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April 2013




Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues A Global Publication

A Global Publication Urban Planning and Development Through Partnership

Our Vision is to share a full range of interdisciplinary professional knowledge with community leaders, professional planners, businesses and interested citizens having a commitment to operational excellence in the public and private sectors. Contributions from our constituency will assist in facilitating sound decisions in community and economic development to promote continued commitments in creating quality places to live, work and play. Our goal is to provide educational information and services in urban planning and environmental conservation to an interconnected global community that will both enable individuals and communities to adapt to new holistic techniques and solutions to resolve existing and future urban and environmental issues and foster economic and sustainable development.

General Manager/Publisher

Graphic Design Consultants

Pamela Shinn, BS URP

Raphael Noltemeyer Tone Strand Loseth

Editor in Chief

David Weinstock, PhD

Advisory Board

Assistant Editor David Loomis, BA

Amy Blatt, PhD

European Consultant

Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP

Andrey Maltsev

Scott Ranville

South American Consultant Tella Guillermo, PhD

Solenne Cucchi

North American Consultant

Andrey Maltsev

Amy Blatt, PhD

Cover photo by Andrew Maltsev Cover Grafic design by Raphael Noltemeyer and Tone Strand Loseth


Local Economic Development Strategy for Sustainable Urban Development in India by Narayanan Edadan, PhD

Photo by Yekaterina Dobritskaya

“Partnering for a Brighter Tomorrow�


The Effects of a Late Modernization: The case of Metropolitan Region of Buenos Aires

People Led Mapping Process as a Tool for Bottom-up Planning and Deepening of Democratic Values in Urban Governance: Experience from eastern Indian Cities


by Guillermo Tella, PhD

Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues

byMonalisa Mohanty Director, UDRC-SPARC Alliances


by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP


Planning Healthier Communities in the Heart of Florida

Sierra Leone Mission Direct

by Richard L. Perez , MPA, AICP


by Steven Taylor

Go Big Family Friendly Cities:Scorecard Ranking for Top 50 Largest U.S. Cities by Jenny and Scott Ranville

Brownfield Redevelopment in the Netherlands by Andren Maltsev


A Planners Best Friend? by Michael Stumpf, AICP, CECD

Photo provided by Monalisa Mohanty

China Brownfield Redevelopment: Problems and Perspectives by Yekaterina Dobritskaya, PhD

The Truth About Child Marriage by Gillian Felix



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Evolving LED Approaches

The role of urban local bodies in promoting local economic development (LED) has changed over the years. While in most countries, the LED approach has focused initially on attracting private investments through fiscal and financial incentives, during the 80s, the LED approach took varied forms ranging from the public sector led Local Enterprises Boards as in the UK, establishing Local Economic Development Authorities as in Aden and Singapore, and to public private partnerships in urban renewal, city improvement projects, mega urban infrastructure projects, etc in various mega cities across the world for improving the economic externalities for urban investments. In most cases, the LED approaches used the vision making and city competitiveness assessment strategies to identify core investment sectors for boosting the local economies. An important outcome from the evolving LED thinking is the recognition that fiscal and functional autonomies of urban local governments are critical for promoting urban economic development and that economic development cannot be achieved without an effective and sustainable institutional framework which enables local governments to formulate contextually relevant economic development strategies. The institutional limitations of urban local bodies/municipalities to design effective LED strategies have been a serious constraint in some countries.

During the past decade there has been shift in the concept of local economic development and some of these new perspectives are important in the context of India while designing appropriate LED strategies to promote economic growth and poverty reduction. The emerging discipline of ‘new institutionalism’, which breaks down the distinction between economy and society, is increasingly influencing the conceptual framework for designing LED strategies. Due to the institutional limitations of local governments to build income capital, human capital and urban economic growth relationships, there is a growing perception that local economic development should be built on the shared values, norms, rules and procedures of formal and informal institutions of the society, this calls for a change management approach in urban development process. Influenced by these social capital/ networking perspectives, contemporary LED framework deals with: the role of the cities within multiple, complex economic networks; the role of institutions in supporting economic development and the importance of strengthening these institutions; the role of ‘hard infrastructure’ provided by new technologies, and the ‘soft infrastructure’ of social networks; the mix between co-operation and competition that is required to support development; the importance of knowledge transfer and innovation; and, the need for sustainable and inclusive urban growth2. Many of these themes come together in the idea of ‘economic clustering’, which has received a remarkable degree of attention in recent years.

Although, the 74th Constitutional Amendments (74CA) in India has enabled urban local governments to establish partnerships with private enterprises and local communities for promoting the local development, the enabling provisions of the amendment has not been utilized imaginatively by most urban governments due to inadequate fiscal and functional devolution, poor fiscal health, and an institutional framework for building efficient investment partnerships with private sector and local communities. The role of urban local governments in alleviating poverty becomes more daunting due to the absence of an effective locally managed transmission mechanism between urban economic development and poverty reduction.

The over dependency of the local governments on the State and Central Governments to conceptualize and implement urban economic development and poverty reduction programs leaves the urban local governments as bystanders in this very important process. Past experience in LED strategies to promote urban economic development and poverty reduction initiatives suggests that the asset vulnerability of urban local governments/municipalities represented through the “income capital”, “human capital”, “social capital”, and


LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA by Narayanan Edadan, PhD enway to a regional perspective, based on the understanding that a local town is generally too small to play a meaningful role in national and global competition, and has little political weight. The idea of ‘city-region’ and ‘economic cluster’ has become important policy framing concept. The role of economic clusters in urban economic development has received a great deal of attention, with the emergence of information technology corridor in Bangalore, the textile and automobile corridors in Tamil Nadu, etc.

the “productive capital” relationships to urban economic growth and poverty reduction (Moser, 1998) needs to be enhanced through enabling institutional and public policies for strengthening the role of cities to become engines of economic growth1. Another emerging LED approach is related to ‘institution building’, which includes for example strengthening business partnerships, such as small and medium enterprise networks, intercity collaboration, partnerships with higher education and research institutions, and development partnerships with business associations, non government organizations and local communities.

CHANGING URBAN ENVIRONMENT The exponential growth of urban areas in India, both in terms of urban area and population; experienced during the past two decades has seriously impacted in the deterioration of urban quality of life. The serious mismatches in the demand for and supply of urban services mainly due to a serious lack of development vision are challenging the urban productivity and sustainability of urban growth process in the country. The debilitating urban growth process calls for an urgent need for reforming the economic role of cities through a comprehensive reform initiative in the areas of urban governance, fiscal and financial management, institutional orientation to promote local economic development for promoting efficient, and promoting inclusive urban growth processes.

While traditional LED approach focused on autonomous government initiative to promote economic growth, increasingly, recognition is given to the importance of regional, national and even global processes, in shaping the structure and form of local economies, and the significance of supporting the LED processes from across levels of government. A good example is the recent initiative taken by the Bangalore Municipal Corporation to partner with the Government of California for establishing information technology business and educational networks. It is well recognized that local economic development needs to be socially inclusive if they are to be sustainable. The questions of who benefits from economic development, and whose interests dominate within partnerships are asked far frequently and are significant issues within the Bihar context, which has the largest poverty in the country. It is significant that even the most mainstream of approaches to LED do now incorporate a concern with inclusivity. The inclusive urban development strategy postulated by the Government of India represents this policy concern and therefore should form a guiding principle of LED approach in India.

Even though, ULBs have unique advantages in exploiting and managing local resources, provision of urban services as they could achieve both the allocation efficiency and the productive efficiency, in practice this advantage has not been realized due to institutional and management capacity constraints and lack of vision on the part of the State and urban local governments. This is the primary factor behind the drive to promote decentralization and urban management reforms. Although, being local self governments, the urban local bodies have distinct advantage over the State Governments in formulating locally relevant economic development strategies and processes, leveraging local resources for promoting economic growth, encouraging social networking of local communities to become

In interconnected regional and local economies, the the city centric perspective of LED approach has giv



effective development partners, enhancing the opportunities for people’s participation in decision making related to improving living conditions, undertake bottom up planning; and ensuring effective implementation of program by improving the coordination and orientation of service providers and users, unfortunately in India urban local governments fail to undertake these initiatives in a meaningful way. Realization of these objectives warrant formulating urban economic vision and urban local development strategies by the cities based on their local economic development strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.

expenses. Other funds come tied to schemes designed by the State and central governments and limit the resource management capacity of urban local bodies for attracting private investments and improving the investment productivity. The limited functional responsibilities of ULBs tend to be compromised because of the proliferation of State boards and other agencies with overlapping roles and responsibilities. The problems of functional and fiscal concurrency are further exacerbated by the lack of coordination and consultation between the various State and para-statal agencies operating in urban areas without any policy and program coordination with urban local governments.

Decentralization: The 74CA provides the legal

framework for urban decentralization in India. Even though, in terms of urban institutional reforms, the 74 CA has been declared as a path breaking reform to provide adequate fiscal and functional devolution and administrative autonomy to implement the 18 functions earmarked for the urban local governments, a review of the status of decentralization in urban areas suggests that the devolution of funds, functions, and functionaries to urban bodies has been relatively weak. Without a well thought out urban economic development vision and local economic development strategies, the decentralization of economic and fiscal responsibilities to the urban governments will not be sustainable. Be as it may be, the institutional and technical capacity of urban local governments to take up the economic development challenges is the necessary and essential condition for guiding the economic transformation of cities and towns.

Like their rural counterparts, ULBs depend on State government officials to fulfill their administrative responsibilities. Senior municipal officials are appointed from the Indian Administrative Services or the State Administrative Services, limiting the ability of local politicians to hold staff accountable. Absence of Municipal Administrative Cadre up is a serious organizational constraint in some States to implement administrative reforms and strengthening the technical capacity of urban local governments. Overstaffing and lack of accountability are some of the common problems, because State governments control the number and distribution of employees across categories. Although the 74CA specifies details of election and term of the elected council of ULBs, it does not specify any time limit for establishing new genre of local bodies, after the Amendment came into force. Despite constituting Election Commissions in the States, very few States held elections within prescribed time limit3. As a result the government actions to empower the local communities and mobilizing the social capital and community networks to partner the local stakeholders in the development process have been the weakest.

Urban local bodies (ULBs) in India suffer from weak fiscal and financial capacity-weak revenue-raising powers and limited discretion. Revenues collected by ULBs account for a mere 3 percent of all revenues collected in India as a whole. Dependency of urban local bodies on fiscal transfers is thus significant. But fiscal transfers are not stable, timely, or predictable—and in the final analysis, they are not equalizing. ULBs have limited discretion over transferred funds. Almost 40 percent of these funds go towards salary and overhead

Urban Management

Municipal management covers the entire gamut of administrative facets that make for efficiency and ex-



cellence in handling city organizations. Envisioning a city, setting its priorities, strategizing to achieve set objectives, organizing public consultations, promoting civil society participation and norms of good urban governance, budgeting for expenditures, raising resources, monitoring works, collecting taxes and fees and charges, all form part of the management task.

that suggests larger fiscal and functional roles for them. The former is incorporated in the Schedule 12 of the Constitution and the later in Article 243 Y under which the State governments are required to constitute, once every five years State Finance Commissions. Most States have constituted the Finance Commissions (SFCs) and submitted their reports. There has not been any reluctance in this regard presumably because States hoped this would facilitate increased central assistance. The enthusiasm for constituting the SFCs diminished somewhat when there was greater realization of the role that municipalities had in the implementation of the recommendations. The implementation of SFC recommendations would have put substantial pressure on the finances of the States already suffering from huge fiscal deficits and hence the progress has been erratic and as a whole, India experienced lackadaisical implementation of the decentralization initiatives.

Attempts at toning up municipal management have been partial and sporadic, and generally sectoral rather than holistic in the country. They have also been driven by individual champions and their departure from the scene has seriously affected the sustainability of good urban management practices. Indeed, sustainable municipal efficiency needs capacity not merely within the municipal ranks of elected representatives and officials, but also among civil society stakeholders. Capacity building for good urban governance is complex because the urban scene is dynamic, and capacities tend to get eroded quickly. The demands of capacity building in cities also largely vary with the size of urban local bodies.

There is often a mismatch between functional responsibilities and resource generation capacity of local governments. Therefore, the lower tiers of government would depend on the higher tier for financial assistance, particularly in infrastructure investments. With the abolition of octroi by most States, property tax became the most important source of revenue for local governments. There have been substantial reforms in property tax administration in recent years. The Government of India formulated and circulated the Guidelines for Property Tax Reforms in 1998. ULBs need to improve the legal basis of property assessment as well as improve the tax administration. Several States have introduced unit area method of property tax assessment and introduced computerized collection procedures. The outcomes of these efforts have been significant to strengthen the property tax buoyancy of urban local bodies.

