LETTER FROM THE [INTERIM] CHAIR
Of special note this year is the number of articles on international planning, including Nigeria, Mexico, China, South Africa, and Bolivia. International students make up more than one-third of our master’s students, and the skills and knowledge the students gain at PennPlanning have applications across the globe. Although planners often refer to themselves as “urban planners,” the authors here present studies of smaller communities (Rochester, Minnesota) and regional planning challenges and opportunities (the AgriUrban Interface and the Slate Belt). The much-needed responses to climate change and natural disasters appears in studies of Katrina and resiliency and disaster management. 002 — PANORAMA 24
Kwok, Lucas. Philly Skyline Illustrator-style Available from Flickr Commons. Accessed March 17, 2016. https://flic.kr/p/2fTcJQ
he purpose of PANORAMA is not only to showcase the research, writing, and design talents of our master’s students, but to underscore the variety of topics that encompass the term “planning.” The articles in this year’s issue parallel the six concentrations that PennPlanning offers: community and economic development, land use and environmental planning, urban design, smart cities, public-private development, and sustainable transportation and infrastructure planning.
letter from the edito s
e are thrilled to present to you PennPlanning’s 24th volume of PANORAMA, a student-run journal that is meant to capture a snapshot of Penn’s student work. This year, PANORAMA’s mission has shifted from reflecting the viewpoints of only City and Regional Planning students, to those of any student interested in urbanism, community building, history, theory, and practice of planning and design, as well as climate and disaster resiliency, et cetera, et cetera. This year’s editors, different from years’ past, felt this a necessary step given the continuous redefinition of what it means to be a planner and what it means to plan in 2016, and Penn’s students have responded valiantly. Seeing an opportunity to expand their own horizons, students in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Public Administration, as well as City and Regional Planning, saw it fit to dedicate time and effort to prepare a draft for consideration by PANORAMA’s editors. All in all, we received well over two dozen papers and design spreads, thirteen of which are presented to you here. That said, there is no subtitle or caption for this year’s edition. In previous volumes, our predecessors have righteously and correctly themed the journal to fit the quantity and scope of the selected articles. Because of the deliberate change in vision this year, we found it disingenuous to limit the diverse ideas presented to a single theme, as the very name of this publication, PANORAMA, is meant to encapsulate this wideness implicitly. A big thank you is due to all of 2016’s authors; the haul is not a short one when redesigning a paper for a new audience. We felt the heavy lift and hopefully we provided some extra support.
PAN O RAMA Brett Peanasky, Senior Editor (Near Left) Samuel Sklar, Senior Editor (Far Right) Wenhao Wu, Junior Creative Editor (Far Left) Jessica Laurel Arias, Junior Content Editor (Near Right) Sanford Klanfer, Junior Content Editor (Not Pictured)
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image C. Ross
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historic growth trends and influencing forces in lagos historic vs. contemporary growth patterns and forces
In this title, Gavin Taves examines historical and modern growth and development trends in Lagos, Nigeria. It focuses on the impacts of the corrupt real estate market on lowincome residents. It concludes by proposing planning interventions to improve the city. 01
A woman sells household products from her canoe in Makoko, an informal settlement only a few miles from downtown Lagos. Residents in Makoko are primarily immigrants from Ghana and Benin.
A woman and child stand in front of demolished houses after being evicted from informal settlements in Lagos. In the background are residential buildings that make up the modern Lagos skyline.
View of a busy street in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria. Many areas of Lagos are built up in areas that are densely populated and prone to flooding, and building conditions precarious.
he city of Lagos, Nigeria, is the main hub of financial, commercial, and population growth in West Africa. Having doubled in population from 11 million to around 22 million in just fifteen years, Lagos has experienced unprecedented urban expansion. The metropolitan region surpassed Cairo as the largest African city in 2014 and now accounts for over 60% of industrial and commercial activity in Nigeria. The combination of economic growth in the 1960s, as a function of oil discovery, and the subsequent mass migration into the metropolitan region has created unique urban spatial and growth patterns that affect human development standards in the city (Barredo et al., 2003). economically robust While compared to its neighbors, Nigeria’s rural-to-urban migration has amplified the spread of slums and informal settlements in some of the city’s most environmentally precarious regions. Residential development has occurred within flood catchment areas and in wetlands, endangering the poorest, most vulnerable, residents. Simultaneously, corrupt government institutions and inaccessible land markets have further perpetuated the spread of informal settlements while economic growth in Lagos attracts increasingly greater numbers of immigrants. Combined, these growth factors have generated dangerous living conditions for a large number of Lagos’ most vulnerable residents, creating an especially pertinent case study on urban growth and human development. This report is separated into four sections, analyzing historic growth trends and forces, modern growth trends, development vs. growth, as well as the built environmentwithin the Lagos metropolitan region. In order to address the growth related issues just introduced, this report discusses specific urban planning related interventions within the four major topics in an attempt to provide a framework with which to analyze Lagos. Utilizing this
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framework, the conclusion provides nine future planning objectives that have the potential to generate the greatest impact for the most vulnerable populations in the city. Various historic growth paradigms have shaped Lagos’ development, ranging from colonially driven growth starting in the 15th century to the current ruralto-urban mass migration paradigm. Historically, Lagos was first inhabited by the Benin Empire in the 15th century, as a camp for prisoners of war. This represented the first time that the coastal region and island in what in now modern day Lagos was permanently inhabited by an urban settlement. Later in the 15th century, the Portuguese took a special interest in the area soon to be called Lagos, translated to “lakes” in Portuguese, due to its strategic location as a point of departure for expeditions along Africa’s Western coast. Originally exploring and searching for slave markets, the Portuguese were the first significant drivers of growth in the Lagos region both in terms of population and economic development. The slave trade propelled the growth of Lagos during Portuguese colonial rule; it is estimated that some 500,000 slaves passed through the slavemarkets of Lagos on their way to the New World. Serving as one of the main ports of trade in Western Africa, this led to the establishment of strong economic institutions that attracted slave merchants as well as other migrants, supporting the expansion of the nascent city. In 1852, after relying on the slave trade for hundreds of years, the ruling class of Lagos entered into the “Treaty Between Great Britain and Lagos”, which effectively made Lagos and the surrounding region a colony within the British Empire while simultaneously banning slavery under English law. This entitled Lagos to military protection under the Crown, allowing for continued population and economic growth. Under the protection of England’s 009
sophisticated navy, many former slaves returned to Lagos and initiated the long trend of growth from the late 19th century to present day (Udo, 2015). While colonial powers drove the beginning stages of growth in Lagos, the discovery of immense oil reserves in the 1960s spurned local economic growth which generated an explosive population increase that has since shaped the city. Mass intra-national rural-tourban migration characterized the mid20th century in contrast to the colonial driven growth paradigm of the 15th and 16th century; this highlights the two key historic growth models in Lagos: the colonial, foreign driven, growth system and the contemporary rural-to-urban population growth model (supported by a strong localized oil industry). key institutional impacts on grwoth and development in lagos
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Two institutions have played a crucial role in the modern growth and development of Lagos: the oil industry and the real estate market. Combined, these growth engines have spurred unprecedented economic activity and land use alterations in the region. While Lagos has grown steadily since the colonial era, it wasn’t until the early 1960s that the city experienced a remarkably high rate of population growth and urban expansion with oil serving as the foundation for the evolution. Shell-BP was the first major exploratory oil company to search Nigeria for oil reserves in the early 1950s. After limited luck, Shell discovered plentiful reserves in and around the Niger Delta in 1958, beginning the era of oilinduced growth in Nigeria. Lagos, the preeminent economic hub of the country prior to the discovery of oil, also became the major market through which oil transactions took place (Vaughn, 2011). In 1970, a series of policies were enacted that lowered the price of agricultural products around the country and incentivized agricultural imports from foreign markets. Unable to compete with foreign producers, farming communities flocked to Lagos in search of employment, encouraged
by the idea that the oil industry would create new jobs in the city. However, the government’s control of oil profits, and their corrupt handling of those funds, led to a limited trickle-down effect in the Lagos metropolitan area (Braimoh et al., 2006). The steadily increasing stream of migrants found few economic opportunities in the city and were forced to live on the periphery due to financial constraints. And while greater numbers of rural farmers have migrated to Lagos, the government and many of the city’s elite social class siphoned profits from oil production to private offshore accounts instead of funding much needed infrastructure and housing projects for disenfranchised residents. The discovery of oil had multiple effects on urban growth and spatial trends from the 1960s onwards. In conjunction with subsidized foreign agriculture policies, the economic growth due to the oil industry attracted heavy rural-to-urban migration from within Nigeria and from its neighboring countries. However, while new arrivals expected increased economic opportunity, they were faced with poor infrastructure, limited housing, and a lack of financing options with which to improve their conditions. As migrants arrived in Lagos in ever increasing numbers, the real estate market began to further define growth and urban spatial patterns in the city. The importance of land tenure, affordable real estate, and fair real estate markets cannot be overstated when discussing development in Lagos. After the oil boom of the 1960s, and the accompanying population growth, real estate markets in Lagos failed to accommodate new rural migrants into the legal land market. This failure relates to the statutory land tenure system in Nigeria and its evolution as population levels grew in urban areas. The statutory land tenure system in Nigeria is based off of the Law of England and Local Legislation (Braimoh et al., 2006). The system was developed to secure the right of individuals to buy
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or sell land freely as well as to ensure the right of the government to acquire land as needed. Statutory land tenure also enabled low-income residents to legally access the land market at fair prices. However, the increased demand for property near Lagos created inflated pricing structures that began valuing land on its exchange value rather than the value of its use (Aina, 1992). As prices rose, land markets were eventually accessible to only the richest and most affluent residents of the city, excluding the poorest and most vulnerable citizens. The land closest to the center city, and the majority of the jobs, is subject to special auctions that only the city’s elite has access to, blocking low-income residents from having an opportunity to move closer to the downtown district and its jobs. This trend incentivized illegal development of land around the periphery and in undervalued areas (such as the lagoons and flood catchment zones), which has led to staggering rates of informal housing development in environmentally unstable areas. While planning might be unable to fully solve government corruption and unfair land markets, it may be able to secure funding from external sources to provide basic infrastructure, affordable housing, social services, and other lacking public goods to the city’s vulnerable residents. As reported in The Cities Alliance report on slum upgrading, Lagos received a $200 million development grant to improve seven of the most at-risk informal housing settlements in the metropolitan region (The Cities Alliance, 2008). This fund will generate improvements to citizen welfare and can be replicated through outreach to institutions similar to the International Development Agency (who provided the grant). Planning can also play a role in establishing permanent property rights for informally settled residents through deed transfers and through the allocation of funding towards affordable housing. The Cities Alliance reported that securing property rights for informal tenants and
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providing low interest mortgaging options to poor residents is one of the most effective ways to improve slum conditions. While there are many difficulties in achieving these two goals, establishing land tenure security objectives in Lagos could begin to improve the welfare of many residents. The Lagos metropolitan area has grown significantly throughout the 20th and 21st century, primarily due to heavy rural to urban migration and the high fertility rate of native Nigerians. At an annualized growth rate of 8%, Lagos is expanding at over four times the global 2% growth rate (Lagos State Government, 2015). Low net out-migration coupled with high inmigration accounts for the majority of the annualized 8% population growth (Page, 2015). This unprecedented growth has driven the expansion of urban boundaries in the metropolitan area by a multiplier of five between 1967 and 2000 from 117 km2 to 682 km2, respectively (Barredo et al., 2004) (see Figure 1). Lagos’ economy has similarly grown due to its position as a regional transportation and shipping hub, its oil industry, as well as a variety of other influencing economic factors (Nwagwu, 2015). Economics drive rural-tourban migration in Lagos. Although the metropolitan area of Lagos constitutes a small fraction of Nigeria, at less than 1% of the total landmass, the region represents 60% of the total industrial and commercial activity in the country. The oil industry currently comprises 85% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and 14.85% of the national GDP (Nwagwu, 2015). While Lagos has historically relied on oil discovery for its economic growth, the city has subsequently developed its finance, shipping, and manufacturing industries, supporting continued economic expansion (Walt, 2014). Despite the city’s recent economic diversification, Lagos closely resembles a localization economy, relying on the oil industry and its spillover effects to drive growth (Glaeser et al, 1992). While localization economies are strong growth
modern growth analysis general metrics of modern growth in lagos
key planning issues related to growth trends and influential forces in lagos
key development indicators
mechanisms, they are far more susceptible to market failures; however, this has yet to dissuade the massive rural-to-urban migration trend in Lagos.
key planning issues related to modern growth trends
Sprawling growth in Lagos raises issues of insecure land tenure, environmental degradation, poor infrastructure, and rising income inequality due to the corrupt real estate market. Many informal settlements are forming in flood catchment areas, adjacent to lagoons, or along the periphery of the city due to the inexpensive price of land in those locations. These areas are underserved by sewage, water, electricity, and road infrastructure due to the scale of development and the inability of the municipal financing system to keep up with the rate of growth (an issue caused by both the rate of growth and the notorious corruption in the city). This perpetuates income inequality and degrades access to city services. These issues could be effectively addressed through land use planning and public policy implementation.
development versus growth development compared to growth in lagos
While Lagos is undoubtedly expanding in terms of population size and economic activity, the quality of human and land development has lagged. Discontinuous and informal settlements lack proper education resources, health facilities, connectivity, personal security, and more. While the richest citizens, with their monopoly over the land market, have access to the majority of the state’s resources, the poor (who happen to be the most populous demographic) have relatively limited access to public services. This forms the foundation of the human development disparity in Lagos that is also present in many of the world’s megacities. This section of the report analyzes the UN’s Human Development Index as well as City Alliance’s “Slum Upgrading Up Close”, to address human development issues related to growth in Lagos.
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The UN’s annual Human Development Report provides a comprehensive list of human development indicators that constitute the Human Development Index (HDI) with which the organization rates every country in the world. In order to provide a comprehensive analysis of Lagos’ development trends, this report will utilize the UN’s ranking system combined with aspects of the City Alliance report on slum upgrading as a human development index foundation. The following indicators are crucial to Lagos’ human development: 1. Human Health (both youth and adult) 2. Education 3. Social and Cultural Access 4. Personal Safety 5. Environmental Stability 6. Land Tenure and Building Security 7. Public Infrastructure Access 8. Economic Opportunity Combined, the indices form a thorough human development analysis, which can be applied to Lagos. As a note on the human development analysis in the following section, special attention is paid to the disenfranchised communities of the metropolitan region, given the fact that they constitute the majority of the population as well as bear a greater social, economic, and environmental burden. Essentially, the welfare of the poor is the baseline for which human development should be judged.
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Human Health: While those with access to private doctors and medical facilities (the financial elite) enjoy the benefits of good health, the majority of residents in Lagos have limited access to such services. The poorest populations are often exposed to an increased risk of contracting infectious diseases from their poor living conditions, surrounded my stagnant water, open sewage, and other environmental hazards. Simultaneously, the poor have little to no access to medical facilities due to inaccessibility (poor formal road infrastructure combined with living on the periphery of the city) and economic constraints. Combined, these factors encourage the spread of disease, poor immunization rates, and an overall lack of wellbeing related to health. Education: The literacy rate in Lagos hovers around 20% in the greater region, with much higher rates as you progress towards the city core where average income increases (The Cities Alliance, 2008). In the periphery, a lack of government provided public schooling has given rise to an unregistered private education system. By some accounts, unregistered private schools account for over 40% of all schools in the Lagos metropolitan area. Without teaching standards, textbooks, and teacher retention, these schools face many challenges that endanger the education of the city’s poor. Some reports estimate that one in five children of school-age are currently not enrolled in classes in Lagos. With an increasing population of young, poor, residents, this is an issue of major concern in terms of human development (Tooley et al., 2005) Social and Cultural Access: The economic expansion of the historic center of Lagos has created an abundance of cultural institutions and opportunities for the city’s elite population. Within the informal and discontinuous settlements, poor road infrastructure, crippling poverty, and lack of strong public financing institutions have limited cultural and social opportunities for the city’s disenfranchised residents. However, the recent expansion of both formal and informal private school systems has helped to establish a sense of community in the neighborhoods by bringing the youth together in an educational setting. By improving basic public services in the informal and discontinuous residential developments, residents will have more time and energy to engage in cultural and social betterment (The Cities Alliance, 2008). Personal Safety: While Nigeria has experienced extreme violence due to Boko Haram in the North of the country, Lagos tends to be one of the safer regions. However, some of the outlying regions of Lagos lack proper police and fire services. In lieu of formal personal security institutions, local groups of neighborhood youth have formed gangs to both protect against crime and engage in it. These groups, called “Area Boys”, engage in theft, extortion, protection services, drug peddling, and some contract work in the poorer neighborhoods of Lagos ( Jega, 2000). These Area Boys create the majority of crime in Lagos’ informal settlements. Environmental Stability: A key factor in the unsustainability of Lagos’s informal housing relates to the environmentally hazardous placement of unstable housing. The land market, excluding most the city’s poor residents, has all but eliminated the potential for low-income migrants to find stable land on which to build homes and live in the metropolitan region. In fact, the lagoons around Lagos Lake and near Lagos Island boast some of the highest rates of informal settlements in the region. These areas are particularly exposed to flooding and displacement due to sea level rise. (Braimoh et al., 2006). 013
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n accordance with the findings in this report, the following section describes the key long-term planning objectives that embody the greatest ability to improve the welfare of Lagos’ most vulnerable residents. Secure land tenure: Securing land tenure and establishing an accessible, legal, real estate market for Lagos’ rural-to-urban migrants has the potential to drastically improve the quality of urban life in many of the informal settlements around the city. By transferring deeds to residents, opening low interest mortgage markets, and investing in affordable housing, the government of Lagos could begin fighting against many of the negative externalities associated with slums. By removing the fear of being evicted, selling land at an affordable price, and easing the transfer of property deeds, informal settlement residents will have stronger social and economic resiliency, improving the rates of human development. Improve public infrastructure: The lack of reliable energy, water, sewage, and roads is a constant problem for many Lagos neighborhoods. Poor infrastructure limits access to economic opportunities, decreases human health conditions, and creates environmental risks. Specifically, establishing permanent road networks, installing public sanitation centers, and securing reliable energy and water access will greatly improve living conditions in Lagos. This goal is crucial to the sustainable development of the city and must be included in any future planning and slum upgrading efforts. Improve access to education: The low literacy rates and poor government school system has contributed to the perpetuation of poverty in Lagos. Proper municipally financed schools alongside education outreach programs have the potential to improve the economic and social achievement potential of Lagos’ poor youth. By including education provisions in new planning initiatives, the city can begin increasing literacy rates across the region. As has been proven in various case studies, improved access to education is directly correlated with improved human development, making education a priority in Lagos. Increase international funding efforts and outreach: Due to the relative ineffectiveness of local government to provide substantial municipal financing for critically required public projects, local development agencies must improve international outreach efforts to secure funding. This funding, from sources such as the World Bank or the International Development Agency, can be allocated for key public projects around the metropolitan region.
The Jakonde district in Lagos has no utility services, and it experiences frequent flooding. However, this area is sought after by developers, and residents face possible evictions. Many residents were previously evicted from other informal settlements in Lagos in the 1990s.
Establish stronger environmental protection policies: The displacement of lagoon ecosystems as well as the establishment of informal settlements in flood catchment areas pose a threat to many of Lagos’ vulnerable neighborhoods. Given the increased risk of sea level rise from climate change and the proximity of many informal settlements to the ocean, it is of utmost importance to maintain the wetland buffer zone around the metropolitan area. By encroaching on this valuable environmental asset, the ecosystem services provided by the wetlands will continue to diminish. Furthermore, flood catchment zones must be preserved and the settling of migrants in these sensitive areas must be strictly prohibited for both their safety and for the effectiveness of stormwater containment. The potential to establish a greenbelt around the city could also help limit the sprawling spatial trend in Lagos, improving environmental sustainability by decreasing agricultural and forest displacement 017
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ombined, achieving the listed goals would simultaneously improve the living condition, economic attainment potential, and environmental quality of the Lagos metropolitan region. By incorporating these goals into official local development plans and slum upgrading initiatives, the potential for human development is great within the region. Furthermore, it is of utmost importance to consider the increasing income inequality disparity as the population of Lagos swells. Current and future growth institutions (including local government and international development agencies), must take into account human development standards rather than strictly focusing on economic expansion.
Aina, T. (1992). Land tenure in Lagos. Habitat International, 16(1), 3-15. Barredo, J., & Demicheli, L. (2003). Urban sustainability in developing countries’ megacities: modelling and predicting
future urban growth in Lagos. Cities, 20(5), 297-310.
Barredo, J., Demicheli, L., Lavalle, C., Kasanko, M., & McCormick, N. (2004). Modelling future urban scenarios in
developing countries: an application case study in Lagos, Nigeria. Environment And Planning B: Planning And
Design, 31(1), 65-84.
Braimoh, A., & Onishi, T. (2007). Spatial determinants of urban land use change in Lagos, Nigeria. Land Use Policy, 24(2), 502-515. Gandy, M. (2006). Planning, anti-planning and the infrastructure crisis facing Metropolitan Lagos. Urban Studies, 43(2), 371-396. Glaeser, E., Kallal, H., Scheinkman, J., & Shleifer, A. (1992). Growth in Cities. Journal Of Political Economy, 100(6), 1126. Jega, A. (2000). Identity transformation and identity politics under structural adjustment in Nigeria (p. Chapter 9). Uppsala:
Lagos State Government,. (2015). Lagos State Government Population Analysis. Malik, K. (2014). Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience. United Nations. Nwagwu, I. (2015). Lagos and Its Potentials for Economic Growth. Heinrich Boll Stuftung. Ogunbiyi, T. (2015). Parks And Gardens Development: The Lagos Example. P.M. NEWS Nigeria. Page, T. (2015). Lagos 2050: Megacity is preparing to double in size. CNN. The Cities Alliance,. (2008). Slum Upgrading Up Close: Experiences of Six CIties. Washington, D.C.: The Cities Alliance. Tooley, J., Dixon, P., & Olaniyan, O. (2005). Private and public schooling in low-income areas of Lagos State, Nigeria: A
census and comparative survey. International Journal Of Educational Research, 43(3), 125-146.
Udo, R. (2015). Federal Republic of Nigeria. Encyclopedia Britannica. United Nations. (2015). World Population Prospects. New York City: United Nations. Vaughan, A. (2011). Oil in Nigeria: a history of spills, fines and fights for rights. The Guardian. Walt, V. (2014). Lagos, Nigeria: Africa’s Big Apple. Fortune.
photos cited All photos are licensed for fair use under Creative Commons 2.0 or permissions have been specifically granted by the author
01 Alamba, Sunday. Makoko in Lagos. September 29, 2009. Available from Flickr Commons. https://flic.kr/p/7cSMkj 02 Amnesty International. Forced Evictions Area. January 1, 2006. Available from Flickr Commons. https://flic.kr/p/929zyr 03 Mudiari, Stephen. Makoko Fishing Slums in Lagos, Nigeria. October 9, 2009. Available from Flickr Commons.
04 Google Earth 05 Google Earth 06 Zumstein, Michael. This House is Not for Sale. January 8, 2008. Available from Flickr Commons. https://flic.kr/p/929zAe 07 Mudiari, Stephen. Makoko Fishing Slums in Lagos, Nigeria. October 9, 2009. Available from Flickr Commons.
VULNERABILITY THROUGH THE EYE OF KATRINA New Orleans, LA words t a m a r a 020 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; PANORAMA 24
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introduction social construvist tradition
More than ten years after Hurricane Katrina, the City of New Orleans is still struggling with the disparate impacts of the storm on its Black and White residents. In this article, Tamara Mittman reveals that building resilience to climate change requires a deep understanding of historic patterns of disenfranchisement and disinvestment. theories of vulnerability integrative tradition
Flooding after Hurricane Katrina inundated 80% of the City of New Orleans. This aerial photograph shows the breadth of the flooding in the city in the aftermath of the distaster.
