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1 October 2009 urban WORLD Volume 1 Issue 4 Scaling new heights New ideas in urban planning Afghanistan: citizens on the frontline Mozambique s struggle after the floods Seoul s bid to be the world s greenest city FOR A BETTER URBAN FUTURE

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4 WORLD CONTENTS UN-HABITAT UN-HABITAT P.O.Box 30030, GPO Nairobi 00100, Kenya Tel. (254-20) Fax. (254-20) EDITOR: Roman Rollnick EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS: Tom Osanjo, Eric Orina EDITORIAL BOARD Anatha Krishnan Daniel Biau Edlam Yemeru Eduardo López Moreno Jane Nyakairu Lucia Kiwala Mariam Yunusa Mohamed El-Sioufi Nicholas You Oyebanji Oyeyinka (Chair) Raf Tuts PRESSGROUP HOLDINGS EUROPE S.A. San Vicente Martir Valencia, Spain Tel. (34) Fax. (34) PUBLISHER: Angus McGovern MANAGING EDITOR: Richard Forster EDITOR: Kirsty Tuxford STAFF WRITER: Jonathan Andrews ART DIRECTOR: Marisa Gorbe ADVERTISING: Fernando Ortiz, Kristine Riisbrich Christensen INTERNS: Jake Blosse, Jemima Raman Urban World is published four times a year by UN-HABITAT and Pressgroup Holdings Europe S.A. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not reflect the views and policies of UN-HABITAT. Use of the term country does not imply any judgment by the authors or UN-HABITAT as to the legal or other status of any territorial entity. EDITORIAL Please send feedback to: ADVERTISING To advertise in Urban World, please contact: OPINION 4 Message from the Executive Director 5 The Seoul Vision Mayor Oh Se-hoon 8 Cities, their energy use, and washing lines Gotelind Alber and Nigel Jollands 11 Escaping slums: confronting a global urban crisis Mohamed El-Sioufi COVER STORY URBAN PLANNING 16 Why urban planning systems must change Naison D. Mutizwa-Mangiza 24 How Paris plans to go grand and green Thierry Naudin 27 Renovating Beijing s ancient heart Xiao Ou Chen ANALYSIS 30 Dateline Afghanistan a report from the frontline Dominic O Reilly BEST PRACTICES 36 Planning a better future for Mozambique 40 Lagos sets standard for urban transport in Africa Jake Blosse 42 News and project round-ups (North America and Europe) SUBSCRIPTIONS Contact: REPRINTS October 2009 Volume 1 Issue 4 urban WORLD Scaling new heights New ideas in urban planning Reprinted and translated articles should be credited Reprinted from Urban World. Reprinted articles with bylines must have the author s name. Please send a copy of reprinted articles to the editor at UN-HABITAT. Afghanistan: citizens on the frontline Mozambique s struggle after the floods Seoul s bid to be the world s greenest city PhotoP PatyP JimenezJ 2 WORLD October

5 FOR A BETTER URBAN FUTURE IN FOCUS 44 Latin America River clean-up offers fresh start in Brazil Manuel Manrique News and project round-ups 48 Asia and Pacific Women s Bank funds new housing in Sri Lanka Emily Wong News and project round-ups 52 Africa Entrepreneurship serves young people in slums Melanda Schmid News and project round-ups 58 Middle East News and project round-ups 60 Central and eastern Europe News and project round-ups URBAN WATCH 62 World Habitat Day News 63 Habitat Business Awards 66 People Postcard from Sweden 67 Conference and events calendar 68 Publications New UN-HABITAT publications Volume 1 Issue 4 October 2009 WORLD 3

6 OPINION Message from the Executive Director The United Nations has designated the first Monday in October each year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of the cities and towns in which we live. For World Habitat Day 2009, we have chosen the theme, Planning our Urban Future, for a simple but very important reason: In many parts of our world, urban planning systems have changed very little. Indeed, they are often contributors to urban problems rather than tools for human and environmental improvement. It is clear to us at UN-HABITAT and to our partners in government, municipalities, and at community level that current approaches to planning must change and that a new role for planning in sustainable urban development has to be found. Yet to blame urban planners and their plans for our urban problems is like turning back the clock and going back in history to a time when no-one could have foreseen the problems we now face. It is a fact, as this issue of the magazine reminds us yet again, that slums are the worst manifestations of urban poverty, deprivation, and exclusion in the modern world. And it is a fact that today we have the technological know-how such as satellitebased Geographical Information Systems undreamed of until not so long ago the power, and the money to plan effectively for the targets established in the Millennium Declaration. In many countries planning has not been very powerful and developers, the private sector and individual citizens who do not have the public good uppermost in their considerations are relatively unconstrained in their activities. Powerful economic interests may feel threatened by planning recommendations. Politicians may not have an adequate sense of the public interest or plans may not reflect their priorities. Alternatively, planners may not have adequate training and their advice may be good or bad, taken or ignored. Plans may be unrealistic, given their resource requirements. Plans may not reflect the priorities of community groups. On top of all this, the implementation authority may be fragmented among jurisdictions. In trying to correct these deficiencies, planning has opened itself to public participation and preference and to taking a more realistic view of the limits of the possible, while factoring in the resources likely to be available for implementation. Yet, in today s world, despite many success stories that have come about due to planning s ability to reinvent itself, it would appear that the planning function still falls short in some parts of the world. Slums are multiplying, urban crime is rampant, development keeps sprawling, transport efficiency is declining, energy costs are rising, and health problems are increasing, while people in many countries are walling themselves off from others in gated communities. What s happening here? Has planning failed and does it need to be replaced by a more effective function? Actually, there is no replacement for planning. It is a function that results from our uniquely human ability to anticipate consequences. As the world grows more and more urban, it is vital that, as governments accept urbanization as a positive trend, planning fulfils its proper role in guiding urban development when it comes to improving access to services, and economic and social opportunities. Innovative ideas such as systematically including youth a demographic section that in many countries is significantly large as participants in the planning processes and empowering local groups to oversee their implementation will go a long way in rejuvenating the planning function. Urban planning will therefore have to continue to adapt so it is able to carry out its much-required effective role in shaping a positive urban future. Anna Tibaijuka Executive Director UN-HABITAT 4 WORLD October 2009

