There is debate as to whether slum upgrading standards should be specific to each individual slum or common across all projects. To inform this debate, an exploratory, qualitative, comparative case study was undertaken, which involved transferring a slum upgrading design code designed for Accra, Ghana to analyze its potential applicability for Kisumu, Kenya. A slum upgrading design code is a made up of interrelated slum upgrading standards. The study determined that while design codes could be relevant across different slum settings, consideration of a variety of issues was needed before applying it to a specific context. With respect to the literature, the study’s findings support both the context- specific and common approaches to creating slum upgrading standards. Thus, slum upgrading programs should include context-specific standards in order to meet the specific needs of people living in slums and common standards to support the scaling-up and replication of successful slum upgrading projects.
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