A new roadmap for solving the world-wide shortage of affordable housing

Two global trends—explosive population growth and mass urban migration—mean that millions of individuals worldwide, in virtually every country, now inhabit sprawling slums. Beginning in 2008, people living in cities outnumbered people on rural land for the first time in human history.

Already about 1.6 billion people lack safe, affordable housing; that number is projected to triple in just a few years, by 2020.

To call this an urgent problem is a gross understatement.

Fortunately, innovative answers to this global challenge are emerging, many of them gathered in a new, multimedia book titled The Big Idea: Global Spread of Affordable Housing. Published jointly by Ashoka Full Economic Citizenship and NextBillion, it is a power-packed collection of more than 20 essays, 10 videos, and illustrative photographic images created by leading low-income housing innovators from around the world.

The authors of this 110-page ebook provide a strong cross-section of ideas that are topically and geographically diverse. Drawing on grassroots-tested best practices, the book provides a roadmap for how—by collaborating—major corporations, engaged citizens, banks, investors, and experts on everything from land rights to eco-friendly bricks can join forces to unleash a multi-trillion dollar movement that opens new markets and improves the lives of millions.

The Big Idea: Global Spread of Affordable Housing is not only 100-percent free, but its authors encourage you to disseminate it as widely as possible to all who might find it useful. It offers an invaluable resource for anyone working within the low-income housing sector, policymakers, practitioners, innovators, and students.

Editor's note: This post was written by Change InSight contributor, Abigail Wick.