Capacity building, in any event, needs to be demandbased and dynamic in its content. It should cover a wide spectrum of stakeholders and should address itself to a sufficiently large and widespread group to achieve impact. In view of limited resources, their optimum use through a well-designed capacity building program cannot be overemphasized. The role of civil society, social networking and participation of local stakeholders is not adequately structured in the ongoing urban reforms in the country.

Urban Financing

The years following the enactment of the 74CA, witnessed extraordinary interest in the role of municipal governments in financing urban infrastructure and services and enhancing the quality of life. There are basically two provisions in the amendment, which points towards a larger role for municipalities in country’s development and a corresponding provision

User charges that could constitute an important source of non-tax revenues for ULBs are most often not levied. Where it is levied, there has been a tendency to charge for various services at rates that are much lower



than the actual costs, and many cases even the partial costs are not recovered. This has lead to poor operations and management of the urban assets and further risked investments in the infrastructure. Lack of policy and operational clarities in investment and operational and maintenance of urban infrastructure and other economic assets in urban areas has also risked the level of public private partnerships in urban areas.

However, there are successful efforts to leverage the municipal funds for promoting urban investments, through market instruments such as, market borrowing through bank financing and issuing of municipal bonds, leveraging municipal lands for partnering with private sector in municipal infrastructure and service management, and introduction of partial and full cost recovery mechanisms.

The launch of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Reform Mission (JNNURM) in 2005 was a concerted effort by the Government of India to enable the integrated development of urban infrastructure and services as well as to boost urban management reforms. The Mission proposed for implementation over a seven year period, attempts to link central assistance with reforms in the urban local bodies. The JNNURM defines mandatory and obligatory reforms that, if implemented in letter and spirit will indeed create an enabling environment for attracting private investments in the areas of urban infrastructure and services and in economic development sectors at large in the urban areas. Despite aggressive assistance from the national government, progress towards reforms has been slow.

There is a positive relationship between the fiscal health of urban local governments and the level of capital expenditure. Fiscal health not only enhances the level of direct capital expenditure by ULBs, but it also diversify their sources of capital financing, particularly in leveraging own resources through market borrowing/ debt financing. In this context, it is recommended to replace a case by case municipal debt approval system followed by the State Government with a comprehensive debt limit policy, provided the debt limits are benchmarked conservatively to ensure efficient debt servicing and internal debt managing (Narayanan E and Sarma A, 2003)5.

Inclusive Urban Growth

Although most States have repealed the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act, only one third of the States have transferred the 12th schedule of the functions outlined in the 74CA, transferred the city planning function, reformed the stamp duty, and enacted the community participation law. At the mission city level, the performance of urban reforms has not been encouraging either, only 13 cities have established egovernance, 29 implemented the accounting reforms, 16 cities achieved property tax reforms, 11 cities have recovered partial cost in water supply and sewerage and solid waste management and only 48 cities have earmarked funds for services to urban poor. However, some of these reforms at urban infrastructure development for small and medium town (UIDSMT) levels, have been encouraging, suggesting urban reforms in

Despite the best intentions, there are some challenges that inclusive urban growth faces. Infrastructure inadequacies in both rural and urban areas are the major constraints for India’s growth. Urban infrastructure plays an immense role in providing basic and ancillary urban services to citizens to ensure their quality of life. However, lack of long-term urban vision framework and urban development strategy, paucity of resources, weak managerial structure and operational deficiencies continue to hinder growth of efficient and environment friendly urban habitats. Lack of adequate education translates into lack of opportunity, making it much more difficult to break the cycle of poverty. Pro poor businesses and informal sec



tor workers are the least protected by labor laws, welfare benefits, exploitation at work and the non-existent maternity leave benefits. Lack of a clear urban strategy for promoting the economic contribution of informal economic sectors such as pro poor businesses/micro enterprises, vending business, etc has been one of the main limitations of the current urban development strategy to achieve inclusiveness.

integrated and coordinated intervention from government, private sector and local communities. The poor conditions of physical and economic infrastructure in the State and in urban areas have been cited an important impediment for investments, besides the institutional and operational constraints emerging from poor governance and lack of investment orientations of local bodies.

Employment is an area, which shows up where growth process is failing on inclusiveness. During 1999-2000, the growth of employment accelerated to 2.6 percent, outpacing the growth of population. This was because working age population grew faster than total population and labor force participation rates, particularly among women, increased. Non-agricultural employment expanded robustly at an annual rate of 4.7 percent during 1999-2005 which was in the unorganized sector and low productivity self employment sectors. Despite a healthy GDP growth, the employment in the organized sector declined. Similarly, urban poor remains excluded from the urban economic growth, particularly the trickling down effects of knowledge based urban growth bypassed the urban poor in a significant way. Besides, the issue of insecurity of land tenure affects their capacity to improve their living and working environments. Absence of clarity on the responsibilities of urban local governments in engaging formal and informal economic sector stakeholders for mobilizing investments has been an important impediment in taking up direct urban economic development responsibilities, even though, the policy intentions and objectives to attract local and external investments in the urban areas are expressed adequately articulated in the New National Urban Development Strategy.

Asset and Urban Economic Growth Transmission Processes

Guiding Principles The Urban Local Economic Development Framework is guided by the following principles: • Governments at all levels, Local, State and Central, have an unavoidable responsibility and leadership role in shaping the economic future of our urban local economies6.


• Urban local economic development is an outcome of actions and interventions resulting from good governance, alignment and integration of local programs with State and Central policies and programs.

The Urban Local Economic Development processes would entail a comprehensive strategy that would promote the core competence of urban areas through an



• Creating an enabling environment in which the overall economic and social conditions of urban areas, including the law and order and protection of private properties, conducive for private sector investments and employment generations are responsibilities of both Local and State Governments.

leakages in delivering government investment supports. • Locally relevant solutions and strategies must emerge to support the national urban development strategy and national habitat and housing policy for promoting sustainable development and human settlements.

• The flow of private sector investments into cities and towns will be determined by the business climate and competitive advantages of urban regions to exploit local resources more efficiently.

• Central Government should support the State and Local Governments to minimize the investment risks perceived by the investors through appropriate institutional and financial assistances.

• Promoting economic development of small and medium towns with greater regional dependency may formulate an Economic Clustering Approach and the State Government should enable greater investment coordination and integration between local, district and State agencies through appropriate policy and institutional frameworks.

• Private sector, including social enterprises, cooperatives, pro poor businesses, and informal sector, particularly the vending sector, form the heart of the local economy in Bihar and they have vital role in promoting local economic development. • Promoting pro poor business, micro enterprises and vending sector requires political and administrative commitments from the State and Local Governments, and should be supported by formulating Pro Poor Business/ Micro Enterprise Development Strategy and the Urban Street Vending Protection Policy.

• Promoting inclusive local economic development requires the concerted and coordinated action of all agencies to empower local communities through innovative initiatives on land access, skill development, access to finance and markets and developing local entrepreneurs through efficient enterprise development and business linkage strategies.

• People are the main resource of local economies and the development of local human resources through relevant technical skill development, promoting public health and quality of sanitation, etc, are essential for improving the human capital for stimulating local economies.

• Effective implementation of local economic development vision require a reorientation of local and State agencies to redefine the roles of urban local governments to engage private sector and local communities to become partners in local economic development processes.

• Local initiative, energy, creativity, assertive leadership and skills will ultimately unlock the latent potential in local economies and will shape local spaces.

• Improving investment attractiveness requires concerted actions from the State and Local Government agencies on property protection and rationalization of transaction costs by setting up single window approval systems and also plugging

• Promoting local economic development by municipal governments under the prevailing institutional



• structure of India requires an earnest commitment from the State Government to devolve fiscal and functional responsibilities to manage their own destiny.

government program such as Swarna Jayanti Sahahari Rashtriya Yojana (SJSRY) and JNNURM for micro enterprise development and improved social and economic infrastructure for promoting economic growth are some of the key areas of intervention. Impact is related to the local government efficiency in institutional coordination and municipal fiscal management.

• Realizing the urban economic vision would warrant establishment of suitable organizational set ups at State and the Local levels with adequate functional and financial authorities to enable investment coordination and partnerships and supporting local entrepreneurs.

Social Capital Relationship with Urban Economic Development: Very important role in setting the scene and providing the environment and funds. The success of community organizations (and participation) is often conditional on flexibility and delivery by governmental agencies. Providing for law and order is critical. Funds available for social mobilization, promoting social networking and partnerships to start micro credit and micro credit enterprises are important. Setting up Entrepreneur Development Centers and Micro Enterprise/ Pro Poor Business Development and Linkage Fund by Local Governments in partnerships with State and Central Governments is important.

Role of Urban Local Governments Enabling Income Capital Relationship with Urban Economic Development: Limited role in encouraging economic growth through direct intervention at present. Important role in providing physical and economic infrastructure for industrial growth as well as to enable them to reduce transaction costs related to municipal procedures and approvals. Major role in not restricting informal and small business activities via planning and restrictive policies. Ability is dependent upon the institutional orientation and capacity of urban local governments to establish partnerships, and efficient management or local resources.

Productive Capital Relationship with Urban Economic Development:

Potentially very important, “in those urban contexts where the poor are excluded from formal sector jobs due to vulnerability and their capacity to generate additional jobs is limited. Removal of tenure-insecurity related obstacles that prevent or constrain households Enabling Human Capital Relationship with Ur- from using their housing effectively as a productive ban Economic Development: asset is possibly the single most important critical poverty reduction intervention). Requires flexible land Human capital, preventive health and social and ecouse and land management guidelines to use derelict nomic infrastructure, development is a major responsi- government properties for providing work spaces for bility of urban local governments. This is usually more pro poor businesses# Philip Amis, Urban Economic the case with implementation than resource allocation Growth and Poverty Reduction, School of Public decisions. Better coordination with State agencies for Policy, Theme Paper, 1999. resources. Innovative implementation of existing



The key role which local governments can play in the LED process has been identified by the US Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED) which States that Local Governments are the primary, but not exclusive, institution for LED. Even though, the institutional and development scenario of urban local governments in India, and in particular Bihar, is not similar to the fiscally and financially healthy urban local governments in US and Europe, there is an increasing awareness among policy makers in India and on the emerging economic development role of Indian cities, particularly in the context of knowledge and service based urban systems.

While it is important to extend the geographical coverage of the LED strategy, a far greater need is to invest in approaches and techniques to make services less supply driven and more responsive to need, especially pro poor business entrepreneurs are concerned.

For ensure credibility of the outlined LED framework, the government should invest in improving the technical capacity and investment orientation of State and local governments to inspire confidence of the private sector. The proactive action of the State government for creating an enabling environment for private sector would enhance the investment comfort of both domestic and external agencies.

Application of LED framework for Urban Local Bodies in Bihar has gone through a three stage analysis; competitiveness assessments of 28 major urban local bodies analyzing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of urban centers based on human resource, economy, infrastructure and urban management data, revising the SWOT analysis through stakeholder consultative workshops done at each town to revalidate the economic development competence of towns, and conducting a survey of local decision makers from public and private sectors and community leaders, a total of 375 local decision makers from the 28 urban areas were requested to identify the perceived economic role and vision of their respective towns.


An important aspect of this confidence building measure is to establish the comparative advantages of the various urban centers and economic clusters through the analysis of investment potentials and identification of value chains for establishing where public and private sector interventions can lock into unexploited opportunity. Preparation of City Business Plans based on the comparative advantage assessment would provide the required baseline information on the economic potential to potential investors. Development is also needed in business support services and need based skill development training and entrepreneurial development if these are to achieve their objective of generating investment in local communities by local entrepreneurs and the financial institutions that support them.

The LED strategy formulation process has followed a detailed competitiveness assessment and local economic development strategy making process. The strategy making process entailed processes such as: creating economic vision, goals and objectives, identification of core economic sector in which the ULB has comparative advantages in attracting investments. These assessments are summarized in this chapter for wider discussions with State and Local Governments.



perceived vision of local stakeholders. The ULB level comparative advantage analysis has identified core strengths and opportunities and the proposed areas of government interventions. The survey of local stakeholders on the ULB based economic vision and core LED sector suggest that on an average, nearly 49 percent of the local stakeholders perceived the main economic vision of urban areas in Bihar to become agro based processing and trading towns, 15 percent of stakeholders ‘visioned’ the role as educational towns, 11 percent as manufacturing towns and another 11 percent as tourism towns.

Competitiveness Analysis of ULBs Each ULB has its own unique strengths and most of the local stakeholders and municipal managers are aware of its own comparative advantage - and each contributes to state economic growth and development in a special way. The level, nature and form of the resilience and vibrancy of each ULB depend on the specific conditions, circumstances and potential of that area as well as its regional hinterland. Each ULB has its own vision, strategies and implementation methods borne out of local experience. Spatial development and growth and development plans support the exploitation of this unique comparative advantage. The revised City Development Plan would provide the planning and spatial development framework for implementing the city based LED strategy.