7 Greener cities OPINION Seoul s bid to be the world s greenest city The third C40 Large Cities Climate Summit, held in Seoul May drew the host city much praise for the way it is planning for climate change and new environmental initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making the city smarter and more sustainable. Here Mayor Oh Se-hoon writes about his vision for the future. Seoul, the capital city of the Republic of Korea, is a dynamic city where 600 years of history and the latest IT technologies coexist in harmony. However, the unprecedented rapid growth we have experienced in a relatively short time known as the Miracle of Han River has resulted in an overpopulated city with a great number of environmental problems. As one of the top 10 economies in the world, quality of life, such as concern for the environment is rapidly emerging as the foremost interest of the Korean people. My vision of Seoul as a clean and attractive global city, is to reflect these changes in society. Over the past three years, Seoul has transformed itself into an eco-friendly city, implementing numerous eco-friendly measures and at the same time, hosting the third C40 Summit. In particular the Eco-Friendly Declaration that was announced on the eve of the second C40 Summit held in New York in May 2007 shows Seoul s commitment to tackling climate change. The goals of the Declaration are to reduce energy use by 15 percent, lower greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent and increase new or renewable energy use by 10 percent by Seoul is an overcrowded megacity home to some 10 million people, and many are worried that the goals set by the declaration cannot be realized. However Seoul felt it had the responsibility to lead the fight against climate change as the host city of the third C40 Summit. Accordingly, at the third C40 Summit, Seoul s efforts were greatly praised by the participants, including mayors and world leaders, and many cities have expressed an interest in learning from the Seoul experience. Green buildings, green transport, green energy The Clinton Climate Initiative has judged Seoul to be the world s leading city in implementing the Building Retrofit Project, which renovates existing buildings to improve energy efficiency as agreed at the second C40 Summit in New York. In Seoul a total of 87 buildings, including 45 public buildings and 42 private buildings, are participating in the Building Retrofit Project. The project has been completed in 62 buildings, with 25 still to be retrofitted. For new buildings, Seoul is promoting energy efficiency right from the design stage with so-called Green Building Criteria applied to all new buildings to increase the use of new or renewable energy. Seoul is also encouraging the construction of green buildings by providing tax incentives for those built as eco-friendly. So far, around 60 environmentally friendly buildings have been constructed. For example, the new Seoul City Hall follows the traditional Korean style and design, and is also expected to increase the new or renewable energy supply rate to 12.2 percent. Seoul is diversifying the energy mix by using solar and geothermal energy. There are resource recovery facilities (incinerators) in the north, south, east and west of Seoul which recycle a large amount of energy with a significant reduction in CO 2 emissions. The Nanji area, located downstream along the Han River, used to be a mountain of The Mayor of Seoul GovernMent PhotoP Seoul MetroPolitan landfill waste until the early 1990s. Today, it has been transformed into a city park. The area will be turned into a new and renewable energy landmark with a proposed Energy-Zero Building, a hydro station, and photovoltaic generation facility. Seoul is also leading in distribution of eco-friendly energy as we became the second city in the world to successfully attract the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE the world s leading new and renewable energy institute. October 2009 WORLD 5

