Situation before the initiative began
Adequate housing was a major constraint among Alianza residents confronted with a financial system that failed to satisfy this need. Residents' economic capacity prevented them from having access to appropriate materials and technologies necessary to build sustainably. In addition, the services of design professionals and construction technicians were not accessible to families.
ESTABLISHMENT OF priorities
Through long-term dialog with residents about their the role in the definition of built environments and the environmental impact of their daily decisions, a group of faculty and students identified promoting sustainable living environment sand increasing environmental awareness as ITESM housing agenda priorities. The group initiated informal studies of low-income neighborhoods and, over the years, different groups including government and non-government organizations, private companies, and residents have joined the ITESM's effort to translate early academic studies into real projects. Starting as an academic exercise, 10x10was later formalized and enhanced through collaborative efforts of diverse interest groups.
Formulation of objectives AND strategies
10x10 main objectives are to improve the living environment of residents in an affordable manner, educate stakeholders concerning sustainability, and increase environmental responsibility. One strategy to accomplish these objectives is to design and implement educational programs for community members and college students participating in the program. A second strategy is to work collaboratively with stakeholders in establishing community-specific and household-specific priorities that address stakeholder needs and increases their ownership of the agenda. Participatory action planning is the main strategy for educating people on important construction and community development topics.
mobilization of resources
Budgets, roles, and responsibilities were defined collaboratively and adopted by 10x10 partners based on the partners' expertise and economic capacity. As of April 2002 residents were responsible for 1) participating in construction training programs, 2)designing and building their home (with assistance of students, faculty members, and neighbors) and 3) contributing a portion of the construction cost and labor. Residents are encouraged to adopt a saving habit to continue making improvements in the house.
Lomas del Roble, a local NGO, has the responsibility of administering donations from private companies, fund raising to pay for skilled labor, and administering community programs (home economics, illness prevention, and the like). The Municipality of Monterrey provides construction materials at low cost, accelerates construction permits, andpromotes and disseminate information about the program.
FOMERREY, a housing agency, is in charge of conducting feasibility and socio-economic studies, observing construction codes, and managing the construction materials on site. The business sector donates or sells materials at low cost, and makes monetary contributions.
ITESM main responsibilities are to monitor the entire program,provide design and technical assistance (with help from Architecture and Civil Engineer faculty and students), conduct research on sustainable technologies,and disseminate information about the program.
As stated earlier (Section 13), the ITESM housing agenda has evolved from emergence in 1994 to maturation and replication in April 2002. A challenge faced by planners in the emergence phase was the skepticism that people have towards housing initiatives. Because of years of subordination, residents were suspicious of ITESM and other partners' presence in the neighborhood. Another implementation problem was the lack of formal financial systems to obtain credits for construction. In response to this situation, 10x10 planners and implementers designed various strategies to motivate people participate.
Asociacion Gilberto's (GILBERTO), presence in the community(manufacturing concrete blocks) was used to begin a dialogue among ITESM,community members, and local community leaders. Initial training sessions were conducted outside GILBERTO's building to increase visibility. CEMEX provided cement as an incentive to participate; and soon residents, mostly women, began attending regularly. Later, a financial system was designed based on the traditional TANDAS, the self-help mechanism used throughout Mexico to help the household economy. In TANDAS, 5-8 individuals established an informal agreement to rotate periodic economic contributions (normally done on a weekly basis) among participants.
This TANDA system was modified to include labor as part of the benefit. Each family received the collective amount of money and labor of the group to buy materials and build according to plans using community labor. This strategy became an important asset to the program because families were no longer treated as repositories of welfare funds (the traditional model). Nevertheless, TANDA could not be fully implemented due to the lack of available funds. Resident skepticism and lack of financial resources are pervasive in Mexican communities. Emergence phase problems can be anticipated in implementing 10x10 in new communities
From the stage of emergence to the latest stage of replication,partners have been instrumental in evolving the ITESM housing agenda to what it's now 10x10. Alianza residents are key players in this process by informing 10x10planners of the things that need adjustment. Additionally, having access to educational opportunities, control of construction materials, and control of design and construction processes has empowered residents to determine the direction the program takes.
Program assessment tools are currently being developed. Present indicators of the success of 10x10are the high requests from government and non-government organizations to replicate the program, the high number of students and faculty involved(average of 30 students per semester), and the feedback from residents about the program.
o Actual improvement achieved in people’s living conditions
Fifteen families have received support to build 35 M² houses since May of 2001. All houses are in different stages of development and families are already occupying some.
o Better co-ordination and integration between various actors, organizations or institutions.
Stakeholders have developed a better understanding of each other through dialogue and evaluation, which has resulted in greater resident support of the program.
o Changes in local, national or regional social, economic and environmental policies and strategies.
Changes to date have been in implementing strategies that empower residents within current policy constraints and in the process improve dialogue among participants. The long-term goal's to promote policy changes through successful implementation of the program.
o Improved institutional-capacity at the national, sub-national or local levels
The current structure of the model allows 10x10 to be adjusted to any geographic location. Governments, NGOs, business, educational institutions, and communities are groups that can be identified in any location and brought together to pursue the 10x10 principles.
o Changes to local or national decision-making, including the institutionalization of partnerships
Informal partnerships have evolved into institutionalized ones to sustain the program overtime. In January 2002 the first institutional agreement was signed among stakeholders.
o Recognizing and addressing specific opportunities and constraints
Collaborative work strategies have allowed stakeholders becoming aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and improve their role in 10x10. Continuous exposure to alternative models in other parts of the world has also improved the partners' understanding of the resident-institution relationship.
o Changes in the use and allocation of human, technical and financial resources at the local/national level.