Urban Local Economic Development Vision and Objectives The economic development vision is to create cities in Bihar as prosperous communities, promoting sustainable industrial investments and pro poor businesses leading to household income growth and reduction in poverty. The strategic economic objective of this

The economic roles of urban local bodies identified through the competitiveness analysis match with the



project component is primarily to improve the investment attractiveness and competitiveness of cities for attracting private sector investments in industrial development, promoting public private sector partnerships in urban infrastructure and enabling pro poor business development in the local communities through flexible regulatory systems and human resource development.

particularly in land development, promoting pro poor businesses and micro enterprises through a micro enterprise and pro poor business development strategy, and protection and rehabilitation of informal economic activities.

The proposed operational strategies are:

LED Operational Strategies

• Regional resource mapping and regional economic development strategy;

The vision to create prosperous urban communities by improving the private sector investment attractiveness and economic growth of poor communities requires multi-pronged strategies. These strategies are implemented through policy improvements and investment action plans at various levels of State Government, Local Government and Communities through sustainable partnerships with Business Communities, Non Government Organizations and Local Communities.

• Municipal process auditing and streamlined approval systems; • Improving Business Climate and Investment attractiveness of cities, by addressing infrastructure gaps, property transaction related business concerns; and identifying business opportunities using City Business Plans;

• Leveraging municipal lands through a flexible “Urban Land Management Policy’ and encouraging private sector investments in businesses and real estate sector;

The main focus of the operational consideration is to align the Bihar Urban Local Economic Development Strategy with the National Urban Development Approaches and Strategies in the areas of leveraging municipal land and other assets for attracting private sector investments in infrastructure development, creating enabling environments for business sector,

• Promoting inclusive pro poor business through policy initiatives, innovative land use policies,



market and credit access; and establishing entrepreneur development centers and establishing business linkage fund;

LED Constraint and Strategy Matrix

• Promoting human resource development through technical skill development, encouraging social capital and networking for development participation; and • Improving the employment opportunities in the informal sector by creating enabling environments for organized vending activities.

Since in many cases, urban local governments have very limited capacity to address poverty reduction issues and to ensure inclusive urban growth processes, these efforts should be based on the national and state government poverty reduction frameworks. Support is needed to enable such communities, groups and individuals to invest their own skills and energies into economic development. To facilitate this, community investment programs are required that systematically build up community confidence and competence. Some of the important policy and management constraints that could impact the effectiveness and efficiency of implementing the various operational strategies are: regulatory environments, creation and maintenance of core physical and economic infrastructure, promoting social capital and social networks for effective participation of local communities, access to credit and market for micro enterprises/pro poor businesses. The relevant operational strategies to mitigate these risks are summarized in the LED constraint and strategy matrix.



Challenges and Opportunities

• The role of ULBs in promoting urban economic growth within the current and future institutional dispensation is not clearly conceptualized and articulated in National and State LED policy document;

Each ULB has unique challenges linked to unorganized development, land utilization, infrastructure and service backlogs, maintenance of urban assets, empowering local communities and uplifting the skills and capabilities of people. To bring about sustainable economic development and to maximize the potentials of the local area it is necessary to ensure linkages to adjacent local economic spaces.

• With the emergence of non manufacturing sector based urban economies, the role and effectiveness of ULBs to promote information and service sector based urban economic growth has become more relevant in recent years; calling for a redefinition of municipal roles in urban economic growth and development;

Local economic development of cities and towns must be based on the State Urban Economic Vision and Local Economic Development Framework. While some of the cities in the State have prepared city master plans and city development plans to structure and guide the urban development, these plans are not implemented due to a lack of commitment at all levels of governments. Formulation of a regional economic development strategy and city development plans will provide the framework ad linkages between and among local economies and economic clusters.

• Unemployment and low skills levels are major barriers for promoting inclusive urban growth; • Urban areas make a key contribution to social and economic life, but in Bihar they are also the greatest concentrations of poverty. Despite this, many development institutions recognize that whilst city authorities cannot influence economic fundamentals, “they can direct the nature of responsiveness of city services, prioritize city infrastructure and lead local economic development “partnerships”. In addition cities need to put poverty reduction strategies in place and to develop social safety nets for the vulnerable.

In terms of looking forward, there are a number of implementation related considerations, which can shape the urban economic vision framework and direction of LED strategy implementation in Bihar. Even though, the State Government has a primary role in developing urban local economies through the formulation of the Bihar Urban Economic Vision and LED Framework, there are key challenges impacting on the ability of local governments to implement the LED strategy; some of which are:

• Key interventions should include: • The need to develop long-term economic strategies; • To directly assist new market entrants; • To make the city more inclusive; • To enhance comprehensive physical and economic development by aligning city development planning and LED strategies; • To establish pro poor business linkage strategies and promote city based entrepreneur development centers for skill development;

• ULBs cannot develop local economic strategies in isolation from State and National Urban Economic Policy; • Most ULBs do not have adequate economic growth strategies in place and therefore are unable to tackle poverty;



• To ensure operational efficiency and sustainability of these interventions; and • The need to form city development partnerships with private sector and local community networks.

• Introduce sustainable community development and investment programming.

LED Funding Issues

Smaller urban local bodies with very limited economic potential and depend on rural hinterlands and other urban centers for economic growth have a bigger challenge in promoting economic development initiative and provision of improved infrastructure and services. This will call for a clustered approach in which the ULB is considered as part of an economic cluster. Investment and employment creation initiatives will have to be more strongly examined for viability and feasibility in the case of local economic development and economic clustered development.

At present, funding for local economic development activities mainly comes from the State and Central Governments through budgetary allocation dispensed through various uncoordinated programs. In the absence of an expense head for local economic development related activities, except for the central government aided urban infrastructure and poverty alleviation programs, the municipal funding supports for LED activities is practically nonexistent. Absence of an overall capital investment plan at ULB level and the general poor fiscal and financial health of the local governments further limit the funding contribution from the urban local governments.

It is necessary to formulate a comprehensive government strategy to implement the LED strategies in urban areas in phases depending upon their institutional context and economic potential. Government will therefore need to focus on four key strategies over the next five years to move closer to the vision of robust and inclusive local economies. These four strategic interventions are interrelated.

It is well recognized that unless and until local governments/ local economic development agencies have reliable sources of funds earmarked for LED actions, it is clear that in the initial phase the funding should come from other sources such as State and Central Governments, Development Institutions, Private Sector and Local Community Organizations. In the short term, the Government should support the organizational and management expenses of setting up LED Department and LED Units and prepare LED strategies and City Business Plans in a phased manner with an objective of building the necessary capacity at various levels of government for designing and implementing LED programs. To sustain the funding strategy, the Government shall align its operational strategies and tasks with the National Urban Development Strategies and Programs such as JNNURM, UIDSMT and SJSRY with an objective of utilizing the existing funds more efficiently as well as to leverage the available resources through appropriate financing structures.

These strategies are: • Improve good governance, service delivery, creating market confidence in urban local bodies to address the regulatory; • Spatial development planning exploiting the comparative advantage and competitiveness of the 28 urban local bodies and providing the regulatory environment for organized development. • Enterprise support and business infrastructure development in ULBs, including formulation of pro poor business strategy and business linkage fund.



Role of the Urban Local Government

In the medium term, the municipality led LED can either employ funds generated locally, such as through the levying of rates and taxes, or it can be derived from higher tiers of government.

Within this context, Local Government has the following key roles to play:

In the long run, the principle of subsidiarity and the encouragement of local investment planning with multi programming framework shall be an important additional revenue source for LED. Key issues that emerge from the overview include:

• To provide leadership and direction in policy making, prepare city development and capital investment plans, land use regulations and building bylaws, streamline the land development approval systems for reducing the costs of doing business and maximizes the involvement of private sector in urban land management and local economic growth at large.

• Whether support should take the form of direct grants or rather loans, • Whether support should be provided on a performance and viability based process which targets the most economically viable schemes or whether it should be rather made available to areas most in need of assistance,

• To administer policy, program and projects identified for action under the LED strategy in coordination with higher levels of government, private sector and local community. • To be the main initiator of local economic development program through increased government spending and formulation of efficient and investment sensitive regulatory system for promoting small and pro poor businesses and social enterprises. Leverage the funds available from Central government programs.

• Whether LED support should be channeled through multiple, possibly overlapping programs, or whether a single channel LED support instrument is the ideal, and • How to ensure the effective participation of the private and community sectors to achieve both economic growth, poverty alleviation and inclusive urban growth. • One of the sustainable funding arrangements worth a consideration is to initiative a National Urban Local Economic Development Policy (NULEDP) as a part of the JNNURM for encouraging State Governments to establish LED Department and LED Units and prepare and implement LED strategies and action plans to improve investment climate, leverage local resources for municipal investments, and enable private sector and community based investments in enterprise development in urban areas.

• Rendering economic growth compatible with social equity and safeguarding the environment for sustainable urban development.

Role of the State The State’s role is to assist and to create the conditions for urban local economies to emerge and grow. This framework does not dictate what should happen in different municipalities but focuses on what the State can do to support local leaders, communities, businesses, NGOs, organized labor and other stakeholders to realize their own and their collective objectives.


LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA by Narayanan Edadan, PhD on their human capital, social capital, productive capital, location advantages and regional economic growth potentials. Even though, the role of the urban local governments to address the economic growth and poverty reduction agenda within the current institutional framework could be restricted, the New National Urban Development Strategy conceives that urban areas in the country will be more growth oriented and competitive to attract private investments. In the emerging urban context, the role of urban local governments should be redefined to play a positive role in changing the urban economic environment.

It emphasizes the need for local people to work together with each other and with external role players to improve their lives. The State should play the role of facilitator, coordinator and monitor. National urban development policy has slowly changing from welfare perspective to a market economy based development framework with the presumption that markets will ensure efficiency in the production and provision of urban infrastructure and services. The increasing mismatch between the demand for urban services and the capacity of State and urban local governments to provide the services due to financing and management limitations of governments has created a great deal of frustration among the policy makers and turned to a perspective that private investment led growth will ‘trickle down’ and benefits of fast urban economic growth for all. However, in practice a balanced approach which maximizes return of local resources within the framework of inclusive growth is the primary responsibility of the State. Formulation of the Bihar Urban Economic Vision and LED framework would provide the environments for attracting private investments to urban areas and leverage the competitiveness of urban local economies.

Urban local government and the State cannot prepare for the emerging strategic role of urban local economies without an Urban Economic Vision and a Local Economic Development Framework. Even though, the LED initiative discussed in this policy paper is drawn from the wide international experience in LED strategies, its operational scope for the short term has been limited to what could be implemented without serious institutional restructuring. The scope of the LED Framework and operational strategies discussed in this paper primarily focuses to leverage the ongoing national urban development programs in the short and medium term. In the long term, a National Urban LED Policy Initiative is suggested.


A sustainable strategy to promote economic growth reduce poverty in urban areas should aim to break the vicious cycle of low investment attractiveness— low urban economic growth—low poverty reduction through well-structured development strategies both at State and City Levels. Past experience from the various urban development projects implemented in India suggests that implementation of fragmented urban infrastructure projects and urban management reforms are not effective to promote urban economic growth and reduce urban poverty because these strategies did not focus on the asset vulnerability of and urban economic growth transmission processes to be effective and sustainable. A strategy to transform the role of urban local economies as engines of economic growth of the State necessarily need to focus on the local economic development of the urban areas based

1 Moser, C (1998) “The Asset Vulnerability Framework: Reassessing Urban Poverty Reduction Strategies” in World Development Vol. 26, No1. 2 Nel E L, Local economic development, a review assessment of its current status in South Africa, Urban Studies, 38-7, 2001 3 K C Sivaramakrishnan, Power to the People? The Politics and Progress of Decentralization, Konark Publications, 2000 4 Ministry or Urban Development, JJUNRM, Transforming Cities, 2009 5 Narayanan Edadan and Atul Sarma, Restructuring Urban Finances: Accessing Capital Market;, Manak Publications, 2003 6 The term urban local economy referred in the report refers to the urban area including urban fringe areas and its spatial coverage is larger than the administrative limits of ULB/Municipality. This entails an overlapping of areas managed by the district administration/surrounding villages and urban local government.


The Effects of a Late Modernization

The case of Metropolitan Region of Buenos Aires by Guillermo Tella, PhD From this perspective, the term Post-Metropolis allows the highlighting of the differences between the present urban regions and those which have consolidated in the mid-century, thus, the prefix post marks the transition towards new postmodern forms. (E. Soja 1996). It is not as much about the vanishing of the former structure as about its co-living and articulation with new and complex forms of urbanization. The industrial geography of the Fordist metropolis underwent a strong process of retraction before an increasing economy of services, with a densification of informa tion fluxes and within a framework characterized by a tendency towardsmore flexible modes of production.