8 OPINION Conflict Greener in cities Africa taking the Responsibility to Protect Seoul s Integrated Mass Transit System enables people to travel around the city for only one dollar, and commuters can change from subways to buses without any transit charge. We have implemented a bus-only lane system so that people on buses can avoid traffic congestion. This has increased the use of public transport in Seoul, which plays a great role in reducing CO 2 emissions from the rising number of vehicles. Indeed, public transportation in Seoul is transforming rapidly into eco-friendly public transport. The entire city s estimated 72,000 taxis use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) fuel. In addition, buses that used to be the biggest contributor to air pollution, due to the use of diesel engines in the past, have now been replaced with compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. Until now, 6,000 out of 7,600 buses have been replaced with CNG vehicles that do not generate emissions. By 2010, all the buses in Seoul are expected to be replaced with CNG buses. Furthermore, electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, LPG hybrid taxis and electric bicycles are expected to be introduced in the city. All these efforts have lowered the concentrations of particulates in the air, which decreased by around 10 percent last year. Seoul has also announced a plan to establish 418 bicycle-only lanes to provide a safe and pleasant environment for cyclists. The plan to establish cycle lanes is expected to be completed by If such programmes are promoted continuously, the air quality in Seoul will be comparable to the air of garden cities in Europe. A breathtaking view of a cleaner, greener city The world design capital In October 2007, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) proclaimed Seoul the World Design Capital 2010 at its San Francisco congress. When I took office in 2006 I selected the design industry as one of the new growth engines responsible for the future of Seoul. Green governance - the power to make an friendly eco- city The driving engine that helped Seoul to establish an image as an eco-friendly city over the past three years was the digital governance system that uses the world s latest IT technology. Around 150,000 were proposed to improve working conditions through a system called the Imagination Bank. The ideas of citizens are also reflected in the city administration through the Ten Million Imagination Oasis website. To date, around 30,000 ideas have been proposed by the citizens and the majority of them are about environment and climate change, accounting for 41 percent of the proposals. For example, a citizen had proposed an idea to turn the Gwangjin Bridge into a pedestrian walkway. This idea was adopted, and now two of the four lanes on the bridge are being transformed. Seoul s creative governance system has been recognized by the international community, and has won two UN Public Service Awards. Various design projects are taking place in Seoul to improve the efficiency and enhance the attractiveness of the city. Among these, Green Design is the key project, which is to create green spaces in Seoul, removing concrete buildings that cover parts of the city, which used to be a symbol of compressed growth. Our goal is to create a metropolis that can be practically regarded as a city within a park. In some parts of the city, large-scale green parks will be created and small spaces in residential areas will be used to create small parks. At the northeastern part of Seoul where there are smaller green spaces than that of other parts of the city, a large scale Dream Forest will be created by 2016, and a green park larger than Central Park in New York or Hyde Park in London will be constructed at Yongsan. Furthermore, parks have been created on top of approximately 200 buildings through green rooftop projects. Seoul is also restoring the green space along the Han River, our natural environmental gift. The Han River banks were cemented over during the 1980s for flood control. Now, the paving is being removed and the riverside 6 WORLD October 2009

9 Greener cities OPINION PhotoP Seoul metropolitan Government However, the C40 Group is not an organization that has binding power. The Seoul Declaration supports the nonbinding nature of the C40 Group and at the same time provides a practical system that encourages members to transform themselves into low carbon cities. The Declaration states that the C40 cities have set the common goal of achieving this transformation. To achieve this status, cities must review existing or newly drawn up Climate Change Action Plans, report on their established measures, targets and achievements at the fourth C40 Summit and subsequent summits, and notify the C40 Secretariat of the names of staff in charge of climate change policies and programmes. Seoul is also designing a Master Plan for Green Growth to tackle climate change. As a city that has led the Seoul Declaration, this master plan will include the best and leading climate change measures. We are hoping to proudly introduce Seoul s efforts in the combat against climate change once again at the fourth C40 Summit to be held in 2011 in São Paulo, Brazil. u filled with greenery in order to create an ecospace. This is a part of the Han River Renaissance Project that Seoul is promoting with a view for a long-term future of more than two decades. The idea is to transform the riverside into an attractive cultural space for people and turn the area into a global waterfront city. The final goal of Seoul s green design is to complete a huge green belt connecting the whole city. Seoul is tearing down outdated buildings that need to be reconstructed in the downtown area to create parks in their place. The vision is that by 2015, a huge green belt park will be in existence. Up to 90 metres wide, it will cross the heart of the city forming an enormous axis linking the Bukhansan and Namsan mountains with the large downtown parks, and the green space along the Han River. We believe this will become another case that global experts in urban planning can use as an interesting benchmark. Addressing climate change The Seoul Declaration, announced at the C40 Seoul Summit, is the result of much discussion to move towards low carbon cities. Seventy-three cities from 41 countries met in Seoul Cities account for just two percent of the world s landmass, yet they are responsible for more than 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The third C40 Large Cities Climate Summit was held May in Seoul for mayors from major cities around the world and climate change experts. UN-HABITAT s Executive Director and former US President Bill Clinton joined delegates to press home the message that action on climate change has to be implemented in cities. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group is a voluntary gathering of mayors from major cities around the world who have recognized the significance of climate change and are committed to tackling it. Nations frequently face difficulties when joining forces to address climate change due to various conflicts of interest, whereas cities are able to effectively and actively implement climate change action plans. In particular, the C40 Group is creating new role models for cities by promoting practical projects such as the Building Retrofit Project for cities including not only Seoul, but also New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, to cite a few. The first summit was held in London, and the second in New York. The third meeting in Seoul laid the groundwork for the Asian region, which was previously passive in the efforts against climate change. The theme was Cities Achievements and Challenges in the Fight against Climate Change. The summit outcome document, the Seoul Declaration set a common Low Carbon City goal and suggested practical actions to achieve this goal. Another major achievement from the C40 Seoul Summit was the announcement of the Climate Positive Development Programme. The Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and the US Green Building Council (USGBC) have joined forces on this programme to create model, large-scale building projects that demonstrate how new urban developments around the world can become climate positive reducing their net greenhouse gas emissions below zero. A total of 16 urban development projects, including the Magok development project in Seoul, will participate. October 2009 WORLD 7

