Project Description

Peter M. Ward Ph.D. served as a professor of geography at University College London and at The University of Cambridge before moving to the University of Texas at Austin in 1991, where he is professor in the Dept. of Sociology and at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. His work on informal settlements began in the early 1970s in Mexico and Latin America, on which he published extensively in the late 1970s and 1980s (Self Help Housing: a Critique, Housing the State and the Poor: Policy and Practice in Latin American Cities[with Alan Gilbert]). In 2007 he formed the Latin American Housing Network (, a nine-country multi-city network of research teams that focus on the nature and the policy challenges of housing and community rehab facing older (now consolidated) squatter and informal settlements that formed in the 1970s and 1980s. This has led to multiple publications including Housing Policies in Latin American Cities: Towards a New Generation of Strategies and Approaches for 2016 UN-HABITAT III,co-authored with LAHN colleagues (2015). His recent work focuses upon densification, renting, and low-income property inheritance in consolidated informal settlements in Latin America and path-breaking research and teaching about contemporary self-help and urban informality in the USA (Colonias and Public Policy in Texas and Mexico: Urbanization by Stealth). These and other links to associated studies (including CHAPA), publications and databases, are publicly available on the LAHN website.