Message from Urban LandMark Programme Director Mark Napier
Urban LandMark is coming to the end of the first phase of its operations. Since 2006 the programme has received sustained core and project funding from UKaid. During these last seven years the programme has achieved a great deal in its purpose of building an evidence base to understand and then intervene to improve access to land and property markets for poor urban people.
Urban LandMark and DFID London debate improved access to urban land and property rights
Urban LandMark Programme Director Mark Napier and Theme Coordinators Stephen Berrisford (Governance), Lauren Royston (Security of Tenure) and Rob McGaffin (Markets) visited DFID London from 12 to 13 November 2012 to present the organisation's work and approach to improving access to land and property rights.
Urban LandMark participates in China-Africa workshop on pro-poor urban development
Chinese and African experts and thinkers on how urbanisation is affecting the poor came together in Nairobi, Kenya from 30 July to 1 August 2012 to share experiences and best practices. Caroline Wanjiku-Kihato, Urban LandMark's Knowledge Promotion Theme Coordinator, attended the event.
Urban LandMark participates in conference on urbanisation and rural-urban migration in sub-Saharan Africa
Urbanisation, rural-urban migration and related topics in sub-Saharan Africa came under the spotlight at this conference, which took place from 26 to 27 November 2012 in Nairobi. Caroline Wanjiku-Kihato, Urban LandMark's Knowledge Promotion Theme Coordinator, presented a paper entitled Rethinking Land Governance in Africa's Cities: The case of Maputo, Mozambique. The event was hosted by the African Migration and Policy Development Centre (AMADPOC), which forms part of DFID's Migrating out of Poverty consortium.
Our research in practice: Isandla Institute workshops ULM's guide to managing urban land with local municipalities
Urban LandMark recently developed a guide for local government in South Africa to assist municipal officials involved in urban land governance to carry out their functions in ways that ensure pro-poor outcomes in the urban land market. The Isandla Institute managed the dissemination of the Guide, which included workshopping the Guide with four key municipalities in urban areas, a national launch of the guide and a national workshop with partner organisations.
2013 Urban LandMark Conference: Moving from Knowledge to Change: Agreeing the Next Steps for Better Access to Urban Land
Urban LandMark's annual conference will take place on 13 to 14 March 2013 in Rosebank, Johannesburg. The conference will bring together a set of agencies working on issues around access to urban land, including how to translate empirically based knowledge into changes in practice.
Reframing Urban Land: Workshop on Knowledge Production and Research Collaboration in the Global South
Urban LandMark and the Association of African Planning Schools at the University of Cape Town are co-hosting a workshop in Johannesburg on 11-12 March 2013. Entitled Knowledge production and research collaboration in the Global South, the workshop aims to develop a lexicon of case studies from the global South on urban land market issues, outline key messages in the design of urban land curricula, and reflect on empirical evidence and develop curricula that are appropriate to contemporary urban land markets.
Urban LandMark's Land Portal activities
Urban LandMark has been coordinating the Land Portal's Urban Land Page since September 2012. Items posted recently include news articles about building technologies and policies to assist the urban poor, the difficulty experienced by South Africans in accessing finance for affordable housing and the need for an urban focus in Zimbabwe's climate change policies. View these articles and others on the Urban Land Page of the Land Portal.
South Africa "two-thirds urbanised"
Two-thirds of South Africa's population now lives in urban areas, according to the most recent survey of the country released by the South African Institute of Race Relations. The data in the survey comes from the World Bank.
Bus rapid transit and urban development in Latin America
Latin American cities have been leaders in the implementation of bus rapid transit (BRT) systems - a transportation mode often characterised by infrastructure improvements that prioritise transit over other vehicles and allow quick vehicle access. This article by Daniel Rodriguez and Erik Tovar, published in the January 2013 issue of the journal Land Lines, investigates the relationship between BRT and urban development in Latin America.
