Luxion, Mona (2009). "Creating Empowering Environments: How Action on the Urban Built Environment Can Enhance Basic Capabilities and Freedoms" Paper presented at the 6th annual conference of the HDCA, 10-12 September 2009, Lima, Peru.

In a world with growing urban poverty, urban environmental considerations are increasingly important. This paper looks at the impacts of built environment projects on six basic capabilities: health; safety; association; livelihood; senses, imagination, and thought; and control over one's environment. Drawing on design theory, case studies from Indonesia, Kenya, and South Africa, and a review of the literature in a number of fields, the author makes the case for practitioners to incorporate actions on the built environment as a tool to promote human development. Further, this paper examines the role of citizen participation in empowering environments, finding that successful projects need a balance of training, participation, and leadership to be sustainable. In conclusion, the author presents a model of empowering environments, with implications for both practice and academia, and calls for further research on the topic.