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evastation. Desperation. Havoc. Destruction. This is how the media described the scene in New Orleans in the days after Hurricane Katrina. The extent of the damage and suffering stunned the world. Eighty percent of the city was flooded, with some areas submerged by more than 10 feet of water. The region lost nearly 2,000 lives to the storm, and the city lost nearly three quarters of its housing. Nearly the entire city was evacuated, and six months later more than half the population had not returned. While all the people of New Orleans were impacted by Katrina, the city’s poor, Black residents experienced disproportionate trauma and loss. How did these people come to suffer the most damage? And what could the U.S. do to prevent this extreme suffering in the future? To begin to answer these questions, this article will examine the suffering that followed Hurricane Katrina through the lens of vulnerability. Three different traditions have emerged in the discourse on vulnerability. While all three agree that vulnerability is a function of external stresses and internal capacities, they differ in their emphasis on natural versus social systems. The risk-hazard tradition is the oldest approach to vulnerability analysis, and locates risk in nature. As Adger explains, this tradition defines vulnerability as a function of: 1) the probability of a natural disaster, and 2) the exposure of people and assets to that natural hazard (Adger, 2006). This tradition supports engineering approaches to risk management based on quantifying the probability of a hazard and deploying physical controls to mitigate the hazard (Alexander, 1993; Burton, Kates, & White, 1978; Heyman, Davis, & Krumpe, 1991). For example, this tradition would view flood risk as primarily a function of physical geography, and would
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recommend physical controls such as land use regulations or riverbank levees to reduce risk (Alexander, 1993). In contrast to the risk-hazard tradition, the social constructivist tradition locates risk in society. Scholars in this tradition note that different social groups experience “vast differences in damages associated with similar climate stressors” (Ribot, 2010). This tradition therefore seeks to understand not only what places and communities are at risk, but why they are at risk. This tradition supports the development of social policies to mitigate the disparate impact of similar stressors among different social groups. For example, researchers in this tradition might find that hunger occurs during a drought not because of the physical characteristics of the drought, but “because of privatization policies that limit pastoral mobility, making pastoralists dependent on precarious rain-fed agriculture (Ribot, 2010). Finally, the integrative approach to vulnerability analysis locates risk in the social-ecological system. This approach recognizes that “human action and social structures are integral to nature and hence any distinction between social and natural systems is arbitrary” (Adger, 2006). Once the frame of reference becomes the social-ecological system, vulnerability becomes both an outcome and a driver – a state subject to multiple stressors and multiple pathways. The systems approach also recognizes the possibility that feedbacks may occur between risks located in nature and risks located in society. For example, “shocks can reinforce poverty by interrupting education, stunting children’s physical development, destroying assets, forcing sale of productive capital, and deepening social differentiation from poor households’ slower recovery” (Ribot, 2010). Many approaches are possible within the integrative tradition. One of the earliest was the pressure release model, which 021
vulnerability and loss as an outcome of natural hazards
housing displacement in the year after katrina vulnerability revealed
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perceived people as susceptible to harm because of interacting pressures from physical hazards and social vulnerability (Blaikie, Cannon, Davis, & Wisner, 1994; Rauken & Kelman, 2010). The integrative tradition supports complex responses that recognize the value of both engineering and social policy approaches (O’Brien, Eriksen, Nygaard, & Schjolden, 2007; Oels, 2013; Watts & Bohle, 1993). This article applies the integrative approach to vulnerability analysis to examine the sources of the vulnerability revealed by Hurricane Katrina. In particular, this paper examines vulnerability to housing damage and displacement at two points in time: one year after the storm and one decade after the storm. The purpose of the analysis is to shape more robust adaptation measures in the face of climate change. Only by understanding the sources of vulnerability can we treat its causes as well as its symptoms. While much of New Orleans was devastated by Katrina, some neighborhoods and communities were more devastated than others. Data compiled by FEMA show that damage to housing was disproportionately concentrated in the city’s Black community, among the unemployed, and among the poor. In New Orleans, Black people comprised 75% of the population in damaged areas, compared to 46.2% of the population in undamaged areas. Similarly, unemployment rates were 10.4% in damaged areas, compared to 7.2% in undamaged areas; and household poverty rates were 29.2% in damaged areas, compared to 24.7% in undamaged areas (Logan, 2006). Analyses of the damage to affordable housing suggest that these disproportionate impacts could serve to reinforce poverty in the future. Of all affordable housing units in New Orleans, 65% of homeownership units were lost to Katrina, and 89% of rental units were lost. In all, 79% of the housing stock lost
to Katrina was affordable to low income households (Hartman & Squires, 2006). Survey data also reveal disparities in the displacement of residents one year after Katrina. Five months after Katrina, approximately two-thirds of White residents had returned to New Orleans. More than a year later, however, less than one half of Black residents had returned. Even after controlling for sociodemographic status and demographic characteristics, Black residents were observed to return to New Orleans at much slower rates than Whites (Fussell, Sastry, & VanLandingham, 2010). To some extent, the vulnerability of New Orleans’ residents to housing damage and displacement was a function of the natural system in which the city is embedded. The city is located at the land-water interface between the coastal communities of Louisiana, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. This location exposes New Orleans to storm surges when tropical storms or hurricanes pass the area. The topography of the city also creates areas of variable risk, with low-lying areas requiring more robust defenses. Superimposed upon these regional and local characteristics is the global trend of climate change. As the atmosphere warms, scientists predict that sea level will rise, and tropical storms and hurricanes along the Gulf Coast will become more frequent and intense. Both of these trends serve to increase the risk of severe flooding. None of the variable risks associated with these “natural” features, however, are entirely natural. At the global scale, the scientific consensus is that climate change is a man-made phenomenon. At the regional scale, scientists have been warning for decades that land subsidence and wetlands loss are increasing the Gulf Coast’s exposure to storms (Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana, 2012). Finally, at the local scale, deferred maintenance and faulty design weakened the city’s
other people in other places. Explicitly race-based actions included the use of redlining by the Federal Housing Administration in the 1930s-1960s and the segregation of schools and other facilities through the 1960s (among many, many other policies). At the same time, explicitly place-based policies concentrated public housing in segregated inner-city neighborhoods, subsidized sprawl, and excluded affordable housing from growing suburbs (Berube & Katz, 2005; Hartman & Squires, 2006). The convergence of these policies with racist norms and behaviors created a landscape of racial and economic segregation in which poor Black households were disproportionately concentrated in declining inner cities. Contrary to expectations, racial and economic segregation in New Orleans have only deepened since the 1970s – concentrating the most socially, economically, and politically marginalized people in some of the lowest-lying areas of the city. New Orleans is one of the few cities in the U.S. in which the segregation between Blacks and Whites grew between 1980 and 2000 (Berube & Katz, 2005). And while the city’s poverty rate has remained stable, the number of concentrated poverty neighborhoods (defined as neighborhoods in which at least 40 percent of residents are living below the federal poverty level) grew by two thirds between 1970 and 2000 (Fussell et al., 2010). By the time Katrina struck, the lowest-lying parts of New Orleans were home to the people least equipped to rebound from a shock. In the city’s concentrated poverty neighborhoods, the average household earned about $20,000 a year; one in 12 adults held a college degree; and four in 10 working-age adults were unemployed (Berube & Katz, 2005). The neighborhood that came to symbolize this convergence of physical and social vulnerability was the Lower Ninth Ward. The Lower Ninth Ward is one of a series of low-lying neighborhoods that border the natural levee along the Mississippi River. Before the storm, the 024 — PANORAMA 24
close-knit neighborhood of 14,000 was among the city’s most vulnerable. The population was 99.5% non-white, the average household income was less than half the city average, and the poverty rate was 30 percent higher than the city poverty rate (Brookings Institution, 2005). After the storm, the extent of the damage and loss in the Lower Ninth Ward was staggering. Flooding depths reached 3.5 meters and hundreds of homes were swept from their foundations The Federal Emergency Management Agency determined that more than 80% of the neighborhood’s homes sustained severe damage or were destroyed (Green, Bates, & Smyth, 2007). The vulnerability of New Orleans’ poor, Black residents to housing damage is largely explained by the history of marginalization and segregation. Their vulnerability to displacement, however, requires an analysis of actions both before and after the storm. Statistical analysis suggests that much of the racial disparity in displacement can be attributed to disparities in housing damage. Some of the disparity, however, can also be attributed to the uneven reopening and recovery of neighborhoods (Fussell et al., 2010). A mandatory evacuation was declared on August 28, and the city did not begin reopening neighborhoods to residents until September 29. The city reopened less damaged neighborhoods before more damaged neighborhoods, and did not reopen the Lower Ninth Ward until May of 2006. While the delayed reopening of flooded neighborhoods served to protect residents, the city also delayed the reopening of public housing that it had initially deemed habitable and/or repairable. Before Katrina, New Orleans’ four largest public housing complexes (Iberville, C.J. Peete, Lafitte, and B.W. Cooper – also known as the “Big Four”) provided about 60 percent of the city’s public housing. While two of the complexes were located in the moderately flooded Central City district and two were
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located in the severely flooded Mid-City and Gentilly districts, the city initially determined that the complexes had experienced minor to moderate damage and would be reopened (Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, 2007). Despite the severe housing shortage, the city delayed their reopening, deflected resident inquiries, and ultimately demolished all four complexes (Hartman & Squires, 2006). The uneven recovery of neighborhood housing was compounded by the uneven reopening of neighborhood schools and health facilities, and the uneven restoration of public services. The lack of basic services, facilities, and housing served to reinforce a cycle of disinvestment. Without these building blocks of a livable neighborhood, residents were reluctant to return; and without residents, vacant neighborhoods were not prioritized for rebuilding. Ten years after Katrina, New Orleans shows marked signs of recovery. The city’s population is about 90% of what it was pre-Katrina, and many of the socioeconomic indicators compiled by the U.S. Census suggest a population with greater financial and human capital. Average household income (in 2013 dollars) rose from $58,398 in 2000 to $61,211 in 20092013; the proportion of adults with a posthigh school education rose from 55.4% to 61.7%, and the proportion of working age adults who were unemployed fell from 13.2% to 10.3% (The Data Center, 2015b; U.S. Census, 2015). Measures of the spatial distribution of growth and wealth also show signs of promise. Sixty-five of the city’s 72 neighborhoods grew in the last 5 years, and more than half of New Orleans’ neighborhoods now have over 90 percent of their pre-Katrina population (The Data Center, 2015a). Poverty has not decreased but it has become less concentrated, with the share of the city’s poor residents living in concentrated poverty neighborhoods falling from 39% in 2000 to 30% in 20092013 (Berube & Holmes, 2015). Beneath these city-wide signs of
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recovery, however, lies a more troubling story of uneven return and continued marginalization. The city’s shifting demographics are a key sign of uneven return. While the city was 68% Black and 28% White before Katrina, it is about 60% Black and 35% White today. As the city’s Black population fell by nearly a quarter, its White population (including Hispanics) actually climbed by 9% (U.S. Census, 2015). Examining rates of return for particular neighborhoods and public housing developments paints an even bleaker portrait. The neighborhoods that have seen the slowest rates of return, recovering less than half of their pre-Katrina population, include three of the city’s “Big Four” public housing sites and the Lower Ninth Ward (The Data Center, 2015a). Within the “Big Four” developments, only 11% of families have returned. When analyzed by race, the city’s socio-economic indicators also tell a more troubling story. The median household income for Black households (at $24,065) is about one third the median household income for White households (at $65,171). More alarming still, the Black family poverty rate (30.5%) is more than five times the White rate (5.8%). At the same time, the Black unemployment rate (15.3%) is triple the White unemployment rate (5.2%), and the Black rate of post-high school education (47.7%) is only slightly more than half the White rate (81.1%) (U.S. Census, 2015). While the disparities in unemployment and educational attainment have fallen compared to the year before the storm, the disparities in median household income, paradoxically, have increased. In 2005 Black median household income was about half of White median household income, compared to about a third today (U.S. Census, 2015). Finally, different analyses of the spatial distribution of poor households tell a more somber story. As public housing was replaced with portable housing vouchers, the intent was to provide poorer households the opportunity to live in neighborhoods with less poverty and better
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housing and displacement in the decade after katrina: vulnerability persists
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transportation, poor households have less flexibility to rebuild their homes while continuing to work and earn a living. In the aftermath of Katrina, the limited private resources of poor, Black households was compounded by the inequitable distribution of public funding for rebuilding. Shortly after his appointment, Gulf Coast recovery czar Donald Powell announced that his first priority for recovery was “levees, levees, levees,” and his second priority was “housing, housing, housing” (Hartman & Squires, 2006). But public assistance for rebuilding affordable housing was limited. In the case of affordable rental housing, government programs were structured to compensate landlords for the costs of rebuilding. Many landlords of affordable rental units, however, did not have the resources to cover the up-front costs. In the case of affordable homeownership housing, the federal Road Home program was authorized to compensate homeowners for the costs of rebuilding up to the pre-Katrina value of their home or $150,000, whichever was lesser. But New Orleans’ extreme racial and economic segregation resulted in much lower preKatrina values for the homes of poor, Black residents, and federal compensation was often inadequate to cover the costs of rebuilding in poor neighborhoods (Hartman & Squires, 2006). Public resources were also slow to arrive for the rebuilding of public infrastructure and services in affordable neighborhoods, such as water and gas, sewage systems, schools, fire departments, and grocery stores. One study demonstrated that the lack of private and public resources was as significant a barrier to rebuilding as the extent of damage sustained after the storm (Hartman & Squires, 2006). A more recent study suggested that this lack of resources is having the greatest impact on the recovery of moderately vulnerable groups. While groups with low social vulnerability have the private resources to recover, and groups with high social vulnerability are receiving assistance
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from government programs, groups that fall in between are experiencing a lagging recovery (Finch, Emrich, & Cutter, 2010). One particularly interesting wrinkle in the story of rebuilding New Orleans’ housing is the decision of the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) to demolish the “Big Four” public housing complexes. Katrina came at a time when the federal government was promoting the deconcentration of poverty (and related social ills) by replacing dense public housing with lower density, mixed income communities. With funding from a federal program known as HOPE VI, New Orleans had already destroyed about half of its stock of 14,000 public housing apartments in the 15 years before Katrina. After Katrina, many viewed the evacuation of the remaining “Big Four” public housing complexes as the perfect opportunity to accelerate their replacement with mixed income housing. The goal of the demolition was to improve the living conditions of residents by reducing the concentration of poverty. But critics of the policy find at least two faults with its implementation. First, the majority of public housing residents were unable to return to their pre-Katrina neighborhoods, losing both their homes and their neighborhood social networks. While more than 5,000 families lived in public housing before Katrina, only about 1,900 live in public housing today (McConduit-Diggs, 2015). And within the “Big Four,” only 11% of families have returned. Second, the housing vouchers that replaced the public housing developments appear to have had limited success in reducing concentrated poverty neighborhoods. About 42% of residents with vouchers are concentrated in “low opportunity” neighborhoods characterized by higher health hazards, poorer schools, lower job growth, and poorer transit (Bliss, 2015). Instead of reducing concentrated poverty neighborhoods, the replacement of public housing units with housing vouchers appears only to have shuffled things around. 027
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The continuing social and economic marginalization of the city’s poor Black households can be linked to their political marginalization. Many scholars have argued that reducing vulnerability requires increasing the participation of local communities and developing policies based on their needs and aspirations (Gaillard, 2010; Ribot, 2010). In key planning events after Katrina, however, poor and Black New Orleanians were conspicuously absent (Weber & Peek, 2012). Two planning controversies illustrate the limited political influence of New Orleans’ poor after Katrina. The first is the story of the “green dot” plan unveiled in early 2006 by the Bring New Orleans Back commission. Without any meaningful engagement with local communities, the plan proposed transforming many of New Orleans’ low-lying neighborhoods into parks and greenways. The plan met with widespread anger and opposition and local leaders quickly distanced themselves from the “green dots,” but the pattern of listening to community reactions only after decisions were announced continued. In December of 2007, the city announced its plan to demolish the “Big Four” public housing projects, again with limited public engagement. This time widespread opposition by residents and other affordable housing advocates did not affect the plan, and the city now has 3,000 fewer public housing units. Assuming the average household size for these public housing projects was about the same as the city average, the lost units would have housed about 7,500 people (U.S. Census, 2015). Finally, all of the causes of vulnerability described above have set the stage for dynamics that reinforce the cycle of poverty and marginalization. Two of these dynamics are the loss of social networks and the increasing cost of housing. As described above, the selective approach to rebuilding contributed to the displacement of the city’s poor Black residents, weakening social networks that could offer material and psychological
support. The selective approach to rebuilding may also have contributed to the rise in the cost of housing in New Orleans. Between 2000 and 2013, median gross rent climbed from $488 to $926, and median home value rose by more than $95,000. These changes led to a dramatic increase in the share of renting households paying more than 30% of their income towards rent – from 43% in 2000 to 61% in 2013 (McConduit-Diggs, 2015). The convergence of rising housing costs and limited affordable housing has created a new pathway for displacement – gentrification. In navigating the competing interests of different groups after Katrina, the city appears to have privileged the interests of businesses and middle class residents, seeking to rebuild its tourist economy and retain the tax revenues from middle class households. According to Ribot, the weak within society are often a lower priority for those in power. Because they have fewer connections to those in power and fewer resources, their voices are less likely to be heard and heeded.
s climate change continues unabated, it is critical that we understand who is most susceptible to harm from extreme climate events and why. Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, we can examine who was most impacted by the storm in the near and long term, and how they came to experience the most harm. This paper applied an integrated approach to vulnerability to address these questions. The natural, social, economic, and political dimensions of vulnerability were examined to explain the disparate impacts of Katrina on New Orleans’ Black and White residents. A long history of racial and economic segregation explained much of the disparity in housing damage following the storm. Poorer, Black households were disproportionately concentrated in the lower-lying parts of the city that experienced the most flooding. In the weeks and months after the storm,
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CNN. (2015). Hurricane Katrina Statistics Fast Facts - CNN.com. Retrieved October 28, 2015, from http://www.cnn.
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana. (2012). Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable
Coast. Retrieved from http://coastal.la.gov/a-common-vision/2012-coastal-master-plan/
Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives. (2007). Federal Housing Response to Hurricane Katrina:
Hearing before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives.
FEMA. (2006). By the Numbers - One Year Later. Federal Emergency Management Agency. Retrieved from http://www.fema.
Finch, C., Emrich, C. T., & Cutter, S. L. (2010). Disaster disparities and differential recovery in New Orleans. Population and
Environment, 31(4), 179–202. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11111-009-0099-8
Fussell, E., Sastry, N., & VanLandingham, M. (2010). Race, socioeconomic status, and return migration to New Orleans after
Hurricane Katrina. Population and Environment, 31(1-3), 20–42. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11111-009-0092-2
Gaillard, J.-C. (2010). Vulnerability, capacity and resilience: perspectives for climate and development policy. Journal of
International Development, 22(2), 218–232.
Green, R., Bates, L. K., & Smyth, A. (2007). Impediments to recovery in New Orleans’ Upper and Lower Ninth Ward: one year
after Hurricane Katrina. Disasters, 31(4), 311–335.
Hartman, C. W., & Squires, G. D. (2006). There is no such thing as a natural disaster: Race, class, and Hurricane Katrina.
New York: Routledge.
Heyman, B. N., Davis, C., & Krumpe, P. F. (1991). An assessment of worldwide disaster vulnerability. Disaster Management,
Logan, J. R. (2006). The impact of Katrina: Race and class in storm-damaged neighborhoods. Brown University, 16. McConduit-Diggs, E. (2015). State of Black New Orleans: 10 Years Post Katrina. Urban League of Greater New Orleans.
Retrieved from http://www.urbanleagueneworleans.org/ul/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/StateofBlackNewOrle
ans_TenYearsPostKatrina.pdf O’Brien, K., Eriksen, S., Nygaard, L., & Schjolden, A. (2007). Why different interpretations of vulnerability matter in climate
change discourses. Climate Policy, 7(1), 73–88.
Oels, A. (2013). Rendering climate change governable by risk: From probability to contingency. Geoforum, 45, 17–29. http://
Potter, H. (2007). Racing the storm: Racial implications and lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina. Lanham: Lexington
Books. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Zhuj9NNvqigC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&d
Rauken, T., & Kelman, I. (2010). River flood vulnerability in Norway through the pressure and release model. Journal of
Flood Risk Management, 3(4), 314–322. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-318X.2010.01080.x
Ribot, J. (2010). Vulnerability does not just Fall from the Sky: Toward Multi-scale Pro-poor Climate Policy. In R. Mearns & A.
Norton (Eds.), Social dimensions of climate change: equity and vulnerability in a warming world. World Bank
Publications. The Data Center. (2015a). Neighborhood Recovery Rates: Growth continues through 2015 in New Orleans
neighborhoods. Retrieved from http://www.datacenterresearch.org/reports_analysis/neighborhood-recov
The Data Center. (2015b). Neighborhood Statistical Area Data Profiles. Retrieved December 8, 2015, from
U.S. Census. (2015). American FactFinder. Retrieved from http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.
xhtml Watts, M. J., & Bohle, H. G. (1993). The space of vulnerability: the causal structure of hunger and famine. Progress in Human
Geography, 17(1), 43–67. http://doi.org/10.1177/030913259301700103
Weber, L., & Peek, L. (2012). Displaced: Life in the Katrina diaspora. University of Texas Press.
photos cited All photos are licensed for fair use under Creative Commons 2.0 or permissions have been specifically granted by the author
01 Moran, Lieutenant Commander Mark. wea02628. Available from Flickr Commons. Taken September 11, 2005.
02 Galley, David. Angela Chalk. Published August 22, 2015. NPR. http://www.npr.org/2015/08/22/433012245/new-orleans- neighborhoods-scrabble-for-hope-in-abandoned-ruins 03 Apricot, Karen. Green Space Map. Available from Flickr Commons. Uploaded November 17, 2006. https://flic.kr/p/stePN 04 Bridges, David. C.J. Peete Remnant. Available from Flickr Commons. Taken July 16, 2007. https://flic.kr/p/2ft39e 05 The City of New Orleans. New Orelans is a Coastal City. In Resilient New Orleans. 2015
MOBILIZING UPPER NORTH Philadelphia, PA
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Figure 4: Destination diagram that estimate the time from Upper North Philadelphia to transportation centers by mode Data from Google Maps.
note, however, that the sample size for inbound non-residents was too small to draw definitive conclusions about, or to model their behavior. Taking this into account, we chose to focus on residents only. We used these groups to create a multinomial mode choice logit model where we estimated the utility of several modes available to residents. The model revealed that cost, despite the lower incomes of residents, is a relatively insignificant factor in Upper North
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Philadelphians’ choices; rather, time is much more valuable. For this reason, our goals, alternatives, and evaluation focus on travel-time costs rather than monetary costs such as fares. The transportation network in Upper North Philadelphia is composed of roads, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian infrastructure. Their location and their condition determines the accessibility of destinations for the area’s residents. Each sub-network is evaluated below to ground the alternatives. Congestion is focused on Roosevelt Boulevard, Rising Sun Avenue, and Broad Street; however, considering the entire network in Upper North Philadelphia, the roads are generally uncongested (see Figure 11). The road network provides easy access to regional destinations. The destination diagrams in Figure 4 show how long it takes to travel from the heart of the area – Erie Avenue and Broad Street – to regional transit stations in Philadelphia. On the whole, residents can rely on the existing road infrastructure to access local and regional destinations in a reasonable amount of time. Public transportation in Upper North Philadelphia is comprehensive and offering access to many regional destinations. The transit network is composed of the Broad Street subway, the Trenton Regional Rail line, and sixteen bus lines dispersed across Upper North Philadelphia. Walkscore.com, a website that calculates the quality of local transit, walking, and biking conditions, gives Upper North Philadelphia an average transit score of 74 out of 100, which is higher than Philadelphia County, which is rated at 67 out of 100 (see Figure 8). Transit times within the neighborhood are standard and consistent with relatively high on-time performance. The series of bus maps in Figure 5 show the bus route network in Upper North Philadelphia and their relative ridership and frequency at base and peak periods. Figure 5 also shows the bus lines that run through Upper North Philadelphia at a county-level scale; this 035
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Figure 7: Photos of parking, bicycle, and pedestrian conditions in Upper North Philadelphia
despite their general physical degradation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; since the vast majority of trips in the area are within the area or to adjacent areas. The
benchmarks, which are based on our analysis of existing conditions, behavior around mode choice, and travel patterns, guide the alternatives and the choice of a preferred alternative that improves access 037
and mobility for residents in Upper North Philadelphia: The transportation system and infrastructure should be designed in such a way that residents are able to access transportation options within a reasonable distance. As a benchmark, we propose the co-location of transportation options with high-density residential nodes and activity nodes. Users should have access to transit stops within a quarter mile from any location within Upper North Philadelphia. The transportation system should ensure that residents have access to regional center and employment nodes with travel times of less than an hour, regardless of the mode of transportation. Proposed improvements for the transportation system should be costeffective and economically feasible for the residents of the study area. To benchmark cost-effectiveness, we weigh the cost of the project against the benefits for the community. 038 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; PANORAMA 24
99 Bike Score
Figure 8: A comparison of walk, transit, and bike score for Philadelphia County, University City, Center City, and Upper North Philadelphia Data from Walkscore.com
While cars offer a range of time-saving benefits, they also offer an array of disadvantages ranging from environmental pollution to costliness. We seek to decrease car dependence by targeting the reduction of trips made by car (since car ownership is already low). This means providing access to alternative modes. We benchmark this by measuring the decrease in daily car trips made by residents. The transportation system that serves Upper North Philadelphia should accommodate all modes so that all residents can choose to travel in a variety of ways. To achieve this goal, the infrastructure for non-motorized modes should be enhanced and the transit system should be extended to areas where there are service gaps. This goal focuses on improving both internal and external access. Good external access is defined by residentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ability to travel to prominent regional nodes without transferring more than
enhance geographic convenience
increase time efficiency
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once and having direct access no matter the mode. The design of streetscape should provide a pleasant pedestrian environment and safe walking conditions. All streets should be ADA compliant and all major intersections should incorporate best practices in terms of â&#x20AC;&#x153;complete streets,â&#x20AC;? which focuses on safety measures for pedestrians. This
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alternative ways to improve the mobility and accessibility conditions for residents in Upper North Philadelphia. Each of these alternatives has a specific focus that addresses specific gaps in mobility, as shown in our existing conditions analysis. The No-Build alternative explores how mobility conditions would most likely evolve without significant intervention. Steady population in the last ten years indicates that demand will most likely remain constant (Figure 10). This means that roads will likely remain relatively uncongested (see Figure 11), parking conditions will stay consistent, and transit will continue to serve the area comprehensively and frequently. However, the condition of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, which is deficient now, would most likely continue to decline and hamper the mobility and accessibility of residents who walk, bike, or walk to transit (see Figure 9). Despite the overall stability of the system for motorized modes (private and public), the deterioration of non-motorized infrastructure paints a
Figure 9: Photos of degraded bicycle and pedestrian conditions and the under capacity parking system in Upper North Philadelphia.
Over capacity Under capacity
Figure 12: Job centers in Philadelphia County for residents in Upper North Philadelphia (proportionate to the amount of jobs) Data from the US Census Bureau’s On the Map.
Figure 13: Unemployment in Upper North Philadelphia, 2000 - 2013 Data from the U.S. Census, ACS 5-year estimates for 2013.
Figure 14: Map of the proposed interventions in the External Connections alternative, including the new bus line to the airport, the extension of the 56, and service improvements to the 56 and 60
Figure 10： (upper) Population between 2000 and 2013 in Upper North Philadelphia (lower) Car ownership in 2000 and 2013 Data from the U.S. Census, ACS 5-year estimates for 2013. 040 — PANORAMA 24
Proposed airport bus line
Figure 11： Volume-capacity ratios in Upper North Philadelphia Data from DVRPC’s VISUM travel model.
pessimistic picture for the future mobility of residents in Upper North Philadelphia. The decline of pedestrian and bicycle networks discourages the use of these modes and worsens travel conditions for hundreds of residents. The External Connection alternative responds to gaps in service to regionally important activity and employment centers in the hope of increasing access to opportunity and jobs since Upper North Philadelphia has a high rate of unemployment (25% in 2013) (see Figure 13). Because we are seeking to reduce car dependence and many of these destinations are too far to reasonably walk or bike, we focus on improving transit service in this alternative. Figure 12 shows some of the primary employment centers for residents in Upper North Philadelphia. Many residents work in Center City, at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and the Navy Yard. While many of these employment nodes are currently well-served by buses or the subway, other important job centers such as the airport, the Curran-Folhom Correctional Facility, and a large number of secondary employment centers along Roosevelt Boulevard are not easily accessible without a car. Proposals to supplement service include an extension of the 56 bus route, service improvements to the 56 and 60, and a new bus route from Upper North Philadelphia to the airport.
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The 56 bus route connects Upper North Philadelphia to the northeast of the county, and extending it east by one kilometer would create a more efficient and direct connection to the correctional facility, which is one of the main employment centers that is not wellconnected to Upper North Philadelphia. These two bus routes are the only routes serving the northeastern portion of the county (and many job centers) and boast high ridership. They do not run very frequently; and where capacity is low, frequency can begin to make up the difference. In this scenario, we propose increasing base service from every 15 minutes to every 10 minutes for the 56 bus and peak service from 8 minutes to 6 minutes for the 60 bus. The last, and most ambitious, part of this alternative is the creation of a new bus route that connects Upper North Philadelphia to the University of Pennsylvania and the airport. As seen in Figure #, the new bus route will create a
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In this alternative, a tri-partite set of programs will ameliorate deteriorated pedestrian and bicycle conditions, allowing residents making internal trips to access a variety of modes.
westward link across the Schuylkill to the University of Pennsylvania and continue southward to reach the airport, which is one of the main employment centers for residents in Upper North Philadelphia. The route is long and would not provide significant time savings to residents, so we designated only one stop every mile to improve its performance. Balancing this and the cost-effectiveness of the intervention, we have proposed a limited service plan where the bus runs from 4:00 AM to 12:00 AM. It will run every 20 minutes and every 12 minutes at peak hours. Altogether, these three proposals aim to reduce travel times to regional employment centers and widen access to jobs and opportunities. The Internal Connection alternative emphasizes non-motorized transportation to improve internal connections in Upper North Philadelphia. Our concern for internal connections comes from the primacy of inter-
neighborhood trips or to adjacent areas such as County Planning Area 5 (see map). Because these trips can be made effectively by bicycle and pedestrian modes, we focus here on improving these networks. Additionally, vulnerable populations such as female-headed households and residents with disabilities disproportionately rely upon walking, giving us the opportunity to address their needs. The streets program focuses on three main issues: parking, streetscape, and physical accessibility. Currently, the parking in Upper North Philadelphia is far from overcrowded; however, the lack of enforcement and compliance with parking in legally demarcated spots is problematic. As seen in the diagram, vehicles are often parked on sidewalks and in open green spaces. In response, we propose implementation of stricter parking enforcement through the increased presence of traffic officers to regulate illegal parking. Physical
Figure 15ďź&#x161; Proposed connections between existing bike lanes pictured in dashed lines. 042 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; PANORAMA 24
improve the safety and experience of bicycling as well, meaning the installation of buffered bicycle lanes (in our scenario, all lanes are buffered) and protective separation using bollards along streets with heavy traffic. To further encourage cycling, bicycle parking will be installed in strategic areas throughout Upper North Philadelphia. The widespread dominance of cars has several negative consequences for residents, most prominently injury and loss of life due to collisions. As Figure 16 shows, many of Upper North Philadelphiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intersections have high concentrations of collisions. The incidence of high speeds and poorly designed intersections along main arterials creates a hostile environment to all non-motorized
users. To counter this, we propose the improvement of design and signaling systems of main intersections. This would mean interventions such as clearer road markings, road textures that discourage driving at high speeds, the installation of medians to shelter pedestrians who are crossing wide streets, providing lighting to improve safety, and promoting a humanscale landscaping scheme. This section evaluates the three alternatives qualitatively and quantitatively, against our stated goals and benchmarks. Geographic convenience would only be partially met in this scenario. As Figure 18 shows, the entire neighborhood is located within a quarter mile of a bus
evaluation: no build
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Figure 18: Buffered bus routes in Upper North Philadelphia Data from Google Maps.