10x10 facilitates residents' change from being repositories of welfare programs to being designers and implementers of a process for self-determination and independent growth. The program is moving steadily towards becoming a sustainable community development model i.e. empowering people to make responsible decisions,selecting environmentally healthy technologies, and supporting local dynamics.
o Changes in people’s attitudes and behavior.
Personal expressions of residents towards their family and their community become more a more a pattern among participants in 10x10. "my family will not be the same after being in control of what we do in the community." Alianza resident.
· Financial: The use and-leveraging of resources, including cost recovery, indicating how loans, if any,are being paid back and their terms and conditions.
Since its creation, 10x10 has promoted the notion of helping others help themselves. As shown in table section "8. Financial Resources," ITESM and partners have all contributed to the implementation of the program. Highly limited resources are being supplemented with sweat equity, families providing food for volunteer workers,and purchasing small items needed in the process. In the near future, the TANDA financial system will be expanded to include micro-credits to enhance available funds.
· Social and Economic: Gender-equity, equality and social inclusion, economic and social mobility
Although the program did not target specific groups within the community, it was clear from the very beginning that women were its main participants (95% of participants in the program are women). The program has provided women with training in areas commonly reserved for men giving them the opportunity to improve their job skills and access a labor market that is willing to support them. 10x10 has also raised the awareness of students and design professionals about low-income neighborhoods.
· Cultural: Respect for and consideration of attitudes, behavior patterns and heritage
10x10 partners believe that when residents and local government organizations are in control of decisions, and that cultural traditions are respected and integrated, coherent and friendly environments emerge. Local resident-driven partnerships have produced an understanding, and integration ofa local dynamics that have contributed to the program success.
Sustainability is along-term process that can become a motive force once basic needs readdressed. 10x10 addresses resident's basic needs for housing while introducing residents to the long-term impacts and sustainability of decisions. Current explorations of ITESM faculty and students, and ITESM partnerships with international centers for the study of sustainability, indicate that the transfer of knowledge and environmentally responsible technologies will have an important impact in the way 10x10 communities relate to other communities, other organizations, and the natural environment.
A lesson learned over the years is that sustainable community development demands more than the typical physical responses. 10x10 has facilitated the delivery of appropriate housing while initiating a dialogue on sustainable community. A second lesson is that inter agency collaborations are necessary to address the complexities of sustainable development. 10x10 multiparty initiatives have succeeded because of the diversity implicit in them and because of the human and capital resources they had created.
A third lesson learned through experience with these partnerships is that all partners must embrace a common long term and sustainable vision.First generation of ITESM housing initiatives was based on short-term physical impacts and little or no environmental implications. Second generation of housing initiatives (10x10)integrate education about social equity and sustainability.
In the process of implementation and maturation 10x10planners have also learned that good projects start as informal and adventurous exercises, but institutionalization and communication are crucial to sustain success.
A lesson learned from the municipality of Oaxaca, Mexico is that integrating education with housing and community development to empower residents and communities to take control of community initiatives is a new role that government is willing to embrace instead of dependency. Another lesson, learned from Ball State University is that celebrating success is as important as achieving it. People must be recognized for the things they do right and encouraged to continue doing better. Individual successes are important incentives to achieving higher levels of responsibility. 10x10coordinators take any opportunity to celebrate stakeholders’accomplishments.
Continuous monitoring of the program and a constant dialogue among planners, partners and residents allow 10x10 implementer to make necessary adjustments along the way. Increasing people awareness about the environmental impacts of our daily decisions is now a major component of housing education at ITESM and is also-part of the informal dialogue with residents. Construction technologies,financial systems, and community issues are the focus for improvement in the near future.
In 1996, a national lecture on emergent ITESM housing principles was delivered to 200 technical schoolteachers from around the country. Other presentations have been made since 1995 to professional organizations, universities, and some campuses of the ITESM system, and press releases have been made at local, state, and national levels.In 1998 ITESM hosted "Conscience and Equilibrium," an international symposium on housing and equity issues that included a workshop on 10x10.
Continuous search has increased the ITESM faculty and students'awareness of similar programs in other parts of the world. Habitat International, the Center for MaximumPotential Building Systems (US), TexasA&M University and Ball State University (US), ALEMO organization (Venezuela),COMVIVE (Mexico),among others, have been important references in improving 10x10. The program has benefited from the exchange of information between these organizations, lectures, visits, cooperative work, andresidential voluntary services by students and faculty.
10x10 has been recommended by ITESM administrators to be implemented in some of the 31 campuses of the ITESM system. Current talks are being held to implement the program in two other universities and a municipality. The 10x10 principles have been improved and implemented in Zarazgoza, NL to address a sanitation problem.
Effectively communicate that 10x10is a generic housing delivery model that requires careful adaptation base on the understanding of local dynamics; that different tools and strategies are necessary to address specific conditions; and that nothing changes if residents are not part of the process.
It is crucial to involve partners with long-term and sustainable agendas. It is also important to recognize that stakeholders participate because their interests are being respected and protected. Thus, for the sake of protecting stakeholder's interests, partnerships must evolve from the informal relationships of individuals to the institutional agreement among organizations. In the end, partnerships must be viewed as learning organizations to improve their services and products.