1st Edition

Routledge Handbook on Labour in Construction and Human Settlements The Built Environment at Work

Edited By Edmundo Werna, George Ofori Copyright 2024
    358 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Routledge Handbook on Labour in Construction and Human Settlements presents a detailed and comprehensive examination of the relationship between labour and the built environment, and synergises these critical focus areas in innovative ways. This unrivalled edited collection of chapters analyses problems and presents possible solutions related to the employment and conditions of workers in the construction industry. It provides comprehensive coverage of the relationship between the global workforce and the built environment and is divided into four topical areas: how labour and the built environment relate to development; employment generation in the built environment; quality of employment in the built environment; and the impact of the built environment on labour in other sectors.

    Underpinning the entire book is the premise that the way the built environment is produced, and its main products – buildings, cities and towns – have an impact on large numbers of workers. At the same time, the quality of the built environment requires construction workers who are well trained and with good working conditions. While cities and towns are the engines of economic growth, they will not be able to fulfil their economic potential if poverty in the workforce is not addressed. Those who are unemployed, underemployed or work in unfavourable conditions cannot fully contribute to production, and at the same time are limited in their ability to purchase goods and services – therefore limiting economic growth and restricting improvements in their living standards. In addition, investments in infrastructure, housing and inner-city redevelopment cannot be sustainable if labour issues – i.e., poverty – are not addressed. This book aims at analysing this complex set of issues comprehensively and will be essential reading to a wide range of researchers across the interdisciplinary intersections of construction, business and management, economic development, urban studies, sociology, political science and project management.

    Chapter 1

    Introducing the Routledge Handbook on Labour in Construction and Human Settlements: The Built Environment at Work

    Chapter 2

    The built environment, construction, development and their implications for labour

    Chapter 3

    Characteristics of the construction industry and construction process, and implications for labour policies and practices 

    Chapter 4

    Employment generation in the construction sector: Volatility and prospects

    Chapter 5

    Differing approaches to embedding low energy construction and climate literacy into vocational education and training

    Chapter 6

    Green jobs and climate justice in the built environment: Lessons from American cities

    Chapter 7

    Labour contracting, migration and wage theft in the construction industry in Qatar, China, India, US and the EU

    Chapter 8

    The precariat of the built environment: Decent work and the myth of Sisyphus 

    Chapter 9

    Human resource management and development in construction: Strategic considerations

    Chapter 10

    Culture in construction: A driver as well as a barrier for the improvement of labour situations within construction industry

    Chapter 11

    Gender, construction work, and organisation

    Chapter 12

    Mistreatment of migrant construction workers: Trajectory from the past to the present and into the future

    Chapter 13

    The smart city as the factory of the twenty-first century? How urban platforms reshape the nexus between the built environment, livelihoods, and labor

    Chapter 14

    Housing markets and labour markets:  Towards a new research agenda for the Global South

     Chapter 15

    Social innovation of workplaces in the built environment: How public spaces have become central workplaces – Lessons from Kampala City, Uganda

    Chapter 16

    Building resilient workplaces: Prioritizing safety and disaster risk reduction for the global workforce

    Chapter 18

    Labour, the Built Environment and Human Settlements: Lessons from the book


    Edmundo Werna is a specialist in the built environment, including the construction industry and urbanism. He is widely recognised from his work on labour in construction and in human settlements during his 16 years at the ILO (International Labour Office, United Nations). He joined the London South Bank University in July 2020, after 22 years at the United Nations (United Nations Development Programme and ILO). He is currently also a visiting researcher at Westminster and Oxford Brookes universities, and a member of the editorial boards of Habitat International and International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development.

    George Ofori has been working on research in construction industry development since 1980. He has written four books on the construction industry and its development, and a more recent book on leadership in construction. He has experience in curating and editing collections of chapters in world-leading books on subjects in construction. Ofori is a Professor in the School of the Built Environment and Architecture at London South Bank University, UK. He was, until recently, the Deputy Chair of the Board of CoST, the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative and a Member of the Board of Trustees of Engineers Against Poverty.