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Figure 19: Miles by mode in Upper North Philadelphia Data from the City of Philadelphia, SEPTA, and the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia
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stop. The Broad Street line also offers additional convenience. However, the bicycle network is less convenient and covers less than 0.02% of the road network (see Figure 18). According to the 2013 Census, the average commute time in Upper North Philadelphia is 38 minutes, whereas the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s overall average is 32 minutes. This indicates that residents of Upper North Philadelphia are somewhat burdened by travel-time costs. This is especially egregious considering the relative centrality of the area within the county. While some important transportation and employment centers can be reached reasonably by transit, commutes to economically important destinations such as the airport can become costly and long. Under this scenario, time efficiency would remain subpar. The no-build scenario is clearly the most cost-effective and economically feasible. However, inaction comes with a cost â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in 2013, there were almost 700 collisions and 13 fatalities, of which the social costs are invaluable. Furthermore, the continued degradation of the nonmotorized networks in this scenario would continue to encourage residents to switch to cars, which generating more negative environmental, economic, and social impacts. As previously discussed, car ownership is comparatively low in Upper North Philadelphia and is predicted to
slightly increase or remain steady (see Figure #). Therefore, under this scenario, the goal of decreased car dependency would not be met. Figure 18 shows the number of miles in each network, which is dominated by cars. A no-build scenario would not strengthen the multimodality of the network. Upper North Philadelphia lacks connections to some of the major employment centers in the northeast and southwest. While the transit network provides good connections to the northwest and south, the gaps remain problematic. The no-build scenario only partially meets this goal. The deteriorated conditions of the streetscape are likely to worsen and further obstruct safe and pleasant nonautomobile trips. Because this scenario focuses on external connectivity, geographic convenience would remain the same as in the no-build scenario. The proposals in this scenario will give direct access and time-travel savings to important employment centers in the county. Bringing destinations such as the airport into forty-five minutes on transit meets this goal. The service improvements, extension, and new bus route come with significant cost. We estimate that the capital cost of these proposals will 045
total $1.5 million (including additional buses, shelters, signs, and an extensive marketing campaign). The operating costs would be around $5.5 million annually. These estimates do not include traffic and alignment studies for the new bus route. Within SEPTA’s larger budget, operating costs would be a reasonable expense (they would occupy 0.4% of the total operating budget for 2014). Compared to the benefits to residents, these two costs are justifiable. For example, if 10% of the unemployed labor force who are actively searching for jobs were to gain employment (and earn
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the area’s average wage), the area would start to draw level with the county in terms of wealth and comfort. The proposals for this scenario would most likely attract ridership from cars, meeting this goal. The external emphasis of this scenario would likely have an insignificant impact on the multimodality of the transportation network in Upper North Philadelphia, meaning that this scenario does not meet this goal. This alternative brings residents within direct access of many regionally
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important nodes, meeting this goal. As with other goals in this scenario, the emphasis on external connectivity over internal conditions does little to improve the streetscape or to meet this goal. The improvement of pedestrian infrastructure and the enhancement of the bicycle network will have a significant impact on geographical convenience. Access to transit will be optimized and cycling would become a much convenient mode. Therefore, these interventions would indicate significant attainment of our first goal. The extension of the bicycle network within Upper North Philadelphia would decrease the travel time for cyclists by either providing more direct connections to transit stations and routes or by facilitating a more efficient circulation, reducing travel time for cyclists. This improvement signals the attainment of the second goal for this scenario. As with our second scenario, the infrastructure improvements formulated for the improvement of the internal connections of Upper North Philadelphia come with elevated monetary costs. We estimate the cost of neighborhood-wide improvements at nearly $11 million. On the other hand, estimations from Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center allow us to see that the extension of the bike lanes –which amounts to roughly 17 miles– and the proposed improvements of the existing bike lanes would have an approximate cost of $130,000 per mile (for a 5-foot wide bike lane), which would come to a total of $3.5 million. For the parking infrastructure, we assume that we would begin by implementing these measures along Broad Street, which runs a total of 1.8 miles in Upper North Philadelphia. Using this figure and calculating for space for intersections, fire hydrants and other obstacles to parking, we figure that re-striping for clarity (estimated at thirty cents per foot), erecting signs
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communicating parking laws (estimated at one per block for 53 blocks, counting both sides of Broad Street), and installing bollards every foot and a third along 30% of the street’s sidewalks would cost roughly $4.1 million. The sum of these three major interventions is estimated at $15.1 million. While this number is much larger than the second scenario, they are capital costs rather than operating costs. A capitalintensive project like this could compete for state or federal grants and be feasible with phasing and other long-term financing mechanisms. Of course, maintenance is an important part of infrastructure, and in more detailed studies this would be an important consideration. Therefore, this proposal meets the goal of cost-efficiency part of the way. The improvement of the cycling infrastructure and the pedestrian infrastructure for walking trips and access to transit services would divert a number of car trips to transit or non-motorized modes. This signifies that the fourth goal is met in this scenario. The extension and enhancement of the bicycle network, as well as the physical improvements to the pedestrian infrastructure promotes the role of non-motorized modes within the transportation network in our area of study. Further, these improvements would most likely increase the use of the transit system, which could additionally change and enhance the role of transit in Upper North Philadelphia. These actions show that this scenario also achieves our fifth goal. The improvement of major crosswalks within our neighborhood improves the internal connectivity along Upper North Philadelphia. However, the lack of significant improvements to external connectivity indicate that this goal is met only partially by our third scenario. An important section of this alternative –the streets program– is directly targeted to the improvement of Upper North Philadelphia’s streetscape. 047
This scenario not only proposes the physical amelioration of crossings and the compliance with ADA requirements, but it formulates aesthetic interventions to make the pedestrian spaces safer and more comfortable for the residents of our area of study. With this, our seventh goal is met by this last alternative. Of the alternatives, the internal connectivity alternative meets the most of the seven goals, which are based on our analysis of household travel survey preferred alternative and conclusions
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Preferred Alternative: This alternative selects proposals and projects from each of the internal and external connectivity scenarios and pairs them with a phasing plan for effective implementation. The interventions in this alternative include the extension of the 56 bus route, the new bus route to the airport, and improvements to the bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure (crosswalks in particular). To manage this program, we have included a phasing plan that could achieve all projects in ten to fifteen years. It takes into account that larger projects such as the bus route and crossing improvements will need more community involvement and more time to generate support and gather funds.
data, Census data, and our mode choice model. There are other critical aspects, however, that this scenario does not meet. In particular, the external connectivity alternative fills this gap with its focus on employment and regional connectivity. After a review of community input, we constructed a preferred alternative which blends the internal and external connectivity alternatives.
Altogether, this final alternative meets all of our goals: it spatially locates residents closer to transportation, increases time-savings across modes, decreases car dependency, strengthens the multimodality of the network, improves connectivity regionally, and greatly improves the streetscape. Additionally, it stimulates economic and community development, enhances the character of the neighborhood, and increases the safety and livability of an area that has long seen, felt, and experienced disinvestment. We believe that this final alternative will bring a vast array of benefits to an area that has long been underserved and vulnerable.
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Demographic Data is from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey using the 5-year estimates for 2013. Spatial land use data is from the City of Philadelphia’s 2011-2013, found at http://metadata.phila.gov/#home/ datasetdetails/5543864420583086178c4e74/?view_219_sort=field_15|asc As mentioned in page 5, the majority of the data on these pages is from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s 2000 Household Travel Survey. Destination diagram maps are based on the time from Erie and Broad to disparate locations based on time calculations given by Google Maps. Route statistics were provided by SEPTA’s “Route Statistics” document, published in 2015 and found at http://bit.ly/1RdYZ3E. Data from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, which can be found at http://bicyclecoalition.org. Data from the Walkscore.com, found at https://www.walkscore.com. Because the area defined as County Planning Area 6 is not defined in Walkscore, I took the proximate neighborhoods that roughly defined the area and averaged them for the final scores presented in the table. Data for buffered bus routes from Google Maps. Information on crashes in Upper North Philadelphia comes from Erick Guerra’s Crash Philly data. The calculation of the road network was done using data from spatial data from the City of Philadelphia, calculations made from the map provided by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Measurements of bus routes miles in Upper North Philadelphia were done by hand in Google Maps. The count is based on the infrastrucutre, and so does not double-count for north- and south-bound routes. SEPTA’s FY2014 Budget can be found at http://septa.org/strategic-plan/reports/annual-2014.pdf. Unemployment statistics came from the US Census Bureau: recent unemployment is drawn from the 2013 ACS 5-year estimates and the 2000 counts are from the Decennial Census. Bus stop calculations and density were calculated based on a) the length of the route and b) our desired speed, roughly 25 miles per hour. Michael Perkins addresses the relationship between bus stop density and average bus speed in Metropolitan Washington D.C., which is the basis for our choice of one stop per mile, which yields roughly 1213 stops along our route. Perkins article can be found here: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/5873/busstop-density-correlates-with-speed/.
While planners are generally aware of the need to mitigate global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, most cities are arguably unprepared for the challenges of adapting and responding to its consequences. Esther Needham proposes a process for integrating social capital and vulnerability into disaster management and response planning.
Satellite image of Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. Scientists predict an increase in frequency and intensity of storms as a result of climate change.
Community Volunteers working together to clean up a board walk in New York City after Superstorm Sandy.
An emergency vehicle working to clear the roads amidst a winter storm.
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he Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that climate change will bring vast shifts in the Earth’s weather patterns and temperatures. These shifts will bring about more intense storms and rain events, more frequent and more intense heat waves, and rising seas that will threaten coastal communities with inundation and storm surges (IPCC 2015). Although mitigating risk to disasters through infrastructure and engineering solutions is a part of the answer, disasters are inevitable. The ability for a region or community to bounce back after such a disaster is often termed as resiliency (Martin-Breen et. al. 2011). Increasingly, research shows that resiliency is dependent upon the social networks and ties, both formal and informal, which exist within the affected community (Carpenter 2013). While emergency management offices around the country typically identify and plan for natural hazards, few integrate the role of social networks and community resiliency into hazard mitigation and recovery. Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is no exception. This article proposes a process by which a city, such as Philadelphia, can measure and map social networks in support of greater resiliency. The five-year update to Philadelphia’s Natural Hazard Mitigation plan, which commenced in 2015, provides an opportunity for the City to engage in this process and increase its ability to withstand and respond to disasters. In the middle of February 2014, a massive storm hit Philadelphia, dumping over eleven inches of snow and throwing the city into a declared State of Emergency. That year, 2013-2014, was Philadelphia’s second snowiest winter on record, eclipsed only by 2009-2010 (City of Philadelphia 2014). Perhaps counterintuitively, this recent onslaught of frozen precipitation has been generated by warming global temperatures. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recorded
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2014 as the hottest global year on record (Anthony et. al. 2015). This title was recently claimed by 2015, with December of that year the hottest and wettest ever recorded in the United States and the first month in which global temperatures rose two degrees Fahrenheit above average (Miller 2016). Increasing temperatures are changing weather patterns globally, causing more extreme storms and larger swings in temperatures. Rainfall patterns are projected to shift, bringing drought, flooding, and increased erosion (IPCC 2015). Though occurring at an international scale, these dramatic shifts in climate will increasingly have an impact at the local level, including in Philadelphia. Philadelphia’s emergency managers and planners must have a strong understanding of how projected climate changes will affect the city. Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability has worked to downscale national and regional climate change and hazard projections to do just that. As expected, these studies project that Philadelphia will see increasing temperatures throughout all seasons. Present average winter temperatures (41.9° F) and average summer temperatures (84.5° F) are projected to increase, with the city seeing an annual increase of up to 9.3° F by 2081-2099. The city may also face a substantial increase in both the frequency and intensity of heat waves, putting more pressure on infrastructure, energy systems, and health facilities (ICF 2014). The city may be at greater risk of “buckling of highways, thermal expansion of bridge joints, [and] deforming rail tracks” (ICF 2014, 4). Higher use of air conditioning may strain the energy system, leading to rolling blackouts. A shift in pattern and amount of precipitation is also expected to accompany these increasing temperatures. Philadelphia is projected to see an increase of about four to six days per year designated as “very heavy” or “extremely heavy” precipitation events. Despite this increase in frequency, the amount of precipitation received during these events is projected 051
to remain constant. Winter months are expected to receive the most increase in precipitation, with a spike of around 60%. This will create major challenges for Philadelphia’s combined sewer overflow system, which emits untreated sewage into waterways during high-volume rain events. While the City has done much to address this problem, increasing precipitation will increase overflows, thus decreasing water quality and increasing human and environmental health risks (ICF 2014). Water quality and supply may be affected both by rising tides and by drought conditions in the mountains which form the headwaters of the Delaware River, the source of 60% of the city’s drinking water. While there is uncertainty about the extent of this drought, it is clear that Philadelphia will face a change in its water availability, quality, and reliability (ICF 2014). Philadelphia experienced a 48% greater increase in sea level rise than the global average from 1900-2006. Specific predictions for sea level rise in Philadelphia range from 12 to 54 inches by 2100; this may increase the chloride levels in the Delaware River, decrease drainage from storms, flood basements, and cause increased storm surge flooding. Much of South Philadelphia, Southwest Philadelphia, and the River Wards are projected to receive increased flooding, even from category 1 or category 2 storms (ICF 2014). These neighborhoods contain significant proportions of the city’s vulnerable populations (City of Philadelphia 2012). philadelphia office of emergency management
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While many of these changes will affect the operations and tasks of a variety of City departments, the bulk will fall on the shoulders of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM). Established during World War II as the Federal Civil Defense Council, OEM’s original mission was to prepare for enemy attacks. This mission gradually evolved, and in 1985 the department became the Office of Emergency Management, taking on the role of assessing and preparing for environmental and natural hazards
(OEM). OEM published its Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan in 2012 (City of Philadelphia 2012), and recently commenced the Plan’s required five-year update. This update is slated to include a deeper level of analysis as well as a greater focus on hazards and risk by neighborhood (City of Philadelphia 2015). OEM’s primary mission is to ensure Philadelphia’s readiness for any emergency, including major snow events, flooding from hurricanes, and collapsing infrastructure. OEM pursues this mission through varied strategies which include “educating the public on how to prepare for emergencies, working with organizations throughout the city to prepare emergency contingencies, mitigating the impact of emergencies, and enabling the city to recover from emergencies as quickly as possible” (City of Philadelphia 2014, 6). The OEM Planning Division has a more strategic focus regarding hazard mitigation. Its primary goals are to identify hazards and work with other government agencies on strategies to mitigate, and recover from, these risks. These strategies include plans, programs, and protective measures which fall into the general categories of Health and Human Services, Infrastructure and Recovery, Homeland Security, and Energy Assurance Planning (OEM). The Planning Division works closely with the Operations Division, which handles the more on-the-ground emergency management work. The plans guide many of the Operations Division’s activates, from flood response to multiplealarm fires to debris removal. A major task of the Operations Division is to activate and maintain the City of Philadelphia’s Emergency Operations Center, a modern facility designed to allow coordination between multiple city departments during major incidents. Additionally, the Operations Division manages the City’s Mobile Emergency Operations Center, Mobile Command Post, and Regional Integration Center, all designed to allow for the most efficient emergency management
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on each other’s doors. The presidents of our block clubs usually know who’s alone, who’s aging, who’s sick. It’s what we always do when it’s very hot or very cold here.’” (Klinenberg 2013, 12). This example makes clear that social networks were vital to this neighborhood’s ability to withstand stressors. Worldwide there are many other examples of such phenomena, ranging from earthquakes in Japan to flooding in New York City (Klinenberg 2013). Several factors may explain the massive effect that social networks have in preparing and responding to disasters. Carpenter (2013) states that social networks are a “conduit for social capital” (9). This social capital gives communities a stronger collective voice with which they can more effectively advocate for aid and funding. Strong networks also provide a bigger pool of participants for informal lending, collaborative projects, and problem solving. Additionally, strong social networks encourage social trust and civic engagement, allowing for more useful interactions among residents and city agencies and foundations. These qualities impact recovery and response as much, if not more than, material resources (Carpenter 2013). In order for OEM to both leverage and improve community resiliency in their hazard mitigation efforts, the agency must find a way to measure social networks, conduct geospatial analysis to represent this data geographically, and develop community outreach and plans to incorporate this information into Philadelphia’s hazard mitigation planning. Community resiliency is a combination of vulnerabilities and strengths. Social vulnerability can be measured through a series of demographic factors. Shannon Van Zandt and her colleagues at Texas A&M have done leading research on the topic, publishing a report entitled “Mapping Social Vulnerability to Enhance Housing and Neighborhood Resilience” (2012). Van Zandt compared social vulnerability maps in Galveston,
Texas to maps depicting post-Hurricane Ike disaster response and recovery. High social vulnerability correlated with negative disaster responses, such as later evacuations, more damage, less resources for recovery from both public or private sources, and slower and less rebuilding and repair (Van Zandt, et al. 2012). While OEM should follow the framework that Van Zandt has outlined to measure the vulnerability of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, OEM should also do more to measure the social networks and the built environment factors that were apparent in Auburn Gresham. Measuring and mapping real-time individual social networks is likely not within OEM’s scope, yet the agency can examine factors which have been shown to increase interactions and promote resilient social networks. Such neighborhood characteristics include: local businesses a mix of uses walkability pedestrian-oriented design and amenities street connectivity higher population density low number of people living alone, lack of vacancy community and grassroots organizations public spaces public activities like sports, farmers markets, community gardens, and entertainment (Carpenter 2013, Godschalk 2003, GoodYear 2013, Paton 2003). These factors are utterly vital; a walkable neighborhood, where people know each other, and
Transportation and Utilities, Department of Licenses and Inspections, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Water Department, Parks and Recreation, Department of Commerce, Office of Information and Technology, Office of Housing and Community Development, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, Reinvestment Fund, The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and The Food Trust. It may also be beneficial for OEM to include private companies that hold information regarding neighborhood amenities, such as MeetUp, NextDoor, WalkScore, Zillow, Yelp, and Azavea, in this effort Finally, OEM should, perhaps in coordination with other departments, solicit public input and feedback regarding personal opinions about community qualities and social networks. This should come in a variety of forms such as web and paper surveys, in-person interviews, focus groups, and public meetings. The United Nations’ “Integrated Questionnaires for the Measurement of Social Capital” sets a precedent for using public input to predict resiliency. For example, this questionnaire was used to show that communities with higher social capital fared far better in two earthquakes, one in Japan and the other in India. Following this study, Japan has shifted its disaster management to a more social and technical approach (Carpenter 2013). OEM should consider employing the same or similar questionnaire to gather public input. OEM should then develop categories and parameters to score the data, informed by current research. For example, there should be a score based on distance to a public square. Additionally, OEM must determine how these indicators will be measured. Should community centers and their assumed impacts be scored based on square footage of physical space, number of programs, amount of active members, or a combination of these factors? Such assumptions must be made based on research, City department input, and availability of data. Using GIS, OEM should map these 056 — PANORAMA 24
parameters and their associated scores to create composite social network scores. If appropriate, this could be a series of maps and composite scores rather than one final score. Ultimately, the social network map(s) should be either overlaid or geospatially combined with the social vulnerability map to discover how these two factors interact and where the greatest possibility for either intervention or community collaboration lies. By creating these maps, OEM may discover some neighborhoods with high social vulnerability but strong social networks, or those which are highly vulnerable but are at risk of having a weak social network. This will help the OEM to better understand the needs of communities and direct resources to the communities that most need them. In addition, communities with strong social networks, especially those with high vulnerability, may become models for resiliency. OEM could then work with other city departments to increase factors which contribute to strong social networks, like public spaces and community groups. Additionally, these maps would allow the OEM External Affairs Division to more effectively direct outreach by targeting certain communities. Safety and disaster preparedness training and workshops could focus on ways of mobilizing and leveraging resources locally. Finally, a map showing areas of higher risk of
leveraging and improving community resiliency
Combining social network analysis and social vulnerability analysis to map community resiliency
suffering from disasters could also be of great use when mobilizing the City’s response teams, enabling OEM to target
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these neighborhoods more quickly and effectively. conclusion
limate change threatens to increase disasters worldwide, from flooding and drought to heat waves and infrastructure collapse. These global shifts will bring changes locally. Philadelphia is projected to see overall average annual temperature increases for all seasons, precipitation changes, and more days of extreme weather and drought. These changes will affect water supply, health, and infrastructure and necessitate improved disaster management plans and training. Currently Philadelphia’s OEM is focused on natural hazard mitigation from a more traditional standpoint, but with
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the current update to the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan the agency is considering a more neighborhood focused approach. Given that research shows that community resiliency is the one of the biggest factors in predicting the outcomes of disasters, OEM should measure and map, using readily available data, social vulnerability and social networks. This information will allow OEM to more effectively plan for and respond to emergencies, learn from and educate communities, and target those most in need. While this article is focused on Philadelphia, much of the research is drawn from national and global sources, and this process is a replicable model for any city or region engaging in emergency management.
Anthony, A., Applequist, S., Kruk, M.C., Squires, M.F., Vosel, R.S. Somewhat. Very. Extremely. How likely is it that 2015 will be the new warmest year on record?. Climate.gov. 2015. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/beyond-data/ somewhat-very-extremely-how-likely-it-2015-will-be-new-warmest-year. Carpenter, Ann. Social Ties, Space, and Resilience: Literature Review of Community Resilience to Disasters and Constituent Social and Built Environment Factors. Community and Economic Development Department. Atlanta, GA: Federal Reserve Bank of America, 2013. City of Philadelphia. “Map, Measure, Manage.” Philadelphia, PA, November 17, 2015. _____. “2012-2014 Accomplishments.” Office of Emergency Management. 2014. _____. Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. Office of Emergency Management. 2012. Godschalk, David, R. “Urban Hazard Mitigation: Creating Resilient Cities.” Natural Hazards Review (2003): 136-143. GoodYear, Sarah (2013, January 1). Resilience Is About Relationships, Not Just Infrastructure. CityLab. Retrieved from < http:// www.citylab.com/weather/2013/01/resilience-about-relationships-not-just-infrastructure/4305/> ICF Incorporated, L.L.C. (ICF). “Useful Climate Information for Philadelphia: Past and Future.” Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. 2014. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. 2015. Klinenberg, Eric. “Adaptation: How can cities be ‘climate-proofed’?” The New Yorker, January 7, 2013. Lin, N., Cook, K., & Burt, R. (Eds.). Social Capital: Theory and Research. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 2001. Martin-Breen, P., Anderies, J.M. “Resilience: A Literature Review.” Department of Philosophy, CUNY Graduate Center, 2011. Miller, Brandon. “2015 is warmest year on record, NOAA and NASA say.” CNN. January 20, 2016. http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/20/ us/noaa-2015-warmest-year. Office of Emergency Management Website. Retrieved from <https://alpha.phila.gov/departments/oem/> Paton, D. “Disaster preparedness: a social-cognitive perspective.” Disaster Prevention and Management, 12 no. 3 (2003), 210-216. Van Zandt, S., Peacock, W.G., Henry, D.W., Grover, H., Highfield, W.E., & Brody, S.D. (). Mapping Social Vulnerability to Enhance Housing and Neighborhood Resilience. Housing Policy Debate 22, no. 1 (2012): 29-55.
photos cited All photos are licensed for fair use under Creative Commons 2.0 or permissions have been specifically granted by the author
01 NASA. Superstorm Sandy on 10-30-2012. October 30, 2012. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27965677 02 Henderson, Jim. CI boardwalk Sandy sweepers. November, 11 2012. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index. php?curid=22926536. 03 Rieger, Michael. FEMA – 27673. December 20, 2006. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8079283 04 White, Kevin. Lightening HDR. Taken August 25, 2006. https://flic.kr/p/he8Ja
THE INTERPLAY OF POWER AND POLITICS IN AN ERA OF NEOLIBERAL DECENTRALIZATION
Mexico City since 1950
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The rapid urbanization of cities in Latin America has raised questions of how to adequately address economic and social development, and for whom. Casey C. Ross examines the effects of economic policies in Mexico City that exclude the poor, and what “right to the city” entails amid powerful private interests and corruption in the public sector.
growth trends and forces 01
El Ángel de la Independencia is a monument to the Mexican Revolution. Located in central Mexico City, El Ángel is open to the public but in the center of a major automotive thoroughfare. Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City
Museo Nacional de Antropología is the mostvisited museum in Mexico. Admission is free to all Mexican citizens and foreigners living in Mexico City on Sundays. Located in one of the city’s largest, centrally-located parks (Chapultepec Park), the museum is a 12 minute walk from the nearest Metro station. Mexico City
The Biblioteca Central at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México is the largest library in Mexico. It is adorned with mosaics depicting four eras of Mexican history: the Pre-Hispanic Past, the Colonial Past, the Contemporaneous World, and The University and Modern Mexico. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, Mexico City
rban growth in the twentieth century was primarily characterized by the rapid urbanization of the world’s population. According to the UN’s 2005 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects, global urbanization rose from 13 percent of the world’s population in 1900 to 29 percent in 1950, a trend that continued unmitigated for the next century, reaching 49 percent in 2005. Approximately 3.2 billion people lived in cities in 2005, up from only 732 million in 1950, and a full 60 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas by the year 2030 (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, 2006). Increased urbanization has defined population growth in the last century and will continue defining it for the foreseeable future. This rapid, ongoing urbanization requires that we examine our world’s major cities for both best practices and examples of failures from which we can learn. Mexico City, the political and economic capital of the United Mexican States, has experienced the bulk of that country’s urbanization since 1950, when the city first geographically expanded outside the limits of the Mexico City Federal District. In 2013, a full 50 percent of Mexico City’s population lived outside the boundaries of the Federal District (Guerra, 2013), so it is important to note that the District’s specific delineations no longer adequately represent the city. Politically, the City of Mexico and the government of the Federal District, which forms the foundation of the Mexico City metropolitan area, are a single entity, but the Greater Mexico City metropolitan area (MCMA) includes the governments of surrounding municipalities, most of which have been integrated into the city governing body both formally and informally (Martinez, 1986). Having grown significantly in both population and geography, Mexico City today faces many challenges that are the direct result of urbanization and the policies (or lack thereof) that accompanied it. Currently the largest city
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in North America, Mexico City is in many ways an example of urbanization gone awry at the hands of inept politicians and corrupt police in the absence of a strong planning culture. Although Mexico City has experienced significant economic growth and globalization since the implementation of Neoliberal reforms in the 1990s and 2000s, human development has not followed suit: in modern Mexico City, income inequality remains a persistent and worsening issue, and increasing social isolation and fragmentation raise important questions about the role of planners in urban environments becoming increasingly intertwined with global economic developments. In some respects, Mexico City is an example of successful downtown revitalization in the interest of economic growth and real estate development, but these accomplishments have had costs. Studying the urbanization of Mexico City offers valuable insights into how to both manage and mismanage a city, and raises the question: Whom are growth and development for? Mexico City is one of the oldest urban centers in the Americas, with settlements dating back to 400 B.C. and extensive growth during the rise of Teotihuacan around 300 A.D. (Ward, 1990). In the latter half of the twentieth century, Mexico City has become the largest urban center in Mexico, reaching a size five times larger than the next largest Mexican city, Guadalajara, in 2010 (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, 2006, p. 137, table A.12). Ranked 17th on the UN’s list of urban agglomerations in 1950, Mexico City was the 2nd-largest urban agglomeration ranked by population in 2010, ahead of the New York-Newark urban agglomeration (5th), the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Anna urban agglomeration (14th), and the Chicago urban agglomeration (25th). Perhaps more impressive, Mexico City achieves this rank without the benefit of a second urban center: unlike the New 059
York-Newark agglomeration or the Tokyo urban agglomeration, Mexico City is a single megacity. Mexico City experienced an explosion of population growth in the latter half of the twentieth century, expanding from a population of less than 1 million in 1930 to a population of 7.56 million in 1980, and reaching 15.17 million by 2010 (INEGI, 2012). This growth amounts to a fifteenfold increase in less than a century. The city’s rapid population increase in this period reflects that of Mexico as a whole: the national population went from 16.5 million in 1930 to 66.8 million in 1980, reaching over 112 million in 2010. Approximately 13.5 percent of the nation’s total population in 2010 lived in Mexico City, and Mexico City had an annual growth rate above the global average of 2.4 percent (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, 2006). Much of this growth is the result of provincial migration (Ward, 1990), especially in the 1950s, when Mexico City experienced rapid industrial expansion in the city’s north and northeast sectors. During this period, Mexico City’s share of national GDP was 32.8 percent, which increased to 46.3 percent by 1980 (Martinez, 1986). High birth rates during most of the twentieth century also contributed to the city’s population explosion (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003). Immigrants from other countries also play a part in Mexico City’s population growth: the UN estimates that Mexico has accepted 11.8 million net immigrants since 1975, accounting for 6 percent of worldwide immigrants between 1975 and 1980 and 17 percent of world immigrants between 2000 and 2005 (United Nations Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, 2010). It is likely that many of these immigrants merely passed through Mexico on their way to areas North, specifically the United States, but it is reasonable to assume that some proportion of immigrants remained in Mexico, possibly settling in the capital and contributing to its growth. Mexico City’s growth is also 060 — PANORAMA 24
due to its productivity and comparative advantages over other urban centers. Because it is the country’s center of government and globalized commerce, Mexico City possesses considerable regional and national comparative advantages in terms of economic opportunities such as access to markets and an available pool of labor, in addition to prestigious educational and cultural institutions. In 1970, the capital city contained “40 percent of all of all the country’s employees in the public sector and all the federal ministries and State enterprise headquarters. Similarly, 52 percent of all the wholesale establishments [were] located within the urban area” (Martinez, 1986). Mexico City also received a higher amount of federal funding than any other city in Mexico in 1970, when it was the recipient of 25.4 percent of all federal public investment (Martinez, 1986). Much of the city’s more recent, non-industrial economic growth stems from Neoliberal policies adopted by the dominant Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) in the 1990s. The PRI’s policies encouraged global economic integration and competition, government decentralization, emphasis on the private sector, and free-market principles throughout Mexico (Becker & Müller, 2013). In addition to the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, the incorporation of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in the same year, and Mexico’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, these Neoliberal policies brought Mexico squarely into the world economy (Bayón & Saraví, 2013). This new emphasis on the information and services sectors came at the detriment of Mexico City’s previously robust manufacturing and industrial sector, which formed the foundation of the city’s economy for most of the twentieth century: in 1970, Mexico City contained almost 30 percent of the entire country’s industrial enterprises
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(Martinez, 1986). The manufacturing sector relocated north, settling along the US-Mexico border, adversely affecting many laborers in Mexico City who found themselves without employment opportunities in the new economy. Despite employment shortages in the nonskilled laboring classes, however, these changes successfully attracted increased international business to Mexico City and brought it into the global services sector. The same growth patterns that led to Mexico City’s substantial economic growth contributed to its physical growth, especially in terms of informal settlements. Informal settlements increased dramatically after 1950, when the government banned the creation of
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new subdivisions in the Federal District. Faced with few opportunities for legal settlement, squatting became a popular option for many migrants entering Mexico City to join the burgeoning industrial sector (Martinez, 1986). Lifting of the subdivision ban in 1968 led to an increase in formal settlements in the 1970s and 1980s. Mid-century formal settlements patterns were often lower-density, suburban-style communities, which only contributed to Mexico City’s expanding geographic boundaries. It is important to note that even at these lower densities, Mexico City’s center and suburban settlements are dense by any standard— many of the most densely-populated areas are outside of the Federal District (Guerra, 2013) in
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Geographic expansion of Mexico City, 1910 to 2000, data courtesy of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, map by the author.
areas developed after the onset of true expansion. The spatial and economic forces encouraging and shaping growth in Mexico City today are in some ways the same as historical forces, but they also differ significantly. Mexico City has been a megacity as defined by the United Nations since at least 1975 (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, 2006), which means its growth rate has started to slow. While the City’s growth rate was still above the average annual urban growth rate of 2.4 percent in 2005, growth appears to be tapering off compared to historical trends. The growth of megacities tends to happen more slowly than smaller centers, and it is reasonable to assume that Mexico City will follow this trend. While high birth rates and inmigration will probably continue to play a role in its growth, growing externalities associated with the city’s size are likely to curtail some of those factors. Although population data is not yet available for 2015, in 2010 Mexico City dropped down to third on the UN’s list of largest global urban agglomerations, behind Tokyo and Mumbai. Spatially, Mexico City’s growth has transformed the city, and availability of land close to the city center is also likely to impact Mexico City’s future. Until the 1950’s, Mexico City’s population density followed a normal distribution resembling a bell-curve: the highest densities were in the city center, and density fell as distance from the city center increased (Ward, 1990). After the 1950s, the density curve began to flatten as inner-city congestion and land access encouraged increased sprawl at the city’s boundaries. The process of suburbanization, beginning in the 1940s and picking up steam in the following decade, exacerbated this trend. Mexico City’s built-up area expanded from 23 square kilometers (14.29 square miles) in 1900 to 154,710 square kilometers (96,132.33 square miles) by 2000 (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003) A large proportion of the land now 062 — PANORAMA 24
occupied by Mexico City’s metropolitan area consists of slums, which emerged as “the leading lower-middle and lowincome housing option” (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003) beginning with suburban expansion in the 1940s. Despite Mexico City’s increased size, the majority of cultural and business institutions remain in the center of the city, creating a persistent central business district, rather than a series of nodal economies. Informal economies in the slums may be an exception to this, but these informal economies do not significantly impact the city’s formal financial systems and institutions. The growth trends and forces in Mexico City beginning in the 1940s and 1950s offer important considerations for planners, especially as they work in developing countries like India with rapidly-emerging megacities. The sheer size of Mexico City and its denselypopulated slums raise the question of how best to plan for in-migration and to ensure the availability of affordable and well-located housing for low- and middle-income residents. The rapid growth experienced by Mexico City in the last six decades seems to be easing off— how will planners use this opportunity? With growth steady but slowing, planners may be able to implement changes in infrastructure or slum upgrading that have been ineffective in the past due to the ability of rapid growth to outpace the often-slow bureaucratic processes that accompany change in any large city.
The Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México (UNAM) is one of the leading universities in Latin America. Its campus is open to the public and offers abundant open green space. The campus, which features multiple examples of public art, is a World Heritage UNESCO site. Posgrado en Bibliotecología y Estudios de la Información, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, Mecido City
Walkway over Av. Chapultepec, Mexico City
Posgrado en Bibliotecología y Estudios de la Información, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, Mecido City
Although Mexico City has experienced substantial economic and spatial growth since the 1950s, that growth has not been accompanied by equitable or evenly-distributed human development. The globalization of the economy and the increase in population have created a city in which the wealthy and the poor are increasingly economically and socially segregated, and activities of survival for the poorest members of society are increasingly criminalized. While wealth
development trends and forces
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has been flowing into the city as a result of new entrepreneurial ventures, poverty rates have remained stagnant for almost 20 years: in 1992 the poverty rate was 53.1 percent and the extreme poverty rate was 21.4 percent, and in 2010 the rates were 51.3 percent and 18.8 percent, respectively (Bayón & Saraví, 2013) Although access to services is better for Mexico City’s residents than for many of Mexico’s rural poor, the city itself remains highly unequal in many important regards. The UN identifies three pillars of sustainable human development: economic development, social development, and environmental protection. When measured according to this criteria, it is apparent that Mexico City’s spectacular growth has not always corresponded to increased human development for its residents. As Ward phrases it, “social inequality is embedded within the spatial structure of the city” (Ward, 1990, p. 29) Although some form of inequality has always existed in Mexico City— in colonial times, for example, poor residents and the wealthy elites for whom they worked lived in entirely separate areas (Ward, 1990) — urban inequity in modern Mexico City is on a much grander scale than the inequity of the past. UN-Habitat’s City Prosperity Index (CPI), which is based om the UN’s three pillars but adapted more specifically to urban centers, provides method for measuring development in Mexico City. The CPI looks at five criteria to determine the level of development in a city, effectively forming five “spokes” in the “wheel” of urban prosperity (UN-Habitat, 2012). These criteria are: productivity, quality of life, infrastructural development, environmental sustainability, equity, and social inclusion. According to the CPI model, cities with high Human Development Index (HDI) values are engines for positive change that create prosperity for their residents. With an HDI of just over 0.8, Mexico City has a slight edge over Mexico as a whole, which has an HDI of 0.75 063
(UN-Habitat, 2012, p. 18). This difference reflects the fact that residents of Mexico City are probably, on average, slightly better off than residents in the rest of Mexico, especially those in rural areas. According to the National Research Council, urban poor fare better than their rural counterparts in regards to access to services such as electricity and water, and this mostly holds true in Mexico as a whole, where urban areas are often better served than rural settlements. When examined on a more granular level, one can see that Mexico City fares well in terms of some CPI indicators and poorly in terms of others (see Figure 3). In terms of Infrastructure, Mexico City scores 0.9 out of 1, indicating that the average level of provided infrastructure in Mexico City is high. On the low end of the spectrum, however, Mexico City’s equity rating is only around 0.4, reflecting the deeply entrenched inequalities city residents often face. The city’s overall CPI rating, which is based on the HDI but is more specifically designed to evaluate cities, is approximately 0.71 (UN-Habitat, 2012). Bayón and Saraví identify four features of Mexico City’s urbanization that have fragmented Mexico City’s residential population since the onset of globalization and have contributed to the city’s low equity rating: the expansion and consolidation of exclusive, gated communities inhabited by the wealthy; the weakening of public space as a space of encounter between people of different classes and backgrounds; transfer of almost all aspects of housing sales and construction markets from the public to the private sector; and increased
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residential “microsegregation” in which “residential segregation is becoming more intense on a micro scale throughout urban pockets isolated from each other, while on a macro scale it shows greater apparent heterogeneity” (Bayón & Saraví, 2013, pp. 39–40). These factors are of great concern in a city in which 60 percent of residents (approximately 10.8 million people) are considered “poor” or “moderately poor” (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003), especially when access to affordable, appropriate housing is such a large issue. As recently as 1980, approximately 33 percent of dwellings lacked an internal water source or connection to the public water system (Ward, 1990), and to this day many Mexico City residents find shelter in sub-par housing. There are several varieties of informal settlements in Mexico City: colonias populares, which are “newer or unconsolidated irregular settlements,” housing a full 60 percent of Mexico City’s population (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003); inner city rental slums, comprised of houses dating from the 19th century that were formerly occupied by the wealthy but have been converted into low-income tenements, which account for 10 percent of all housing in Mexico City (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003); and deteriorating public housing projects, which currently house approximately
The Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) is one of Mexico City’s primary cultural institutions. located near the historic City Center, the Palacio de Bellas Artes features murals by renowned artist Diego Rivera and performances by the Baller Folkloric de Mexico. Mexico City
A walkway in Parque México in the Condesa area of Mexico City. The Condesa is known for its Art-Deco and Colonial architecture and features large, walkable boulevards and an abundance of green space, amenities that are largely unavailable to residents of Mexico City’s outer rings and informal settlements. Colonia Hipódromo, Mexico City
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15 percent of Mexico City’s residents. Of these three low-income housing varieties, the colonias populares often have the poorest-quality housing and the least access to services in the city, despite housing over half the city’s population. Although upgrade projects have been undertaken in the intervening years, slum areas have been left behind. An example is Valle de Chalco, an irregular settlement housing over half a million Mexico City residents in 1990. Valle de Chalco was the site of a massive publics works undertaking known as Solidaridad between 1983 and 1989. The Mexican government invested approximately 407.9 million pesos ($160 million U.S. dollars) to upgrade streets, water mains, and drainage infrastructure in addition to opening schools and hospitals (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003). Despite these infrastructural improvements, the area’s year 2000 housing indicators reported that 78 percent of dwellings in Valle de Chalco had no inside tap, 40 percent had roofs made of corrugated metal or cardboard, and 20 percent consisted of only one shared room (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003). According to a UN-Habitat report on slums, in 2003, Valle de Chalco maintained “some of the worst housing conditions in Mexico City” (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003, p. 91). As of 2003, about 66 percent of Mexico City lived in these types of slum settlements (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003). Current housing crises exacerbate the city’s historical segregation: beginning with early suburbanization in the 1940s, social segregation has increased throughout Mexico City (Ward, 1990), and the PRI successfully undermined Mexico City’s primary community development groups in order to consolidate power by 1976 (Ward, 1990), rendering them essentially obsolete and aggravating the issue further. According to Ward, successive PRI governments have consistently manipulated relations
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between different classes of slum dwellers to subordinate them in order to maintain the party’s unquestioned political power. One of the PRI’s main tactics is regularizing some settlements while leaving others un-regularized, thereby creating artificial designations between groups of poor residents and turning them against one another (Ward, 1990). Ward also asserts that the PRI plays renters and owners in informal settlements against one another to accomplish similar goals (Ward, 1990). Ward states that “Where social peace or popular mobilization have threatened to get out of hand or to demonstrate a cross-settlement collective response, then the government has acted sharply to head-off unrest through negotiation and subsequent co-optation, using violence and repression as a last resort” (Ward, 1990, p. 193). By the 1990s, interaction between lower-level communities and the state occurred primarily through neighborhood councils, which essentially functioned as top-down mouthpieces and enforcers for the government rather than tools through which communities could implement bottom-up change (Ward, 1990). This oneway communication is often exacerbated by political infighting; members of rival parties are often unwilling to work together, which results in stonewalled anti-poverty policies, government inefficiencies, and— in the 1990s— excessive increases in crime due to cronyism in the Mexico City Police Force (Davis, 2013). Since the 1980s, Mexico has increasingly decentralized the government’s role in supplying services and increasingly privatized them (Ward, 1990), and the state generally keeps out of provision unless a service becomes so large that it is no longer manageable through private enterprise (Ward, 1990), Although the Mexican state provides electricity and water in Mexico City, housing is almost entirely private and —in many cases— illegal, due to the failure of various federal housing programs in the past and the state’s inability to provide affordable, low065
income housing for city residents (Ward, 1990). This arrangement benefits private sector land developers, which dominate land provision and development within Mexico City under the auspices of the government (Ward, 1990). High demand for land in Mexico City encourages speculation, and developers are able to sell available, desirable tracts at exorbitantly high prices, even when lots are not connected to city services. The condition of Mexico City’s slums also benefits small industrial and service firms looking for inexpensive labor: labor costs remain low because of severe job competition among the poor in the informal sector, made worse by long commute times and poor housing conditions. The expansion of this type of informal labor market harms the same low-income residents, particularly women and children, who are already exploited through increasing wage instability, job turnover, and sweatshop Nations Human conditions (United Settlements Programme, 2003). It also contributes to increasing income disparity between socio-economic groups (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003). This type of economic transformation is occurring across the world as globalization changes the labor market and entry-level jobs for lowincome workers without higher education or specific skills are filled by the city’s massive labor force. Mexico City, which UN-Habitat classifies as an “emerging economy,” is not immune to these forces. Land developers, business executives, tourist operations, and large-scale commercial proprietors reap the rewards of liberalized economic and land-use policies at the expense of Mexico City’s most vulnerable populations. The poor increasingly occupy low-skill positions with low salaries and are chronically under-employed: in 1974, 41 percent of the city’s population was “without a secure income”(Martinez, 1986, p. 132), and 70 percent of those employed made the minimum wage or less (Martinez, 1986). 066 — PANORAMA 24
Mexico City’s growth has also generated severe ecological challenges for the city and its residents. Growth and accumulation of wealth by Mexico City’s middle and upper-classes have resulted in increased vehicle miles travelled and, consequently, higher levels of emissions. Combined with emissions from factories, it was estimated in 1985 that around 5,850 different pollutants were emitted into Mexico City’s air on a daily basis (Martinez, 1986). Physical growth was also accompanied by the growth of Mexico City’s transportation network, primarily in the form of privately-operated informal mini-bus and minivan services (Guerra, 2013). Mexico City’s formal transit system does not currently meet the needs of many of its residents, and growing emissions and congestion remain a significant externality in the city. Additionally, the transportation costs associated with increased car ownership are predicted to disproportionately impact the poor, who rely primarily on public transit, exacerbating the city’s inequity (Guerra, 2013). Mexico City is not without hope, however— in some ways the lives of Mexico City residents have improved little by little. Following the 1985 earthquake, for example, the government undertook a highly successful housing reconstruction campaign that significantly upgraded many city structures (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003). Not all slum upgrade projects have failed to impact residents in the ways the Valle de Chalco upgrades failed. Ciudad Netzahualcóyotl, a vast irregular settlement built on the Texcoco lake bed which had a population close to 600,000 in 1960, was the site of a successful upgrade program in the 1990s. Beginning with the regularization of electricity to the area in the 1970s, the neighborhood’s streets were paved and had adequate drainage by the 1980s. By 2003, 63 percent of Ciudad Netzahualcóyotl’s dwellings were connected to city water and only 15 percent still had poor-quality roofing of
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corrugated metal or cardboard (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003). The area also has a more diversified population, with residents across social classes (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003). Between 1980 and 2000, “trees, banks, shops, offices, libraries, schools, universities, cinemas, and even McDonalds have all appeared on the main streets of Netzahualcóyotl”(United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003, p. 94). Overall, access to services is higher for Mexico City residents than for residents in other parts of the country, even if Mexico City residents do not all experience equal access. The number of dwellings with a water hookup and drainage doubled between 1970 and 1980 and has continued increasing since then, and electricity and public transport have been made available to a larger number of people throughout the city (Ward, 1990). Since 2001 the Federal Government has offered “credits” in exchange for home improvements in impoverished colonias populares in an attempt to encourage slum upgrading by slum inhabitants (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2003). Additionally, the existence of a fairly robust public transportation system means that poor residents can access more employment opportunities without owning a private car, even if the conditions in which they do so are not ideal. The current state of life in Mexico City raises many important considerations for planners. Economic liberalization has proven disastrous for Mexico City’s poor, but these changes were made by political actors. How can planners combat these forces in a country in which a single party has dominated politics for over 70 years, especially when intense political infighting and rivalries prevent cooperation “across the aisle”? Additionally, can planners encourage growth that is accompanied by development? Mexico City has followed a classic developer model at least since the early 1990s, a model that David Harvey asserts is fundamentally immoral due to
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the fact that it only benefits the developer in the long run, a theory that seems to be holding true in this context. Planners must consider the economic players and beneficiaries when examining how and why certain policies affect certain populations. Is it appropriate to say that urbanization in Mexico City has benefitted the entire population due to the economic growth of the formal sector while many members of the poorest classes have been excluded from this prosperity? Has the success of some slum upgrade projects demonstrated that informal upgrading is a best practice, even though other upgrades have failed? Mexico City’s urbanization has had a major impact on the nature and accessibility of its public spaces and commons, especially since the early 1990s. Increased crime made public spaces progressively more dangerous and inhospitable until the early 2000s, when a change in policing practices and an emphasis on creating tourist and businessfriendly areas resulted in lower crime rates. However, public spaces have become frequently privatized and exclusive, and subsistence behaviors of lower classes are being criminalized. These changes have contributed to a growing sense of disenfranchisement among members of Mexico City’s populace, who have in some instances taken justice into their own hands in the face of a consistently corrupt police force, an inept justice system, and a globalized economy in which they are often unable to find a place. Beginning with the collapse of Mexico City’s industrial economic sector and its transition to an information and services-based economic model in the 1990s, the city’s crime rate began rising. Lack of opportunity in the formal economic sector led increasing numbers of Mexico City’s most disadvantaged residents to turn to the often-illegal practices within the informal economic sector, including potentially dangerous practices such as theft and prostitution,
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but also more innocuous practices like street vending and car parking. Due primarily to the growth in illegal sectors— mostly drug and weapons trafficking— the security of Mexico City’s streets and other public spaces entered a period of steady decline: between 1990 and 1996, “reported rates of robbery, property damage, fraud, and extortion more than doubled…and the percentage of robberies involving violence increased from 38.5% to 55.5%” (Davis, 2013, p. 55). The situation worsened following the election of Mayor Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, a member of Mexico’s Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), the first democratically-elected mayor of Mexico City in 70 years, and the first nonPRI politician to hold the office in that time. The Mexico City Police Department (MCPD), dominated by corrupt PRI loyalists, intentionally failed to enforce laws or combat already-increasing crime rates in the interest of damaging Cárdenas’s image and making its PRI benefactors happy (Davis, 2013). Davis suggests that in some instances officers of the MCPD may have gone so far as to commit crimes “as a form of retribution” against the Mayor, adding to the danger in the streets rather than helping Mexico City’s residents feel safe (Davis, 2013, p. 56). The severe rise in crime in Mexico City impacted the safety and usefulness of public spaces throughout the city for private citizens as well as for businesses, and the physical deterioration of public spaces and corresponding safety concerns persisted into the 2000s. Cárdenas’ successor, Andreas Manuel Lopez Obrador, was also a member of the PRD and therefore the enemy of the PRI and its MCPD allies. In the interest of exerting greater control over the city and its spaces and reforming the police force, Obrador invited former New York City mayor and proponent of “broken windows policing” Rudolph Giuliani to Mexico City in 2003. Obrador and his allies hoped that Giuliani, who had helped bring New York City out 068 — PANORAMA 24
of its crime-ridden past in the 1990s and 2000s with the help of New York Police Commissioner William Bratton, could help Mexico City’s government do the same. Giuliani’s visit was funded entirely by Carlos Slim, who is not only one of Mexico’s primary business magnates but also the second wealthiest person on the planet as of 2015 (“The World’s Billionaires: Carlos Slim Helu,” n.d.). Slim’s involvement in this venture demonstrates the extent to which business played a central role in police reform and crime reduction in Mexico City: the state of the city’s public spaces was seen as critical to business safety and prosperity rather than citizen safety and prosperity, and reforms suited the needs and desires of powerful business interests. Giuliani’s visit and work with Obrador and the MCPD began a new era in the life of Mexico City’s public spaces, one in which crime rates began to fall at the expense of the “public” nature of the city’s commons. At Giuliani’s suggestion, Obrador began a general overhaul of Mexico City’s police force and implemented a zerotolerance policing strategy aimed at “the cleansing of the built environment and the streets from physical and human detritus wrought by the economic deregulation and welfare retrenchment so as to make the city over into a pleasant site for bourgeois consumption” (Becker & Müller, 2013, p. 78). This new vision of Mexico City imagined public spaces that were internationally attractive to foreign capital and investors rather than useful for social interaction and public consumption by all members of society. These goals were in line with the desires of the powerful business interests behind Giuliani’s visit rather than those concerned with Mexico City’s poverty, segregation, or inequality. In this context, crime was a threat to investment rather than a threat to people, and the city undertook measures to ensure capital’s safety at the expense of the city’s poorest residents. Many of the new zero-tolerance policies were aimed specifically at activities within the informal
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economic sector such as street vending, car parking, and prostitution, precisely the activities adopted by Mexico City’s lowest classes following the manufacturing sector’s departure in the 1990s, and the city’s most conspicuous and public indicators of its social shortcomings. Criminalization of these acts under the guidance of Giuliani’s “broken windows” police reforms disproportionately affected members of Mexico’s poorest populations, those unable to find work in the formal sector (Becker & Müller, 2013). The adoption of zero-tolerance “broken windows” policing also resulted in increased militarization of Mexico City’s public space; increased police presence—but only in parts of the city seen as important to tourism and commerce—made these areas unsafe for anyone other than the bourgeoisie (Davis, 2013). Combined with the increase in private, gated communities and growing reliance on digital communication through phones, social media networks, and radio, this militarization has contributed to “the disintegration of the city – traditional public spaces now have a reduced significance in public life” (Ortega-Alcazar, 2006). This disintegration is compounded by unequal provision of public space: historically-relevant open areas like the Zócalo, Mexico City’s traditional main square, have become partially privatized since the early 2000s, limiting the types of cultural interactions that can legally occur in them (Becker & Müller, 2013), and green spaces are generally developed in wealthier parts of the city for middle and upper-income residents rather than the poor. In short, modern policing combined with market-driven development policies and the criminalization of behaviors required by the poorest residents to survive have essentially stripped Mexico City’s poor of their equal access to the city’s historically significant and central public spaces. In doing so, these policies have stripped these residents of their “right to the city.”
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Mexico City’s residents have sometimes responded to the increased criminalization and exclusion of their lives with acts of extreme violence. A particularly horrific incident occurred in November 2004, when a mob of Mexico City residents murdered two police officers. The two undercover officers were accused by neighborhood residents of kidnapping two children. Faced with police corruption and an inept judicial system, these residents chose to take matters into their own hands rather than trust the government to deliver justice. The officers were dragged from their car, severely beaten, and burned alive while “hundreds of other officers surrounded the area, unable to quell the revolt”(Davis, 2006, p. 56). Davis emphasizes that many residents involved in the murders saw “only a fine line separating the police from criminals”(Davis, 2006, p. 56), which they felt justified their suspicion of the officers as well as their mob-enforced retribution. In the absence of security from the state and the threat of violence at the hands of state actors, Mexico City residents have taken “justice” into their own hands: disenfranchised by a decentralized government, excluded from public spaces to which they should have access by a militarized zero-tolerance police force riddled by corruption, and without access to substantial economic opportunities, Mexico City’s most disadvantaged residents in this instance took matters into their own hands. When determining how to reduce crime and plan for inclusion, whose inclusion do we consider? Are crime abatement strategies undertaken to benefit businesses or to benefit the community? Is it possible for planners to find solutions that strike a balance between the two? Mexico City’s policies have clearly been in the interest of market forces and capital success, rather than the interest of social or individual inclusion. Presumably the powers behind these plans believe that increasing capital’s safety within the city will eventually increase 069
overall prosperity. Whether or not this is actually the case remains up for debate, but it seems obvious that if Mexico City follows the trends that began in the early 2000s, public space will likely become increasingly available to “acceptable” and “productive” members of society at the exclusion of those for whom formal society and the formal market provides little support. political economy of growth and development
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Persistent government infighting and corruption has played a large roles in shaping Mexico City’s growth and development in the modern era. The PRI’s complete control over Mexico and its capital city for 70 years ensured that whatever the party’s policies, the city would follow. This centralized political control resulted in the steady decentralization of government’s role within the housing and transportation sectors and an increasing emphasis on business interests at the expense of social welfare and redistributive policies. As previously mentioned, political infighting following the PRI’s loss of power in the late 1990s led to a severe increase in crime in Mexico City due to corruption within the Mexico City Police Department. The election of President Vincente Fox in 2000 contributed to the country’s national political dysfunction; a member of yet another competing political party — the National Action Party (PAN) — Fox preferred making Mexico City’s PRD Mayor look bad to joining forces. This national climate of competition and rivalry resulted in “further stalemate on the local level,” compounding Mexico City’s critical rates of crime and poverty and doing nothing to help improve the condition of the urban poor (Davis, 2013, p. 58). Privatization has also had tremendous effects on Mexico City’s growth and development, especially the privatization of the housing market. The state has essentially gone from being a housing provider to “a simple individual mortgage financier” (Bayón & Saraví, 2013, p. 40), and private developers have
gained control of what is built, where, and for whom. These developers, driven almost exclusively by market forces rather than social considerations, have located many new settlements on the periphery of the city where land is cheapest. This has resulted in high-density sprawl and increased urban fragmentation. At the same time, new construction in dense urban areas mostly takes the form of private, gated communities for the wealthy, excluding low-income residents from living in the center of the city or in its wealthiest districts, and physically closing off space to anyone other than the mega-rich. The result is that the housing market has exploded in the form of informal settlements and slum settlements, partially accounting for Mexico City’s extreme spatial growth since 1950. Lack of affordable housing in desirable locations has driven the poor to create their own housing in unplanned, undesirable locations, many without any utility connections or adequate healthcare facilities. Another result has been an astronomical increase in commute time for many Mexico City residents who travel between these outlying developments and the center of the city: twenty percent of Mexicans who commute spend over three hours a day in transit (UN-Habitat, 2010). Decentralization of power and privatization of services has opened the door for business interests to fill the role of government wherever possible. Developers like Carlos Slim can exercise the power of their wallets, usually in their own best interests, and Mexico City’s poor are left in the lurch. In a global economy in which corporations are increasingly the primary citizens with rights and needs and individuals are often an afterthought, a city like Mexico City — without redistributive policies or strong welfare infrastructure — will continue to be shaped by powerful business and financial interests rather than popular voices or movements, especially while the police and judicial system remain decentralized, corrupt,
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and inefficient. Twentieth and twenty-first century growth and development trends in Mexico City are largely the results of political and business interests exercising control over the city’s economic and social policies. The persistent liberalization of the economy, beginning especially in the 1990s, has contributed to the city’s overall growth but also to its stagnant or declining equity. A lack of planning culture combined with an emphasis on business interests have most significantly altered the rate, type, and pattern of growth and development in Mexico City. Mexico City is in many ways a classic example of the effects of Neoliberal policies without redistributive checks and balances in a developing country, and many of the challenges it faces today can serve as warnings to other developing cities around the world. As demonstrated by the city’s trajectory since 1950, releasing the role of planning to the market without ensuring the creation and/or continuation of robust redistributive measures and welfare infrastructure has only worsened what was already serve economic inequality. After two decades of Neoliberal reform and privatization, Mexico City’s Gini coefficient was higher than Mexico’s national Gini coefficient in 2011 (UNHabitat, 2010), and it was the seventh most unequal city based on income in 2005 (UN-Habitat, 2010). Issues of inequality have been exacerbated by severe political corruption and dysfunction, especially the lack of coordination between Mexico City’s local government and Mexico’s federal government. Infighting has prevented collaboration and the sharing of resources, which has only hurt Mexico City’s residents. Political rivalry and lack of cooperation has worked against the interest of Mexico City residents and demonstrated the unwillingness of Mexican politicians to overcome petty political disagreements in the interest of serving constituents other than business interests. The government’s emphasis
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on economic development and capital improvement at the expense of individual development and improvement has created increased exclusion, especially of the poor, whose access to public space and “right to the city” has been significantly degraded by the criminalization of activities in the informal sector that are largely necessary to their survival. In the absence of an inclusive economy, the poor are forced to the fringes and then arrested for existing on them. Disenfranchisement and powerlessness, especially in the face of corrupt police and increased criminalization of poverty, has resulted in violent outbursts. Despite acts of civil unrest, police corruption throughout Mexico persists: the mass kidnapping and murder of 43 students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teacher’s College en route to a protest in Iguala, Guerrero in 2014 demonstrated that political and police corruption is alive and well on a mass scale. The political dysfunction in Mexico City may prove to be fundamentally insurmountable in regards to accomplishing anything on a city-wide level, so planners must attempt to make changes from the bottom up, primarily by working with the city’s poorest residents and whatever community development organizations still exist following their repression by the PRI in the 1970s and 1980s. Key long-term goals for planners in Mexico City should include the following:
conclusions and planning agenda
Development of local economic nodes in areas of the city other than the current central business district and tourist areas: One of the biggest issues faced by Mexico City’s poorest residents is long commutes to jobs in the center of the city as a result of residential sprawl. Encouraging the development of small-scale economic nodes will allow residents to work closer to home, avoiding lengthy and expensive commutes and potentially decreasing pollution. Creation and implementation of economic redistribution mechanisms: Implementing a capital gains or income tax that places a heavier burden on the wealthy, especially the mega-rich like Carlos Slim, and then redistributing those funds in the form of cashassistance to low-income residents will help alleviate the burden faced by many of Mexico City’s poorest. Decriminalization of non-harmful informal economic activities such as street vending and car parking: In the absence of a formal market that can provide viable economic support to unskilled labor, Mexico City must decriminalize informal economic activities like street vending that are not directly related to violent crime or exploitation. Criminalization of these activities has disproportionately affected the poor and contributed to their exclusion from Mexico City’s central public spaces. Implement a new development tax and an existing structures sales tax and use the resulting income to construct high-quality affordable housing in desirable locations OR require that a certain number of affordable units be built for every unit of marketrate housing: If Mexico City’s government plans to stay out of the housing development market and leave it in the hands of private developers, those developers should be taxed in order to construct affordable housing, or developers should be required to develop affordable units in the same developments as market-rate units. Doing so will not only decrease the city’s spatial segregation, it will ensure that developers build housing for the poor in desirable locations rather than on the city’s peripheries. Affordable units must be rent-controlled in order to prevent coercive expulsion of low-income residents in order to return these units to market value. Developments must be specifically regulated against to prevent furthering microsegregation.
hese goals are a bare minimum required to begin addressing the many issues of social and economic inequity in Mexico City. Without a change in the entire country’s political climate it is unlikely that any fundamental progress can really be made. As long as local and national politicians remain embattled in petty feuds and the city’s police force poses more of a threat to citizens than acts as a protective body, fundamental inequity will remain a serious threat to human development in Mexico City as its role in and interaction with the global economy grows.
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The Museo Nacional de Antropología is the mostvisited museum in Mexico. Admission is free to all Mexican citizens and foreigners living in Mexico City on Sundays. Located in one of the city’s largest, centrally-located parks (Chapultepec Park), the museum is a 12 minute walk from the nearest Metro station. Central Courtyard at the Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City
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Bayón, María Cristina, and Gonzalo A. Saraví. “The Cultural Dimensions of Urban Fragmentation: Segregation, Sociability, and Inequality in Mexico City.” Translated by Mariana Ortega Breña. Latin American Perspectives 40, no. 2 (March 2013): 35–52.w Becker, Anne, and Markus-Michael Müller. “The Securitization of Urban Space and the ‘Rescue’ of Downtown Mexico City: Vision and Practive.” Latin American Perspectives 40, no. 2 (March 2013): 77–94. Davis, Diane E. “Undermining the Rule of Law: Democratization and the Dark Side of Police Reform in Mexico.” Latin American Politics and Society 48, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 55–86. ———. “Zero-Tolerance Policing, Stealth Real Estate Development, and the Transformation of Public Space: Evidence from Mexico City.” Latin American Perspectives 40, no. 2 (March 2013): 53–76. Guerra, Erick Strom. “The New Suburbs: Evolving Travel Behavior, the Built Environment, and Subway Investments in Mexico City.” DIssertation, University of California, Berkeley, 2013. Martinez, Adrian Guillermo Aguilar. “Contemporary Urban Planning in Mexico City: Its Emergence, Role and Significance.” University College London, 1986. Ortega-Alcazar, Iliana. “Mexico City: Public Life and Urban Space.” LSECities, February 2006. https://lsecities.net/media/ objects/articles/mexico-city-public-life-and-urban-space/en-gb/. “The World’s Billionaires: Carlos Slim Helu.” Forbes.com, n.d. http://www.forbes.com/profile/carlos-slim-helu/. UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division. “World Urbanization Prospects: The 2005 Revision.” New York: United Nations, 2006. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/WUP2005/2005wup.htm. UN-Habitat. “State of the World’s Cities 2010/2011: Bridging the Divide.” Nairobi: United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2010. ———. “State of the World’s Cities 2012/2013 Prosperity of Cities.” Nairobi: United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2012. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/745habitat.pdf. United Nations Econoimic and Social Affairs Population Division. “World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision Volume III: Analytical Report.” New York: United Nations, 2010. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/ WPP2006RevVol_III/WPP2006RevVol_III_final.pdf. United Nations Human Settlements Programme. “The Challenge of Slums: Global Report on Human Settlements 2003.” London: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 2003. “Volumen y crecimiento: Población total por entidad federativa, 1895 a 2010.” Census Table. INEGI, February 16, 2012. Volumen y crecimiento Población total por entidad federativa, 1895 a 2010. Ward, Peter. Mexico City. Boston, MA: G.K. Hall & Co., 1990.
