Policy, Regulatory & Legal Framework for Inclusive Urban Planning

Ms. Gita Sabharwal Deputy Country Representative The Asia Foundation, Sri Lanka
The views expressed in this paper are the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank ADB), or its Board of Governors, or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this paper and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use. The countries listed in this paper do not imply any view on ADB's part as to sovereignty or independent status or necessarily conform to ADB's terminology.

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Urban growth in South Asia Nature of urban poverty Framework principles Policy framework priorities Regulatory framework priorities Legal framework priorities Sum Up

Urban Growth in South Asia
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Rapid urbanization defining feature of the century. In South Asia 1 in 3 people (2010) live in cities. By 2030, over 40% (691m) & by 2050, nearly 60% (1.03b) will reside in cities. Despite slower rates of urbanization in the region, absolute number of people living in cities will be amongst the highest. Secondary cities driving force of urban growth.

Urban Growth

Urban Poverty in South Asia
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Transition from largely rural/agrarian society to urban. Poor the invisible face of urbanization. 1 in 4 urban people are poor in India, 1 in 5 in Bangladesh, 1 in 6 in Nepal & nearly 1 in 18 in Sri Lanka. Poverty and number of poor people increase exponentially with $/day or 2$/day. Typically urban poor live in slums &informal settlements, limited access to basic services, & informally employed. Larger share of poor live in secondary cities & town. PSIA and PPA’s indicate that poor people priorities survival (i.e. employment), security (asset, tenure), & services (water, sanitation, safety).

Urban Poverty

# ADB/UNDP (2009)

Framework Principles
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Prioritized 2 issues Selected measures with high impact on poor and women Policies not exclusive categories, but mutually reinforcing Highlighted best practice from across Asia Provided evidence of what works and why

I. Policy Framework

1. Inclusive planning

2. Security of tenure

1. Policy Framework – Inclusive Planning
Map where the poor live, understand their priorities, develop comprehensive urban poverty plans. Use of technology - GIS & biometric - to map & target.  Delhi undertook a survey & identified >300,000 vulnerable HH, including >55,000 women headed HH.  Use participatory tools – PPA, women’s safety audits - & enlist NGOs to mobilize & give voice to the poor to inform policy making process.  Invest in monitoring to track poverty & service delivery, disaggregated by gender.
Evidence suggests that water & sanitation projects designed & run with full participation of women are more sustainable & effective.

2. Policy Framework – Security of Tenure
Municipal planners should not equate security of tenure with only full title or ownership and should delink land tenure with provision of services.  Joint tenure & prioritizing women headed households critical to secure women’s right to property.  Recognize temporary occupancy rights to informal settlements as in Andhra Pradesh through notification of slums.  Madhya Pradesh has offered legal ownership of land to all slum dwellers residing in cities prior to a certain date but not allowing sale of property.  China used equity grants (as a mortgage) to get leases on cheap housing built by developers and by giving developers special tax rates to encourage development of cheap homes.

II. Regulatory Framework
1. Strengthening decentralization for delivery of basic services

2. Setting standards for service delivery

1. Regulatory Framework – Strengthen Decentralization
It requires building capacities of municipal authorities to plan, regulate & monitor delivery of quality services. Massive capacity deficit at middle management level (<20% educated & trained in urban practice in India) as well as financial resources to provide services to the poor.
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Sri Lanka successful in property tax assessment & collection, which has resulted in >25% increase in revenue generation. Indonesia has used one stop shop models to register all businesses in cities including the informal sector. It has resulted in increased revenue generation. Ahmedabad introduced areas based property tax assessment & GIS mapping to increase collection to >70%.

2. Regulatory Framework – Setting Service Delivery Standards
Poor settlements are entitled to basic services. Municipalities need to set service delivery norms, ensure quality services, and provide services at affordable costs with flexible payment schemes in partnership with private service providers.
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Economic costs for accessing services high through intermediaries for poor settlements. Incremental upgrading of service provision. Over time move from community connections to household connections. Find options for full cost recovery. In Andhra Pradesh, the cost of HH water connection payable in 12 monthly installments of $2, metered services in slums, pay as per affordability.

Evidence suggests that poor at times pay over 10 times more for access to water and other basic services.

III. Legal Framework

1. Affirmative law

2. Legal empowerment and ADR

1. Legal Framework – Affirmative Law
Critical to ensure budgets are ring fenced to service poor settlements & participation of women in urban planning institutionalized.

Affirmative policy ensured municipalities in Gujarat allocate 20% of municipal budgets, West Bengal allocates 25% & Andhra Pradesh allocates 40%. Secondary cities in Sri Lanka have used increases in revenue generation through property tax collection to provide pro-poor public good like market places, street lighting, & bus stops. Set quotas for women’s participation for bottom-up planning.

Evidence suggests that reservation of seats for women in ULBs results in increased allocation of budgets for services that impact women.

2. Legal Framework – Legal Empowerment & ADR
Legal empowerment critical for making justice accessible with rapid resolution of disputes outside of formal judicial systems.  Sri Lanka’s successful community mediation boards, addresses >120,000 cases annually with a dispute resolution rate of >60%.  Land, commerce & domestic disputes most popular.  Integrated strategy critical for legal empowerment.  Legal awareness, advocacy and PIL some of the measures to shape legislation.  Legal empowerment gives women and disadvantaged groups confidence, information, training and assistance to protect their legal rights and access to basic services

To Sum-Up

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Urban growth an opportunity! No quick fix or magic bullet for inclusive cities. Generating revenues backed with affirmative policies ensures protection of urban poor. Institutionalizing participation of women in urban governance translates into dividends for poor men & women. Municipal planners should not equate security of tenure with only full title or ownership but incrementally upgrade service provision while partnering with the private sector to secure housing and basic services for the poor.

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