As cities become denser the tendency is to continue the trend and urban morphology of building vertically in response to the shortage of land and growing economic needs. Addis Ababa in Ethiopia is a city that has seen its population increase dramatically over the last two decades. High-rise building has taken over the city, often completely erasing the existing cityscape, and eliminating traditional networks and street-shop relationships. This is also erasing traditional city dynamics. Where smaller shops and businesses add to the security of the street, they also preserve the cultural and historical significance of the streetscape. New architecture with urban sensibilities can play an important role in retaining the city dynamics, and in preserving the cultural and historical relationship of residents. By exploring historical live-work arrangements in different parts of the world this thesis will look into the two separate but connected elements of low-cost housing and market conditions.