Jackson Heights Hillary Austin Christopher DiStasi Michael Fichman Shayda Haghgoo Qi Wang Lijuan Xing Peiyong Yu
Though they are aspirational, none of the items in this agenda are outlandish - they can all be achieved. Jackson Heights has a wealth of resources to draw upon in order to move towards a great, new future. Active and concerned neighborhood organizations have shown a willingness to engage with residents and with the polity regarding housing, development, and environmental issues. New York City has many sympathetic programs which can be leveraged to achieve neighborhood goals and objectives.
Long Island City Long Island City has seen rapid transformation Han Bao over the past decade and is growing to become Keisan Gittens one of the most attractive locations for both Xue Jin residents and businesses in New York City â&#x20AC;&#x201C; much Mengyun Li of this is due to the existing strengths present in Evan Liew the neighborhood. The neighborhood is still in the Lindsey Shields nascent stages of its transition and its identity far from solidified, as there]are still multiple opportunities for development, along with several deficiencies and threats that need to be addressed. The role of the planners is to help shape the future of Long Island City in accordance to a vision, which is to make it a Livable, Integrated and Connected Neighborhood.
Overall, Building on Woodside recommends a mix of small- and large-scale interventions, to serve as a guide for a diverse set of actors who are or will be active in the community. By building community resources and preserving affordability, it is hoped that in the future, long-time Woodside residents are respected, new residents are welcomed, and all have options worthy of true New Yorkers.
Woodside Nicholas Allen LucĂa Artavia Jared Patton James Onofrio Alma Siulagi Lu Tian Yao Shi-Yuan
This plan was created to help the neighborhood of Sunnyside build upon its strengths, improve upon its weaknesses, and navigate the currents of change. With the wealth of recent plans impacting Sunnyside and its residents, this plan could have remained limited to Sunnyside responding to existing ideas. But this plan seeks to Laura Byer do much more. The proposed interventions define Thomas Dilke a path forward that will help Sunnyside become an Tamara Mittman even better place to call home. With the investments, Esther Needham programs, and policies described above, Sunnyside Benjamin Schmidt Naeem can remain a thriving and vibrant community, a Shahrestani haven for New York families, and a local economic Junran Yang engine well into the twenty first century.
Queensboro Hill Guangda Gao Eleanor Horner Junxiao Li Jose Raul Trucios Aric Skurdal Sarai Williams The final plan, An Age-Friendly Queensboro Hill, envisions the establishment of an age-friendly community. A fifteen year, three phase plan, looking at five facets of community needs will result in an age-friendly community that seeks to address concerns of an aging-population while benefiting everyone and taking advantage of unique community qualities. By making the neighborhood more connected within, for pedestrians and bikers, more connected to surrounding neighborhoods by bus rapid transit, and more heterogeneous in its price range of housing stock, along with a multitude of social changes, Queensboro Hill will strengthen its identity and be a leader for other neighborhoods in Queens adapting to meet the needs of their aging populations.
PLANNING IN INLAND CHINA: A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN CRITIQUE of Changsha, China (2003 - 2020)
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global financial crisis (CSCB, 2008). Externally, a new plan was necessary to guide development consistently with newly issued national and regional plans. In December 2007, a three-city region covering Changsha, Zhuzhou, and Xiangtan was designated as the National Pilot Reform Zone for Resource-Efficient and EnvironmentFriendly Society. This required Changsha to begin transforming into a sustainable low-carbon economy (NDRC, 2007). Also, affected by the economic downturn in 2008, manufacturing activity in coastal areas began moving inland in search of lower labor and rental costs. Finally, the National Law for Urban and Rural Planning (NLURP) was updated in 2007, requiring ongoing plans to adapt to new standards. In all, according to Huifang Wang, the Chief Engineer at the Changsha Urban and Rural Planning Bureau, the purpose of the 2010 revision was to “build, with an ecological perspective and international view, a spatial framework featured with multiple centers and corridors that could support the sustainable development of The statutory authority to plan (legal requirements for making plans in the locality). The legal basis for consistency (the extent to which public and private actions must be consistent with an adopted plan). The power and support for regulating private property. The range of legitimate intervention domains (the fields that planning is justified to impact). The breadth of planning functions. The independent revenue authority and ability to direct public investments; and The importance of a participatory planning process.
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Changsha in the coming twenty years or longer…” (Zhao, 2011). Planning culture is a term created by Friedmann (2011) to characterize the specific social, economic, and historical contexts where planning takes place. A strong planning culture encourages a high level of public sector responsibility in managing current and future urban growth and its impacts (Landis, 2015). A weak planning culture discourages such responsibility. There are seven criteria to assess planning cultures as defined by Friedmann: As in other Chinese cities, advanced comprehensive planning is a legal mandate in Changsha. The NLURP states that planning is a tool “to coordinate [the] spatial layout of urban and rural areas, to improve the conditions of living environment, [and] to promote integral and sustainable social and economic development” (NPC, 2007). Usually, jurisdictions must update their plans every five years. Here, the Changsha Urban and Rural Planning Bureau, a department in the Changsha Municipal Government, set the agenda for the Plan. Legally, development need not explicitly follow a plan. Municipalities have a considerable degree of flexibility. The NLURP provides that “local governments should act according to the local economic and social development level, as well as their capacity, with respect for the people’s demand, incrementally implement the urban or rural plan in an organized way” (NPC, 2007). The legal constraints of planning are embodied in three documents, namely, the Site Choice Recommendation, the Land Use Permit, and the Construction Project Permit, that are issued by the planning department of the jurisdiction. Prior to construction, all building activities in the planned area must have these three permits. There is, however, some level of legal requirement regarding consistency, especially concerning sprawl and overdevelopment. According to the NLURP, “it
required to serve these functions. At the same time, the Changsha municipal government has a strong ability to direct public investments. This is due to the close tie between governments and state-owned financial institutions. The four largest state-owned banks control 48% of the total assets in the Chinese banking system (Fox, 2011). These banking giants tend to offer financial support for urban redevelopment with a very low interest rate. In 2015, Chinese governments had an estimated gross debt of 43.2% of the country’s GDP (Knoema, 2015). This close tie between banks and governments has contributed to local governments’ ambitious urban development plans and massive building activity based on debt financing. Finally, planning in Changsha is not very participatory. According to the NLURP, “all draft documents of the plan should be open to public for no less than 30 days, during which the plan-making institution should hold feasibility study meetings, public hearing meetings, and other forms of public discussions to collect opinions from experts and the general public, before the draft plan is submitted for review.” But the law does not specify the scale and format of the meetings, or
who can attend, or most importantly, how to incorporate public opinions into plan-making. Necessary evaluation of the effectiveness of the meetings is not defined either, except for the short, thirty-day period for public information disclosure. In making the 2014 Plan, the Changsha Planning Bureau published the draft planning document for one month, or 2.2% of the total plan-making period (CMG, 2014). There was thus barely any communicative planning or formal public participation in the planning process. Providing a score based on this discussion to each of Friedmann’s criteria yields a comprehensive score is 3.28. This suggests that the local planning culture in Changsha is neither strong nor weak. The municipal government of Changsha organized the planning process according to the legal requirements for planning, as displayed in Figure 3. During the planning process, the State Council had a decisive influence on the plan. The application and feedback between the municipal government and The State Council took 45 months in total, 83% of the planning time, while the actual making of the plan took only 6 months, or 11%. The State Council also gave decisive direction on the plan’s framing
Evaluating Changsha’s Local Planning Culture
Table 1. Scoring for Changsha’s Local Planning Culture, created by author 084 — PANORAMA 24
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Figure 3. Planning Process in China, Courtesy of Qi and Zhou, reproduced by author
and goals. In its feedback on the revised plan, the Council stated that “Changsha is the capital city of Hunan Province, an important city in the middle Yangtze River Region, and a national historic city,” a description reiterated in the plan as the “nature of city” (State Council, 2014). As in the other five capital cities in the Central China Region, the State Council definition of Changsha serves as a foundation for the plan. As for an appropriate planning model to summarize the planning process, The 2014 Plan for Changsha approximates the strategic planning model. Strategic planning is a process by which an organization identifies a mission statement, conducts an analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT), identifies the specific issues raised in the analysis, develops a compelling vision for future, and identifies strategies for achieving the vision (Landis, 2015). The 2014 Plan significantly emphasizes the city’s opportunities in terms of growth, national policy, transportation, and ecology, rather than alternative paths. Rather than an analysis of alternatives, the Plan instead discusses the strengths and opportunities for different spatial units. For example, for the Yuelu Spatial Unit, the Plan mentions its high
concentration of academic institutions as a strength and the establishment of a national advanced technology zone as an opportunity. For the Muyun Spatial Unit, the Plan emphasizes its strategic location on the intersection point of three cities— Changsha, Zhuzhou and Xiangtan—as a key strength and persistent urban growth as an opportunity. These examples demonstrate a partial SWOT analysis in a strategic planning model. The 2014 Plan develops simple and compelling organized visions. For example, the Plan summarizes the spatial structure of the city in the future with an illustrative phrase: “One axis, two bands, and multiple centers with one major hub, two sub-hubs and five spatial units” (CMG, 2014, 13). Also, the Plan envisions the Airport Spatial Unit becoming a new industrial hub with high-end manufacturing and services and airportrelated industries. At the same time, the 2014 Plan serves a short-term timeframe. As a revised version of the original plan— which is more accurately seen as a new planning cycle—the plan only covers six years, from 2014 to 2020. In a departure from the 2003 Plan, the 2014 Plan proposes a larger and denser city, with more spread-out growth 085
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he Comprehensive Plan for the City of Changsha (2003 – 2014) is thus indicative of the mild planning culture potentially found in similarly-situated, inland, secondtier cities. Its ineffectiveness in guiding real development also demonstrates the conflicts between the grand vision imposed by the Central Government and local demand. The need for more public engagement during the process of rapid urbanization poses a challenge that planners in Changsha and other inland Chinese cities must confront.
Changsha Commerce Bureau (CSCB). Invest in Changsha. 2008. http://www.csinvest.gov.cn/jrcs_csgh.asp. Changsha Municipal Government (CMG). Comprehensive Plan of the City of Changsha (2003 - 2020). 2014. http://www. changsha.gov.cn/xxgk/szfxxgkml/ghjh/qsfzgh/201411/t20141105_657380.html. Changsha Development Report (CSDR) for 2003. 2003. http://bbs.sjtu.edu.cn/bbscon,board,Hunan,file,M.1080133565.A.html. Changsha Statistics Bureau (CSB). Changsha’s Economic and Social Development Report for 2014. 2014. http://www.cstj.gov. cn/static/ndcss/20150323/28174.html. Changsha’s Economic and Social Development Report for 2010. 2010. http://www.cstj.gov.cn/static/ndcss/20110323/15586. html. Changsha’s Economic and Social Development Report for 2003. 2003. http://www.hntj.gov.cn/tjgb/szgb/200403220043.htm. Duan, Peng, Bohong Zheng, and Ke Hou. “An Evaluation of Comprehensive Planning based on GIS: A Case Study on Changsha’s Comprehensive Plan (2003 -2020).” Symposium for the National Planning Conference. Beijing: The Urban Planning Society of China, 2011. Fox, Eric. “Introduction to the Chinese Banking System.” Investopedia. 2011. http://www.investopedia.com/articles/ economics/11/chinese-banking-system.asp. Friedmann, John. Insurgencies: Essays in Planning Theory. New York: Routledge, 2011. Jing, Tihua. “A Report on Regional Economic Development in China.” 2004. http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/ documents/APCITY/UNPAN019958.pdf Knoema. “Chinese Fiscal Condition.” 2015. http://cn.knoema.com/atlas. Landis, John. “Urban and Planning Theory.” University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 2015. Mei. “Demolition in Kaifu District.” 2015. http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-free-5068683-2.shtml. National Development Reform Commission (NDRC). The Note on Designating Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan Region as the National Pilot Reform Zone. 2007. http://www.hunan.gov.cn/cztlxsh/qwxx/gfpf/200801/t20080124_95980.htm. National People’s Congress (NPC). National Law of Urban and Rural Planning (NLURP). 2007. http://www.china.com.cn/ policy/txt/2007-10/29/content_9139260.htm. National Statistics Bureau (NSB). China 6th Population Census. 2011. http://www.stats.gov.cn/tjsj/pcsj/rkpc/6rp/html/fu03. htm. Qi and Zhou. “Urban and Rural Planning Laws.” China South University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, 2015. State Council. The Reply of State Council on the Approval of Changsha Comprehensive Plan. 2014. http://www.gov.cn/ zhengce/content/2014-04/18/content_8769.htm. Ye, Qiang, Yitian Tan, Xuebin Zhao, Liwu Luo, Na Chen, and Hui Xiang. “An Evaluation of Urban Commercial Network Planning’s Implementation based on GIS.” Geographical Research 32, no. 2 (2013). Zeng, Hualin. “Changsha’s Growing Number of Cars.” Decision-making Reference, Vol 34. 2015. http://cstj.gov.cn/static/ jcztfx/20150401/28245.html. Zhao, Jing. “Changsha Launching Revision of the Plan.” 2011. http://news.rednet.cn/c/2011/01/11/2157809.htm. Zhou, Hui. “Changsha’s New Plan.” 2014. http://finance.ifeng.com/a/20140425/12201218_0.shtml.
All photos are licensed for fair use under Creative Commons 2.0 or permissions have been specifically granted by the author
02 Author 04 Tu, Yuhao. Residents in Beizhengjie Moving Out Homes. Aug 19th, 2014. Changsha Skyline, Changsha. 05 Tu, Yuhao. Gutan Street. Aug 19th, 2014. Changsha Skyline, Changsha. 06 Jonathan. Spectators. Available from Flickr Commons. Taken September 11, 2005. https://flic.kr/p/59zsUS
The city of Rochester, Minnesota invested in a corporate-style strategic plan to promote growth as a “Destination Medical Center”. Alex Schieferdecker discusses how the Mayo Clinic, a private hospital offering world-class healthcare, has created a model for the future of development planning. medical history Figure 1: DOWNTOWN WATERFRONT The downtown waterfront transforms the perception of Rochester as a medical campus to a vibrant destination city. The strategy creates a town square, utilizing the asset of the river and waterfront, to create a 365-day destination for residents and visitors alike. By creating this type of space, the plan enhances the viability of the Mayo Civic Center as a regional convention center and enhances the feasibility of spurring mixed-use development in and around the downtown area. 01
John H. Noseworthy, M.D. is the current CEO of the Mayo Clinic. Under his leadership, the Mayo Clinic developed and is implementing the Destination Medical Center Plan. During the lobbying campaign to receive state support, Noseworthy made remarks that seemed to suggest the Clinic would move if the legislature did not support the plan.
One entrance to the Mayo Clinic. In some way or another, Mayo directly employs a third of the working population of Rochester, and is the largest employer in the State of Minnesota, surpassing even the state government.
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is Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, frequently travels to the United States, where he gives speeches, teaches Tibetan Buddhism, and meets with world leaders in cities like New York and Washington. But the 80 year old religious figure visits only one place in America every year: Rochester, Minnesota, a small city of just over 100,000 people on the south fork of the Zumbro River. He’s not alone in making this pilgrimage. To understand why the Dalai Lama and countless other luminaries, from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to tennis player Mardy Fish, have made pilgrimages to Rochester is to understand both the history of this city, and—if all goes according to plan—its bright future. Rochester was founded in 1854 by a native of the western New York city of the same name, and started off as a waypoint on the Dubuque-to-Saint Paul stagecoach line. Fertile farmland brought the first settlers to the town, and the territorial legislature soon established Rochester as the seat of the newly drawn Olmstead County in the Minnesota territory. Less than a decade after its founding, a young doctor named William Worrall Mayo arrived to work as a medical examiner for men drafted for service in the Civil War. Dr. Mayo put down roots in the town after the war and set up practice, and after some time, his sons passed through medical school and eventually joined him. In 1883, a tornado roared through the city and Mayo family were indispensable in the recovery effort. Because of the scale of the disaster, they enlisted the services of the Sisters of Saint Francis to tend to the masses of injured. It was an auspicious event. After the tragedy, the Sisters approached Dr. Mayo and proposed that they join forces to build a modern hospital for the city. In time, that hospital would become known as the Mayo Clinic, and thanks to forward-thinking leadership, its reputation for excellent care eventually translated into worldwide fame. (City of Rochester, 2015) In 2015, US News and
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World Report ranked the Mayo Clinic as the second best hospital in the United States, which was a down year for Mayo, having held the top spot the year before. (Comarow, 2015) Rochester would be a shadow of its current self without the Mayo Clinic. Between the hospital, research facility, and medical school, the organization employs over 35,000 people, (City-Data, 2015) over a third of the jobs in the entire Rochester MSA, (CBP, 2013) and draws over 2 million visitors to the city annually. (City-Data, 2015) The Mayo Clinic is Minnesota’s largest employer, eclipsing even the state government.(MnDEED, 2015) Its downtown campus occupies around 15 million square feet, over three times the size of the famed Mall of America. (Nicas, 2013) As seven of the ten tallest buildings in the city belong to the Mayo Clinic, (Wikipedia, 2015) it seems fair to say that its downtown campus is downtown Rochester. The degree to which the Mayo Clinic holds sway over the center of the city is deeply reminiscent of turn-ofthe-century towns like Pullman, Illinois, which were built to serve the needs of a single corporation. Increasingly in the twenty-first century, the global economy began to fray the connection between the city and its foremost resident. The Mayo Clinic increasingly found itself in competition with premier hospitals across the nation to attract wealthy patients and employ top doctors. In the long term, Mayo Clinic executives felt that it was a battle they would not win. Rivals like Massachusetts General, Johns Hopkins, and the Cleveland Clinic were based in more easily accessible cities, with higher quality hotels and attractions for the family members of patients. By the same token, these rival hospitals could offer their staff the benefits of living in larger and more interesting places. If the level of care were equal, which Arabian prince or brilliant neurosurgeon would choose sleepy Rochester over cosmopolitan Boston? 093
To make matters more difficult for the Mayo Clinic, their rivals were not standing still, spending billions of dollars on expanding and growing their facilities. A 2013 Wall Street Journal article summed up the challenge. The Cleveland Clinic was adding a $712 million expansion paired with a bus rapid transit project named the “HealthLine” and other city investments in the healthcare corridor. Johns Hopkins was constructing a new $1.1 billion facility. Mass General was undergoing a $1.5 billion renovation. (Nicas, 2013) In comparison, Rochester was practically moving in slow motion. The WSJ article quotes Mayo CEO John Noseworthy as saying he “gets the daylights beat out of him by the trustees because there are no four- or five-star hotels.” (Nicas, 2013) The aggressive moves of Mayo’s competitors represented an existential threat to the clinic’s position at the top of the health care industry—and by extension, to the city of Rochester. But if Rochester’s remote location and podunk reputation were the problem in the first place, how could the Mayo Clinic hope to save itself and its hometown? In 2010, amidst these pressures (not to mention the global recession), the Mayo Clinic began a study process to determine its future business strategy. With outposts established in Scottsdale, AZ and Jacksonville, FL, the clinic had the option of further expansion. But the facilities that it had built at home could not be so easily replaced or relocated. The company knew its reputation and capital were, for better or worse, tied to its flagship headquarters in Rochester. If other hospitals were investing in their facilities, Mayo would simply have to invest more. And if other hospitals were milking their more dynamic locations, then Rochester itself would need compete as well. On January 30th, 2013, Mayo released its “Destination Medical Center” (DMC) vision. To call it ambitious would be a severe understatement. The plan promised a $5 billion investment over twenty years in Mayo’s Rochester campus, 094 — PANORAMA 24
with the clinic putting forward $3.5 billion, and an additional $2.1 billion expected from private partners. (Mayo Clinic, 2013) The goal of the plan was to establish Rochester as “the world’s premier destination for health and wellness; attracting people, investment opportunities, and jobs to America’s City for Health and supporting the economic growth of Minnesota, its bioscience sector, and beyond.” (DMC Plan, 2013) “This bold economic development initiative is driven on the proof of growth in the private sector and not the promise of growth,” said Noseworthy in the initial press release. “Mayo Clinic not only intends to protect its current status as one of the world’s premier medical institutions but to significantly expand our highly-effective practice model and medical assets to be clearly recognized as a global destination medical center for decades to come.” (Mayo Clinic, 2013) The clinic also asked for $585 million in infrastructure from the state of Minnesota and the City of Rochester, which would cover facilities like new public parking, transit, utilities, skyways, parks, plazas, streetscapes, and more. (Mayo Clinic, 2013) Driving this recommendation were a couple interesting findings from Mayo’s research. One key discovery was that while patients were extremely satisfied with the care they received from the Mayo Clinic, they were less than satisfied with the time they spent in Rochester outside of the hospital. Sick people, it turned out, were sick of Rochester. The second finding was that this same “satisfaction gap” applied to Mayo Clinic employees and Rochester residents as a whole. People were very happy with their jobs, but largely unhappy with the city in which their jobs were located. “To realize the DMC vision,” says the press release, with a touch of bureaucratese, “it will be necessary to meet visitor expectations with respect to new lodging and hospitality venues, entertainment, retail and visitor
The skyline of Rochester, seen from the surrounding countryside. Seven of the ten tallest buildings in Rochester are owned by the Mayo Clinic, reflecting the hospital’s incredible influence on the economy of its home city.
second opinion not necessary Figure 2: DISCOVERY SQUARE A new address for the future of bio-medical, research and technology innovation, Discovery Square is a keystone to the DMC economic development strategy. The sub-district borrows from Mayo Clinic’s integrated care model to create an integrated district founded in the principles of translational medicine. Mayo Clinic, private partners and institutions are brought together in the district, organized around a central park and translational cloud, designed to foster communication and the sharing of ideas. 096 — PANORAMA 24
clinic address its primary disadvantage of being located in a small city. They saw an opportunity in the clinic’s massively influential position in its home city and state. And they concluded that without addressing these issues, the clinic would increasingly lose an edge to other rivals. After completing the analysis, the planners developed the vision of Rochester as the “Destination Medical Center,” anchored by the Mayo Clinic. Finally, they partnered with professionals to develop a detailed design plan for the city and clinic campus in order to transform the city and achieve the DMC vision. Alternatives, such as downsizing, diversifying into other industries (there is an IBM plant in Rochester that employs several thousand people), and outright failure, were not seriously considered. The public good was taken as a given in the DMC planning process. While public input was sought during the design phase, the plan largely assumes that what is good for the Mayo Clinic is also good for Rochester. This isn’t as arrogant as an assumption as might normally be expected. When one-third of the MSA workforce is directly paid by one employer, the public good is obviously tied to that company’s wellbeing.
“This town wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Mayo,” said Chad Roelofs, a bartender quoted by the Wall Street Journal. “You’re either going to Mayo, work at Mayo or are selling something to Mayo.” (Nicas, 2013) The DMC plan was proposed in 2013, to a Minnesota government controlled entirely by the DemocratFarmer-Labor (DFL) party, and a year after a bi-partisan legislature had approved a half billion subsidy to build a new stadium for the Vikings football team. Its chances for passage were good, especially as the new DFL majorities moved to reshape the state’s tax rates to raise revenues. Still, there was a substantial lobbying effort. One event of note occurred when Noseworthy told an audience in Washington D.C. that “we’re never going to leave Minnesota,” but that the Mayo Clinic had “49 states” who would fight for the company’s next investment. (Dias, 2013) Back in Minnesota, the good doctor’s words were interpreted as a warning against the legislature tinkering too much with the DMC proposal. There’s no doubt that they were. But the statement also illuminated the extent to which
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geography did and did not matter in the DMC plan. The plan, after all, was never called “Rochester Medical Center.” The “Destination” in “Destination Medical Center” was never site specific. In some strange sense, this incredibly transformative civic vision was never quite about the place that it aimed to transform so thoroughly. Had the politicians in Saint Paul not committed to the proposal, perhaps the new “global destination medical center” would’ve instead been built in Rochester, NY. A defection would’ve been a catastrophe for the Minnesota’s third largest city, and a heavy blow to the state’s burgeoning medical industry. Of course, the Minnesota legislature approved the funds. The nuts and bolts of the DMC plan were developed over a period of two years after the plan’s release and legislative approval, and completed in April of 2015. The final plan runs to 694 pages and contains a wealth of information, including but not limited to demographic and economic trends and projections, case studies of health parks and mixed use innovation districts, and a comprehensive master plan for the downtown with site plans, form recommendations, and renderings. Through the process of completing the plan, the work became much more localized. The 2013 legislation approving funds for the plan established the DMC Corporation as a non-profit to oversee the implementation of the plan and provide public oversight. The eight member board was appointed by the Governor, Olmstead County, the Rochester City Council, and the Mayo Clinic. Public officials are well represented, including Mayor Brede, two other local elected officials, the Lieutenant Governor, and the former Mayor of Minneapolis, R.T. Rybak. The plan presents a detailed portrait of Rochester’s future. Tied to the expansion of its largest employer, Rochester’s population is expected to approach 175,000 by 2040, and the
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population of the county will grow over 200,000, which comes out to nearly 75% growth. (DMC Plan, 2013) The amount of jobs is expected to grow by the same amount, to roughly 165,000 for the county by 2040. (DMC Plan, 2013) As the city grows, the plan calls for a broad reshaping of the city’s fabric, especially in the downtown area, where new public spaces, parks, markets, cultural centers, and landmarks are envisioned. Once or twice, the plan dips a toe into the pool of self-parody, such as when it calls for “a crystalline arrival pavilion, combining the pastoral feel of New York’s Tavern on the Green with the splendor of Paris’ Louvre Pyramid visitor center” or “a Wi-Fi-connected urban park suited to the 22nd century.” (DMC Plan, 2013) Over-ambition was clearly not a concern for the planners. The overarching details of the master development plan center on eight core principles. (DMC Plan, 2013) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Livable City, Retail & Dining Sports, Recreation & Nature Hotel & Hospitality Commercial Research & Technology Health & Wellness Learning environment Entertainment, Arts Transportation
are best These principles embodied in the downtown design plan, which is the heart, soul, and chief selling point of the project. While developers and politicians doubtless appreciated the market analysis, everyone could be awed by the renderings and the vision for the city’s central business district, which is oriented around a t-shaped axis and divides the CBD into six component parts, each with their own goals, focal points, and names like “Heart of the City” and “Discovery Square.” The rest of Rochester, where the Mayo Clinic’s control is not so absolute, is a peripheral concern. In terms of urban form, the plan places a premium on mixed-use 097
development. The plan calls for a wealth of new amenities and infrastructure, including new parks, public art installations, a collaborative area between the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota-Rochester, and even a streetcar circulator. (DMC Plan, 2013) The giddy thumbprints of architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and talented computer graphics artists are obvious. It all looks like Sim City. To be honest, it all looks fantastic. prognosis
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It’s hard to root against the Destination Medical Center plan. It is something of a showcase for the latest ideas in urban planning. It’s all there, from an emphasis on mixing uses to intricately detailed plans for public space. The case studies included in the plan are a “who’s who” of in-vogue urban design ideas. Yes, the Portland Streetcar is profiled. Yes, Hammarby Sjöstad is studied. (DMC Plan, 2013) There are a lot of good ideas in the DMC proposal. Smart, talented, and thorough people have worked on this plan. Happily, the DMC vision has a lot going for it. The plan benefits from broad political backing, in a state that is presently running a billion dollar surplus. Minnesota has a long progressive tradition of government investment, high public participation in the political process, and relatively high confidence in government. With public funds already committed, the DMC plan has the weight of the state behind it, and the state’s opposition Republicans have largely not opposed the plan either. The commitment of the Mayo Clinic is, of course, the most substantial part of the package, and that too seems secure. Because the DMC plan originated with the clinic and its aims arose directly from the clinic’s aims, the plan ought to be able to count on the hospital’s capital investments in the future. So much for the money and the political will. Those were always necessary to get the plan off the ground. But now that the DMC plan is moving forward will
others get on board? This is the central question for the clinic, the city, and for planners. For all the excitement of a new future for Rochester and all the work on the plan, can Rochester really be so drastically remade? There are two distinct groups who are the targets of the DMC plan: millennials and developers. Millennials are something of a Macguffin for planning exercises across the United States. That is to say, the justification for appealing to millennials is often its own justification. That’s also the case in Rochester, where the clinic’s difficulties in attracting human capital are clearly not preventing Mayo from being among the top two hospitals in the country. Still, the specter of millennials abandoning the city in droves is a useful tool for accomplishing a physical transformation that truthfully appeals to more than just one generation. “To attract young professionals,” explained a recent segment on Minnesota Public Radio, “the development plan envisions making Rochester more like the Twin Cities, with more downtown living, walkable public spaces, parks, restaurants, bars, and music venues.” (Baier, 2015) These amenities, not at all coincidentally, might appeal to longtime Rochester residents and the Mayo’s bored patient families as well. The movement of millennials is this case is the mercury in the thermostat—a measure of success or failure. “Overall, Rochester is net negative in terms of millennials,” says Patrick Seeb, Director of Economic Development and Placemaking for the DMC project. “A lot of eighteen year-olds leave our city and not enough twenty two year olds come back. There’s a lot of work to be done, but the first step is to acknowledge that there’s a gap and that you need to work on it. I think we’ve taken that step.” Nothing has been built yet, but expectations are growing. “It’s getting there,” says Will Forsman, a coffee shop manager who supplied a not-entirelyringing endorsement to MPR. “You hear a lot of people complain about it but you’ve
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got to take it for what it’s worth. There’s a lot to do if you’re looking for it.” (Baier, 2015) The other key group, developers, are needed because they are expected to carry a heavy load. The original DMC proposal projected that private investment following the lead of the Mayo Clinic and the state would total $2.1 billion. These are early days yet, but that is a significant expectation, and the ultimate success or failure of the plan may depend on whether developers are as bullish on the future of Rochester as the elected officials. Two years after the initial plan was approved, and over half a year after the design details were produced, land prices are up, but the first DMC projects are just breaking ground. Many more, however, are in the works, including a $155 million Hilton hotel that was planned before the DMC was approved, and which will finally give Rochester its first four-star hotel. $200 million in private development related to the DMC is expected to be under construction by the end of 2017. (Black, 2015) “I think it’s important to understand that DMC is a reflection of the direction that this community was going,” says Seeb. “I know people often times
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want to put a stake in the ground and say what’s pre-DMC, what’s post-DMC, and that’s fine. But the DMC wouldn’t be what it is but for the kind of transformation that Rochester was already starting to go through. DMC being intentional about that change.” This second target suggests a critical angle to understanding the DMC plan, and a more challenging line of attack. Edward Glaeser, a well-known Harvard urban economist, has repeatedly emphasized the importance of diverse urban economies in his work, not just as a safety net against the collapse of one industry, but also as a means to growth. In his book, The Triumph of the City, he notably compares the cities of Detroit and New York, which both suffered during the second half of the 20th century. Only New York has come bouncing back. Of Detroit, Glaeser writes: “Cities like Detroit with big firms have suffered weaker employment growth than cities with more and smaller employers. This relationship holds, no matter what types of industries are involved, how old the companies are, or how big the cities are.” (Glaeser, 2011) Already reliant upon the Mayo Clinic and the health care industry, the DMC plan binds the two together more closely
Figure 3: CENTRAL STATION Central Station is a cornerstone of the plan for future growth in Rochester. It is envisioned to become a regional transit hub, connecting Rochester with the surrounding region iincluding the Twin Cities. The Central Station is positioned to support a future high-speed rail connection between Rochester and the Twin Cities. However, the plan is not predicated on that connection. The location is ideal as a transit hub to support the future growth of Mayo Clinic and commercial uses in the downtown.