10 OPINION Governments and climate change Cities, their energy use, and washing lines Washing lines have been causing a stir in north America. Rather than using a tumble dryer, some residents have sought to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions by hanging their laundry out to dry in the backyard. But local ordinances prohibit outdoor clothes lines as eyesores. Gotelind Alber, one of Europe s foremost climate experts and founder of the Sustainable Energy and Climate Policy Institute in Germany, and Nigel Jollands, Head of the International Energy Agency s Energy Unit, convey an important message on urban energy consumption in the run-up to the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen in December The washing line ban is just a small example of how local planning rules and city governments can, and do influence their city s energy use. From washing lines, to the provision of municipal services and the way that city transport infrastructure is laid out, city governments can play a significant role in influencing the energy use and CO 2 emissions of cities. And, given governments jurisdiction in many countries, a substantial share of potential carbon cuts cannot be tapped without local policies and measures. The potential impact of cities on the global situation is significant. The World Energy Outlook (International Energy Agency 2008) estimated that cities emit around 71 percent of global CO 2 emissions potentially rising to 76 percent by Given this situation, are city governments mobilized to address the climate change challenge? And what more, if anything, can be done? Are cities mobilized? While climate change has recently come to the forefront of public awareness, it tends to be overlooked by many cities, particularly in Europe, which began to make commitments to tackle climate change 20 years ago. These commitments were based on the Toronto Target of a 20 percent CO 2 reduction by 2005, or defined in a collaborative effort together with other cities, adopting a declaration such as the Climate Alliance Manifesto from It was around that time that three major transnational city networks were founded: The Climate Alliance (Climate Alliance of European Cities with Indigenous Rainforest Peo- ples/alianza del Clima), ICLEI (the former International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives today known as Local Governments for Sustainability) and Energie-Cités. All these networks are bottom-up initiatives whose main activities are sharing of experience, transfer of know how, capacitybuilding, organization of joint projects, and strengthening the role and recognition of local governments. Despite the initiatives that many cities have undertaken, we can make several critical observations: Only a relatively small proportion of all cities are active in pursuing CO 2 mitigation policies. There is also scope to fully mainstream climate change into day-to-day actions. A large number of single actions are taken without being fully embedded in broader government operations. Finally, several policy areas have not been fully exploited the use of urban and land-use planning to address climate change is one example where local governments could make further progress. Future action needed A starting point for local governments needs to be prioritizing climate change mitigation actions in their own facilities through energy management and strategic investment. In addition, cities should encourage the energy efficiency of buildings, use land-use planning measures such as low-emission zones, congestion charges, and improvements to make public transport more attractive. These actions require cities to address the many internal barriers to climate change action including the presence of many competing demands for the local government s limited resources (both financial and staff- ing) and the tension between short re-election periods and long-term infrastructure challenges. City governments should also, where appropriate, take action to adapt to climate changes. There is growing consensus that adaptation actions are a priority for cities in Non-Annex 1 countries. Local governments also need to expand the outreach of networks such as ICLEI, Climate Alliance and Energie-Cités. These and other networks can help to pool resources, and know-how. There is an urgent need for national governments to further engage local governments in mitigation action. This engagement can range from providing additional funding to address climate change and providing clear legal requirements to relatively indirect approaches such as guidebooks. Another avenue for enhancing local government action in climate change mitigation is encouraging greater local government 8 WORLD October 2009

