.


The Inclusive and Sustainable Urban Development Project supports the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development in its efforts to guide local authorities’ town planning and to upgrade informal settlements. The project pursues a multi-level approach that also includes providing direct support to five partner towns in their planning efforts as well as working with communities in the informal settlements. Upgrading measures aim to support the co-creation of functional and resilient neighbourhoods.

Last update: February 2021