This work is centered on the study of the territorial structure of the metropolitan region of Buenos Aires (Argentina) in order to examine the dramatic urban changes associated with the transformations in the global economy and, in general, with the “postmodernization” of urban life and society. From a theoretical perspective, its final aim is to contribute to the analysis of the existing interrelations between the spatial structures and the social processes from a case study that involves a metropolis belonging to world spaces of a semi-peripheral type.

Photo courtesy Guillermo Tella

In a recent work, M. Castells (1997) asserts that on this “shore of eternity… space organizes time in the network society”, in which not only the new information technologies dispersed globally at a great speed but also that “the speed of such technological diffusion has been as much socially as functionally Buenos Aires shows a strong contrast between center and periphery selective”. Such arguments from this point of view show the limitations of the present epistemological structures to interpret the recent processes of territorial transformation.

The Up-coming of the Post-Metropolis

It has been conventionally accepted that the 1973 Oil Crisis constitutes the wrench with which a particular urban age ends that of the “modern metropolis” and as from which the era of the so-called “Post-Metropolis” begins. It was precisely at the time when the territorial effects of the great cities began to be noticeable that the discussion about this subject began to be more acute due to the complexity and the celerity of the urbanization processes as well as to the inefficiency of the traditional tools for action.


In the recent literature an issue of renewed importance appears with insistence: the role assigned to the metropolis and their changing functions in the new economic spaces of regional and world scope. After the hypothesis of “global city”, which caused such a great impact in the academic world (Friedman 1986, 1995; Sassen 1991, 1996), defining the structure and the behavior of cities constitutes a true theoretical and methodological problem in which financial centrality, technological flexibility, and productive capacity are

The Effects of a Late Modernization

The case of Metropolitan Region of Buenos Aires by Guillermo Tella, PhD

On the Post-Urban Question

presented as unprecedented structural variables of the urbanization process.

Buenos Aires shows a strong contrast between center and periphery, which made evident the presence of determined patterns that are characteristic of an acute insertion into a global system of cities, such as: the destruction of factory and industrial fabrics, the building of environments meant for the expansion of the financial economy, the development of new residential building typologies, new ways of commercial distribution sustained by the use of the individual automobile, the appearance of new modes of “leisure commercialization” in the peripheries, the investment in road structures in order to dynamize movements and, in contrast, the increase of precarious settlements and the levels of urban violence.

Within the framework of one of the most widespread classificatory schemes, then, it is possible to assert that if in the central countries the primary cities are headed by New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, and the secondary ones by cities such as Milan, Toronto and Sidney; in the semi-peripheral countries the primary cities would be centers such as Saõ Paulo or Singapore, and the secondary ones cities such as Caracas, Seoul and Manila. Following this scheme, therefore, Buenos Aires would be a secondary metropolis of a semi-peripheral economic space, whereas an important quantity of urban agglomerations of the Third World –constituted by millions of inhabitants– would be excluded.

Also, a dichotomic growth has been made evident in the last decade as a result of the accelerated “modernization”, which is late as regards its central models of reference: on one hand, an accentuated concentration of wealth in determined social sectors and, on the other hand, an extreme impoverishment, under the incapacity of absorption of manpower by the urban industry (Schneier-Madanes, 1998).

Thus, the case of Buenos Aires displays the interest of showing how an urban agglomeration which exceeds thirteen million inhabitants, but which belongs to non-central economic spaces, has adopted patterns observed in the global cities of the central countries at an increasing rate, but conditioned by the semiperipheral location and by particular processes developed for several decades.

Photo courtesy Guillermo Tella

From this differential process it can be noticed that: while a part of the metropolitan territory is an object for the investment in equipment and infrastructure of any kind –showing ostentatiously the effects of an urban economy integrated to the global system–, the other part is not summoned to it. Spatially, it is made evident in the rise of re-structured strategic spaces, because of a strong concentration of capital investments, as well as of wide residual areas of the model, environments in which abandonment shows due to the lack of interest in them (Tella, 1998).

Neighborhood "Nordelta", Tigre district


This situation, therefore, translates into the formation of true urban enclaves, with more acute aspects and of more critical nature than

The Effects of a Late Modernization

The case of Metropolitan Region of Buenos Aires by Guillermo Tella, PhD proximity to highways), landscape values (through an evocation of nature) and security (through the usage of walls and private surveillance).

those attributed to the metropolis in central countries (Borja and Castells, 1998). Indeed, the changes in the world economy and their installation in the local context are in the basis of the recent evolution of the metropolitan region of Buenos Aires and are translated into the rise of new residential forms, of new patterns of consumption as well as of new developments of advanced retail land use.

Photo courtesy Guillermo Tella

Buenos Aires is submerged in a process of territorial reconfiguration characterized by: (a) the diffusion of an extended and non-hierarchical, fragmented and discontinuous urban environment, which leads to the deconstruction of the classical concepts of “center” and “suburb” before the emergence of centralities of a new type; (b) the tendency towards a service economy which induce a great spatial dispersion of activities, boosted by the technological innovations that displace the employment sources from the central areas to the metropolitan skirts.

Informal settlement in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires Photo courtesy Guillermo Tella

The generation of strategic spaces is produced in Buenos Aires in a differentiated way and with specific characteristics, through a selective equipment of the territory and the increase of its inequalities. The territorial transformations shown as from the 1980s have common aspects with those observed in cities of the same magnitude, nevertheless, its own characteristics of socio-spatial evolution make their impact different, and the cuts within the wide scope of traditional classes more acute.

The processes of deterioration of the central area lead me in the formation of ghettos

The Process of Late Modernization

So, on the one hand, residential processes which settle high class enclaves in the extreme periphery, together with the also peripheral expansion of advanced retail land use and, on the other hand, processes of central deterioration leading to the formation of ghettos take place very recently. As an answer to that the concept of “enclosed urbanization” arises, therefore, in order to conciliate: cheap land (which takes advantage of terrains of large dimensions), accessibility (because of the

Even though the main responsibility for the urban logics of city development must be assigned to the economic dimension, there have been processes and resistances of its own which gave it a differential feature to the local spatialization of the planetary globalization policies. So that, in the last decade, Buenos Aires was subject to strong processes of economic reconversion and accelerated hyperurbanization which produced


The Effects of a Late Modernization

The case of Metropolitan Region of Buenos Aires by Guillermo Tella, PhD socioterritorial expansion and requalification, simultaneously. From the set of visible effects, it is necessary to underline two as those of major predominance:

Both processes were undertaken spontaneously, by private initiative, responding to no kind of regional strategy and within the framework an absolute territorial laissez-faire. The first one, on the outermost periphery in collision with the urban skirts consolidated as popular suburbanization; the second one, filling the interstitial vacancies left by the former city sprawl among the axis of urban expansion. Their dosage resulted in a new urban physiognomy characterized by:

(a) the generation of new peripheral centralities which have had an impact against the skirts of the built city and which have materialized from: 1) a commercial decentralization, mainly on the interstitial vacancies in the second ring of conurbation, made possible due to the great industrial withdrawal, and 2) a residential deconcentration, located in the outermost periphery and driven by the development of highways (which conceals unthinkable projections in the future).

(a) peripheral dispersion, (b) diffusion of sub-centralities, (c) territorial fragmentation, (d) discontinuation of urban fabrics, as the main factors of motorization of the recent territorial transformations (Tella, 2007).

(b) a process of recentralization of peripheral centralities, to allow the expansion of administrative and financial activities from an increasing contribution of transnational capital which “modernized� the image of the ancient center with emblematic architectural buildings of strongly visual and economic impact (which kickoff was done by the reconversion of Puerto Madero).

Photo courtesy Guillermo Tella

It must be underlined, finally, that it is about unprecedented situations which affect nowadays this semiperipheral metropolis as the result of a sudden and accelerated process of modernization, in which actions are undertaken in an extreme and late fashion, which in the central countries unfolded gradually and moderately in the course of several decades. In only ten years, this dichotomic situation of the peripherization of central areas and the centralization of peripheral areas has materialized as a result of an acute process which concealed industrial vanishing, commercial decentralization together with spontaneous residential deconcentrations, following the logics of high class enclaves, which began evidencing conflicts stemmingfrom the dispersion of urbanization.

Neighborhood "Obligado", San Miguel district


Since this process has not reached its inflection point yet, on the one hand, the situation set forth opens numerous and important questions in relation to the future evolution of Buenos Aires, on the other hand, it clearly shows the presence of an

The Effects of a Late Modernization

The case of Metropolitan Region of Buenos Aires by Guillermo Tella, PhD

Photo courtesy Guillermo Tella

expanding urban phenomenon with transcendental and irreversible consequences on the metropolitan structure. Within this framework and in an ineluctable way, the Administration will have to start to assume the conducting role historically relegated.

Puerto Madero. Buenos Aires is submerged in a process of territorial reconfiguration Bibliography

About the Writer

–Borja, Jordi y Castells, Manuel. (1998), Local y Global. La gestión de las ciudades en la era de la información. Madrid: Taurus. –Castells, Manuel. (1997), La era de la información: Economía, sociedad y cultura. Madrid: Alianza. –Friedmann, John. (1986), “The World City Hypothesis”. Development and Change. Nº 17, 69-84. –Friedmann, John. (1995), “Where we stand: A decade of world city research”. In: P.L.Knox y P.J.Taylor (eds.), World cities in a world system. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 21-47. –Sassen, Saskia. (1991), The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. Princeton University Press. –Sassen, Saskia. (1996), Losing Control? Sovereignty in an Age of Globalization. The 1995 Columbia University L.H.Schoff Memorial Lectures. New York: Columbia University Press. –Schneier-Madanes, Graciela. (1998), “Buenos Aires: une métropole en projet”. París: Urbanisme, Nº 298, 14-22. –Soja, Edward. (1996), Thirdspace. Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places. Cambridge (Mass.): Blackwell Publishers Ltd. –Tella, Guillermo. (1998), “Modalidades de apropiación del espacio metropolitano”. Memoirs of the seminar Seminario sobre Barrios Cerrados: Nuevas formas de urbanización del Gran Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires: Municipalidad de Malvinas Argentinas, 13-25. –Tella, Guillermo. (2007), Un crack en la ciudad: Rupturas y continuidades en la trama urbana de Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires: Nobuko.

Guillermo Te is an Architect and Philosophy Doctor (PhD) in Urban Planning. In addition, he has developed the Postdoctoral Program in Social Sciences and Humanities. He has been Professor and Researcher in Urban Planning since 1989. Moreover, since 2005 he carries out academic activities in the Institute of the Conurbation in the University of General Sarmiento (Argentina). In his professional experience, he takes part and coordinates the development of strategic plans and of urban ordinance and local development for public as well as for socio-urban and environmental consulting firms. As a result of this theoretical production and professional practice, he has published numerous sciences and outreach works on the processes and effects of the metropolitan trans-formation.


Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP

including regulations concerning community gardens, sales of produce, and keeping livestock. Until recently these regulations, although not comprehensive in nature, have met the immediate needs of local government. Local government addresses issues related to urban agriculture throughout their regulations, including the ownership of the land, lot size and setbacks, parking, signage, liability, aesthetics and upkeep, access to water, impact to property values, stormwater runoff, and pesticides. Recent developments in urban agriculture may require local governments to revisit and revise these regulations.

Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues From the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in 605 BC, to the Garden City Movement in 1898, to the WWII Victory Gardens of 1944, to Detroit’s current agrarian renaissance, agriculture has been part of urban landscapes. And currently, local governments, counties, townships, municipalities, and even home owners associations (HOA) are taking a renewed interest in urban agriculture to promote community health, support economic development and improve the urban environment as sustainability has moved up the municipal agenda. (Mukherji and Morales, 2010).

Urban Agriculture in Recent History

The initiative of urban agriculture - supplemental food production beyond rural farming operations or imported from other regions - is not new. Allotment gardens, as community gardens were known in early 19th century Germany, were created as a response to poverty and food insecurity.

A report by Turner Environmental Law Clinic, Urban Agriculture: A Sixteen City Survey of Urban Agriculture Practices Across the Country (2011), explains that a common definition of Urban Agriculture does not exist. Roughly aggregated from information from 16 cities surveyed, urban agriculture is the act of growing and raising food crops and animals in an urban setting for the purpose of feeding local populations. The review of literature reveals a plethora of terms that refer to urban agriculture which include: community gardens, commercial gardens, community supported agriculture, farmers’ markets, aquaponics, hydroponics, personal gardens, and urban farms, among others.