than ever before. This single-industry economy may not just be vulnerable to shocks. According to Glaeser, it also may well struggle to grow in the long term. This is why the private component of the DMC plan is so critical. If DMC is truly to be a success, it will in the long term result in a more diverse Rochester economy, by giving entrepreneurs the ability to break off from Mayo and create their own firms. The DMC plan talks a good game about a proposed “University Research Park” that would “encourage the establishment and growth of new companies” and help “technology transition from the lab to the marketplace.” (DMC Plan, 2013) But whether this will be created and what success it will have in achieving its aims will be determined by the private sector, and it’s hard to know how it will turn out. The ultimate success or failure of the plan probably rests on the result. “In many ways, what catalyzed this process was Mayo’s recognition that it couldn’t grow and succeed if it were the only game in town,” says Seeb. “They came to realize this in part because as they are recruiting talent, a lot of people would come with partners who were also looking for employment opportunities. Mayo simply can’t be the only job provider 100 — PANORAMA 24
and opportunity provider. So the need to diversify the economy is in Mayo’s best interest, and it’s consistent with the city’s interest as well.” As execution of the plan proceeds in Rochester, it’s worth considering the one major way in which the city’s momentum could be dramatically accelerated. This is the intriguing and game-changing future universe in which some combination of the State of Minnesota and private actors bring high speed rail to Rochester. The state’s major metropolitan region of Minneapolis-Saint Paul is just a 75 minute drive away. Those patients who do not fly to Rochester via private airplane often come via an air shuttle service run by Delta from MSP International Airport. Because of fixed rail’s competitiveness at these middle distances, municipal and state leaders have long considered the possibility of a fixed train route running from the cities that would deliver passengers into the heart of Rochester. The DMC plan calls for the city to construct a central station to act as the hub of the city’s future transportation network, and the southern terminus of the potential high speed line that could make trips between the Twin
a minne-apple a day Figure 4: ST MARYS PLACE Located on 2nd Avenue, St. Mary’s Place establishes a civic square and monumental gateway at one of primary entry points to Rochester. The plan incorporates a circulator that connects the St. Mary’s campus to the downtown. It also embraces its relationship to the surrounding neighborhoods creating a town square that connects Kutsky Park to St. Mary’s Park and the Historic Pill Hill neighborhood.
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Cities and Rochester a painless daily occurrence for thousands. The chances of the rail line, currently named “ZipRail,” ever being built probably rely heavily on the chances of the DFL party gaining a sizable majority in state government at the same time that the national Democratic party gains power, and perhaps a governor who makes it his mission to build the line. The Minnesota Department of Transportation recently halted an environmental review of the proposed routes of the high speed rail for a lack of political will, although a private study financed by Asian investors is continuing. Should the political winds blow its way once again, the ZipRail project could prove to have a huge impact. (Carlson, 2015) A high speed rail route to Minneapolis-Saint Paul offers promise and peril for Rochester. High speed rail would
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make it easier to commute between the two cities, setting up a contest in livability that Rochester may well fear, or perhaps a clash of school districts and peace and quiet, which Rochester might benefit from. It will certainly expand the cultural offerings available to Rochester residents. It could also increase the economic links between Rochester’s medical practice industry and the Twin Cities powerful medical device industry. In this respect, high speed rail could be enormously helpful in Rochester’s efforts to facilitate medical start-ups that it hopes will result from the pooled human capital drawn in by the DMC initiative. Unlikely as it is, the incredible paradigm-changing potential of high speed rail must be considered in any dissection of Rochester’s post-DMC future.
ochester’s Destination Medical Center plan must surely rank among the most ambitious contemporary development projects undertaken in the United States. Rarely do cities so completely aim to remake themselves. Rarely do they have the opportunity to do so. Rochester’s size, wealth, and mind meld with a single company made the DMC plan a unique occurrence. The overriding question is now whether it will work. Can a company town reinvent itself in the twenty-first century? Can it betray its intrinsic purpose and become more than just a place to work? If it does, the plan will be a triumph for the kind of top-down master planning that is not just rarely attempted, but also not in fashion in the US. After a recent history of good intentioned planning overreach that had disastrous consequences, there are often good reasons for playing small ball. But success in Rochester could show that when undertaken in the right circumstances and with enough care and attention to detail, planners can pull off a detailed city plan on a grand scale. On the flip side, the plan unquestionably exposes the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, and Minnesota to a substantial amount of risk. Real money is on the line. It’s easy to think of a long litany of ambitious, high profile megaproject failures. Planning on such a transformative scale carries with it tremendous risk. Perhaps Rochester will benefit from being the first small American city to dream this big, while others may later try and fail. Or perhaps Rochester will simply pay for its hubris and its ambitions will be quickly forgotten. Big gambles often don’t pan out. But casinos would be empty if nobody ever bet big and won.
you only live once
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Comarow, Avery. “The Honor Roll of Best Hospitals 2015-16.” US News and World Report. July 21, 2015. http://health.usnews. com/health-news/best-hospitals/slideshows/the-honor-roll-of-best-hospitals-2015-16 “History of Rochester,” City of Rochester. Accessed December 11, 2015. http://www.rochestermn.gov/about-the-city/history-
Figure 5: DMC MASTER PLAN
The Master Plan is intented to transform Rochester into a dynamic, urban center that integrates Mayo Clinic’s medical campus with commercial, biomedicalresearch-technology, residential, retailentertainment, hotel-hospitality, educational, recreational and cultural uses through a strategic network of streetscape, transportation, greenway and public space amenities. photos cited All photos are licensed for fair use under Creative Commons 2.0 or permissions have been specifically granted by the author
of-rochester “Economy of Rochester.” City-Data. Accessed December 11, 2015. http://www.city-data.com/us-cities/The-Midwest/ Rochester-Economy.html “Top Employers Statewide.” Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Accessed December 11, 2015. http://mn.gov/deed/business/locating-minnesota/companies-employers/top-employers.jsp Nicas, Jack. “Mayo Clinic’s Upmarket Move.” The Wall Street Journal. April 22, 2013. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424 127887324763404578433183837597020 “List of Tallest Buildings in Rochester, Minnesota.” Wikipedia. Accessed December 11, 2015. “Mayo Clinic to Invest More than $3 Billion to Position Minn. as World Destination for Heatlh Care.” Mayo Clinic News Release. January 30, 2013. Accessed December 11, 2015. “Destination Medical Center Development Plan.” Destination Medical Center. Accessed Decembeer 11, 2015. http://dmc.mn/ press-materials/#devPlan Reilly, Mark. “Rochester approves millions for Destination Medical Center, but it wants action.” Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.
approves-38-million-to-destination.html Scheck, Tom. “Mayo Clinic seeking state help for major Rochester expansion.” MPR News. January 30, 2013. http://www. mprnews.org/story/2013/01/30/politics/mayo-clinic-seeks-state-funds-for-expansion Diaz, Kevin. “Mayo CEO on Minnesota Expansion: ‘We’ll Have to Rethink … the Best Use of Our Money.” Star Tribune. April 10, 2013. http://www.startribune.com/april-9-mayo-clinic-ceo-to-minn-49-states-want-us/202242191/ Baier, Elizabeth. “Will Millennials Dig Rochester’s Ambitious Downtown Plan?” MPR News. November 30, 2015. http://www. mprnews.org/story/2015/11/30/rochester-millennials-mayo-development Black, Sam, “Rochester’s ready to roll.” Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. October 2, 2015. http://www.bizjournals.com/ twincities/print-edition/2015/10/02/rochesters-ready-to-roll.htm Glaeser, Edward. Triumph of the City. London: Macmillan, 2011. Carlson, Heather J. “MnDOT considers hitting ‘pause button’ on Zip Rail.” Rochester Post Bulletin. October 7, 2015. http:// www.postbulletin.com/news/local/mndot-considers-hitting-pause-button-on-zip-rail/article_b5b08d7d-ab87545f-a1d0-80b094011f84.html Figures and their corresponding captions refer to the publicly available development plan found at www.dmc.mn 01 Jpellgen. Available from Flickr Commons. Taken August 7, 2014. https://flic.kr/p/omKyJ3 02 Tripp. Available from Flickr Commons. TakenMarch 2, 2009. https://flic.kr/p/64Fe85 03 Macdonald, Ellen. ellenmac11. Available from Flickr Commons. Taken October 9, 2010. https://flic.kr/p/8HTirc 04 Jpellgen. Available from Flickr Commons. Taken August 7, 2014. https://flic.kr/p/oCYe3a
The Plummer Building is one of Rochester’s most recognizable landmarks. When it was built by the Mayo Clinic in 1927, at 19 floors, it was the tallest building in the state of Minnesota. It remained the tallest building in Rochester until 2001.
FUTURE GENERATOR TO BUILD AN ENERGY LANDSCAPE The Slate Belt, PA
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In the two decades since apartheid ended in South Africa, Johannesburg has moved towards more conscious planning efforts. It is quickly becoming more diverse and economically competitive, but it still suffers from social and spatial segregation. Jessica Neubelt discusses Johannesburg’s slow journey towards consolidating an inclusive identity for one of South Africa’s capital cities.
Soweto from the air, showing process of land formalization, with informal housing still in place on the right side of the image. Despite the formalization process, unsanitary and impermanent conditions still prevail in many parts of the city’s southern townships, including in Soweto, pictured here Carleton Center, an area in downtown Johannesburg, at sunrise.
a new south africa, a growing johannesburg a brief history of apartheid
ohannesburg, South Africa is the capital of Gauteng province and the largest city in the country. In many ways, it is similar to American cities: diverse, but highly segregated by race and by class. The city is battling sprawl, fragmentation, and car dependency, all of which are threatening its natural environment. It is struggling to create jobs in a deindustrialized economy. It is in need of updated and expanded infrastructure for utilities, waste management, and alternative forms of transit. The city’s poor are being failed by the school systems and are subject to violence of all types. In other very profound ways, Johannesburg is hardly comparable to any other city. South Africa is considered a middle-income country and was historically considered the most developed, wealthiest, and most westernized city in Africa. Yet it has one of the highest Gini coefficients in the world and is home to one of the biggest and fastest growing AIDS epidemics in the world. Power remained consolidated among a very small minority of white colonial elites until just two decades ago, when South Africa held its first democratic election featuring universal suffrage. As the largest city and the heart of the fast-growing Gauteng City-Region megalopolis, Johannesburg dominates the country’s economy and is the focus of much international attention. Johannesburg is worth studying for all of these reasons, the typical and the exceptional. The most compelling argument for analysis of this city is the urgency with which the leaders and publics of Johannesburg act as it transitions away from a century-long humanitarian crisis through both traditional and experimental methods. The problems, politics and power dynamics of the city will continue to shift over the coming decades and as they do, an international audience will witness the ability and limitations of planning and public policy in addressing issues of spatial, social, and environmental justice. Johannesburg is South Africa’s largest
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city and has dominated the country’s politics, industry, and economy for well over a century. It has been racially and ethnically diverse for about as long. Its dominance and its demographic variety are products of its late-19th-century explosion. The world’s most substantial source of gold was found by a European settler in 1886 and the area became a center of economic growth and urban development almost immediately (Bremner, 2010). Johannesburg’s strong east-west axis is a product of the distribution of the gold “reefs” and the mines that followed (Bremner, 2010). Johannesburg’s European population and built environment are products of a flood of English, Dutch, and other European business interests and prospectors during this same period. Chinese, Indian, and other Asian populations also began arriving during the late-19th century, in pursuit of work in the mines or prosperous trade opportunities. Its position as South Africa’s biggest, fastest, most international city was solidified by the fin-de-siècle, and the culture of white/European superiority came shortly thereafter (Bremner, 2010). The turn-of-the-century Boer War (1899-1902) between British and Afrikaner colonizers consolidated power in the hands of the British. This government sought to affirm and elevate the status and economic success of its white constituents over the many working-class black Africans and non-European foreigners (Tomlinson et al, 2003). Explicit Apartheid policies developed following the outbreak of the pneumonic plague in Coolie, a large slum, in 1904. The epidemic revealed the extent of “racial mixing” occurring in certain parts of the city and led directly to spatial divisions by race (Bremner, 2010). Hospitals sorted plague patients to different floors according to race, and the government relocated former inhabitants of Coolie and other slums to locations away from the white upper class and the center of the city (Tomlinson et al, 2003; Bremner 2010). These two events launched a centurylong policy of race-based segregation and disenfranchisement enforced by a series 109
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of spatially determinant laws, of which the Urban Areas Act of 1924, the Native Urban Areas Act of 1929, and the Group Areas Act of 1950 are most important. By 1933, the government spoke of Johannesburg as an all-white city, and Apartheid policy was fully institutionalized with the National Party’s rise to power in 1948 (Tomlinson et al, 2003). Most of the 20th century saw extreme segregation of the nation’s black African population, who were allowed neither homeownership nor permanent residency in areas of the city designated for whites (other racial categories suffered lesser and/or briefer segregation). By the 1980s, however, this race-based regime began to weaken in the face of decades of growing disparity, increasingly activist black African movements, and a struggling economy. Crankshaw and Parnell (2004) argue that by the early-to-mid-1980s, inter-race inequality had actually started decreasing and intra-race inequality started growing. Shifting economic positions were attributable to the manufacturing and mining booms during the 1960s and 1970s. These growth periods created a demand for more labor than the region’s white population could provide, allowing for the entry of more black Africans into Johannesburg’s permanent housing stock and its job markets (Crankshaw and Parnell, 2004). This shift in the labor markets led to and reflected other changes. As blacks were increasingly allowed back into the city center, they changed the face of labor, of business patrons, and of business owners, albeit almost exclusively business owners in the informal sector (Rule, 1989; Makhetha and Rubin, 2014). Additionally, though Apartheid policies aimed to maintain the security and supremacy of white/Afrikaner South Africans, their numbers were rapidly dwindling compared to their black counterparts (Crankshaw and Parnell, 2004). It became increasingly difficult to police the locations of black residences or businesses. A pivotal moment in the dissolution of
the highly structured apartheid city came in 1986. In that year, a court reversed a decision in State vs. Govender, ultimately preventing the eviction of an Indian family living in a White Group Area. Following this decision, evictions based on the 1950 Group Areas Act effectively ended, ushering in an era of movement and increased choice (Rule, 1989). While this led to the integration of some townships, starting with Bertrams, just 3 km east of the Johannesburg Central Business District (CBD), it also led to an era of white flight and decentralization (Rule, 1989; Rogerson, 1996; Tomlinson et al, 2003). Though wealthy, white suburbs had existed to the north of the CBD for decades, their growth accelerated in the 1980s and 1990s. Businesses and corporate headquarters—of which Johannesburg has the lion’s share in South Africa—followed this flight of money and power, leading to the creation of a new CBD in Sandton (Rogerson, 1996; Bremner, 2010). These expanding suburbs may have occurred in an era of newly-possible integration, but continued to reflect a segregated, unequal society, made explicit by the prevalence of gates and security guards at their entrances. In many ways, the Johannesburg elite have created their own “edge cities” to the north of the CBD, wherein they’ve corralled their security, their businesses, their privilege, and the city’s best public schools, libraries, and medical facilities (Davis, 2006; UNHABITAT, 2008). Apartheid, though clearly beginning to break down by the late 1980s, is considered to have officially ended in 1994, with the country’s first election under universal suffrage. The post-apartheid period of the last twenty years cannot be characterized by one specific spatial trend or growth doctrine, but Johannesburg is growing, and rapidly. At the time of the 2011 census, Statistics South Africa (SSA) recorded 4,434,827 inhabitants residing in just over 1.4 million households. This marked substantial growth over the preceding decade, well surpassing the 3,226,055
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residents recorded in 2001. SSA enumerated the first post-apartheid Census in 1996 and recorded 2,639,110 residents. Between 1996 and 2011, the percentage of Johannesburg residents who identified as black Africans increased from 70% to 76.4%, with a marked increase particularly notable in the inner city neighborhoods and CBD (Statistics South Africa, 1996, 2001, 2011). As of the 2011 Census, 72.7% of the population was between the ages of 15 and 64, or of “working age.” Only 4.1% of the population was 65 or older, highlighting the impact of past decades’ health and safety conditions, and particularly the AIDS and HIV epidemic. These changes in the size, enfranchisement, location, choices, and opportunities of Johannesburg’s populations have had some implications on the form of the city, but at a slower rate than one might suspect. For much of the 20th century, Johannesburg had a whitedominated CBD with wealthy, leafy, white suburbs to the north (including Sandton and Randburg) and black, impoverished, disconnected slum townships to the south (including Soweto and Alexandra). To some extent, transition-era planning and developments have actually replicated these apartheid geographies (Charlton, 2014). The formal ending of apartheid actually led to a sharp increase in the establishment of informal settlements as black Africans and others flocked to the newly accessible urban core for work and educational opportunities (Huchzermeyer et al, 2014). At the time of the 2011 Census, 12.7% of residents were foreign-born, as opposed to 2.8% a decade earlier (Harrison et al, 2014). Housing supply has been a citywide priority as Johannesburg attempts to keep up with this migrant and immigrant influx. Nevertheless, many public housing projects have focused on upgrading existing informal settlements, or relocating these residents to other empty locations around the CBD periphery (for example to Diepsloot, one of several reception areas for relocated slum dwellers) (Charlton,
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2014; Huchzermeyer et al, 2014). Isolation and the extreme segregation of land uses, particularly in regards to retail options, remain substantial problems. Johannesburg’s metropolitan area and the Guateng City-Region (GCR), which includes Johannesburg, Tshwane (also known as Pretoria, the capital of South Africa), Ekhureleni, and the West Rand district are also growing and densifying. According to SSA’s mid-year population estimates for 2015, the population of the contiguously urbanized parts of the GCR is over 13.2 million (Gauteng City-Region Observatory, 2015). The historic east-west axis shaped by the gold reefs is joined by a north-south axis that runs from the capital district of Pretoria south through Johannesburg to the Vaal Industrial Complex. Urban growth follows these main corridors and is increasingly filling in the interstitial spaces (Harrison et al, eds., 2014). The governments, at both the municipal and GCR/provincial levels, are beginning to focus on enhancing urbanization economies as a means of economic development. Localization economies are also apparent, particularly in regards to the relationship between the financial and business service sector of Johannesburg and the governmental operations in both Johannesburg and Pretoria. Johannesburg and its surrounding metropolitan region benefit from many competitive advantages. Johannesburg is home to the largest inland port in all of Africa and handles a substantial share of South Africa’s exports at its City Deep industrial transportation hub (City of Johannesburg Corporate Planning Unit, 2002). This infrastructure is a remnant of the city’s growth as a major gold mining center and major industrial center of the Southern hemisphere (City of Johannesburg Corporate Planning Unit, 2002). Johannesburg International Airport is the busiest in Africa, and is well connected via both highway and high-speed rail to the CBD and the capital region in Pretoria. The
post apartheid development
johannesburg in transition
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airport also has strong connections to City Deep and to domestic and international ports such as Cape Town and Maputo, Mozambique (UN-HABITAT, 2008). The price of land and office rentals is drastically cheaper than in many other international business centers of its size, and it is still able to provide Class A offices on par with its global competitors. Utilities, too, are affordable by international standards, though at the expense of dependability (City of Johannesburg Corporate Planning Unit, 2002). The Johannesburg city council and Development Authority both recognize these as only a few components that determine a city’s competitiveness in the international market for corporate headquarters, international conferences, and industrial relocation. The Joburg2030 report, a major economic development agenda created by the city’s Corporate Planning Unit in 2002, details many of the obstacles to attracting more business. Perhaps most significant for both the national GDP and the local employment environment is the country’s abysmal education performance. The failure of the school systems—which are operated at the provincial rather than municipal level—have resulted in a mismatch between required and available skillsets, particularly in regards to technology (City of Johannesburg Corporate Planning Unit, 2002). Other factors adversely impacting Johannesburg’s competitiveness are its high dependency on the automobile and resulting congestion, its poor long-term maintenance of infrastructure, and the high cost of labor compared to other regions in South Africa. Johannesburg is undeniably densifying and moving consciously towards transitoriented, mixed-use development patterns. The existing planning efforts are working to create a polycentric, multi-nodal urban fabric that better integrates its poor, informal settlements (which house up to 25% of the city’s population, depending on how one defines and identifies “informal”)
into the well-connected, well-serviced fabric of its elites. This work is moving slowly. The city’s power and privilege remain centralized in two nodes: the innercity CBD and the new CBD and luxury neighborhoods surrounding Sandton. Sprawl continues through the regular relocation of displaced informal settlements and through the rapid subdivision of formerly vacant land. An early-2000s attempt at an Urban Development Boundary (UDB) has proved weak against development pressures and lackadaisical enforcement, particularly in the northwest corner of the city (Klug, 2014). Its inefficacy can also be extrapolated from the lack of its serious discussion in the planning and governance literature from the last decade. Open space is being developed at a rapid pace, putting additional strains on Johannesburg’s water, electricity, and waste management systems. The end of apartheid launched an ongoing era of rapid change, growth, and development throughout South Africa and particularly in Johannesburg. The country finally extended universal suffrage in 1994 and has made substantial gains towards, or surpassed each of, the UN Millennium Development Goals. Johannesburg and the GCR benefit from a recently improved multi-modal transit system, and the quality of life in the city’s poorest areas has improved substantially. At the same time, some indicators of human development are still sorely lacking. Violent crime is still prevalent and an enormous AIDS and HIV epidemic has continued to affect its population, with a particularly high impact on women. The country’s education system is among the worst in the world, as is the city’s Gini coefficient. Overall, Johannesburg has seen great progress, much of it due to a wellexecuted series of comprehensive plans and economic development strategies. As the nation moves into its third postapartheid decade, work that facilitates
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mixed-income opportunities and pursues equity should be a priority. The area of clearest success is that of public transit. Due to the legacy of apartheid-era spatial planning and infrastructure provision, Johannesburg has been an incredibly auto-dependent city. As increasing numbers of wealthy white residents moved into northern suburbs in the second half of the century, they became dependent on private cars as an alternative to the dangerous and unreliable rail services. At the same time, the southern black townships were not served by these rail services. Low-income residents, who typically could not afford private vehicles, created a system of minibus taxis to access work sites in the CBD, the mines, and elsewhere. These two trends have resulted in congestion that a 2010 survey identified as the worst in a sample of twenty major global cities (City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, 2011). Recent transportation system improvements have had ambitious goals in mind. Transit upgrades have aimed to curb the environmental impacts of such serious congestion, facilitate the reduced friction of space for business travel, and enable some degree of spatial justice (UN-HABITAT, 2008). The city produced a comprehensive plan for achieving said goals in 2006 with its Strategic Public Transport Network (SPTN), which guided its decisions and its budget. The SPTN established a 325-km web connecting major commercial nodes to residential centers and led to the 2007 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project known as Rea Vaya (Mokonyama, 2014). The social equity implications of the BRT project in particular have been enormous. The project, which is run by the city as opposed to a provincial or private entity, aims to place 85% of residents within 500 meters of a BRT route (City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, 2011). The project also made great efforts to hire mini-bus drivers, in an acknowledgement that BRT success was
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intended to replace much of their business (Mokonyama, 2014). Urban development, and particularly that of higher densities, has been encouraged to align with BRT stops. To a slight degree, this has helped to curb sprawl in the region, but new townships have proliferated most quickly on the northeast and northwest periurban fringes, away from the first wave of BRT implementation in and around Soweto (Harrison et al, eds., 2014). The Gautrain, a high-speed transit line that has opened in stages over the past five years, had slightly different goals in mind. Constructed in large part to reduce GCR’s traffic congestion, the new trains have enhanced connections primarily for business and travel purposes. They provide high-speed linkages between Johannesburg’s CBD and other major commercial, institutional, and transport nodes across the GCR, including OR Tambo International Airport (City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, 2011). Gautrain too has sparked real estate investment, albeit that targeting a wealthier clientele (Garner, 2011). It is not transit for the masses. In order to accommodate a population that has nearly doubled since the end of Apartheid, the city government has prioritized expanding the housing supply. The first wave of new residents largely ended up in informal fringe communities, as exhibited bythe peak in the establishment of new informal settlements circa-1994. This growth has tempered, but a substantial population—some 430,000 households— still occupy informal residences (Ahmad and Pienaar, 2014). Based on aerial photo estimations, about 62% of these households are actually backyard rental units in more formal communities, which typically benefit from some access to services and actually contribute to the city’s desired density levels (Ahmad and Pienaar, 2014). The city has relied on four methods for housing provision: private new construction, private refurbishment of old infrastructure, public upgrading
integrated transit systems
of informal settlements, and public construction of housing projects (Charlton, 2014). This has led to a wide array of housing types across the city’s geography. It has also been successful in achieving the city’s dual goals of increased homeownership and the presence of a “property ladder” of several size and price options, which households can climb as they are increasingly successful in the new economy (Charlton, 2014). The benefits of these different types of housing have not been equally distributed, however. The lion’s share of high quality, permanent, private, marketrate development has occurred in the CBD and to its north, where the money has long existed or is likely to go. Many of the wealthy suburbs have also perpetuated ribbon development patterns from the earlier period, which occurred along the highways between the region’s main centers (Gotz et al, 2014). And, as previously mentioned, the prevalence of gated or otherwise secured communities has kept many of the best public goods rendered private. Most affordable and public housing has remained at the fringes of the city. The formalizing and upgrading of the city’s slums have improved conditions for residents but left them isolated from work opportunities and retail corridors. It has also ensured their dependency on the BRT transit system. This tendency to place public housing at the fringes has been exacerbated by the role of the Gauteng province in providing housing. The province did not always coordinate with the city in choosing its sites, and thus did not necessarily heed the city’s preferences for compact growth. Additionally, the province preferred large, open tracts of land for allowing easy, lowcost development. A notable exception to this spatial distribution can be found in Alexandra, formerly one of the city’s most infamous townships. President Thabo Mbeki launched the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP) in 2001 in an effort to improve the living conditions of hundreds of thousands of residents, many of whom lived along a polluted water source (Harrison et al, 2014a). 114 — PANORAMA 24
The program involved mass clearance, relocation, and on-site replacement, with some residents left to rely on the market for housing, and others given varying options for social or formalizing housing. The ARP’s efficacy has been challenged by many, scholars and residents alike, in regards to the extent and quality of relocation results (Harrison et al, 2014a). The historic township has, however, benefited from substantial service upgrades. Also, thanks to its location north of the CBD, it is positioned along the Gautrain route and development around the Alexandra station is likely to provide many more local opportunities for work. The township is also along a BRT route and is much closer to the CBD or to Sandton than many of the city’s other lower-income areas. The CBD itself exhibits both positive and negative implications for spatial redistribution because of its historic fabric. Following the collapse of apartheid, many of the inner city’s oldest neighborhoods, including Yeoville and Hillbrow, became enclaves for the migrant and immigrant poor. These districts are home to widespread squatting and illegal businesses, as well as many of the city’s new immigrants ( Jurgens et al, 2003). These immigrants are willing to pay higher rents for proximity to jobs, a typical trend in growing cities (Davis, 2006). This displays the extent of intra-racial inequality raised by Crankshaw and Parnell (2004). At the same time, the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic apartment buildings, offices, and factories has enabled the creation of substantial affordable and market-rate housing. Two developers, Jozi Housing and Affordable Housing Company, have provided influential models for the cheap acquisition and modest rehabilitation of deteriorating buildings. Their success in creating affordable rental units in the city’s core has encouraged others to follow suit, leading to the provision of at least moderately equitable outcomes to the inner-city regeneration of the past decade (Garner, 2011).
