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Land management options for the urban poor and vulnerable. Aman Mehta. Urbanization is an inevitable part of development Urbanization and economic growth affect cities Urban space is under constant pressure by rich and poor, public and private sector for redevelopment. Urbanization in Asia.

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Land management options for the urban poor and vulnerable

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Land management options for the urban poorand vulnerable

Aman Mehta

Urbanization is an inevitable part of development

Urbanization and economic growth affect cities

Urban space is under constant pressure by rich and poor, public and private sectorfor redevelopment

Urbanization in Asia

  • United Nations projections show that 2.4 billion people (or 51.4 per cent of the total population of the region) will live in urban areas by 2025.

  • There are 19 mega-cities with population of over 10 million

  • Only 8 percent of the world’s population live in these mega cities, while over half live in cities under 500,000 people.

  • Growing number of secondary cities and towns characterized by:

    • increasing influx of migrants,

    • deteriorating housing conditions,

    • inadequate resources and capacity of local government

Policies on rural-urban migration

  • Many governments condemn rural-urban migration and rapid urbanization as obstacles to development that give rise to poverty, unemployment, crime and social disorder, slums and squatters in the urban areas governments

  • Policies aimed to reduce urbanization or redirect rural-urban migration to secondary town and rural areas have been ineffective

  • The various policies implemented by governments include migration controls, de-urbanization and industrial dispersal policies.

  • In 1970s and the 1980s the governments began to realize that their policy of preventing rural-urban migration were ineffective

Urbanization of poverty

  • Few urban areas have been able to meet the increasing need for planned and affordable land, housing and services either through direction provision or incentives to private sector.

  • The urban poor and the poor migrants encroach on the public or private land, illegal or semi-legal subdivisions and urbanized villages

  • Millions of people have found their solutions in various types of slums and unauthorized

  • Between 40 to 80 percent of the urban dwellers in the world live in poverty, with little access to shelter, basic urban services and social amenities (UN, 2000).

  • Increased vulnerability to environmental health problems, environmental shocks and natural disasters;

  • Lack of participation of communities in decision-making processes and implementing activities; vulnerable sectors among women, children and youth.

Housing state of the poor

  • Housing of the poor is often non-engineered and self constructed

  • No legal claims to the land and/or permission from the authorities to build, making houses

    • Substandard

    • Insecurity of tenure

    • Authorities refuse to provide access to services

Where do the urban poor reside?

  • Close to income earning opportunities

  • Land close to income earning opportunities

  • Low-income households are forced to occupy land not in demand, inappropriate or dangerous, such as:

    • land liable to flooding or landslides

    • along the railway lines and canal banks.

    • With no legal right to land

    • Far from work place

    • Overcrowded

Policy constraint to housing

  • Public housing production is most often supply-driven influenced by the administrator and politicians plans.

  • Private housingproductionoften targets the middle or higher income groups

  • Informal housing arrangements offer a housing option that meets their affordability, needs and priorities, and yet is close to the work place.

Importance of land for housing

  • Legal access to land is a strategic prerequisite for the provision of adequate shelter for all

  • Ineffective and equitable land policies have resulted in:

    • increased living costs

    • the occupation of hazard-prone land

    • environmental degradation

    • increased vulnerability of urban and rural habitats

  • Especially affecting disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, people living in poverty and low-income people

Land and property rights

  • Land rights in a unit of land can be equated to a bundle of sticks.

  • Each individual stick defines a way in which the land may be: a) used b) profit maybe derived, and c) disposed to other people

  • Each right in the parcel there is an ‘Owner”

  • One owner may hold the registered rights – “title deed”

  • There can be a number of parties with rights of different types in the same piece of land.

    • Legal right

    • informal

Property rights

  • Occupy, enjoy and use

  • Restrict others from entry

  • Sell, buy or inherit

  • Develop or improve

  • Cultivate or use for production

  • Rent, sublet, or sublet and fix the rent (e.g. free of rent control)

  • Realise a pecuniary benefit from increased property values or rental income

  • Access services

  • Access formal credit.

Security of tenure

  • Security is partly a matter of perception.

  • Under international human rights law, secure tenure is one of the seven components of the right to adequate housing, which again is linked to the right to land.

    • availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure

    • affordability

    • habitability

    • accessibility

    • location

    • cultural adequacy

Importance of tenure policy

  • An estimated 924 million people are presently living without secure tenure in informal settlements in the urban areas of developing countries

  • Excluding a significant proportion of urban populations from legal shelter reduces

    • the prospects of external investment

    • improvement of house

    • other services such as improved water and sanitation and

    • using house for economic purpose

    • Decreased local and central governments revenue from property taxes

Is land titling an effective means for improving tenure security?

  • Examples from other countries on land titling

    • It is extremely expensive

    • Do not necessarily achieve their objectives

    • Not necessarily increased access to credit

    • Not prevented the growth of new informal settlements

    • Not reduce the vulnerability to hazards.

Pro-poor land management options

  • Provide basic short-term security

  • Survey all extra-legal settlements

  • Priority for relocation to sites that offer close access to existing livelihood opportunities

  • Extra-legal settlements as entitled to medium term forms of tenure, not full titles

  • Customary or communal tenure options,

  • Innovative land readjustment techniques

  • Supply of planned, safe, legal and affordable land on a scale equal to present and future demand.

    • Revising planning regulations, standards and administrative procedures

    • Introducing and collecting property taxes on all urban land,

    • Permitting incremental development of land construction and services provision

    • Permitting households to obtain basic services, such as water, sanitation and electricity

Encouraging intermediate tenure options

  • De facto tenure

  • Anti-eviction laws

  • Adverse possession

  • Customary lands

  • Group or commune tenure

  • Leases (rentals, leaseholds and leases)

  • Provisional, conditional and/or qualified titles or deeds

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