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Urban land regularisation programmes: state of knowledge Edesio Fernandes Urban land regularisation programmes: state of knowledge Edesio Fernandes

The structural nature of informal urban land development • Gigantic scale of phenomenon of The structural nature of informal urban land development • Gigantic scale of phenomenon of informal access to urban land housing • Not new • Getting worse: rule, not exception • Not only in large cities • Taking new forms in public and private areas • Serious implications: social, environmental, political, economic, cultural, legal

However… • Centrality of the issue has not been properly recognised by governments and However… • Centrality of the issue has not been properly recognised by governments and international development agencies and financial institutions • The process of informal access to urban land results from a combination of still little understood reasons, and is itself one of the underlying reasons of many other serious problems • One of the main challenges for policymakers globally

Causes • From global macroeconomic to local • Lack of formal options resulting from Causes • From global macroeconomic to local • Lack of formal options resulting from nature of land, urban, housing, and fiscal policies • Dynamics of formal and informal land markets • Political clientelism • Elitist and technocratic planning systems • Obsolete legal systems and judicial processes

Effects • Informality is not a cheap option: expensive cities, expensive programmes, expensive land Effects • Informality is not a cheap option: expensive cities, expensive programmes, expensive land prices • All lose

Institutional responses • Dangerous tolerance • Institutional responses at all levels have not been Institutional responses • Dangerous tolerance • Institutional responses at all levels have not been adequate: problems of scale and contents • UN Campaign, MDGs, national/regional/local programmes only cover a drop in the ocean • Isolated, fragmented, sectoral, marginal, underfunded, and erratic policies and programmes

Re-inventing the wheel… • Policymakers are not learning from accumulated experiences – at least, Re-inventing the wheel… • Policymakers are not learning from accumulated experiences – at least, what should not be done • African, Asian and transition countries should look at Latin America • Within the same institution, no organised knowhow and contradictory responses • Need to take stock

Main problems… • Programmes do not confront nature and causes of the phenomenon – Main problems… • Programmes do not confront nature and causes of the phenomenon – generating further distortions in land property markets • Do not intervene in land structure: vacant land, under-utilised properties, lack of policy for public land, lack of housing policy, concentration of equipment and services • As such, do not break vicious circle and do not promote sociospatial integration

…and more problems! • Programmes fail to reconcile declared objectives with necessary processes, mechanisms, …and more problems! • Programmes fail to reconcile declared objectives with necessary processes, mechanisms, resources, and instruments • Programmes are not reconciled with broader set of public policies • Political utilisation of programmes

After 30 years… • No adequate assessments, even because there are no clear indicators After 30 years… • No adequate assessments, even because there are no clear indicators • Waste of limited resources • Beneficiaries are not always the urban poor

Inevitable lessons • Take time, no jumping stages, costly, complex – easier and cheaper Inevitable lessons • Take time, no jumping stages, costly, complex – easier and cheaper to prevent! • No automatic, magic, simplistic, one-sizefits-all answers

The need to regularise • Not to regularise is no longer an option – The need to regularise • Not to regularise is no longer an option – from discretionary policies to recognised social rights • The question is how to regularise

How to regularise? • Format of programmes should reflect answers to three questions: Why? How to regularise? • Format of programmes should reflect answers to three questions: Why? What is (Concept)? What for (Objectives)? • And take into account need to reconcile scale of intervention with technical criteria, institutional capacity for action, financial resources, and nature of rights

Why regularise? • Determination of distribution of rights and responsibilities, onus and obligations • Why regularise? • Determination of distribution of rights and responsibilities, onus and obligations • Measure of involvement of all stakeholders, including residents and communities • Need to discuss financing of programmes; planning gains, microcredit and other forms

What is regularisation? • Formulation of concept: dispute of paradigms • Should combine several What is regularisation? • Formulation of concept: dispute of paradigms • Should combine several dimensions to guarantee sustainability: physical upgrading; legalisation; socioeconomic; and cultural

What for? • Security of tenure and sociospatial integration • Not the same and What for? • Security of tenure and sociospatial integration • Not the same and not necessarily automatic • How to reconcile individual interests and rights with public interests and obligations?

The question of legalisation • Certainly important, but not for the reasons usually given The question of legalisation • Certainly important, but not for the reasons usually given • Not requirement for investment in houses and business; perception of security is sufficient • No automatic access to credit as banks do not lend; access to credit to buy building materials even without titles • No structural impact on poverty

Why legalise? • • • Provide protection against eviction Minimise civil law conflicts Promote Why legalise? • • • Provide protection against eviction Minimise civil law conflicts Promote economic realisation of rights Sociopolitical stability Allow for increased taxation Clarify legal (land) regimes and facilitate investments, etc.

How to legalise? • Take “why/concept/objectives” into account: think not only of individuals, but How to legalise? • Take “why/concept/objectives” into account: think not only of individuals, but of general interests too • Wide range of legal-political options, individual freehold being one • Individual/collective freehold/leasehold; permits/licences/authorisations/social rental, etc. • Special zones of social interest • No “continuum of rights”

The role of the state • No way to tackle scale of problem only The role of the state • No way to tackle scale of problem only through individual ownership • No reason for that • State’s legal obligation: social housing • Not the same as (individual) ownership • Especially on public land, not always best option • Consider collective solutions

Need for integrated and articulated responses • Without other policies, individual security may be Need for integrated and articulated responses • Without other policies, individual security may be assured, but not necessarily leads to sociospatial integration • “Expulsion by the market” and other forces – speculators, drug dealers • Need to reconcile with land, urban, housing, fiscal policies • Bottlenecks: information, cadastres, registration, judiciary • The “day after” of the programmes: follow-up and continued ate presence

The necessary pacts • If it cannot be left to market forces alone, it The necessary pacts • If it cannot be left to market forces alone, it cannot be left to the state alone either • Requires national, truly public policies • Need to involve all sectors and stakeholders • Support from international development agencies financial institutions • Intergovernmental articulation • Private/community/voluntary/academia sectors