11 Governments and climate change OPINION Disasters in selected cities over the past 100 years Year City Disaster Deaths (estimated number) Economic loss (USD billion, 2005) 2005 New Orleans Hurricane Mumbai Flood Bam, Iran Earthquake 26, Paris Heat wave 14, Bhuj, India Earthquake 19, Johannesburg Flood Istanbul/Izmit Earthquake 15, Kobe, Japan Earthquake Mexico City Earthquake Tangshan, China Earthquake 242, Dhaka Flood Tokyo Earthquake 143, San Francisco Earthquake The Green and Brown Agendas The impact of climate change on cities and towns, as well as the reduction of dependency on fossil fuels are among the toughest problems that confront urban planners and managers trying to run smart and sustainable cities. The latest issue of UN-HAB- ITAT s Global Report on Human Settlements 2009 says that the so-called Green and Brown Agendas of which climate experts speak every day pose a significant dilemma for urban planners, managers and politicians. The Green Agenda refers to the natural environment on which cities have such a great impact. According to studies of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP): Species extinction rates are now 100 to 1,000 times above the background rate. During the last several decades, 20 percent of the world s coral reefs have been lost and 20 percent degraded, whilst 35 percent of mangroves have been lost. Sixty percent of the increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide since 1750 has taken place since Climate change now threatens biodiversity and ecosystem services across the planet. A number of countries that appeared to have positive growth in net savings (wealth) in 2001 actually experienced a loss in wealth when degradation of natural resources was factored into the accounts. One of the Millennium Development Goals is that by 2010, there should be a significant reduction in the rate of loss of biodiversity and a reversal in the loss of environmental resources. participation in international climate change - policy processes. Such involvement can provide cities and local governments with recognition of the value of their on-the-ground policy experience. In the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Kyoto Protocol processes, local governments currently play a minor role, and the visibility of local-government actions is limited. We can identify three key options for involving cities in the UNFCCC process. As a first step, national governments could invite local and regional representatives and their national delegations. This would provide delegations the opportunity to draw on the on-the-ground experience of local governments in climate change mitigation action. Secondly, a range of topics ranging from local climate policy, options for national governments to promote local action, and models of multi-level arrangements could be considered at thematic workshops on mitigation and adaptation in the UN process. Thirdly, local and regional activities can be included in national communications. The guidelines both for Annex 1 and Non-Annex 1 national communications under the Climate Convention allow for reporting on subnational policies and measures. While some October 2009 WORLD 9

12 OPINION Governments and climate change The Green and Brown Agendas The Brown Agenda is about our human environment and the cities in which the most of us now live. The rapid growth of cities in the past 50 years has meant that the brown agenda of providing buildings and transport, while coping with waste, has often overwhelmed many cities, especially in the developing world. Brown functions of a city often degrade its green resources, unless city intervenes through processes such as urban planning and environmental management. In cities of the developing world, one in four households live in poverty; 40 percent in African cities. Twenty-five to 50 percent of people in developing cities live in informal settlements. Fewer than 35 percent of cities in the developing world have their wastewater treated; 25 billion people live without sanitation and 1.2 billion without access to clean water. Half of the urban population in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean suffer from one or more diseases associated with inadequate water and sanitation. Between one-third and one-half of the solid waste generated within most cities in low- and middle-income countries is not collected. Fewer than half of the cities of the world have urban environment plans. The Millennium Development Goals aim to halve the proportion of people without sanitation and clean water by 2015 and significantly improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by countries already do this, local actions are not presented in a structured way. It would be helpful to define a standard format and agree on guidelines for reporting on sub-national action, and for allocating funding for developing countries to report on regional and local action. Another promising option could be to directly involve large cities in Non-Annex 1 countries in new approaches discussed in the context of Infrastructure and transit planning In many cities, modern rail is now seen as the solution to curbing the increased use of the private car. Beijing, the Chinese capital, has the world s largest metro. India is building a modern metro in the capital, Delhi. The 250-kilometre electric rail will enable 60 percent of the city to be within 15 minutes walk of a station. In Perth, Australia, a 172-kilometre modern electric rail system has been built over the past 20 years: the newest section of the railroad runs 80 kilometres to the south and has attracted 50,000 passengers a day. In contrast, a bus system carried 14,000 a day. If a city makes quality transit a priority, an exponential decline in car use in cities could lead to 50 percent less passenger kilometres driven in cars. Street planning future commitments to be adopted at COP15 in December 2009 in Copenhagen, such as the sustainable development policies and measures approach. A local governments scheme on this approach would rely on a discreet list of policy measures that countries could commit to, some of which would be implemented at the local level. Based on such a set of actions, individual local governments could then put together their climate action programmes and pledge to implement the actions, with the possibility for cities in developing countries to seek international assistance and funding, as envisaged in the Bali Action Plan. Together, these sets of actions can help cities provide a high level of services to their How smart cities do it San Francisco (in the United States) removed the Embarcadero Freeway from its waterfront district in the 1990s after an earthquake. The freeway has been rebuilt as a friendlier tree-lined boulevard with pedestrian and cycle spaces. Rio de Janeiro in Brazil has turned the avenue along Copacabana Beach into one of the world s greatest walking and cycling spots. Seoul, the South Korean capital, has removed a large freeway from its centre that has been built over a major river. (See story page 5). Streets can be designed to favour pedestrian and cycle traffic. Whenever this is done, cities become more attractive and business friendly. Gender needs to be considered in all stages of public transport planning. In many developed countries the recognition of women as the main users of public transport has led to some innovative design solutions. Many stations in cities like Tokyo, Maryland, USA, Singapore, London and Hong Kong now have shopping malls, childcare centres and improved public toilets. Slums pose a significant threat to the green agenda, but at the same time, the brown agenda is seriously compromised for those living in slums. Compiled and researched by Olubusiyi Sarr and Edlam Yemeru of UN-HABITAT. growing populations, while also contributing towards much needed climate change mitigation action. If national governments and city governments work together to engage in these actions, then perhaps residents in cities around the world will be free to dry their washing outdoors. u Disclaimer: the views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the International Energy Agency. 10 WORLD October 2009

