The paper presents the reasons for which the question of providing housing to low-income citizens has been a real challenge in the case of Addis Ababa during the recent years and will continue to be, given the galloping growth of its population. It examines the tensions between the universal aspirations and the local realities in the case of ‘Addis Ababa Grand Housing Program’ (AAGHP) launched in 2004 and integrated in the ‘Integrated Housing Development Program’ (IHDP) in 2006. The paper draws upon the idea that there is a mutual correspondence between social and spatial structures, placing particular emphasis on the analysis of the IHDP. It aims to render explicit that, in order to shape strategies that take into account the social and cultural aspects of the quotidian life of the poor people in Addis Ababa, it is pivotal to invite them to participate to the decision-making processes regarding their resettlement. Departing from the fact that a large percentage of the housing supply in Addis Ababa consists of informal unplanned housing, the article also compares the commoning practices in kebele houses and condominium units. The former refers to the legal informal housing units owned by the government and rented to their dwellers, whereas the latter concerns the housing blocks built in the framework of the IHDP for the resettlement of the kebele dwellers. The paper analyzes these processes of resettlement, shedding light of the fact that kebele houses were located at the inner city, whereas the condominiums are located in the suburbs. It highlights the advantages of commoning practices in architecture and urban planning, and how the implementation of participation-oriented solutions can respond to the difficulties of providing housing. It argues that urban planning and architecture in Addis Ababa should be based on the principles of “negotiated planning” approach, which implies a close analysis of the interconnections between planning, infrastructure, and land.
Mots clés : Addis Ababa|commoning |negotiated planning|participation|anti-poverty strategies