In 1893, citizens of a depression-struck Detroit were asked to use their vacant lots to grow vegetables in response to poverty and food insecurity. Known as Pingree's Potato Patches (after Detroit Mayor Haze S. Pingree), these gardens were created to increase income, food supply, and self esteem during hard times. (Levenston, 2009) Pingree’s concept has been revived to meet the current needs of Detroit by helping at a grassroots level to stimulate Detroit’s depressed economy. Urban agriculture is supplying healthy, affordable food to the community and providing significant (if generally unpaid) work for the chronically unemployed. (Mogk, Kwiatkowski and Weindorf, 2011)

Because of the nature and diversity of urban agriculture’s locations and forms, it takes place in a variety of locations within a community or on its rural/urban interface. Urban agriculture activities take place horizontally in the ground, on raised beds, containerized, and on rooftops, as well as vertically, upon the walls of buildings. Agricultural activities may take place on a homesteaded parcel, on leased or owned private land, on public lands or semi-public lands.

During the First World War, President Woodrow Wilson called upon the nation to turn available open space into urban agriculture as a way to reduce pressure on existing food production and as a patriotic effort to support the war. For the duration of the Great Depression of the 1920s, community gardens were legitimized

Currently, many local governments address urban agriculture provisions in their zoning ordinances by


Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP

and supported by federal government educational campaigns. Community gardens provided food security and psychological support during hard times well as boosting economical growth through job creation.

urban agriculture, recognizing that urban agriculture can contribute to community health, neighborhood revitalization and community economic development, helping to build “Green” communities. Other levels of government also react to the rising public interest in urban agriculture such as First Lady Michelle Obama’s White House Healthy Garden (

The Second World War saw the War/Food Administration set up a National Victory Garden Program, which established urban agriculture across the nation. Eleanor Roosevelt’s White House Victory Garden prov ided leadership for the over 5.5 million Americans who took part in the National Victory Garden Program. (Arcadian, 2013)

Urban Agriculture is being endorsed by an environmentally conscious community of interest which promotes a “Healthy Community” model, encouraging exercise, walkable community design and organic, local, and sustainably grown food. Healthy Communities advocates also encourage capacity building for community economic resilience. Worldwide, the failure of Wall Street, European economic instability and subsequent economic insecurity has driven many to depend less on the free market economy and more on actions that increase personal resilience against another collapse of capital markets. This vision is supported by James Howard Kunstler whose book The Long Emergency (2005) envisions the future as being “increasingly and intensely local and smaller in scale.”

Following the Second World War and ensuing Korean conflict, the rise of suburbia and the supermarket displaced the decentralized food production as the role of the federal government in urban agriculture faded. Many families viewed urban gardening as regressive and the purchase of prepackaged and processed “convenience” foods as a modern and progressive expression of new-found wealth. Urban values trumped rural values in the mind of the American consumer and the cultivation of lawns was elevated to a civic value in the deed restricted golf communities of the suburbs. Ted Steinberg explains this in great detail in his book American Green, the Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn (2006).

Those engaged in urban agriculture may be referred to by many terms, such as urban farmer, permaculturist, urban agriculturalist, backyard gardener, or even urban hippie; however, the term Community Gardener may best describe this group of individuals.

Photo by Tracy Mullins

During the 1960s and 1970s, advocates of a burgeoning environmental movement became alarmed about large quantities of agricultural lands disappearing to urban sprawl. The national Agricultural Lands Study revealed millions of acres of prime agricultural lands were being converted to other uses annually. (Tyler and Ward, 2011) Concerns over the energy crisis, food quality and price helped to revive an interest in urban agriculture. In the 1990s and 2000s, urban agriculture was marginalized by the boom in land development and gentrification. Some local governments responded to citizens requests and started to formalize policies to encourage


Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP

Photo by Pamela Shinn

Environmentalism, urban agriculture and entrepreneurism have encouraged the grass roots permaculture movement and the creation of permaculture guilds. Permaculture (permanent agriculture), is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that are modeled on the relationships found in natural ecosystems. Bill Mollison, who developed the concept, lays out both the theoretical and practical aspects of Permaculture in his 1988 book Permaculture: a Designers’ Manual. Permaculture draws from several disciplines including organic farming, agro forestry, integrated farming, sustainable development, and applied ecology. Permaculture followers strive to provide their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. Permaculture design solutions have been successfully used around the world to maximize food production, cool homes without air conditioning, reorganize communities, reduce pollution, and much more. In the United States, the basic permaculture course (72 hours) is taught on a regular basis and over 100,000 people have graduated from certificate courses in permaculture (Ferguson, 2012).

Many Community Gardeners have formed “communities of interest” such as Permaculture Guilds and Transition Town initiatives around issues of sustainability and community greening. Community greening is the leadership and active participation of community residents who take it upon themselves to build healthier sustainable communities through planning and caring for “socio-ecological spaces” and the associated flora, fauna, and structures. (Tidball & Kransny 2007)

Permaculture employs alternative forms for sustainable economic development referred to as financial permaculture. Financial permaculture strives towards total economic return - where the entire system and its parts are optimized, creating exchange systems that align with principals of a zero waste economy. Financial permaculture encourages environmental stewardship, building communities of purpose and the distribution of surplus material, currency and knowledge in a fair and equitable manner. At the center of Permaculture are three ethics: people care, earth care and fair share. (Dauksha, 2012)

Most notable of the sustainability planning organizations are the Permaculture movement which originated in Australia and the Transitions Towns movement which started in Ireland. Planners and Economic Developers can look to permaculture in any efforts to develop value chain relationships for sustainability planning and sustainable economic development.


What permaculturalists are doing is the most important activity that any group is doing on the planet. We don't know what the details of a truly sustainable future are going to be like, but we need options, we need people experimenting in all kinds of ways and permaculturalists are one of the critical groups doing that. David Suzuki, quoted in HopeDance 2009

Financial permaculture strengthens community development and local economic resilience at the same time as protecting the natural resources that sustain the system. The three systems of financial distribution used by Permaculture groups are reciprocity, redistribution and market economics. To accommodate permaculture


Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP

groups, Urban Planners may amend the zoning ordinance to accommodate reciprocity and redistribution events, where items are traded or given away, but not sold. Financial Permaculture initiatives include: time banks, peer-to-peer financing, “local currency”, “cash mobs”, cooperatives and other businesses that build local resilience. (Ibid)

“Green Energy” may require changes in comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, the building codes and land development regulations. (Hopkins, 2008) Community resilience, as promoted by Transition Town groups and Permaculture Guilds, involves relearning how to provide goods and services that were once commonplace. This involves re-skilling, learning the lost arts of tool/appliance repair, food preservation, or horse drawn farming as well as new skills related to wind and solar power generation.

Economic gardening connects entrepreneurs to resources, encouraging the development of essential infrastructure and providing entrepreneurs with needed information. Economic Developers can implement economic gardening by creating access to tools for permaculture groups. This may include facilitating a business incubator for “green” business which may include a tool-lending library, access to meeting rooms and office services as well as access to industrial kitchens for the production of items such as bottled sauces, preserves, herb and spice mix packaging, organic natural makeup or other artisan produced commodities.

The Urban Agriculture movement encompasses not only Permaculture Guilds and Transition Town Initiatives, but also faith-based organizations, government organizations, nonprofits and academia. These stakeholder groups help fill market demand for local produce both by allowing residents to supplement their diets with locally grown produce and by allowing entrepreneurial community gardeners to sell their fresh products. The Urban Agriculture movement has amplified interest in farmers’ markets, which tend to institute a sense of community and help to rebuild the social capital of the community.

Transition Town initiatives originated from the permaculture program and focus on rebuilding local agriculture and food production, localizing energy production, rediscovering local building materials, and rethinking how we manage waste, all of which build community resilience. Currently, in the United States alone, there are at least 115 official Transition Town Initiatives.(Hopkins, 2008)

Benefits of Urban Agriculture: Community Wellbeing, Environmental Health and Economic Impact

Transition Town initiatives support and educate interested community members in gardening, food preservation, planting of berry bushes and fruit trees. In addition, the initiatives promote local farmers’ markets, using local grown foods in local restaurants, as well as facilitating the creation of local certified kitchens for commercial food processing. Transition initiatives partner with local Builders Associations to promote green construction and use of local materials. Transition initiatives work with local government to create Energy Descent Action Planning, developing alternative “Green Energy” sources for future energy needs.

As communities of interest address new ways of thinking about our food system, urban planners and economic developers need to reconsider urban agricultural activities within their areas of influence. Urban agriculture provides tangible benefits including community wellbeing, environmental health and economic impact. Community wellbeing is, in part, a function of available food choices. A food desert is an area with little or no access to grocery stores that offer fresh and afford


Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP

able foods needed to maintain a healthy diet. In a food desert, food choice is limited to fast food restaurants and convenience stores with limited healthy food choice. Low income neighborhoods are disproportionately food deserts and a lack of reliable transportation further limits access to fresh produce. Lack of fresh and affordable foods are a significant contributor to diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Urban agriculture promotes a healthy lifestyle through the physical/leisure activities involved in gardening which result in a source of cheaper, nutritious food. Healthy lifestyles indirectly reducing costs to local government for health related social services. Urban agriculture increases economic prosperity by creating jobs, developing new local industries, providing access to well-maintained green spaces, fostering a sense of community, building social capital and organizational capacity, and uniting residents around a common purpose. (Mogk et al 2011)

greyfields, which in some cities have been vacant for over 30 years, reduces blight and leaves fairly inexpensive parcels with limited economic potential as there is little or no market demand for new development. Urban agriculture does not rely upon subsidies, meets local demand for fresh food, provides employment, eliminates blight and builds community resilience. Developing urban agriculture on these vacant lots creates immediate economic benefits including the possibility of job creation through grassroots entrepreneurism, as long as outdated regulation does not stand in the way. (Ibid) The economic benefits of urban agriculture encourage local governments to search for ways to support urban agriculture without compromising on health and safety issues. These efforts generally require three tasks. First, local government needs to address urban agriculture as a component of land use and food policy in their planning processes. Next, as an economic development initiative, local government needs to create, enable or fund community garden programs and urban agriculture organizations. Finally, local government should create zoning and permitting processes that are friendly to urban agriculture. (Mukherji and Morales, 2010).

Urban agriculture also provides significant environmental health benefits to communities. Urban agriculture improves the local environment by removing blight from vacant lots and returning a green landscape to the city’s neighborhoods. (Ibid) Fruit trees help scrub pollution from the air and sequester carbon. Local food production reduces the need for packaging, refrigeration, storage and transportation of food, decreasing energy usage and costs associated with the production of food thus contributing less to the waste stream. Much of the waste stream from urban agriculture is recycling into compost, a raw material for urban agriculture. Properly managed urban agriculture can turn wastewater and byproducts from agriculture activities such as compost into resources to be recycled and used again. (Ibid)

Although urban agriculture is a positive influence for community wellbeing, environmental health and economic revitalization of communities, there are still concerns about agricultural activities that make residents and local governments wary of the practice. Inexperienced Community Gardeners may misuse pesticides and can pose health risk to both themselves and nearby residents. Runoff from stormwater events can carry soils and fertilizers into the rivers and streams, negatively affecting environmental health. And keeping livestock in the city raises the possibility of gnomic diseases – diseases that can be transmitted from mammals and birds to humans, such as avian flu. Neighbors are often concerned about maintaining their quality of life and property values and they worry about stench and vermin resulting from poor agricultural practices.

The economic impacts of urban agriculture include recycling land through the cleanup and re-use of vacant lots which become blighted by becoming dumping grounds for refuse. The cleanup of abandoned lots and


Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP

Proponents of urban agriculture are starting to conflict with current land use and zoning regulations as evolving circumstances affect how communities look at urban agriculture. High profile cases in Florida, Oregon and Quebec against residents who have replaced their front lawns with vegetable gardens are making national headlines. Segments of the electorate question the existence of zoning regulations, the reach or overreach of government, and branding front lawn gardens as “Patriot Gardens”. (Auber 2013)

Regulation: The Beginnings “Land owners’ private property rights and responsibilities are one of the cornerstones of American democracy, on those rights, arguably, sits American capital enterprise. Private property ownership characterizes land use law in the United States. Planners must accommodate the rights of individual property owners, who often protest loudly when public sector policies and regulations limit their control over their property, while protecting the public’s interest”. (Tyler and Ward, 2011)

1818 Plan for Savannah, Georgia, a complex grid with a main axis and interlinking gardens and squares and identifying surrounding agriculture lands.


Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP

American cities experienced epidemics of typhus, yellow fever, cholera that decimated the population. Observers knew that leaking cesspools, privy vaults of human waste, and streets piled high with rotting garbage, animal waste, and dead horses were a cause, but it took the 1845 report on “The Sanitary Condition of the Laboring Population of New York’ and other reports to demonstrate the direct relationship between filthy living conditions and disease. (APA, 2006)

Zoning laws, derived from 19th century German zoning laws, arrived in the early 20th century when municipalities found nuisance laws were unable to keep up with land use conflicts that were emerging with the new rapid growth of cities. In response, municipalities began to pass single-use or “Euclidian” zoning laws that divided different land uses into physically distinct zones, thereby segregating incompatible land uses from one another.

