Reinhard Goethert focuses his interests in methodologies of settlement design and housing in the Third World. He designs low-cost ‘site and services’ housing projects and develops policies for housing the low-income majority in developing countries, including developing tools for designers, training programs for technical staff, research programs, and monitoring strategies for agencies.
Current focus includes establishment of a field-biased ‘Haiti Center’ in partnership with universities in Haiti, exploration of an city and mega-structure concept for steep-slope constrained urban areas together with Nanjing University, and development of an ‘APP’ for families building self-help housing in developing countries.
He teaches courses on urbanization, design, and housing in developing countries and is director of SIGUS (Special Interest Group in Urban Settlement), a school-wide program focused on the profession and housing. He is a Visiting Tutor at Oxford Brookes University in England. As sole designer or in partnership, Goethert has designed approximately fifteen site and services housing developments in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. He has served as a consultant to international development agencies, including The World Bank, US Agency for International Development, German Technical Cooperation Agency, United Nations Center for Housing, United Nations Children's Fund, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and World Health Organization, and to the housing ministries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Burma, Puerto Rico, Chile, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Egypt, Syria, Ethiopia, among others. Much of his approach is documented in Urbanization Primer, with Horacio Caminos (MIT Press, 1978), and Making Micro Plans: A Community Based Process in Programming and Development, with Nabeel Hamdi (Intermediate Technology Publications, 1988).
A recent book with Nabeel Hamdi, "Action Planning for Cities: A Practical Guide", John Wiley & Sons Press, focuses on participatory community development, drawing on extensive case studies from around the world and is available in English and Chinese. "Upgrading Urban Communities: A Resource for Practitioners" prepared for the World Bank/UN-Habitat Cities Alliance, has just been published as a website and as a CD.
His current focus is on the participation of private enterprise in assisting the underserved low income majority, and in participatory planning methodologies at the community level linked to strategic city planning. Current projects include preparation of websites and CDs on Urban Upgrading and on Urban Environmental Management, support to governments through computer aided 'distance learning' and development of field tools for practitioners.