neighbourhood builders in Peru (1957–65), I have learnt that what matters in housing are therelationships between people, activity and place. Before leaving South America, I prepared apublication and the script of a documentary ﬁlm showing how much more people can do thancan be done for them, with so much less when free to decide and act for themselves.Opportunities followed to observe and interpret the same facts in other contexts.
Turner’s work in Peru, some of it in association with his ﬁrst wife Catherine S. Turner, theBritish architect Patrick Crooke and the American anthropologist William Mangin, provided thebasis for a series of highly inﬂuential publications (e.g.Turner, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1968a,b;Turner,
Turner, & Crooke, 1963;Mangin, 1963, 1971;Mangin & Turner, 1968, 1969). These publications,
and textbook readers edited byMangin (1970)andTurner and Fichter (1972)drew so heavily on
Peruvian cases that the ‘‘Turnerian vision’’ of urbanization, housing and community developmentin developing countries was in many senses derived from Peru.This article describes Peru over two decades, starting with the years when John Turner wasvisiting the country for extended periods (1957–1965) and continuing through to 1977, the yearwhen the most ambitious national community development program, known as
Turner worked in Peru during a period of vigorous national debate about housingpolicy, community development and aided self-help, and this debate intensiﬁed after he left thecountry, and particularly during the military government of General Juan Velasco (1968–1975).Peru was not just a site for design and ﬁeld observation by a visiting British architect. It was anexceptionally interesting centre of housing policy debate, with two contrasting schools of thoughtled by Fernando Bela
unde (1912–2002) and Pedro Beltr
an (1894–1979), and a third emergingschool, which was particularly identiﬁed with Carlos Delgado (1926–1980).
Contrasting views onhousing policy were linked to much broader debates on city planning, political ideology, and thenature of democracy.During numerous assignments in Peru between 1957 and 1965, Turner was able to observe andparticipate in those debates, and to study and advise several reconstruction and upgradingprojects in Peruvian shanty towns, usually known locally as
. He had originally beeninvited to work in the southern city of Arequipa by Eduardo Neira, a young Peruvian architectwhom he had met at the International Congress of Modern Architects (CIAM) in Venice in 1950,who shared his interest in the ideas of Patrick Geddes, and who had studied planning at theUniversity of Liverpool. From 1953 till 1959, Neira served as Director of the Department of Urbanism in the Peruvian Ministry of Public Works, and he had been instrumental in establishingOATA, a pilot program to improve the physical condition of Arequipa’s
Soon afterTurner joined the program, Arequipa was hit by a major earthquake in January 1958. In the
http://www.wtp.org/Talks/TurnerBio.html. August 8, 2002.
Ideas for this paper were developed during numerous visits and extended periods of work in Peru between 1970 and1998, including a period in 1981–1985 working as a USAID-sponsored advisor to the second Bela
unde Government. Iam especially grateful to the Fulbright Commission for a Senior Fellowship in Lima in 1997, and to the UNI andDESCO for hosting that stay.
In Peru most people use both their paternal and maternal surnames, but names can always be shortened to use onlythe paternal surname. The fuller names used in library catalogs (paternal surname underlined) are: Pedro G. Beltr
anEspantoso, Fernando Bela
unde Terry, and Carlos Delgado Olivera.
OATA’s full title was Oﬁcina de Asistencia T
ecnica a las Urbanizaciones Populares de Arequipa. Eduardo Neira’srole and Turner’s experience in Arequipa are documented inChavez, Viloria, and Zipperer (2002)andTurner (1972).
R. Bromley / Habitat International 27 (2003) 271–292