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Despite these major strides, Johannesburg still suffers from entrenched inequality and disparity. According to a Brookings Institute report from 1999, “[i] ncome inequality in South Africa is extreme. The standard index of inequality, the Gini coefficient, is 0.58, higher than that of any other country (with the possible exception of Brazil and Colombia) and is exceeded only by the Gini coefficient of the world as a whole” (Aaron and Slemrod, 1999, p. 342). According to UN data from 2005, the Gini coefficient for income inequality had leapt to 0.75, the highest in the UN’s sample of about 50 cities (UN-HABITAT, 73). This did, however, reflect a slight decline from 2001. This decline was at least in part due to city efforts to provide secure housing and to subsidize services to poor households, along with a national minimum wage (UNHABITAT, 77). Though the authors of the city’s Joburg 2040 Growth and Development Strategy (GDS 2040) document chose not to use Gini coefficient statistics as an indicator of social equity, they did readily acknowledge the nation’s poor performance in regards to national employment levels. At the time of the document’s publication in 2011, about 40% of working-age adults across the country held jobs, and the official unemployment count was around 25% (City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, 2011). A 2008 UNHABITAT report listed unemployment in Johannesburg to be at 30%, and this was before the recession impacted many of the city’s biggest employers or its tourism industry. Though major public works programs have helped to employ up to one million laborers on projects like the Gautrain and Black Township renewal programs, no large-scale, long-term jobs programs have been launched. Employment rates and the extent of unrealized labor potential are negatively influenced by two major factors. The first and most perennial of these is the nation’s consistently poor education performance. There are very few South Africans living in Johannesburg with advanced degrees,
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and 12.3% of the population was considered illiterate in 2011 (City of Johannesburg, 2011). Inadequate education outcomes are cited again and again by scholars and policy-makers as the primary obstacle to Johannesburg’s economic growth and international competitiveness (City of Johannesburg Corporate Planning Unit, 2002; UN-HABITAT, 2008; City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, 2011; Johannesburg City Council, 2012). The pool of potential employees for the city’s dominant industry—financial services— is incredibly meager. The growth of the financial sector is unlikely to benefit the un-skilled and un-employed. Though the municipality does not control education, which is run at the province level, policy makers have recognized the need to find ways to improve education outcomes. This is a central component of Johannesburg’s two most recent mid-term and long-term strategy documents, the GDS 2040 and the Integrated Development Plan 2012/2016. The city-region is constructing hundreds of new schools, but without universal access to quality educators, libraries, and contemporary technology, education outcomes are likely to be continuously disparate for the wealthiest and everybody else. The second major obstacle to equality in Johannesburg is the ongoing AIDS and HIV epidemic. South Africa has one of the world’s highest rates of AIDS and HIV, with over six million people living with infections. Just a few years ago, it was considered to be one of the fastest growing AIDS epidemics in the world ( Joseph, 2014). The 2012/2016 IDP reported that 33,146 residents of Johannesburg were living with AIDS and 376,969 were living with HIV ( Johannesburg City Council, 2012). The number of sufferers is only the tip of the iceberg. For every sick person, the labor market loses one potential employee in the patient and another in the caregiver. Sick family members strain family finances, reduce the chances of children finishing school, increase the risk of transmission,
major human development obstacles
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the highest among poor, un-skilled, black Africans (Tomlinson, 2003). Since South Africa’s first free, universal election in 1994, the outlook for black, Indian, and Asian populations has enhanced dramatically. Black Africans in particular have come the longest way in terms of newfound potential and opportunity. This majority demographic has had its political voice(s) legalized for the first time, and the color and concerns of elected politicians better reflect those of the population. Black South Africans no longer face legal barriers to entry for home or business ownership or location. Schools, parks, medical facilities, and neighborhoods are now desegregated, 24 hours a day. The difference between potential and lived reality, however, is still profound for millions of residents in Johannesburg and the greater GCR. Income inequality is among the highest in the world, and violent crime accompanies HIV/AIDS as a major obstacle to long, healthy lives. Utility services and transit options have been brought to most informal settlements, but these settlements and therefore most of the city’s poor are still located far from the CBD and Sandton, home to the majority of city employment opportunities. Without dramatic improvements to education, both academic and vocational, these poor residents will have few opportunities for employment in a city that is reliant on its financial services sector for growth. The planning implications of these continuing disparities and inequalities are significant. By allowing urban development to occur without ensuring its equalizing influence on Johannesburg’s status quo, the city is actually growing its own infrastructural problems. More services will need to reach more people with less ability to pay for them, further away from the already-serviced city centers. In addition to safe, affordable, well-connected housing, Johannesburg’s poor also need increased access to medical facilities, education facilities, jobs centers, and even fresh food. Well-executed plans can and should lead to the growth of
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space and city streets and the city’s poor. It has also led to the mass expansion of a public realm. The past two decades have therefore seen the extension of democracy in theory and, at least rhetorically, in the practice of urban placemaking. Much of South Africa’s 20th-century is defined by the exclusion of the majority of its population from certain public goods and basic rights. Instead of depending on (and influencing) the private market, all but the white residents were forced to squat on the open spaces surrounding the heart of the city. This vacant land became the commons that enabled apartheid to exist for so long. In the post-apartheid era, land has taken on very different meanings. Land is now a right, in that all residents are legally able to own land wherever they choose and the market allows. Access to land is no longer a means of such explicit social control (though the reality of economic choice creates similar results). Through the city’s regularization program, communities now have the power of self-determination and some have elected to formalize in situ (Ahmad and Pienaar, 2014). Many of the newer informal settlements were originally constructed in anticipation of this opportunity and have followed typical city grid and density patterns since their establishment (Huchzermeyer et al, 2014). Simultaneously, the anythinggoes approach to land occupation that characterized the late-apartheid and transition periods is being curbed. The city reviews the proposed locations of new township settlements and is (forcibly) relocating many existing informal settlements. Through the densification of the landscape and expansion of the city’s built fabric, the amount of land available to squatters is shrinking, and much that remains is along the environmentally vulnerable Dolmitic band that runs south of the gold reef and is contaminated from decades of mining practices (City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, 2011).
land and real estate
In addition to the city’s policing and regularizing of land and title, they are now considering environmental justice in their conversations about land. Redevelopment and relocation schemes for informal settlements are shaped by the contamination and mitigation of soil and water. The city and University of Witwatersrand collaborated on a Multiple Deprivation Index study that included living environment deprivation as one of its five points of analysis. The resulting Deprivation Map has helped target the efforts of the GDS 2040 planning document and subsequent funding (City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, 2011). public realm and the role of the private sector
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The city’s streets themselves are another rejuvenated but contested commons. Over the course of the 1980s, black Africans began illegally relocating to the inner-city and occupying the streets as places to live, work, sell goods, and protest. Since the official end to apartheid policies, streets have become more accessible to all of Johannesburg’s publics in a very legal, rights-based way. As rights to the streets have become more universally claimed, streets themselves have become more formalized and increasingly regulated for informal businesses and vendors. Instead of controlling who can be where, the city has shifted to controlling how people can behave in these spaces. Informal trade has been recognized as a major employment opportunity for the city’s substantial pool of unskilled, migrant, and immigrant laborers. It is also understood to be a vibrant part of the economy and the city’s street culture (Makhetha and Rubin, 2014). The circa-2002 planning documents (eGoli2010 and Joburg2030, among others) discussed regional marketplace strategies for consolidating and standardizing the forms of street vending. Efforts such as providing permanent covered booths and secure storage sites have made operators less vulnerable to theft and inclement weather. Vendor clustering
has also increased competition, and new tax liabilities have required them to raise prices, two factors that have allowed the success of still-illegal enterprises in capturing segments of the market. Official vendors operating in covered markets have also rendered themselves less visible to customers who do not already know their stands or regularly travel in the vicinity (Makhetha and Rubin, 2014). There are also valid concerns that as efforts to regenerate the inner city have intensified, the treatment of the informal sector has been more about the cleansing of space and less about the continued existence of these survival entrepreneurs (Makhetha and Rubin). The creation of a welcoming environment for a (multiracial) middle class has partially come at the expense of survivalists who, from the 1980s until the early 2000s, were able to occupy the shadows of the inner city. With new target audiences in mind, the city has sought ways to create an attractive and vibrant public realm. Like many cities, Johannesburg has discovered the power of public-private partnerships to design, fund, and implement public space projects. As the stakes of private interests grow, however, the nature of dialogue and decision-making shifts away from concern for broad-based prosperity (Dirsuweit, 2009). The role of public and private partnerships and the impact of privatization has surfaced in relation to creating public spaces like parks and waterfronts. Planning and public space literature increasingly understands parks as spaces for generating social justice, cross-cultural interaction, and improved public health (U.S. National Park Service, 2015). The Municipality of Johannesburg too has realized their importance. One of the city’s few municipal-owned enterprises is Johannesburg City Parks, which manages 22,278 hectares (over 86 square miles) of open space across almost 2400 sites ( Johannesburg City Parks, 2015). At least 60 of these parks are considered “flagship parks” and have opened since
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2000 (Storie, 2014). The city’s community development department manages another 565 facilities dedicated to sports, recreation, and community event spaces. They communicate their mandate as one of play and social uplift, particular for the city’s marginalized (Sport and Recreation Directorate, 2015). The city’s wealthy have also communicated their aspirations, which too often lead to the tight control of urban park spaces, whether by means of private security forces, fences, or neighborhood curfews (Bremner, 2010). Many residents have benefited from South Africa’s post-apartheid recognition of environmental justice issues and the country’s increasing attention to what some scholars have begun calling the “brown agenda,” or the problems of sanitation, pollution, and overcrowding (Beall et al, 2000, p. 835). The environment itself, however, has suffered in this same period. Fragmentation and sprawl are still perhaps the defining characteristics of the city’s built landscape, even as it is advocating for a “compact city” approach. Well-off residents choose single-family homes on large lots in remote, gated communities best accessed via cars (Beall et al, 2000). These spatial patterns are dividing the city’s ecosystems and wildlife habitats as well as straining service delivery infrastructure. They are also edging into the city’s remaining agricultural lands (Storie, 2014; City of Johannesburg Corporate Planning Unit, 2002). As the population grows, waste management has become a more pressing issue. Solid waste landfills occupy a growing footprint, and are often adjacent to marginalized communities. These sites lead to air pollution and release heat, affecting both their immediate and global neighbors. The city’s water system, too, is inefficient and leads to harmful practices. A scarce resource within city limits, Johannesburg depends on purchased water from the Rand Water Board. With little infrastructure to deal with wastewater treatment and recycling or stormwater
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overflow, floods often lead to the spilling of raw sewage into homes, streets, and the city’s bodies of water (City of Johannesburg Corporate Planning Unit, 2002). Johannesburg’s leaders understand the long-term challenges posed by the growth of its residential and waste footprints. Recent efforts to expand parks have been in part to encourage green space conservation. They have also supported the growing wildlife tourism industry. The urban forests and “green lungs” are thought of as economic and environmental resources. This dual purpose will likely serve the city’s natural environment well in the long run, particularly if the Urban Development Boundary is ever enforced more strictly. Johannesburg’s commons and public spaces are the battlefields on which the legacy of apartheid is being confronted, challenged, and reinforced. The public realm has been democratized and privatized in parallel strokes; where the state no longer controls access, many private agents have assumed the role of gatekeepers to streets, parks, libraries, and land. Though the public realm may now legally be a universal right, the spatial realities of apartheid and the decades following its demise are not all that different. This poses many challenges for the city’s policymakers and planners. When the public realm was limited to a small, fairly equal group of people, there were far fewer questions of access or exploitation: whites were allowed, others were not. This applied to voting, homeownership, business ownership, the inner city, and the middle of the night. In the postapartheid era, public space is much more contested and there are far more legal rights that require protection. The city’s leaders must resist and remain ahead of the elites’ efforts to exclude and privatize. Planners must consider for whom they are upgrading the city’s public spaces and why. Neoliberal regeneration strategies that focus on creating a welcoming public for tourists and businesses will not magically
the environment and sustainability
—. A Promising Future: Joburg 2040 Growth and Development Strategy. Johannesburg: City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, 2011. http://www.joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&id=7343%3Ajoburg-gds-2040-str ategy&ltemid=114&limitstart=1. Aaron, Henry J. and Joel Slemrod. “The South African Tax System: a Nation in Microcosm.” Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institute, 6 December 1999. http://www.brookings.edu/research/articles/1999/12/06africa-aaron. Ahmad, Peter and Herman Pienaar. “Tracking Changes in the Urban Built Environment: an Emerging Perspective from the City of Johannesburg.” In Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg After Apartheid, eds. Philip Harrison et al. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2014. Bremner, Lindsay. Writing the City into Being: Essays on Johannesburg, 1998-2008. Johannesburg: Fourth Wall Books, 2010. —. Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg After Apartheid, eds. Philip Harrison et al. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2014. Charlton, Sarah. “Public Housing in Johannesburg.” In Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg After Apartheid, eds. Philip Harrison et al. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2014. —. “City of Johannesburg: 2002.” Statistics South Africa. Accessed 29 October 2015. http://www.statssa.gov.za/?page_ id=1021&id=city-of-johannesburg-municipality —. “City of Johannesburg: 2011” Statistics South Africa. Accessed 29 October 2015, http://www.statssa.gov.za/?page_ id=1021&id=city-of-johannesburg-municipality. —. City of Johannesburg: 2012/2016 Integrated Development Plan (IDP). Johannesburg: City Council, 2012. —. “CoJ Line Functions reporting to City Manager, MEs and Relevant Political Portfolios.” City of Johannesburg. Powerpoint. May 2013. http://www.joburg.org.za/images/stories/2013/May/highlevelstructure2.pdf. Crankshaw, Owen and Susan Parnell. `“Johannesburg: Race, Inequality, and Urbanisation.” In World Cities Beyond the West: Globalisation, Development, and Inequality, ed. Josef Gugler. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Davis, Mike. Planet of the Slums. London: Verso, 2006. Dinath, Yasmeen. “Between Fixity and Flux: Grappling with Transience and Permanence in the Inner City.” In Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg After Apartheid, eds. Philip Harrison et al. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2014. —. “Find a Park.” Johannesburg City Parks. Accessed 28 October 2015. http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/2015-04-2912-30-27/find-a-park-contents-64#maps. Garner, Gerald. Johannesburg: Ten Ahead, a Decade of Inner-City Regeneration. Craighall Park, South Africa: Double G Media, 2011. —. “The Gauteng-City Region.” Gauteng City-Region Observatory. Accessed 3 November 2015. http://www.gcro.ac.za/about/ the-gauteng-city-region/. Gotz, Graeme et al. “The ‘Thin Oil of Urbanisation’? Spatial Change in Johannesburg and the Gauteng City-Region.” In Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg After Apartheid, eds. Philip Harrison et al. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2014. Harrison, Philip et al, “Alexandra.” In Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg After Apartheid, eds. Philip Harrison et al. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2014a. Harrison, Philip et al. “Materialities, Subjectivities, and Spatial Transformation in Johannesburg.” In Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg After Apartheid, eds. Philip Harrison et al. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2014b. Heller, Patrick. “Reclaiming Democratic Spaces: Civics and Politics in Postransition Johannesburg.” In Emerging Johannesburg: Perspectives on the Postapartheid City, ed. Richard Tomlinson. New York: Routledge, 2003. Huchzermeyer, Marie et al. “Informal Settlements.” In Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg After Apartheid, eds. Philip Harrison et al. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2014. —. Joburg2030. Johannesburg: City of Johannesburg Corporate Planning Unit, 2002. http://www.joburg.org.za/index. php?option=com_content&task=view&id=123&Itemid=58&limitstart=1. Joseph, Roxanne. “A Look at HIV/AIDS in South Africa in 2014.” ENCA. 1 December 2014. https://www.enca.com/south-africa/ infograph-look-hivaids-south-africa-2014. Jurgens, Ulrich et al. “New Forms of Class and Racial Segregation: Ghettos or Ethnic Enclaves?” In Emerging Johannesburg: Perspectives on the Postapartheid City, ed. Richard Tomlinson et al. New York: Routledge, 2003. Klug, Neil. “The North-Western Edge.” In Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg After Apartheid, eds. Philip Harrison et al. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2014. Makhetha, Puleng and Margot Rubin. “Chapter 31: Inner-City Street Traders: Legality and Spatial Practice.” In Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg After Apartheid, eds. Philip Harrison et al. Johannesburg: Wits Unviersity Press, 2014. Mayekiso, Mzwanele. “South Africa’s Enduring Urban Crisis: The Local State and the Urban Social Movement with Particular Reference to Johannesburg.” In Confronting Fragmentation: Housing and Urban Development in a Democratising Society. ed. Philip Harrison et al. Landsowne, South Africa: University of Cape Town Press, 2003.
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Mokonyama, Matheta. “Transport in the Shaping of Space.” In Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg After Apartheid, eds. Philip Harrison et al. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2014. —. “The People of South Africa: Population Census 1996.” Statistics South Africa. Accessed 29 October 2011. https://apps.statssa. gov.za/census01/Census96/HTML/default.htm. Rogerson, Jayne. “The Geography of Property in Inner-City Johannesburg.” GeoJournal 39 (1996). Rule, S.P. “The Emergence of a Racially Mixed Residential Suburb in Johannesburg: Demise of the Apartheid City?” The Geographical Journal 155, no. 2 (1989). —. “Sport and Recreation Directorate,” City of Johannesburg, accessed 28 October 2015, http://www.joburg.org.za/index. php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3729&Itemid=78. Tomlinson, Richard. “HIV/AIDS and Urban Disintegration in Johannesburg.” In Confronting Fragmentation: Housing and Urban Development in a Democratising Society. ed. Philip Harrison et al. Landsowne, South Africa: University of Cape Town Press, 2003. Tomlinson, Richard et al. “The Postapartheid Struggle for an Integrated Johannesburg.” In Emerging Johannesburg: Perspectives on the Postapartheid City, ed. Richard Tomlinson. New York: Routledge, 2003. UN-HABITAT. State of the World’s Cities 2010/2011: Bridging the Urban Divide. London: Earthscan, 2008.
photos cited All photos are licensed for fair use under Creative Commons 2.0 or permissions have been specifically granted by the author
01 Impact Hub. Soweto. July 10, 2008. Available from Flickr Commons. https://flic.kr/p/53DiPb 02 Hernandes, Ana Raquel S. . Joburg, RTW 2012. October 3, 2012. Available from Flickr Commons.
03 undone. Joburg Sunrise. February 9, 2014. Available from Flickr Commons. https://flic.kr/p/ku6U9o 04 Saad, Paul. Train Station Soweto, Johannesburg. Taken August 11, 2014. Available from Flickr Commons.
05 South African Tourism. Orlando Towers, Soweto, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.
Taken December 5, 2012. Available from Flickr Commons. https://flic.kr/p/ehhYhw
06 Parent, Pascal. Hillbrow Sunset. Taken March 29, 2015. Available from Flickr Commons.
07 Saad, Paul. Complex Krugersdorp HDR, Johannesburg. Taken on February 28, 2015.
Available from Flickr Commons. https://flic.kr/p/ruyoG3
08 undone. The Spinning Tower of Telkom. Taken on December 11, 2005. Available from Flickr Commons.
09 Scott, Paul. Speeding Gautrain. Taken on December 2, 2010. Available from Flickr Commons.
10 Barendse, Martijn. Johannesburg, apartheidmuseum. Taken on December 1, 2013. Available from Flickr Commons.
11 undone. Johannesburg. Taken on July 12, 2014. Available from Flickr Commons.
12 Saad, Paul. Randfontein Gold Mine HDR, Johannesburg. Uploaded on March 14, 2015. Available from Flickr Commons.
A Preliminary Plan for Land Bank Interventions to Promote Age-Diverse Housing
in Philadelphia, PA
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As the American population ages, cities must confront the challenges of providing services to senior citizens, particularly when it comes to mobility and access to services. While many planners advocate bringing infrastructure to senior citizens, Joshua Davidson proposes a means of bringing senior citizens to infrastructure in Philadelphia.
Vacant Parcels in Grays Ferry. Vacant land poses numerous issues, but also opportunities for the City of Philadelphia. Efforts like the Land Bank seek to analyze issues and enact possible alternatives in a systematic fashion.
52nd Street: 52nd Street is one of the central commercial corridors in West Philadelphia, housing multiple cultural and social resources and a Market Frankford Line station
El: The Market Frankford Line serves as one of the anchors around which future senior affordable housing could be built. The “El” provides rapid service between neighborhoods for West Philadelphia to the Lower Northeast, and connects these populations to the resources of Center City.
the land bank’s role in affordable senior housing
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n 2013, the Philadelphia City Council chartered an ambitious new agency to help remedy the city-wide problem of vacancy. The Philadelphia Land Bank is now the City’s institutional body that intends to direct the assembly and provision of vacant and tax-delinquent parcels for public, private, and not-forprofit uses. The ability to assemble parcels is one of the most powerful aspects of the Land Bank’s charter: there are many parts of the city where the separation of parcels, perhaps owned by several different City agencies, inhibits future development (Philadelphia Land Bank 2015, 5). In addition to this ability to assemble or repossess properties, the Land Bank has the capacity to clear titles or liens that would otherwise hinder investment. Specifically in the non-profit arena, assembly and title clearance may help spur community development projects in parts of the city that have faced decades of economic and physical disinvestment. In December 2015, former Mayor Michael Nutter authorized the first deposits of vacant land into the Land Bank, a major step forward in meeting the high expectations that those in the Philadelphia planning community hold for this new agency. With this recent positive news as impetus, this article investigates possible community development ventures that employ the capacities of the Land Bank. Specifically, it addresses the impact areas outlined in the Land Bank strategic plan and highlights what I see as a missing imperative to use vacant land to promote the development of affordable, age-diverse housing. I place this recommendation in the context of a discussion of the changing age demographics in Philadelphia and a series of geographic analyses of vacancy and transit access in key neighborhoods in the City. Based on these analyses, I recommend Land Bank assembly and intervention to promote senior living in proximity to exiting transit infrastructure. The specific focus on senior housing, rather than public housing or even for-profit development, derives from what I see as an often missing geographic logic in the community development arena. Those of us who are concerned with
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urban change, the spatial ramifications of economic reorganization, and access to jobs and housing often center our focus at the neighborhood level. And, in this regard, I think the planning community in Philadelphia is clearly moving in the right direction. At the hyper-local level, a few blocks from the University of Pennsylvania’s campus, the Ralston Center is in the process of developing a plan devoted solely to promoting an “Age Friendly West Philadelphia” (Ralston Center 2015). The labors of those at the Ralston Center and the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, which provides neighborhood-level lists of available senior services (Philadelphia Corporation for Aging 2015), are commendable and by no means limited. Rather, their strength lies exactly in the limits of their geographies: these organizations provide fine-grained recommendations and support that would not be possible at even the city level. The Land Bank is an appropriate entity to spur this development because it acts city-wide, by definition. By leveraging this geographic capacity, and the relative affordability of vacant parcels, the Land Bank is in prime position to support senior affordable housing in the city. In doing so, the Land Bank and affordable housing developers would be following a number of examples in the United States. For instance, in November, 2015, the city of Hollywood, Florida sold a sixacre vacant parcel to be used for “lowincome apartment housing for seniors,” and two formerly vacant schools in Augusta, Maine have been redeveloped for affordable senior housing (Bryan 2015; Edwards 2014; Edwards 2015). As in these examples, I do not recommend the Land Bank develop the housing themselves. Rather, by incorporating this agenda into its provision criteria. the Land Bank can provide the infrastructural impetus to promote age-diverse communities across Philadelphia. Promoting a diverse social landscape requires acting outside the confines of the neighborhood and working across the city on a common agenda. The loss of middle-class families from the urban core a half-century ago was not only the neighborhood-level process 127
highlighted in the historical memory of white flight, but rather one that gutted a demographic across all of Philadelphia. My fear is that a similar process could occur among the city’s older residents today. Like most periods of migration and displacement, I assume that this process would disproportionately affect those with lower incomes, and thus I specifically argue for subsidized senior housing development. If older residents leave, Philadelphia will lose a population that most needs the resources of the City. Abandoning this population simply because of an inability to house this rapidly growing demographic would be a significant blow to an age-diverse urban area and a tragic loss for Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Land Bank Strategic Plan & Disposition Policies provides a guiding framework for the agency’s actions, a general portrait of currently vacant and tax delinquent properties in Philadelphia, and a series of quantitative and geographic analyses that articulate possible areas of intervention for the Land Bank. The strategic plan poses seven goals: Return individual vacant lots and buildings across the city to productive use Promote equitable community development Extend private investment Contribute to long-term economic vitality Reinforce open space initiatives and urban agriculture expanding on the strategic plan
Support clear and transparent Land Bank operations Actively market Land Bank properties (Philadelphia Land Bank 2015, 5-14). Under each of these goals, the strategic plan poses an agenda for action. For example, under the goal to return lots to productive
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use, one recommendation is to “identify, market and convey land to adjacent homeowners,” a policy that would allow homeowners to take on adjacent vacant land as a side yard or parking space (Philadelphia Land Bank 2015, 5). In addition to these recommendations, the plan provides a series of detailed, citywide, composite maps to make spatially specific recommendations for each goal. This article focuses on the strategic plan’s analyses and recommendations under the goals for community development. The strategic plan outlines two key goals for the Land Bank in this arena. The first is to support the construction of affordable housing across the city, specifically as part of the 2,000 New Affordable Housing Unit Initiative proposed by City Council in 2014. The second community development goal in the Land Bank’s strategic plan echoes this agenda and seeks to “preserve and enhance affordability in neighborhoods undergoing change.” As I highlight later in this article, by targeting key areas of high vacancy that are in proximity to transit, and in some cases are rapidly changing, the development of vacant land for agediverse housing can meet the goals of both the Land Bank and the City Council, while raising the quality of life for seniors in Philadelphia. Developing affordable housing in neighborhoods that are currently revitalizing or gentrifying is one of the most significant areas for possible impact for the Land Bank, and also one of the goals most difficult to achieve. Beyond the more general concerns that face all vacant land redevelopment – land suitability, remediation costs, demand for housing – is the political and economic resistance to affordable housing in neighborhoods undergoing rapid change. While the strategic plan considers employing the Land Bank in the development of affordable housing around commercial corridors, the document does not address the growing role for city planners and community development practitioners in the pursuit of promoting diverse communities. While the desirability for diversity has been debated at length in the planning,
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by Census tract highlight these exemplar neighborhoods (see Figure 4). A location quotient provides a comparison of ratios to measure the concentration of a given entity in a local geography to the same entity in a parent geography (BEA 2008). In this case, the location quotient presents the ratio of adults aged 65+ to the total population in a Census tract over the ratio of adults age 65+ to the total population in Philadelphia. Those tracts with a location quotient greater than 1.2, presented on the map in the darker shades of green, have a greater concentration of older adults than the city at large.2 Neighborhoods in the Northwest, Northeast and far South Philadelphia appear to be areas where persons aged 65+ have concentrated, and perhaps from these neighborhoods we can learn how best to craft livable communities for older adults. planning for aging communities
vacancy in philadelphia
In recent years planners have begun paying significant attention to how we can address the changing needs of an aging population. As the baby boomers increasingly age out of the workforce and experience issues of mobility, health, and caretaking, planners are tasked with creating the kinds of communities that can provide a high quality of life for this growing demographic. In 2014 the APA published the “Aging in Community Policy Guide,” which provides a series of principles, definitions and rationales, and key policy recommendations in the areas of: community engagement, housing, transportation, land-use, economic wellbeing, and community assets (APA 2014). In the same year, the AARP published “Is This a Good Place to Live? Measuring Community Quality of Life for All Ages,” a planning-informed agenda for research and advocacy on promoting better standards in the built environment for older adults (Harrell, Lynott, and Guzman 2014). The AARP’s policies fall under similar categories as those published by the APA. This article focuses specifically on the mobility needs of older adults. Both 2 Technically, a location quotient greater than 1 means there is a concentration in the local geography. However, I hesitate to set the cutoff at 1.0, as my intention is to highlight exemplary communities.
