Land Sharing

Land sharing is a method whereby existing public or private land occupied by squatters is redeveloped in a way that enables the regularization of the existing development through resettlement housing to rehouse squatters. At the same time, new market-rate land uses are co-located and can benefit from these well-located land parcels. This is carried out through a densification of the existing development that can enable a vertical development of existing low-rise or low-density residential uses, thus opening up parts of the land for new development. The land-sharing approach benefits existing occupants who have the right to remain on site (although in new multifamily housing in medium- to high-rise configurations) and existing landowners who can recover and benefit from part of the land. This approach has frequently been used for redeveloping squatter areas in Bangkok, Thailand, and is now being increasingly used in some Indian cities, where it is considered a slum redevelopment scheme.

In Bangkok in the 1970s and 1980s, rapid economic growth resulted in a price hike of urban land. Since many of the slums were located in desirable and accessible urban areas, the government brokered seven land-sharing deals with the slum dwellers to accommodate commercial development without displacing the residents. These deals were struck in cases of longstanding disputed land rights between the landowners and 10,000 slum dwellers. The deal allowed for the construction of high rises to house the slum dwellers so parts of the land could be released for lucrative real estate development. In all of the cases, the slum dwellers paid for a portion of the construction through a loan scheme (Rabe 2010).