Urbanisation and development: Policy lessons from the BRICS experience
This discussion paper by Gordon McGranahan and George Martine is part of a collaborative review of urbanisation in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) by the IIED and the UNFPA. The review aims to gauge the role of urbanisation in the development efforts of the BRICS countries and to identify the key policy implications for other developing countries. The BRICS' vastly different individual experiences of 'urban transition' offer examples of how to seize urbanisation's opportunities, but also lessons on the pitfalls and problems inappropriate policies can bring.
Tenure Security Facility Southern Africa
Urban LandMark's Tenure Security Facility Southern Africa project, supported by Cities Alliance and with co-funding from UKaid, aims to contribute to improved access to land for poorer people, which in turn contributes to improved livelihoods, active citizenship and asset creation. As part of this project, Urban LandMark has undertaken two studies on how the poor access, hold and trade land - one study in two settlements in Lilongwe, Malawi and the other in two settlements in Tete, Mozambique. Initial results from the Lilongwe survey are now available.
Handbook for First-Time Home Owners (in all 11 languages)
Urban LandMark and the Department of Human Settlements recently developed educational material on title deeds for first-time home owners. The aim of the initiative is to ensure that first-time home owners are informed of their rights, and educated and empowered to understand their responsibilities and obligations as home owners.
Developing a booklet on the Land Governance Assessment Framework South Africa (LGAF)
In 2011, Urban LandMark undertook the South African LGAF for the World Bank. The LGAF is a diagnostic tool developed by the World Bank and its country partners to evaluate land governance at the national level. So far it has been applied in about 40 countries. To expand the reach of the LGAF South Africa project, Urban LandMark is now including the key findings into an easily accessible booklet for distribution. The booklet will provide a succinct overview of land governance in South Africa while describing the complexity and challenges of land and land policy reform.
Book about Urban LandMark's work, experiences and learning - look out for it over the next few months!
Urban Land Mark has been working on land access issues since 2006. During that time it has gathered a wide range of evidence, implemented projects, developed an approach and influenced actors, all with the objective of improving access to land and land markets for poorer people and communities.
In the process of implementation, we have tested and enhanced the concept of making urban land markets work better for the poor, and learnt lessons which we are now bringing together in one place in the form of a published book. We want to reflect on what we now know about urban land markets in southern Africa that we did not know when Urban LandMark started seven years ago. By describing the approach we developed, and investigating the lessons learnt, this book will make an important conceptual contribution to thinking and practice.
Developing a guide to urban legal reform in sub-Saharan Africa, together with UN-Habitat
A selection of partners in the urban legal sector are collaborating to produce a guide to urban legal reform in sub-Saharan Africa. The guide will target practitioners at different levels in government, in international agencies and consultants. The guide will promote an approach to urban legal reform that results in new legislation (or changes to existing legislation) that is not only able to be implemented effectively but also contributes towards cities that are more equitable, more sustainable and more efficient. The operation of urban land markets in African cities is poorly understood and the guide will advocate that new legislative interventions must be designed on the basis of a more thorough understanding of these markets and with the goal of achieving pro-poor outcomes.
Writing up our experiences in four new Learning Material documents
A number of new case studies are being developed, including studies of informal land tenure arrangements in Mozambique and Angola, which will be launched at the International Workshop on Knowledge Production and Research Collaboration in the Global South, hosted by Urban LandMark and the Association of African Planning Schools in Johannesburg from 11-12 March 2013. The new case studies will also be posted on our website in March.
Developing a consolidated overview of township economies and related non-residential property markets
Research and information about township economies and related non-residential property markets is not readily available, despite the fact that a number of studies have attempted analyses of these economies and markets. Urban LandMark is therefore developing a consolidated picture of this sector of the market. The key objectives of this research are to understand the nature and structure of township economies and related non-residential property markets, to identify data or sources of data needed to assess these economies, and to identify ways in which these economies and related non-residential markets can be grown at scale.