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the APA and AARP place primary emphasis on expanding transit options and making transportation modes more physically accessible, or “visitable,” through design. To promote increased transit access, the APA recommends increased funding at the local, state, and national levels to expand fixed-route (rail and bus) and specialized (paratransit, on demand, etc.) transit services. The AARP promotes a similar policy as part of its “General Liable Community Principles,” advocating for “comprehensive mobility options that include alternatives to driving”. Both organizations promote the general design/ infrastructure policy of “complete streets” that allow for more equal participation by motorists, public transit users, cyclists, and pedestrians. Additional design policies include constructing benches, shade, and other physical elements to allow for greater ease of access to older adults who may have mobility issues. documents frame These the discussion in terms of bringing transportation to older adults – either through the creation of new routes, or through the implementation of more visitable transit centers. I argue that Philadelphia has the unique opportunity, thanks to the number of vacant parcels that exist in very close proximity to SEPTA elevated rail and subway stations, to invert this paradigm by bringing older adults to an already existing transit infrastructure, rather than extending that infrastructure to the older population. In the most recent Land Use dataset published by the City Planning Commission there are 33,857 vacant parcels in Philadelphia (see Figure 5). These parcels are distributed across the City, though there are clear, visible concentrations of vacancy in North, West, and Southwest Philadelphia. The amount of vacant land per Census tract (by square feet) also varies greatly across the City. In some tracts nearly 40% of land is vacant, while in others nearly no land is unused (See Figure 6). Many of these tracts that suffer from the most vacancy are also far from to the social services, government offices, and general resources located in Center 131
areas for intervention
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City, many of which are necessary for the daily functioning of older adults, especially those from low-income backgrounds. The lack of decent public transit between much of the Southwest and Center City, for example, makes for long, difficult commutes, which perhaps makes these tracts inappropriate for redevelopment as senior housing. Still, large numbers of vacant parcels lie in close proximity to existing
rail transit stops (see Figure 7). In total, there are approximately 3,300 vacant parcels within a ¼ mile walk of transit stations on the Market-Frankford elevated rail (MFL) and the Broad Street subway (BSL). On average, there are 63 vacant parcels within a ¼ mile walk of each MFL and BSL station. The number of vacant parcels within ¼ mile of SEPTA stations varies greatly, however. There were a maximum of 382 vacant parcels within this buffer at the Somerset stop on the MFL, but some stations, mostly in Center City and University City, had no vacant parcels within this area. This leads to the creation of “focus zones”—areas that feature both good transit access and a high number of vacant parcels—where the Land Bank could target its efforts to promote senior housing and age diversity.
Commission The Planning defines eighteen districts in the city, each with its own “District Plan”. The district plan guides rezoning and capital improvements, helps coordinate local planning efforts, and allows for increased levels of community participation. I chose to analyze three districts – West, North, and Lower North – because these districts each have a number of MFL or BSL stations and high amounts of vacancy near transit (see Figure 8). These districts provide arbitrary boundaries that are larger than a neighborhood, but not as large as quadrants of the City, and therefore allow for analysis of multiple transit stops and the vacancies within their catchments. Additionally, two of the three districts – West and North – do not yet have district plans, and the recommendations made in this report could help inform future initiatives. The Lower North district is
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highlighted because this area is served by both the MFL and BSL, and is currently undergoing significant redevelopment.
The West District contains Market Street west of 46th Street, and is thus served by multiple stops along the MFL. All of the transit stops in the West District have vacant parcels within a ¼ mile walk of the station, though the pattern of vacancies is contrary to what I expected (see Figure 9). The 52nd Street station, situated at the north end of one of the main commercial centers in West Philadelphia, has the highest number of vacancies within the district (109). 63rd Street station had the lowest number of vacant parcels (20), an interesting finding given that this station is the most peripheral (in relation to Center City) of the transit stops in the district. The high number of vacant parcels around 52nd Street station poses an ideal case where the Land Bank could assemble and distribute lots to develop housing for older adults. The access between this area and Center City is extremely reliable: according to Google Maps, the average trip between 52nd Street and City Hall takes only 10 minutes. In addition, the commercial opportunities and public spaces (Malcolm X Park, Cedar Park) in the neighborhood would both benefit from the “eyes on the street” of an older population and serve as a proximate set of resources for older adults. Age-based interventions in areas like the West District would serve to meet the goals of the Land Bank by promoting equitable housing development (goal 2) and increasing support for neighborhood commercial corridors (goal 4).
The North District contains a large number of stations along the BSL; this analysis highlights four (see Figure 10). These stations exhibit higher densities of vacant parcels within their ¼ mile catchments, as compared to the West District. Three of the four stations have more than 150 vacant parcels in their catchments; the North Philadelphia Station is surrounded by the most vacant parcels of all the stations analyzed here (209). Hunting Park exhibits the lowest density, with 55 vacant parcels.
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While it would be absurd to argue that transit-oriented development alone could remedy the issues facing this part of the city, the Broad Street subway is a major asset for the neighborhood. The trip time from Hunting Park to City Hall, according to Google Maps, is only 17 minutes. By providing land for the development of housing for older adults in this part of Philadelphia, the Land Bank could meet its goal for affordable housing, and in the words of City Council, “Kick-start revitalization in blighted neighborhoods by developing affordable rental units on publicly owned land” (Philadelphia City Council 2014). Given the recent investment and interest along the North Broad Street corridor, such redevelopment could have lasting positive effects at the neighborhood level. The Lower North District differs from the previous districts both in the abundance of transit options in the area, and in the economic upgrading occurring within the district. Still, this district has a high number of vacant parcels, and a higher concentration of vacant land than the West District (See Figure 11). This district is served by a number of stations along both the MFL and BSL; all of these stations have vacant parcels in their catchments. The Girard station on the BSL has the highest vacancy within a ¼ mile walk, at 183 vacant lots, and the Girard Station on the MFL has 104 vacant parcels in its catchment. Interestingly, amidst the much-discussed redevelopment in Fishtown, the neighborhood that houses the MFL Girard station, there are still many vacant parcels in proximity to transit. The stations in this district have very short commute times of less than 15 minutes to Center City according to Google Maps. The Lower North District offers areas for intervention that meet Land Bank’s goal to “preserve” affordable housing in neighborhoods that are gentrifying or undergoing economic upgrading (Philadelphia Land Bank 2015, 6). Across the Lower North, projects are commencing to build market rate housing, whether for students at Temple University around the Cecil B. Moore Station on the BSL, or young professionals along Spring Garden. Unlike
the cases of the West or North Districts, where affordable housing for older adults would help stabilize neighborhoods, interventions in the Lower North District would serve to anchor age and economic diversity in those that are changing.
he Land Bank offers Philadelphia an incredible opportunity to both remediate issues associated with vacant land across the City and ensure an equitable future for the City’s residents. By specifically targeting the development of housing for adults over 65 around fixed transit stations, I pose one venture by which the Land Bank could move the needle on quality of life for the citizens of Philadelphia. At the same time, my proposals, and the methods I used to make them, cannot address the wide challenges that face urban social change and research. This analysis does not account for the long history of economic disinvestment, federal housing, social policy, and race in Philadelphia, which certainly frames the existing conditions around vacancy in the City. These histories are clearly traced out in the geographies outlined here, from 52nd to Hunting Park, and future studies would be prudent to include a qualitative analysis to support any direct interventions or site recommendations. Similarly, the environmental history of post-industrialism is largely absent from my recommendations. Though there is an abundance of vacant parcels in Philadelphia, my analysis did not include any site suitability. When considering interventions in areas like Fishtown and Kensington, the degradation of formerly industrial sites in these neighborhoods may render the remediation of vacant parcels too cost-prohibitive, even if they are in such close proximity to transit. Future research will need to synthesize these multiple planning narratives into a vision for affordable senior housing in Philadelphia. By bringing together rigorous geographic and quantitative research, thorough connections to the city’s social history, and analysis of environmental conditions, I believe that sound recommendations can be made to bodies such as the Land Bank. Ultimately,
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my hope is that through such work, we, as planners, can begin the process of providing a high quality of life for the older residents in our City and achieve the kind of diverse urbanism so often relegated to catch-phrases and planning theory.
AARP, Inc. “Beyond 50.05: A Report to the Nation on Livable Communities: Creating Environments for Successful Aging.” 2005. http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/il/beyond_50_communities.pdf. American Planning Association (APA) “Aging in Community Policy Guide.” 2014. https://www.planning.org/policy/guides/pdf/ agingincommunity.pdf. Baldwin, Candace and Karen Kali. “Aging in Place: The Village to Village Model.” Private Practice Perspectives. 2011. https:// www.planning.org/resources/ontheradar/aging/pdf/PPDaginginplace.pdf. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). “What are Location Quotients (LQs)?” U.S. Department of Commerce. January 11, 2008. http://www.bea.gov/faq/index.cfm?faq_id=478. Bryan, Susannah. “Hollywood to sell city land to make way for senior housing.” Sun Sentinel. November 3, 2015. http://www. sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/hollywood/fl-land-sale-cra-hollywood-20151103-story.html. Edwards, Keith. “Cony flatiron building deal closes.” Centralmaine.com. June 20, 2014. http://www.centralmaine. com/2014/06/20/cony-flatiron-building-deal-closes/. Edwards, Keith. “Renovation of Augusta’s former Hodgkins Middle School into senior housing begins.” Centralmaine.com. September 25, 2015.
middle-school-into-senior-housing-begins. Harrell, Rodney, Jana Lynott, and Shannon Guzman. “Is This a Good Place to Live? Measuring Community Quality of Life for All Ages.” AARP Public Policy Institute. 2014. http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/public_policy_ institute/liv_com/2014/is-this-a-good-place-to-live-report-AARP-ppi-liv-com.pdf. Hodgson, Kimberly. “Multigenerational Planning: Using smart growth and universal design to link the needs of children and the aging population.” American Planning Association. 2011. https://www.planning.org/research/family/ briefingpapers/pdf/multigenerational.pdf. Philadelphia Corporation for Aging. “Directory of Aging Resources.” 2015. http://www.pcacares.org/pca_search_Service_ Search.aspx. Philadelphia City Council. “Philadelphia City Council 2,000 New Affordable Housing Units Initiative.” March 14, 2014. http:// phlcouncil.com/council-news/philadelphia-city-council-2000-new-affordable-housing-units-initiative. Philadelphia Land Bank. “Land Bank Strategic Plan and Disposition Policies: Executive Summary.” 2015. http:// www.philadelphialandbank.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/LandBankStrategicPlan_ ExecutiveSummary_022315.pdf.
photos cited All photos are licensed for fair use under Creative Commons 2.0 or permissions have been specifically granted by the author
Ralston Center. 2015. http://www.ralstoncenter.org/age-friendly/about.html. 01 pwbaker. blocks. Taken February 23, 2008. https://flic.kr/p/4u7ktQ 02 Bot, Jukle. 52nd street. Taken March 26, 2014. https://flic.kr/p/nqzoPf 03 Wilson, David. 19990512 08 SEPTA Market Frankford El. Taken May 12, 1999. https://flic.kr/p/bcqnyt
RESILIENT EAST BAY 2050
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East Bay, CA Hillary Austin Christopher DiStasi Angela Eicholtz Shayda Haghgoo Xue Jin Grace Macdonald words James Onofrio Jared Patton Xi Wang
he cities of Oakland and Alameda form the core of the East Bay subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area. Combined, they have a population of over half a million.
neighbors, and their desire to maintain this identity has complicated efforts to redevelop the former Alameda Naval Air Station, a 900-acre site on the western end of Alameda Island.
Like the Bay Area as a whole, these cities are experiencing significant development pressures. The ongoing boom cycle for technology-related industries has attracted educated workers from around the country and world to high-wage jobs, and as housing production has failed to cope with this influx, rents and home prices have skyrocketed. The short commute to San Francisco has turned Oakland’s residential neighborhoods into prime locations for workers who can’t afford (or can’t find) housing in San Francisco. Alameda, with much poorer connectivity, has remained a low-density, auto-dependent community that is much wealthier and less diverse than its
This studio investigates the interaction between physical development and natural systems. The East Bay waterfront has largely been lost to industrial development and transportation infrastructure. How can future development reintroduce important natural ecosystems in a region where development happens at such a fast pace? Can the waterfront help to alleviate the public health inequities faced by different populations in the area? How can the waterfront best be a boon to the local economy without being overly privatized? How the region addresses these questions will be vital to the continued health and growth of the Bay Area.
MUMBAI EASTERN WATERFRONT PLAN 142 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; PANORAMA 24
Mumbai, India William Gordon Mengyun Li Naeem Shahrestani words Benjamin Nathan Stephen Skilton Lu Tian Junran Yang Kristiina Yang Claudia Zarazua
umbai, a dense, vibrant, and complex metropolitan region of 21 million inhabitants serves as the financial, commercial, and entertainment capital of the country. The city aspires to emerge as a major global city in the 21st Century, but continues to face a variety of economic, social, infrastructural, and environmental concerns. Mumbai’s economic drivers and employment generators are shifting, economic inequality is growing, and its demand for affordable housing far exceeds its supply. The city’s infrastructure, including its transportation networks, public utilities, and stormwater management is at capacity and in disrepair. Mumbai struggles with severe flooding, pollution, wildlife degradation, and anticipates a wide range of climate change impacts. As Mumbai grapples with these challenges, the city experiences immense development pressure amidst its rapid population and economic growth. In the last 30 years, Mumbai’s Eastern Waterfront, home to the region’s historic port, has generated development interest, as nearby modernized ports have rendered it obsolete. Located on infill land on the eastern coast of Mumbai’s Island City, the waterfront is adjacent to many of the city’s oldest and most active neighborhoods but is physically and socially isolated, and despite its port and industrial activity, relatively undeveloped.
The waterfront shares many of Mumbai’s economic, social, infrastructural, and environmental concerns, but offers a unique opportunity to address them through redevelopment and reinvention. This opportunity requires planners to define and address resiliency in Mumbai’s Eastern Waterfront, especially in its economy, housing, infrastructure, environment, and identity. This comprehensive resilience plan for Mumbai’s Eastern Waterfront is divided into three elements: existing conditions, resilience plan, and implementation measures. The existing conditions of the city and waterfront focus on history, demographics, economy, employment, housing, urban form, open and public space, infrastructure, transportation, and environment. This element provides the basis for the plan, especiallythe definition of resilience, and shapes the vision and goals. The plan defines resilience in the context of Mumbai and the Eastern Waterfront and presents a vision and goals for its future development. The plan’s frameworks, which serve as its backbone throughout the entire site’s development, contain a variety of strategies addressing the waterfront’s economy, housing, infrastructure, and environment. A structure plan, along with three elaborative small district plans and demonstration projects provide catalytic actions to spur resilient development throughout the waterfront. 143
a tenuous relationship with la paz
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working to improve their economic status. Their objective was usually to migrate again, often to La Paz, once their financial position improved (Mollericona, 2013). Between 1952 and 1976, the population multiplied fifteen times (Flores, 2008). In the 1970s, El Alto was incorporated as a district of the capital city (Lazar, 2008). In 1985, the city government and the Junta Municipal (Municipal Council) were founded, establishing El Alto as an independent municipality (Mollericona, 2013). A lack of departmental investment in the new municipality incited protests in El Alto, resulting in its establishment as an independent city in 1988 (Flores, 2008). Throughout this history, the city’s annual growth rate has stayed between 5 and 10 percent. Of its approximately one million inhabitants, 63.4% live in poverty, and 39.7% live in extreme poverty. By comparison, the average rate of extreme poverty in urban areas in Bolivia is 20.48% (Flores, 2008). The city’s distribution is mostly monocentric, and the majority of activity and resources is concentrated on the eastern extreme. Only half of the 1,200 neighborhoods have legal growth plans (Mollericona, 2013). The others are settlements with ambiguous legality. The central business district, known as La Ceja, and a much smaller secondary node in the northern district of 16 de Julio, are located on the eastern perimeter of the city, directly adjacent to the western limits of La Paz. The concentration of activity in these areas has led to congestion, particularly in La Ceja, which causes major traffic jams and unequal distribution of resources such as roads and open space. Population densities in La Ceja reach up to 17,930 people per hectare (Lazar, 2008). Meanwhile, families in the outskirts need to access these resources, but they lack roads and running water. There is significantly less infrastructure and maintenance as one moves westward, where 90% of housing is self-constructed (Hardy 2009). The poorest members of the population are therefore at odds
with those in power in the municipal government and the city of La Paz. Together, El Alto and La Paz form the largest urban conglomerate in the country, a national and international administration center, and the largest consumer market in Bolivia (Mollericona, 2013). People transit between the two cities on a daily basis, and their economies complement each other. However, there is no regionally consolidated identity between the two cities and the department (Barrientos, 2012). The Bolivian Constitution of 2009 states that in conurbations with populations larger than 500,000 inhabitants, metropolitan planning regions may be formed. While the term “metropolitan region” is common in academic circles, this concept has not infiltrated planning practice (Barrientos, 2012). El Alto’s complex relationship with La Paz is crucial to understanding the city’s ambiguous character. To this day El Alto has a hierarchical relationship with the capital. El Alto is still known as “barrio de indios” (a pejorative term for neighborhood of Indians), and “ciudad de paso” (implying that it is an intermediate city for migrants), and even as a time bomb (a reference to residents’ willingness to break out in protest) (Mollericona, 2013). This rhetorical marginalization is a representation of the victim role that El Alto plays in the regional narrative (Hardy, 2009). On the one hand, El Alto can be seen as a satellite city of La Paz, having served as a “bedroom community” of the capital. However, the current negative migration rate of La Paz suggests that El Alto is no longer simply an absorber of La Paz’s poor. Alternatively, El Alto is sometimes characterized as an extension of the rural hinterlands of the department of La Paz. Most of the residents have roots in the indigenous allyus1 of this area (Lazar, 2008), and at least 40% of Alteños belong to the Aymara indigenous group. This dual characterization has played an important role in giving many marginalized groups
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who have migrated from other parts of the country have previously participated in community groups, whether mineworkers unions, allyus, or rural workers groups (Lazar, 2008). Since urbanization began in El Alto, neighbors of small communities have organized themselves into juntas vecinales (neighborhood committees) to advocate for the needs of the people in the immediate vicinity, especially basic services. They work together with trade unions and juntas escolares (school committees). The complete organization of juntas vecinales is referred to as the Federación de Juntas Vecinales (FEJUVE). The agglomeration of these groups is strong enough to mobilize the vecinos2 and negotiate with the state (Lazar, 2008). Within each district are zones, and each zone has a junta vecinal. Community residents select the members of these committees, who hold bi-weekly meetings to discuss community issues (Mendez, 2011). Public meetings are well-attended: In the neighborhood of Rosas Pampa, for example, 77% of residents regularly participate in community activities (Lazar, 2008). They discuss issues such as neighborhood safety and develop strategies for obtaining public works for the zones. The juntas vecinales are the main platform for civic participation and social cohesion. As Lazar explains, “the zone indicates the territoriality of people’s sense of allegiance to place and to other people with similar allegiances.” Formally, the city of El Alto has an alcaldía (mayor and council), and each administrative district has a sub alcaldía appointed by the city mayor and council. Organizaciones Territoriales de Base (OTBs) were created by the Ley de Participación Popular in 1994. These administrative divisions, smaller than juntas vecinales, are delimited by groups of city blocks, and each has a committee that works with the sub alcaldía of the area. The OTBs are registered and have official status within the city government. They are considered legal entities for civic participation, and can articulate the
demands of the citizens directly to the city government. Their duty is to facilitate municipal management, and they have access to the local budget through taxes (Flores, 2008). The majority of adults in El Alto take part in labor groups such as trade unions, student groups, and neighborhood associations. Associations have their collective agendas, and they negotiate with the other civic and labor groups in their immediate area. The juntas vecinales mediate among the groups. The Central Obrera Regional (COR) is an umbrella organization that organizes all smaller labor unions in the region. These civic organizations have played an active part as liaisons between the residents of El Alto and the state. For example, during the administration of President Sanchez de Lozada (20022003), the Aguas del Illimani consortium took over the 30-year water concession for El Alto and la Paz. In cooperation with the World Bank, this policy was designed as a “pro-poor strategy” to benefit both the public and private sectors (Hicks, 2010). However, the residents of El Alto experienced extreme price increases in their water service, and entire sectors of the city went without service. The FEJUVE was an active part in organizing the protests of the residents of El Alto, and Aguas del Illimani returned the concession in 2005 (Hicks, 2010). Yet to this day residents still lack basic support, even for extending water infrastructure; community organizations typically take charge of expanding the pipe networks. The communities of El Alto continue to push towards an even more localized system for managing their water supply throughout the city, as they have reason to distrust the broader political process (Hicks 2010). In El Alto, debate about the concepts of communitarianism versus liberal universalism is ongoing and contentious. This tension makes El Alto a strong case study on the widely-accepted
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concept of the contemporary city as an ideal place for mixing groups of dissimilar people (Lazar, 2008). Historically, the indigenous population in Bolivia has been excluded from the political process, even though more than 60% of the national population has indigenous roots (Poupeau, 2012). Official census documents from the year 1900 projected that there would be “… slow and gradual disappearance of the indigenous race…if there has been a single source of retardation in our civilization, it is the indigenous race essentially resistant to all innovation and progress” (Lazar, 2008, 15). Yet the indigenous population in Bolivia remained high, and in the early 20th century the national government took a new approach, offering a different but equally foreign version of citizenship to the indigenous population. The model of mestizaje, similar to the political approaches that had been taken with the native population in Mexico, involved assimilation of the indigenous people into the general citizenry, essentially through a homogenous citizenship status for all individuals. It rejected the indigenous people’s concept of citizenry. For example, the ayllu communities in Bolivia owned property collectively rather than individually, and the national assimilation project insisted on breaking up these communities by means of individual land ownership (Lazar 2008). The concept of “differentiated” citizenship has thus been hard to achieve practically, and exclusion, assimilation, and multiculturalism all take priority in varying degrees in modern Bolivian society. The city of El Alto is a constant reminder of the failure of national policies: The population, although not fully assimilated into national political and social process, is no longer fully excluded due to its status as an independent city with a population that is largely indigenous. Several major events have forged El Alto’s identity as a city that challenges concepts of citizenry. One of the most important rites of passage was the
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Relocalización Minera, the relocation of mineworkers. Previously, mines were run by the Corporacón Minera de Bolivia (COMIBOL), an autonomous organization of mineworkers in cooperation with the national government. By way of Decreto 21060 of 1985, hydrocarbon mines throughout Bolivia were privatized, ostensibly to stabilize the national currency (Mollericona, 2013). The law established free hiring, which amounted to the closing of all of COMIBOL’s operations, and the effective elimination of the socio-political structures based on the mineworkers unions (Robins, 2006). This left thousands of workers without jobs, and caused a mass migration to the nearest urbanizing area: El Alto (Mollericona, 2013). The announcement of Decreto 21060 provoked a strike by the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB), a grassroots social movement led by miners’ labor organizations. The national government suppressed the resistance by arresting 150 labor union managers in the north of the country. This marked a new era for the COB, and the start of a crisis for the unionist movement that could not survive in the new political climate of Bolivia. Meanwhile, cities like El Alto received hundreds of rural families that needed a new place to make a living (Robins, 2006). The concentration of displaced workers in El Alto later became the starting point for reenergizing the workers’ movement. Davis, in discussing the figurative city walls that have historically kept the rural poor out of cities in the global South, notes that “[t] he massive transfer of rural poverty to cities was prevented by the economic and political equivalents of city walls- both urban entry and, even more importantly, substantive urban citizenship were systematically withheld from large parts of the agrarian population” (Davis ,2006 51). Thus El Alto straddled the rural areas of the department of La Paz and the urban capital; it became a semi-urban solution to the exclusion of rural workers and a breeding ground for “substantive urban 151
citizenship”. National neoliberal policies of the 1980s, through which the state opted out of providing for the basic needs of the poor, displaced many families to El Alto. Electricity and water utilities were privatized one by one, causing the poorest Bolivian citizens, including most of the residents of El Alto, to be priced out of the market (Lazar 2008). The state’s inability to create economic surplus and tackle poverty undermined economic reforms (Perspectivas del Medio Ambiente Urbano: GEO El Alto 2008). economic resources and economic citizenship the citizens’ awakening
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Since losing their livelihoods in the mines and agrarian activities, the residents of El Alto have created a complex and varied local economy. While there is some industrial activity, the local economy depends largely on local commerce, despite lack of training or subsidies from the municipal and national governments. Small businesses generate 55% of the employment opportunities in El Alto. The diversity of commerce and industry in the city and the resourcefulness of its residents are reflected in the variety of activities and small businesses: textiles, clothing, furniture, metals for construction, and food products. According to the municipal government, there are 6,094 industries of all sizes and 4,571 registered small businesses (Perspectivas del Medio Ambiente Urbano: GEO El Alto 2008). However, the lack of technical and business training is a problem for start-ups. There is little infrastructure for production, and businesses cannot increase their economies of scale (Chavez, 2008). There are few collectives among businesses (Flores, 2008), inhibiting knowledge agglomeration. It is estimated that at least 50% of businesses do not pay taxes of any kind (Flores, 2008), and there is no public investment in businesses that service the local economy. The Instituto Boliviano de Comercio Exterior (IBCE) subsidizes almost half of the Alteño industries that export to the United States under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug
Eradication Act, which eliminated all export tariffs on products exported to the United States from Bolivia (Flores, 2008). What the citizens of El Alto need, what they have fought for through their collective actions, is a power that can contend with corporate interests. Sassen has noted that powerful corporations’ citizenship status in a globalized market leads to a concentration of power that has more influence over government than citizens (Friedman, 2003). Along with changing views of differentiated citizenship, Alteños are part of what Sassen calls economic citizenship—the right to economic survival (Friedman, 2003). The events of 2003 not only consolidated the popular movement in El Alto, but also brought the city to national attention. These protests are frequently referred to by leaders of the FEJUVE and other groups as the citizens’ “awakening” (Lazar 2008). In the decades following the enactment of Decreto 21060, the power of unionist groups was severely weakened, most notably in the mine workers’ unions. This began to change around 2000. Massive protests took place in the city of Cochabamba over the privatization of the public water works, when residents who could not afford to pay for water had their service shut off. Subsequently, a worker’s blockade in the city of Achacachi turned violent. These movements marked the beginning of a process of rebuilding for the social and popular actors and the underlying relationships among these groups, who belonged to seemingly different sectors but had similar interests (Robins, 2006). In February 2003, reductions in state expenditures on health, education, and pensions, as well as the imposition of new taxes, sparked protests in El Alto against the national government (Lazar ,008). The populist groups set fire to various offices of the traditional political parties and some state offices. The government met these protests with
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Barrientos Zapata, A.D. (2012). La Región Metropolitana Boliviana de La Paz- El Alto. Cuaderno Urbano: Espacio, Cultura, Sociedad, 13 (13). Retrieved from: http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1853-36552012000200010. Chavez Alvarez, G. (2008). Desarrollo Económico Local y Metropolización en el Mundo Andino: Los Casos de La Paz y El Alto. Retrieved from: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.es. Davis, M. (2006). Planet of Slums. New York, NY: Verso. Fabricant, F. & Gustafson, B. (2011). Remapping Bolivia: Resources Territory, and Indigeneity in a Plurinational State. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press. Fainstein, S. (2011). The Just City. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Flores, V. (Ed.). (2008). Perspectivas del Medio Ambiente Urbano: GEO El Alto. La Paz, Bolivia: Programa de la Naciones Unidas pare el Medio Ambiente (PNUMA). Friedman, J. (Ed.). (2003). Globalization, The State, and Violence. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press. Hardy, S. (2009). Evaluación y gestión de la vulnerabilidad de los distritos 5 y 6 del municipio de El Alto. Bulletin de l’Institut français d’études andines, 38 (3). Retrieved from: http://bifea.revues.org/2538. Hicks, K., & Fabricant, N. (2010). The New Water Wars: Collective Action After Decentralization in El Alto, Bolivia. Anthropology News, pages 1-2. Retrieved from http://nicolefabricant.com/Nicole_Fabricant/Research_files/New-Water-Wars. pdf. Lazar, S (2008). El Alto, Rebel City: Self and citizenship in andean bolivia. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Melendez, A. & Quezada, D. (2005). Mejoramiento Habitacional en La Ciudad de El Alto. Revista INVI, 20 (53). Retrieved from: http://www.revistainvi.uchile.cl/index.php/INVI/article/view/334/875 Mendez, R. (2011). Bolivia se nos muere y el Decreto 21060 se despide. El Día. Retrieved from: http://www.eldia.com.bo/index. php?cat=363&pla=3&id_articulo=61617. Mollericona, J. (2013, November 8). El Alto y su Explosivo crecimiento. Los Tiempos. Retrieved from: http://www.lostiempos. com/oh/actualidad/actualidad/20130811/el-alto-y-su-explosivo-crecimiento_224035_483560.html \Nickson, A. & Vargas, C. (2002). The Limitations of Water Regulation: The Failure of the Cochabamba Concession in Bolivia. Bulletin of Latin American Research, 21 (1) Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1470-9856.00034/abstract. Poupeau, F (2012). A lo largo del camino de cresta: Una Mirada retrospectiva sobre una investigación en la periferias urbanas, El Alto (Bolivia). Bulletin de l’Institut français d’études andines, 41 (3). Retrieved from http://bifea.revues.org/83. Programa Urbano de El Alto. (2004). Foro: Crisis y Movimientos Sociales (1st ed.). El Alto, Bolivia. Robins, N.A. (Ed.). (2006). Conflictos políticos y movimientos sociales en Bolivia. La Paz, Bolivia: Plural Editores.
photos cited All photos are licensed for fair use under Creative Commons 2.0 or permissions have been specifically granted by the author
01 Almeflocoma. El Alto, Bolivia. October 26, 2008. Available from Flickr Commons. https://flic.kr/p/5wZM4Z 02 Oliveira, Talita. Protest Against the Rise of Gasoline Prices. December 30, 2010. Available from Flickr Commons.
03 Garcia Alvarado, Katic Tamiana. View of El Alto and Mount Illimani. October 7, 2012. Available from Flickr Commons. https://flic.kr/p/fKkKz6. 04 Stone Center for Latin American Studies. View of La Paz from El Alto. April 15, 2010. Available from Flickr Commons. https://flic.kr/p/7THvhP 05 Velásquez, Edwin. Ceja de El Alto, ciudad de El Alto, Bolivia. April 9, 2012. Available from Flickr Commons. https://flic. kr/p/bKPPyz
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