13 Informal settlements OPINION Escaping slums: confronting a global urban crisis World leaders committed themselves to the Millennium Development Goal of improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers by 2020, but this target covers less than 10 percent of today s slum dwellers. Indeed, writes Mohamed El-Sioufi, an expert with 32 years experience in architecture, housing and urban planning, who is Head of UN-HABITAT s Shelter Branch, by the year 2020 the number of slum dwellers will have increased many times beyond the target figure. He recently represented UN-HABITAT at the 23rd World Congress of Architecture where he presented these ideas. Precarious conditions, security and social unrest WORLD 11 Photo university of trier

14 OPINION Informal settlements The world s urban population has grown from 37 percent in 1970 to 47 percent in The year 2007 marked the turning point at which the global population was split equally between people living in urban and rural areas. Projections for 2030 predict that 60 percent of humanity will be living in urban areas. We are now at the dawn of an urban millennium. (See figure below). UN-HABITAT estimates that there will be a rising demand for housing worldwide from 2003 till 2030 to address the needs of an annual urban population increase of 70 million people a number equivalent to seven new megacities. This means a new city roughly the size of Hanoi, Madrid or Porto Alegré; it means million new households at an annual increment of 35.1 million homes. This translates into a daily increase of 96,150 households or an hourly growth of 4,000. In 2005, there were nearly one billion slum dwellers globally, of which 933,376 in developing regions accounting for 41.4 percent of the total urban population. In the developed regions that figure is about six percent. Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest percentage of urban populations living in slums (an average of 71.8 percent). In absolute terms, east and south Asia combined accounted for nearly 50 percent of the total slum population globally. (See figure on next page). Projections for 2020 indicate that there will be an increase to 1,392 billion slum dwellers, most of them in the developing countries. Figures show that sub-saharan Africa will rank first in terms of absolute numbers accounting for 393 million slum dwellers, followed by south Asia with 385 million, and east Asia ranking third with 299 million. (See figure page 14). While slums are decreasing in some regions such as in Asia and north Af- rica, they are increasing in others. Climate change vulnerability From 1975 to 2006, the number of natural disasters increased threefold while humanmade disasters multiplied tenfold in the same period. Climate change alone has led to a 50 percent increase in extreme weather events (1950s-1990s). In recent decades, the greatest increase in the incidence of disasters has occurred in Africa and Asia. UN-HABITAT s Executive Director, Mrs. Tibaijuka warns: The impact of climate change takes place in cities, towns and villages. As our climate changes things are getting worse, threatening more extreme weather. If sea levels rise by just one metre, many major coastal cities will be under threat: Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, New York, Lagos, Cairo, Karachi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dhaka, Shanghai, Osaka-Kobe, and Tokyo. To cite just some, those are mega cit- ies with populations of more than 10 million, she says. Never mind the many smaller cities and island nations. Everywhere the urban poor live in places no-one else would dare set foot along beaches vulnerable to flooding, by railways, on slopes prone to landfalls, near polluted grounds. They scratch out a living in shaky structures that would be flattened the instant a hurricane hit causing untold loss in lives and destruction. In this new urban age, the mega-cities therefore loom as giant potential flood and disaster traps, she says. Reduce urban poverty, therefore, and we will directly offset the horrors of disasters brought on by climate change. The United Nations has calculated that one dollar invested in disaster reduction and adaptation to climate change today, can save up to seven dollars tomorrow in relief and rehabilitation costs. The urban poverty syndrome The geographical boundaries of cities are rapidly expanding, engulfing nearby rural and urban settlements (São Paulo, Brazil). Furthermore, the densification and urbanization of rural zones, forms vast ruralo - politan areas (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, Egypt, Rwanda, Burundi and Nigeria). Global trends of rural to urban population growth from 1970 to 2030 Source: UN-HABITAT 12 WORLD October 2009