In the 1800s, sanitary commissions were established to clean up urban environments with the hope of arresting epidemics of infectious diseases. Sanitation engineers worked to remove garbage and horse droppings; create potable water systems, wastewater and stormwater systems; and set standards for tenement housing. These new functions of city administration were based on research and best practices linking planning and public health, making them the original urban planners. (Coburn, 2011)

In the 1920s, the U.S. Department of Commerce produced the Standard Zoning Enabling Act Model Zoning enabling legislation, which laid the foundation for zoning laws in most of the country. Since the 1950s, zoning districts been defined in terms of land use, with various types of residential districts, commercial districts, and industrial districts. Over the years many communities added agricultural districts, conservation districts, and institutional districts as well is mixed use districts. (APA 2006)

Photo by Pamela Shinn

Reports on American cities between 1864 and 1923 indicated that infrastructure improvements combined with treatment of water borne bacteria suggested a reduction in death rates from environmentally related diseases (Ibid). These U.S. public health service studies also documented that pellagra, a dietary deficiency disease, was driven by social disparities in access to healthy food as determined by wages, access to markets selling fresh produce, and ownership of garden plots (Ibid). By the 19th century, government policies and court cases began to coalesce into a body of land use laws. New Orleans prohibited property owners from building slaughterhouses in the city and Washington D.C. placed height limitations on buildings to make the top floor structures accessible for firemen with ladders. City administrators needed tools, and zoning emerged as a powerful tool for administration of public health. (Ibid)

Zoning laws reflect an interest in protecting the value of private investment by separating incompatible land uses and protecting public health. The landmark 1926 Supreme Court case Village of Euclid v. Ambler Real Estate, after which Euclidian zoning was named, was characterized as promoting public health and justified zoning as not only to protected property values but to promote the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare through zoning land in the public interest.


Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP

As modern sewage and sanitation systems were instituted, city planners increasingly began to discourage farming within city limits, relegating food production to the outlying rural and suburban areas. The introduction of paved roads pushed agricultural production further out of the city and technology advances in irrigation techniques pulled agricultural production into the country (Voigt, 2011).

which are not permitted at all. (APA, 2006) Performance standards include “Zoning Intensity and Density Standards” which regulate the overall intensity of development and may include one or more standards such as maximum density, maximum lot size, and maximum floor area ratio. Performance standards also include “Dimension Standards” which address the bulk and scale of development and may include maximum height, various setbacks, maximum building size, building and impervious surface coverage. (Ibid)

All states have planning and zoning enabling legislation. State enabling legislation may require local governments to adopt a comprehensive land use plan. These plans set out goals, objectives and policies that are supposed to guide the local government when drafting zoning regulations and making land use decisions. The zoning ordinance is the tool by which a local government implements its comprehensive plan.

Performance standards can only be varied from by obtaining a “Zoning Variance”. Both Conditional Use Permits and Zoning Variances are issued by the Permit Center and decided by the Hearing Examiner. There is a process available to amend the zoning ordinance, including re-zoning portions of the city or county. (Ibid)

Zoning ordinances have two specific functions: First, they regulate the use of a particular property by describing the types of development that are allowable. Second, they control the site dimensions of improvements that can be placed on the property (performance standards) such as height, setbacks, and lot size and density. Primary purpose of zoning regulations is to ensure that adjacent land uses are compatible with one another.

Current Land Regulation Issues for the Urban Agricultural Movement Revising local land use regulations may not be easy. Issues surrounding urban agriculture may include building codes, plumbing codes, public health regulations and multiple levels of government legislation. For example, the Michigan Right to Farm Act preempts local zoning where commercial production of farm products is determined by the court to be permitted by the city. Moreover, the act provides that a farm and farm operations are not nuisances as long as they conform to Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (Mogk et al 2011)

Zoning ordinance general provisions are usually applicable across all zoning districts. A zoning ordinance typically includes a statement of purposes, applicability conditions, definitions, zoning map provisions, and administrative provisions.

Revising regulations to encourage urban agriculture should be comprehensive in nature and involve stakeholders from all the local governments divisions, the health department, university agricultural extension and state agencies. An extensive public involvement process is often a prudent path to follow.

Each separate zoning district has a specific “Zoning Use Standard” which identifies the land uses and restrictions or limitations specific to each permitted use for each zoning district. For each zone there are “Allowed Uses” which do not need special approval; “Conditional Uses”, that can be done only with a Conditional Use Permit, and are subject to the conditions of approval of that permit; and “Prohibited Uses”

The comprehensive plan is the acknowledged state


Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP


ment of a local government for future development and conservation. The comprehensive plan can contain an agricultural element which typically inventories agricultural assets and identifies conflicts between land uses. (APA, 2006) Because the Comprehensive Plan is where local government identifies the policies and guidelines it seeks to implement through it zoning code, it is important starting point for a community that is committed to encourage urban agriculture. An amended Comprehensive Plan can identify the health, environmental, and economic benefits that local government is hoping to gain from encouraging urban agriculture.

Zoning promotes desired outcomes. The desired outcomes of urban agriculture can include a range of activities, such as subsistence food production on a residential lot for personal use, community gardens on a church property for a nonprofit food pantry, or a small commercial permaculture activity located on property zoned for this use. Local government must consider issues associated with these scale and degree of commercialization involved in these outcomes when revising zoning ordinances. (Mogk et al 2011) Some zoning ordinances may not mention whether any agricultural activities are permitted or prohibited. Local zoning officials are often charged with enforcing ordinances written at a time when urban agriculture was not a common use of land and conflicts with Community Gardeners can result. Keeping zoning ordinances current, allow local governments to effectively coordinate when land uses among neighboring landholders conflict and work out community conflicts before they occur. The zoning ordinance is the principal tool to address any issues associated with urban agriculture. (Ibid)

The comprehensive plan map is a spatial depiction of future land-uses; the plan’s policies may determine when such land uses are allowed, but the zoning map makes the decision operative. Zoning is for the shortterm. Land should not be prematurely zoned for long-term intended uses. (Ibid) Comprehensive plan maps are typically quite general, with their application to individual parcels being less specific. Zoning maps must be specific in order to perform a regulatory function. One should avoid overlapping purposes between zoning maps and comprehensive plan maps. Land use policy and zoning regulation should be separate and clearly distinguishable functions (Ibid).

Local government is being pushed toward regulatory revision by advocates of urban agriculture and pulled into urban agriculture by the need for new forms of economic growth at whatever the scale. Local governments, such as Madison, Wisconsin, have undertaken a complete overhaul of their comprehensive plan zoning ordinance to promote food production and permit agricultural uses. Other cities like Cleveland, Ohio; Bloomington, Indiana; Seattle, Washington; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania adopted amendments to their existing codes. (Ibid) Widespread variation in zoning codes makes it hard to generalize about how local zoning regulations impede urban agriculture. Urban agriculture is tied to the local ecosystem and zoning regulations required for stormwater in Kansas differ from those required in Florida. There is no one size fits

A simple goal for an agricultural or urban agricultural element of the Comprehensive Plan might be something like this: “To encourage the use of urban agriculture to increase the community’s access to healthy, local, and affordable foods.” Others goals could include encouraging agriculture based business or encouraging the recycling of underutilized and vacant land. An objective supporting a goal could include encouraging grayfield and brownfield recycling through urban agriculture. Policies and actions supporting an objective could include adopting zoning regulations that state that urban agriculture should include the husbandry of fruits, vegetables, flowers, nuts, the as well as fish, fowl, animals, and like products.


Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP

all, generic urban agriculture model zoning ordinance.

fruits, nuts, flowers, or seedlings when the intent of the ordinance was to allow fruits, nuts, flowers, or seedlings as well as vegetables. (Ibid)

Existing zoning regulations may conflict with urban agricultural uses. Landscape regulations may restrict the growing of tall crops such as wheat or corn. Grass height and weed regulations that may interfere with urban agriculture should either exclude urban agricultural uses or stipulate that landscaping associated with urban agriculture is in substantial compliance with the landscape ordinance. (Ibid)

Urban Agricultural activities can be incorporated into a zoning ordinance in a variety of ways. Some local governments have districts that are zoned “agricultural districts.� A separate agricultural or urban agricultural district allows intensive urban agriculture under specific conditions. Alternatively, a local government can incorporate urban agriculture as a use or a set of uses that are permitted, conditional, or forbidden, depending on individual zoning district. Both approaches have merit, and they are not mutually exclusive.

As previously mentioned, community concerns associated with urban agriculture include aesthetic preferences, worries over property value, and more traditional nuisances such as odors. Zoning regulations are well suited to address these concerns because they are designated to regulate competing land uses and can be a starting point for local government looking to urban agriculture for economic development.

The creation of an agricultural use standard is only effective if it is then specified as a permitted primary and accessory use in a number of zoning districts. By allowing urban agriculture as a use in most zoning districts, a local government can make its health, environment, and economic benefits open to a greater number of residents (Ibid).

The purpose of the zoning ordinance is to implements the goals of the comprehensive plan. The writing of the ordinance can provide a comprehensible definition of urban agriculture as a separate land use district, a clearly defined use category, allow urban agriculture as the primary and accessory use in a wide range of zoning districts and allow urban agriculture as a permitted home occupation. (Voigt, 2011) A detailed definitions section in the zoning ordinance ensures a favorable legal atmosphere for the Community Gardener by reducing the time, risks, and costs involved in being compliant with the ordinance. Without clear definitions, the type, function, profitability, and visibility of urban agriculture is limited. The definitions section of a zoning ordinance requires careful consideration, as those who write the ordinance are not those who enforce the ordinance, and this can have unforeseen consequences. If an ordinance specifies that vegetables may be grown in a district, code enforcement could narrowly interpret the ordinance and prohibit the Community Gardener from growing


An agricultural use standard is effective in supporting widespread urban agriculture because of the nature and diversity of urban agriculture’s potential locations and forms. Urban agriculture can be successful on sites of any size or shape, whether scattered or contiguous, making it one of the few productive land uses not requiring land assembly (Mogk et al 2011). Density, intensity and dimensional standards have a large impact on agricultural activities. A local government should consider whether to include any of the following requirements: yard size requirements, especially for raising animals; setback requirements; farm technique requirements such as use of mechanical tools, hand tools, pesticide use; times of operation; accessory structure design requirements, such as hoop houses, chicken coops and greenhouses; permit requirements; and complaint procedure requirements. (Voigt, 2011)

Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP

Zoning ordinances can set up barriers to urban agriculture in two ways: first by having an outright ban in some zones on agriculture as a primary use, and second by designating agriculture as a conditional primary use in some zoning districts. A primary use is an activity or combination of activities of foremost importance on the site, such as the purposes for which the land or structures are intended, designed, or ordinarily used. A site may have more than one primary use and a code may have additional language that makes it clear a single site can have multiple primary uses.

Limitations on raising animals in urban areas are among the most common zoning regulations that impact urban agriculture. These restrictions can range from determining what is a pet and what is livestock, to a limit on the type, number and sex of livestock (rooster bans), to where livestock may be slaughtered, to an outright ban on keeping livestock in certain zones (Ibid). Clarification is important in defining what type of animals, birds and fish are allowed to be raised and regulation should be specific to humane rearing methods. The term ‘farm animal’ is of little use to a code enforcement officer, who could narrowly interpret the ordinance. The difference between household pets, exotic pets and livestock requires specificity. Is a miniature horse or potbelly pig a household pet, exotic pet or livestock? In Florida, a peacock or rooster might not be considered an exotic pet but may be banned as a nuisance in residential areas because of their loud mating call. A zoning ordinance in which a standard residential lot may allow no more than six ducks, rabbits and or chickens but ban larger animals demonstrates one way zoning codes can restrict raising livestock. (Ibid)

Whether agriculture is allowed as a primary use may vary according the structure of the zoning districts within a residential land use. By banning agriculture as a primary use outright and defining agriculture in a relatively broad manner, a zoning code can restrict community gardeners from a variety of urban agricultural activities. (Ibid) Both homeowners and renters are generally allowed to grow their own vegetables, fruit, and flowers in their backyards, side yards and containers for personal use. It is reasonable that for a vacant lot to qualify as a household garden accessory use, it must be owned or leased by the person wishing to cultivate it and adjacent to other property also owned or leased and occupied by that person. (Mogk et al 2011)

In areas not zoned as residential, a number of restrictions apply to keeping poultry, animals or fish. Regulations should be detailed but clear such as: Residents have to keep an area such as a pen or shelter that provides 25 square ft. per fowl and the area must be fifty feet from any building used for dwelling purposes. These areas must be cleaned every day, and roosters are banned altogether. Another option is to set out performance standards in tables which include restrictions and setbacks, requirements for and size of structures, etc. by species. Alternatively some of the agriculture design standards can be set by reference to other regulations. The Michigan Department of Agriculture promulgates Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMP) which may be used by Michigan local governments as the zoning standard.

