Solly Angel Celebrates Building Together Thailand


Director of Urban Expansion, Solly Angel, gave the keynote address at the Building Together community in Bangkok, to celebrate its 44th birthday with 350 community members, their families, and friends. Building Together, a self-help and mutual-aid housing project, was founded in 1978 by Angel and a Thai colleague. They acquired land with international donor funds, planned the site with 60 m2 plots, built its infrastructure, and recruited families from the informal settlements of Bangkok to build their houses together in 10 clusters of 20 families each, allocated to members by lottery, with mortgage loans from the Government Housing Bank. Families worked evenings and weekends for ten months, using modular concrete elements produced in an on-site factory, with interiors and facades finished by the residents. The Building Together project remains a prime example of realizing three societal goals: creating shelter, building community, and empowering the poor to take charge of their lives. A movie, Learning to Build Together, documents the project.

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