15 Informal settlements OPINION The world s slum dweller population by region (2005) Total Slum Population (Nearest Thousand) Slum Population as Percentage of Total Urban Population World 997, Developed Regions 46, Developing Regions 933, Northern Africa 21, Sub-Saharan Africa 199, L. America & Caribbean 134, Eastern Asia 212, Southern Asia 276, Southeast Asia 59, Western Asia 33, Oceania Source: UN-Habitat (2006), State of The World s Cities 2006/07, p.16. As a result of these two phenomena, sprawling, un-serviced urban peripheries of informal settlements which are phenomenally costly to service are being created. These peripheral informal settlements are attractive to the poor who avoid the costs associated with formal urban land and service delivery systems. As a result there is a need for formal planning and other systems to incorporate or recognize informal peri-urban areas a huge challenge for urban planning. Rapid urbanization without commensurate economic growth is the main factor underlying the urbanization of poverty. This results in widespread formal sector unemployment and income poverty. In the informal sector it provides most employment, ranging from three percent of all employment in high income countries to 54 percent, for example, in Africa. The urban informal sector thus has a significant economic role, providing over 80 percent of housing in the cities of most developing countries. It provided 95 percent of public transport in Lima, Peru; high percentages of the labour force accounting for 65 percent in Abidjan, Cote d Ivoire, 70 percent in Accra, Ghana, 61 percent in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 80 percent in Kinshasa, Congo, and in Lagos, Nigeria 69 percent. Besides transport, the informal sector provides many urban services and goods such as drinking water, furniture, repair services, or for example, kiosks that sell essentials for the household. Most enterprises in slums around the world are informal and have citywide markets. And because the informal sector employs the majority of slum dwellers, it should be seen as a key to improving slum livelihoods. Yet slums and informal settlements are of- ten not recognized and thus do not exist in of- ficial planning maps. The urban poor are also excluded by inappropriate planning and building regulations and standards far too costly for them. The urban poor are further excluded by individualized tenure systems (freehold) and the globalization of land markets. Socio-economically the slum dwellers therefore suffer from poverty, expulsion and vulnerability. Social exclusion characterizes socially and physically fragmented cities. Insecure and unsafe slums for the poor contrast greatly with the secure safe gated communities for the rich (eg: South Africa and Brazil). Informal employment is available for the majority of the poor, while the rich have access to jobs requiring high levels of education and training. The poor use informal transport; the rich utilize private vehicles. High homicide rates characterize urban areas in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, while the lowest rates are in Europe, the eastern Mediterranean and the western Pacific. Urban crime and violence, including organized crime, is a concern in both developing and developed countries. Yet in both it is linked to deprived residential areas. Conflict-related violence is more prevalent in developing countries. Insecurity of tenure is greater in the cities of developing countries. And it is linked to slums, informality and displacement resulting from armed conflict. Urban planning challenges Challenges for urban planning in developing countries are how to deal with rapid and chaotic urbanization and increasing urban poverty; how to address the challenge of slums; how to improve public infrastructure and access to urban services; how to deal with informality in both the working and living environments; how to address the phenomenon of chaotic peri-urban areas; how to deliver infrastructure, services, October 2009 WORLD 13

16 OPINION Informal settlements Population of the world: Urban slum population trends Development priorities have been moving towards reconsidering approaches and moving towards inclusive cities. Policy issues and strategies for inclusive cities involve ways of moving from slum upgrading to cities without slums, addressing tenure and access to land for the urban poor, or striving to achieve inclusive infrastructure. Equally important are the connections between transport and housing security, seeking to improve the livelihoods of slum dwellers, and mobilizing finance for urban development. More important still enabling local policy to work by promoting good urban governance and the inclusive city by enhancing development potential through partnerships and effective policy coordination. economic growth and employment in addition to the traditional role of spatial and land-use planning. Have escape strategies worked? Past and present approaches to addressing slums at the national and local levels have undergone several stages. Besides negligence or the denial of the existence of slums cited above, evictions, often using force, strategies have also involved self-help and in situ upgrading, enabling policies, and resettlement. The current best practice is participatory slum upgrading which directly involves the slum dwellers themselves in finding solutions. Finding the solutions International actors dealing with slums and their priorities include bilateral cooperation where there is a diversity of political objectives. On the other hand, there is a growing convergence among multilaterals who set up international programmes and initiatives with emphasis on slum upgrading, innovative partnerships and local development. To cite some here the Cities Alliance (World Bank, UN-HABITAT); the Urban Management Programme (World Bank, United Nations Development Programme, UN-HABITAT, and the Municipal Development Programme (MDP). Some of the emerging common themes include integrated approaches to slums, the promotion of partnerships and inter-institutional networks, and decentralized cooperation. International actors dealing with slums and their priorities address a multitude of sectors such as urban management and finance, urban land management, tenure, services, the environment and public health, housing delivery, population and social issues. It also includes capacity building, research activities and knowledge management and exchange. Pressing issues to be addressed are the financial constraints, contradictions between economic and social knowledge exchange, and coordination and cooperation. Civil Society has also been active in addressing slums through residents in actions, community-based organizations, Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and urbansector groups. Escaping slums how is it possible? To rise to this challenge, UN-HABITAT is in the process of implementing its Mid Term Strategic and Institutional Plan (MTSIP) for the period of The Plan promotes smart, sustainable urbanization which can only be achieved if slums are addressed in an appropriate way and if they are prevented from expanding through sustainable approaches to enable the provision of pro-poor land and housing as well as equitable access to infrastructure and services. The Plan has identified six Focus Areas: 1. Advocacy, monitoring and partnerships. 2. Participatory urban planning, management and governance. 3. Pro-poor land and housing. 4. Environmentally sound and affordable basic infrastructure and services. 5. Strengthening human settlements finance systems. 6. Excellence in management. The challenges of slums are still overwhelming, no one agency or key actor can overcome them if they act in isolation. Although we are all doing our utmost best, we can only address slums in a meaningful way through partnerships to ensure that the concerted efforts of all partners are joined synergistically to address these challenges. u 14 WORLD October 2009

17 Economic development in Chinese cities OPINION October 2009 WORLD 15

18 COVER STORY Urban planning Why urban planning systems must change Urban planning practitioners, researchers and many non-experts acknowledge that, in many parts of the world, urban planning systems must change because they have failed to address a wide range of problems, writes Naison D. Mutizwa-Mangiza*, Chief of UN-HABITAT s Policy Analysis Branch. The number of cars in city centres needs to be reduced to promote cleaner air PhotoP JanJ zabrodaz 16 WORLD October 2009