Some local government limit the use of using whole plots of land for agricultural purposes by restricting agriculture as a primary use in certain zoning districts. By doing so, local government ends up prohibiting activities such as a soup kitchen or faith based food pantry from using a plot of land for an organizational or community garden, delivering agriculture-based educational programs, and selling produce from a farm stand. (Voigt, 2011) Although uncommon, an Urban Gardner may request to change the primary use of a plot of land to agricultural use, by “down zoning” to agriculture if frustrated by current zoning.


Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP

Soil contamination is a common concern, as most urban agriculture on recycled land will have some soil contamination, and some will be so toxic that they are declared brownfields. Risks related to soil contamination include the potential that plants will absorb or transport contaminants, that ground water will become contaminated and that bioaccumulation will occur where livestock is reared. Manure, unlike human waste, is not regulated by any standards and as a result of untreated manure (Mogk et al 2011) can be carried away by storm water . Increased output of waste from agriculture must be anticipated and strategies must be devised which reduce waste or recycle it through composting and water treatment so that environmental public health is not compromised (Ibid).

zoning involves restrictions on the scope of business or commercial activity permitted. Zoning can unintentionally prohibit Urban Gardeners from growing crops and raising animals for sale. Regulations that discourage this kind entrepreneurial urban agriculture often take the form of generic restrictions on retail and commerce activities in certain zones (Voigt, 2011). Local government restricts the type of home occupations that are allowed as an accessory use in residential zones and this may exclude urban agriculture as a home business. While home occupations are permitted in residential districts, the zoning codes generally contain a list of certain occupations that are allowed and a list of other occupations that are prohibited as an accessory use. Many codes list operating standards for all businesses and these standards are not compatible with agricultural activities; such as requiring the home’s business use not be visible from the street and the prohibition of the storage of materials outdoors (Ibid)

To avoid contamination, the zoning ordinance can require the use of raised beds in some districts. While raising beds can solve the problem of contamination, they need sources of topsoil. Composting can be a good way to generate the soil. In some cities, composting on a household basis may be explicitly permitted, but there are strict restrict requirements about what is allowed in yard areas. An ordinance may lay out specific regulations dealing with composting, including size, setbacks and limiting amounts allowed on site.

If community gardeners are allowed to use their fruits, vegetables, flowers, and eggs only for their own personal consumption, there would be little incentive to invest any money or time in large vacant plots, and this would retard urban agriculture as an engine of economic development. A zoning ordinance may limit the sale of produce by excluding agriculture as a commercial activity allowed in other districts as a primary use (Ibid).

Even when agriculture is listed as a conditional use, it can still hinder urban agriculture. A permitted conditional or special use may be compatible the districts permitted uses, but are subject to discretionary review and supplemental standards intended to ensure that the particular proposed use is compatible with other use is permitted in the district. (APA, 2006).

Selling locally grown food to urban residents provides quick, inexpensive access to healthy food in neighborhoods that are food deserts. However the zoning ordinance should state whether the items sold onsite must be produced onsite or can be imported. However, local government must ensure that marketing activities do not conflict current ordinances prohibiting street parking, signs, commercial activities in certain zones such as residential zones (Mogk et al 2011).

A conditional use permit (CUP) may be granted after going through the review process. The process involved with getting a conditional use approval can be burdensome and costly. These hurdles may deter Gardner from going through the review process. (Ibid) Another common problem with urban agriculture


Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP

The primary goal of community gardens is to cultivate food for personal consumption by supplementing other sources of food. However, community gardens may need to sell products grown onsite in order to cover overhead expenses and this may require a conditional use permit in certain zoning districts (Ibid).

comprehensive plan, creating goals and objectives for urban agriculture and revised zoning ordinances to implement the comprehensive plan (Ibid). Zoning regulations can define urban agriculture as separate district and/or a use category in a manner consistent with the comprehensive plan’s goals, and allow urban agriculture as a primary and accessory use in as many zoning districts as it is feasible. Lastly, local governments should allow urban agriculture as a home occupation shall residents is able to sell products from their urban farms. A local government that takes this approach can fully leverage the benefits of urban agriculture has to offer while still accounting for nuisance concerns.

To encourage urban agriculture as a tool for economic revitalization, a zoning ordinance can allow urban agriculture to operate as a home business, and explicitly permit the off or onsite sale of goods produced with reasonable restrictions based upon the recommendations of the health department. This requires adding urban agriculture as an approved home business under the regulations pertaining to residential zoning districts. Doing so would promote widespread urban agriculture by creating a clear, commonly allowed set of uses for Gardner so that uncertainty and bureaucratic barriers to urban agriculture are reduced (Voigt, 2011).

Urban agriculture is not a panacea for all urban problems and there are a variety of issues that need to be addressed before widespread acceptance of urban agriculture. However, the benefits of urban agriculture far outweigh its shortcomings. As urban agriculture is adopted as common practice, local government may no longer need to spend money to secure, clean, and maintain vacant properties because these properties will be returned to a productive sustainable use.

Urban agriculture has a long history in the United States. Many Community Gardeners have formed communities of interest around Urban Agriculture because it can provide increased access to healthy, cheap produce for urban residents, while lowering pollution impacts and transportation and waste products. Urban agriculture also has the potential to aid in the economic revitalization of cities through the utilization of vacant land in potential to use urban agriculture for small business opportunities.

American Planning Association. (2006). Planning and Urban Design Standards. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons Auber, T (2013) City may Fine Florida Couple $500 a Day for Edible Patriot Garden Accessed Feb. 14, 2013

Current land use law dealing with urban agriculture tends to be piecemeal and can leave would-be community gardeners confused and discouraged. To effectively encourage community gardeners, Urban Planners and Economic Developers should take a proactive and comprehensive approach to reforming regulations that apply to urban agriculture. Such an approach would clarify the local governments support for urban agriculture through revisions to its comprehensive plan, creating goals and objectives for urban agriculture and revised zoning ordinances to implement the compre-

Coburn, J. (2011)Reconnecting Urban Planning and Public Health corburn_ch20_planning_health.pdf Accessed Feb 18, 2013 Dauksha, Jennifer (2012) Financial Permaculture, Accessed Jan 27, 2012 Ferguson S. 2012, Taking the Permaculture Path to Community Resilience http// path-community-resilience Accessed Feb 28, 2013


Urban Agriculture, Permaculture and Zoning Issues by Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP

HopeDance. August 20, 2009. "Quotes about Permaculture." HopeDance: Celebrating Transition, Opportunity & Resilience. www.hopedance.org soul-news/996 Accessed April 21, 2012.

Mogk, J., Kwiatkowski, S., Weindorf, M., (2011) Promoting Urban Agriculture as an alternative land use for vacant properties in the city of Detroit: Benefits, Problems and proposals for a Regulatory Framework for Successful Land Use Integration (2011) http://law. Accessed Jan 2013

Hopkins, Rob. 2008. The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience. White River Junction, Vt.: Chelsea Green Publishing.

Voigt, K. Pigs in the Backyard or the Barnyard: Removing Zoning Impediments to Urban Agriculture (2011),tttp:lawdigitalcomons. pp537-566 Accessed Feb 28, 2013

Mollison, Bill. 1988. Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual. Tyalgum, Australia: Tagari Publications. Mukherji, N., Morales, A. Zoning for Urban Agriculture in Zoning Practice, March 2010 Issue 3 American Planning Association

About the Writer

Steinberg, T. (2006) American Green, The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn, WW Norton & Co. New York The Arcadian (2013) The New Victory Garden

Tracy Mullins, MS, AICP attended Lakehead University where he completed simultaneous degrees in Outdoor Recreation, Geography and Tourism Management. After a short time with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Mullins started his career in consulting. Working from Ontario, he provided economic development capacity building services to entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations in both Canada and the United States. Notable projects included the fields of tourism, recreation, telecommunications, historic preservation and small business start-up.

Tidball, K., Krasny, M., 2007. From risk to resilience: What role for community greening and civic ecology in cities? In: Wals, A. (ed). Social Learning Towards a more Sustainable World. Wagengingen Academic Press. pp 149-164. Turner Environmental Law Clinic. (2011). Urban agriculture: a sixteen city survey of urban agriculture practices across the country. Atlanta, Georgia Tyler, N., Ward R.M. (2011) Planning and Community Development, a guide for the 21st Century W.W. Norton New York, New York Kunstler, J. (2005) The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century, Atlantic Monthly press Levenston, M. Accessed Feb 18, 2013 Lynn Sweet, “Rahm Emanuel policy takes page from Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ playbook,” sweet/2011/02/rahm_emanuel_food_policy_takes.html. Accessed on 3/1/11. Accessed March 1, 2013


After being awarded a full scholarship from Eastern Michigan University, Tracy graduated with a Master of Science in Geography, major in Urban Planning. While writing his Master’s thesis, he was retained as a Professor of Geography at the University of Michigan. Mullins subsequently received professional certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners and moved to Florida where he consults in Urban Planning/Design and Sustainable Economic Development. Expertise includes community redevelopment, urban design, tribal planning, tourism development, and professional services business planning.

Sierra Leone Mission Direct by Stephen Taylor surrounding towns and villages. Families fled their homes to escape the destruction, settling in the maze of self-built shacks. Our meeting with the Council was arranged primarily to discuss the potential for Mission Direct to invest in a new housing project within one of Freetown slums. We are the first corporate team that Nigel has brought to Sierra Leone and he was determined to use our expertise.

Sierra Leone Mission Direct At 6am I am woken by the angry blast of a horn, for an instant I'm convinced the lorry in question is going to smash into our hotel. It passes by like the rest and the noise is swallowed by waves of sound that roll through the city, welcome to Sierra Leone.

Attending the meeting was Kurt Lange a planning consultant from GOPA (a German consulting firm employed by the EU) his assistant Abdul Karim and Patrick Beckley from Joule Africa. Kurt and his small team are devising a strategic plan for Freetown and the wider area. This process begins with “knowledge mapping” which involves a detailed survey of the urban and non-urban areas to create a base for a masterplan. Guided by a GIS (Geographic Information System) map, 100’s of square miles of urban chaos will need to be surveyed to build an accurate picture of the existing condition.

I am here with a team from Turley Associates, a Planning and Urban Design firm from the UK. The purpose of our trip is to provide physical, financial and emotional support to the projects of the charity Mission Direct. It is the second annual visit we have made to this great country with our charity partners, inspired by the tireless work of Nigel Hyde (Mission Direct’s Chief Executive) and his team. Mission Direct is a charitable organization with intent on making a difference. Their model is to support people and projects that are already underway in some of the poorest countries in the world. This approach means their work is sustainable as the true energy and passion is provided by local people who wish to improve the lives of themselves and their communities.

Kurt hopes to complete this work over the next 6 years. In the meantime progress has been made on the structure plan which will provide shape and direction for development in Freetown as it rapidly expands. This is a project of great ambition, requiring the drive and determination of a small team under Kurt’s leadership. The population of Freetown is set to double over the next 30 years, adding a sense of urgency to the housing crisis. Clusters of slum housing stretch across the city. These are fragile homes and those in flood plains are frequently swept away during heavy rains. This problem is compounded by deforestation which has further exacerbated flooding issues. Kroo Bay, Freetown’s largest slum, is a dense network of dwellings and narrow streets bisected by open sewers that flow alongside the houses. The image of children and animals wading through the filth has a wretched power.

In Sierra Leone Mission Direct has formed a partnership with the Nehemiah Project in Kissy to the east of Sierra Leone’s Capitol, Freetown. The Nehemiah Project is run by four remarkable men, Prince, William, Leonard and Philemon. As teenagers they were forced to fight for the rebels in the civil war, after their families were brutally murdered. Their stories told with strength and animation filled us with a focussed determination and served as a graphic reminder of the civil war’s dark legacy. Our sense of purpose was tested the following day as we had arranged a meeting with the Freetown Council to discuss the urban legacy of the civil war. The slums of Freetown grew as the rebel forces swept through

The ownership is as complex as the physical form. The Land Registry has burnt down three times in as many


Sierra Leone Mission Direct by Stephen Taylor

years and so verifying land titles is virtually impossible. Socially, areas such as Kroo Bay are also mired in political and tribal battles which only serve to maintain the miserable status quo. To effect meaningful change, development must include community engagement. This has been evidenced by many failed projects where the concerns and aspirations of the local people have been bypassed. In order to establish strong community links we are joined by Patrick Beckley.

