This is an interesting paper by Tom Sanya. Sanya is also the author of the PhD thesis Living in Earth: the sustainability of earth architecture in Uganda, which you can find online here.
by Tom Sanya, 2010
People are at the centre of sustainable development. Basing on this anthropocentric viewpoint this paper posits that alternative building technologies can play an active role in solving today’s shelter problems and indeed in creating habitats for sustainable living. The routinely assumed powerlessness of the poor is problematised to make the case that, with alternative building technologies, everyone can get to be part of the solution. For alternative technologies to be effective in such a role, it is argued, innovation at all building lifecycle must be catalysed. The goal should be creation of a self-organising framework for reconfiguration of processes and products at different scales to develop and utilise alternative technologies in ever fresh ways of building sustainable habitats. International and local South African statistics and examples are used to support the arguments.