19 Urban planning COVER STORY It is clear that future urban planning must address the major factors shaping 21 st century cities. These include five key areas: Environmental challenges of climate change and the excessive dependence of cities on cars that use fossil fuel; the demographic challenges of rapid urbanization, shrinking cities, a large youth population in some parts of the world and ageing in others, and increasing multicultural composition of cities; economic challenges of uncertain future growth and fundamental doubts about market-led approaches endangered now by the current global financial crisis, as well as increasing informality in urban activities; increasing socio-spatial challenges, especially social and spatial inequalities, urban sprawl, unplanned peri-urbanization and the increasing spatial scale of cities; and lastly, the institutional challenges related to governance and the changing roles of local government. While these are globally shared urban challenges, individual regions and countries have their own sets of characteristics determining their patterns of urban growth and specific urban development challenges. Urban planning has changed relatively little in most countries since its emergence about 100 years ago. However, a number of countries have adopted some promising innovative approaches in recent decades, sometimes assisted by international organizations such as UN-HABITAT, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank. They include: The major urban challenges of the 21st century include the rapid growth of many cities and the decline of others, the expansion of the informal sector, and the role of cities in causing or mitigating climate change. Evidence from around the world suggests that contemporary urban planning has largely failed to address these challenges. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. Strategic spatial planning, which does not address every part of a city but focuses on only those aspects or areas that are strategic or important to overall plan objectives. The use of spatial planning to integrate public sector functions, including injection of a spatial or territorial dimension into sectoral strategies. New land regularization and management approaches, which offer alternatives to the forced removal of informal settlements or neglect. Participatory processes and partnerships at the neighbourhood level, which include participatory urban appraisal, participatory learning and action and community action planning, including participatory budgeting. Urban population by region New forms of master planning, which are bottom-up and participatory, oriented towards social justice and aiming to counter the effects of land speculation. Planning aimed at producing new spatial forms, such as compact cities and new urbanism, both of which are a response to challenges of urban sprawl and sustainable urbanization. However, in many developing countries, older forms of master planning have persisted. Here, the most obvious problem with this approach is that it has failed to accommodate the ways of life of the majority of inhabitants in rapidly growing and largely poor and informal cities, and has often directly contributed to social and spatial marginalization. Unfortunately, urban planning systems in many parts of the world are not equipped to deal with this and other urban challenges of the 21 st century and, as such, need to be reformed. Broader policy directions. If urban planning is to play a more effective role in sustainable urban development, a number of fundamental changes are necessary. The main broader policy directions, based on the innovative trends identified in the agency s latest biennial flagship report, Planning Sustainable Cities: Global Report on Human Settlements 2009, are described below. Source: UN Reformed urban planning systems must fully and unequivocally address a number of major current and emerging urban challenges, especially climate change, rapid urbanization, poverty, informality and safety. October 2009 WORLD 17

20 COVER STORY Urban planning Infrastructure plans should recognize the importance of pedestrian zones PhotoP yariky mishin Reformed urban planning systems must be shaped by, and be responsive to the contexts from which they arise. In the developing world, especially in Af- rica and Asia, urban planning must prioritize the interrelated issues of rapid urbanization, urban poverty, informality, slums and access to basic services, medium-sized cities and the youth bulge observed in many countries. In developed, transition and a number of developing countries, urban planning will have to play a vital role in addressing the causes and impacts of climate change and ensuring sustainable urbanization, ageing, shrinking cities and multicultural composition of cities. In many other parts of the world, both developed and developing, urban planning should play a key role in enhancing urban safety by addressing issues of disaster preparedness, post-disaster and post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation, as well as urban crime and violence. Governments, both central and local, should increasingly take on a more central role in cities and towns in order to lead development initiatives and ensure that basic needs are met. This is increasingly being recognized and, to a large extent, is a result of the current global economic crisis, which has exposed the limits of the private sector in terms of its resilience and future growth as well as the ability of the market to solve most urban problems. Urban planning has an important role to play in assisting governments and civil society to meet the urban challenges of the 21 st century. A particularly important precondition for the success of urban planning systems is that countries should develop a national perspective on the role of urban areas, articulated in some form of national urban policy. This is not a new idea, but, as the world moves to a situation in which the urban population dominates numerically, it is more important than ever before that governments accept that urbanization can be a positive phenomenon and a precondition for improving access to services, economic and social opportunities, and a better quality of life. Capacity to enforce urban planning regulations, which is seriously lacking in many developing countries, should be given very high priority and should be developed on the basis of realistic standards. The regulation of land and property development, through statutory plans and development permits, is a vitally important role of the urban planning system. Yet, in many countries, especially in the developing world, outdated planning regulations and unaf- fordable development standards (based on the experience of the much more affluent developed countries) are, paradoxically, one of the main reasons underlying the failure of enforcement. 18 WORLD October 2009

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