Team outside Waterloo Hospital

Photos provided by Steven Taylor

Patrick has a passion for his native country, he has worked with the government and local people for 17 years with a focus on delivering sustainable housing projects. Patrick’s social and political influence will be critical if our new masterplanning project is to succeed. Once the context had been described and understood we began discussing the options for development and rehousing families most at risk. Nigel would like to design and build a pilot project for 10-15 homes. The project would be phased to allow the removal of an equivalent number of houses within the slum area chosen for redevelopment. This removal and rehousing strategy guards against residents renting out the new properties and moving back to their original homes. The funding for this pilot is already in place, the next step is to find a suitable site and residents willing to cooperate with and contribute to a project that could change their lives.

To “enhance” here seems straight forward, to “respect” will take a deeper understanding of how the place functions. At times the task appears Sisyphean, however on leaving the meeting my colleagues and I are charged with a desire to help this project succeed. Our job is to support a team of unique individuals to deliver lasting positive change for people that deserve a chance. Despite the obstacles and constraints, the combined talents and energy of those involved give me great confidence.

The design and planning challenge with this project is to create a contemporary settlement that encompasses the subtle social interplay of the slum. For over a decade the slums have evolved and their residents are intimately connected with the place, for many of the children it is all they know. We are told as designers to “respect and enhance” the environments we work within and the Freetown slums are no different.

We will need stamina and patience to make this work and a fundamental shift in our approach to design and planning. At the time of writing plans for our 2014 trip are already underway. We are all now connected to the country, to its people and to this project and I for one can’t wait to go back.


Go Big Family Friendly Cities: Scorecard Ranking for Top 50 Largest U.S. Cities by Jenny and Scott Ranville

After many years of abandoning our urban cores, U.S. cities are seeing a reversal with people moving back into the city cores. This reversal is being lead by "millennials" and seniors. Our hypothesis is that for a truly vibrant and sustainable city, families with young kids need to be included in this migration. To provide some perspective on the current state of cities and to encourage cities that are better designed for all ages, we have created a city ranking and scorecard. The ranking considers the needs of families and people of all ages from children to older adults which are important criteria often overlooked by other city rankings. Some of these important categories include balance of ages, family support structure, family sized housing, child care, and home care/assisted living.

Scorecard Overview The scorecard is a data driven assessment of the city in 12 categories: Community, Education, Culture, Recreation, Housing, Employment, Cost of Living, Services, Transportation, Safety, Health, and Resources. The data comes from the internet and can be applied to any city in the U.S. Each of the 36 sub-categories is weighted based on how important the topic is to the city's sustainability. There are many definitions of sustainability. For this effort, we are using a triple bottom line approach trying to achieve environmental sustainability, economic/ financial sustainability, and most importantly human sustainability. For us, a city without people (especially children) is not a sustainable city. Thus, having a balance of ages and family support system are given higher weights in the assessment. In addition, affordability, K-12 school quality, unemployment rates, access to grocery stores, low crime rates, and family sized housing are weighted more heavily than access to museums and recreation centers as an example. Environmental metrics are included such as air and water quality, but are given lower weights than the community focused metrics.


Go Big Family Friendly Cities: Scorecard Ranking for Top 50 Largest U.S. Cities by Jenny and Scott Ranville

The scorecard was created to be relative. A calibration step was taken to determine an "average" value for each sub-category. Cities are then evaluated relative to this average. The benefit of this approach can be illustrated in a category such as unemployment rates. In the current economy, most cities have a bad unemployment rate. The relative nature of the scorecard allows a city with an unemployment rate of 8.1% to get a better score than a city with an unemployment rate of 8.9%, even though both rates are not desirable.

City of Raleigh in North Carolina ranked first followed by Oklahoma City, Omaha, Charlotte, and Fort Worth. Raleigh scored well in key areas that make cities family friendly: low crime, low unemployment, high graduation rates, household income to cost of living, family sized housing, family support structure, and ability to accommodate new growth with increase in population. The majority of the top largest U.S. cities are experiencing a decline in the population under age 18. Raleigh is the only city with a 2% or more increase in the child population.

The scorecard also includes a normalization factor. This is an attempt to try to treat small and large cities as equally as possible. The normalization also tries to provide a fair comparison between cities with different average incomes for the residents.

A pivotal housing criteria for families that other ranking studies often overlook is the percent of housing stock with 3 or more bedrooms, Raleigh has a respectable 55% of 3+ bedrooms for its 23% child population. City’s with the largest average household size, Fresno (CA), San Jose (CA), and El Paso (TX), have 56% to 66% housing stock with 3+ bedrooms and boast a high child population of 25% to 30%. Not surprisingly, San Francisco with the lowest child population at 13% has only 28% of housing stock with 3+ bedrooms. Thus, cities with a low percent of 3+ bedrooms will con-

Relative Scorecard Rankings for Top 50 Largest U.S. Cities

The following map of the U.S. shows the results for the 50 most populated cities. Cities are color coded based on their overall score: yellow = excellent, green = above average, blue = average, magenta = below average, and red = poor.


Go Big Family Friendly Cities: Scorecard Ranking for Top 50 Largest U.S. Cities by Jenny and Scott Ranville tinually struggle to attract and retain families raising children. The following are the results and some analysis for how the cities ranked in the 12 main categories

Cost of living is typically a big selling point for families. However, the top cities in the cost of living category are not necessarily the most desirable places to live such as Detroit. Thus, this is a good category to not look at in isolation. Cities strong in cost of living plus in other category areas are favorable for families. The top cities in the transportation category are probably not the first that come to mind given the extensive transit systems in many large cities such as New York. However, commute method is balanced by commute time. New York did great in walkability and the percent of people commuting to work other than in a car by ones self, but took a big hit in points with the highest commute time, by far, of any city at 45 minutes. In general, large cities struggle to score well in this category with long commute times and for many cities a high percent of people still drive in a car by themselves to work. Colorado cities, Denver and Colorado Springs, did well in resources with air and water quality compared to other large cities. We found the results to be interesting living in the Denver region and seeing the smog settling over the city some days. It’s troubling to think of the poor water and air quality in some of the cities such as Philadelphia scoring a 6 for air quality and 1 for water quality out of 100. This is another category that large cities continue to struggle in scoring well compared to small cities. Our data confirmed the national trend that higher income cities have better performing schools. Another HLP project is identifying potential solutions to address weaknesses identified by the Scorecard. “Flip schools� is an example of a toolkit entry. A flip school is one in which the teacher records lectures and students watch these as their homework . The class time is then devoted to working on homework problems, small group discussions,


Go Big Family Friendly Cities: Scorecard Ranking for Top 50 Largest U.S. Cities by Jenny and Scott Ranville

or other higher interactive activities. The flip schools are showing success for both rural schools in which the students have long commute times and also in urban schools in which the students have minimal to no support system at home. Some schools in the Detroit area are using this concept.

About the Writers By: Jenny and Scott Ranville HLP - Consulting/Think Tank/Architecture/Software Development firm specializing in Creating Enlivened, Strong, Sustainable Communities for All Ages.

Cultural opportunities such as museums and places of worship are far more numerous in large cities. This is one category that most cities scored well.

Scott and Jenny Ranville run a consulting/think tank/ architecture/software development company, Human Life Project速. Our mission is to promote sustainable patterns, helping cities design for all ages. Our interpretation of the triple bottom line for urban planning encompasses: environmental sustainability, economic sustainability, and human sustainability. Human sustainability is the most important component for HLP. Jenny has a Masters in Architecture from the University of Michigan. Jenny is an architect, LEED AP, and planning commissioner. Jenny presents at conferences to help encourage cities to become more sustainable and family friendly. Scott has a Masters from the University in Michigan in Electrical Engineering. Today, Scott combines the analytical thinking, research, and software skills to find innovative, data driven, cross-disciplinary solutions to help make cities better places to live. Web Page: Facebook:

Cities scoring well in recreation boast a high percent of parks and recreation centers based on the population. Atlanta and Minneapolis beat other cities with more recreation centers. Seattle in third for this category scoring high in parks, offering residents 400 parks throughout the city. Many of the largest cities did well in the service category such as New York and Miami. Child care and home care/assisted living for older adults plus grocery stores are included for services.

Conclusion The Scorecard is a quick method for evaluating cities in 12 categories. These data driven results can help cities to focus their efforts to improve. Improving the city for all ages, including families with kids, can help to make the city truly sustainable for many years to come.



Larger Context of Urban Poverty and Planning in Indian Cities

had they been provided with legal and correct connections), which results in fatal accidents. For water women have to stand in queues for hours together, and for toilet they have to walk for miles to access limited open space in urban situation. For women particularly the situation is unspeakable in the urban slums, they being subjected to teasing and abuse just because they have to wander far or till it is dark in nights to meet their toilet needs. For housing, poor does not have access to any subsidized form of land, cannot purchase land at market rates though city needs them for services, keep on spending much more in securing their huts every year and seasons. Because of frequent threat of demolition and insecurity of land cannot invest permanently in housing and proper living.

The urban poor in Indian cities and towns continue surviving without or scarce facilities, in unhygienic conditions. They are mostly settled on encroached land or own land and in some cases in rented houses located at low-lying, abandoned or vulnerable, scarcely served pockets of the city. For housing, poor does not have access to any subsidized form of land, even if some have land, cannot build formal house at market rates though city needs them for all informal yet crucial services. These poor inhabitants keep on spending much more in securing their huts from natural as well as manmade calamities in fear of being evicted either from market or administration pressures/forces. Poverty as well as lack of access to affordable housing options or credit prevents them from making permanent/incremental investment towards their housing and for a safe and secured living. Children are raised in such poor families and habitats are most at risk of infant death, low birth-weight, stunted growth; poor adjustment to school, school dropout or illiteracy or totally on search for basic livelihood struggles to share family responsibilities at various levels and is most vulnerable to violence and discrimination that emanate from distorted neighborhoods.

Orissa a state in eastern India suffer from a dearth of all these services in a qualitative as well as quantitative manner and much of it can be attributed to the lack of cohesive and participatory urban planning in the country and inequitable use of the available resources. The historical lack of people led urban planning is not just a technical matter; it is also a matter of local inclusive governance, since the ability of local governments to formulate and implement inclusive public policy can help reduce feudalistic, discriminatory, technology driven urban planning. State of Orissa provides a further challenging situation as is the one of the poorest among major States with 48% people living below the poverty line and with highest 38% (16%SC and 22%ST) marginalized communities. Urban poverty is estimated to be around 42% is much higher than the national average of 30%. About 20 to 30 percentage of the urban population lives in slums. The poverty situation is exacerbated being constantly hit by natural disasters.

Water, sanitation and waste management have a direct bearing on the life of the people and the livability of a habitat is greatly determined by these. It is not unusual to find slums without a single community toilet. Even in those slums where the municipality has constructed some toilets, these have soon broken down or gone to disrepair because of the enormous pressure on them and the lack of proper maintenance due to lack of participation ensured before these constructions for management and maintenance of such toilet blocks. For electricity they are compelled to go for illegal connections (obtained through corrupt means, paying more than the actual price they should have paid



Emergence local empowerment capacity building process through UDRC Alliance- An NGO supporting people led governance mechanism for addressing urban poverty

In early years of 2000 the urban environment of the state of Orissa (India) was disturbing to the extent of being cruel to the urban poor communities with sudden, frequent and erratic eviction drives conducted by the state government. Such acts of the government created a panicky situation in the lives of poor, adding to their woes due to unending devastations caused by natural calamities like Cyclone, draught, floods etc.

clear mandate for supporting the poor-led NGO governance processes rather than GO or NGO led CBO processes. Today this CBO-NGO front/Interface is called as “Mahila Milan”-UDRC-SPARC/NSDF Alliances” is work ing to effectively negotiate with the local government and other external stakeholders in the interest of the city poor. This is an alliance model managed by four partners for their respective roles vis-à-vis what they do best. The Mahila Milan (“Women Together”) is a decentralized network of poor women’s collectives that manages savings and credits of the member women, conducts authentic and mutually acceptable slum surveys as well as plans and executes housing and infrastructure projects. This inter alia creates various practical and viable options for the poor for financing/lending loans for crisis management to business furthering to human resource up-gradation and skill development to housing initiatives through Alliance and its donors support. The National/Odisha/West Bengal Slum Dwellers Federation (N/O/WB SDF)is the network of leaders of the urban poor communities to simultaneously explore development strategies and in negotiating with authorities. This entity is led by leaders with skills of survey enumeration, entrepreneurships, mapping and designing city’s development programs/schemes and the skills of executing mutually acceptable solutions through partnerships and people led processes.

It was imminent for the women of these poor communities getting organized to combat erratic eviction drives through ground level pressure building in form of Mahila Milan by building strong resistance to the biased attitude in actions of the officials dealing with urban issues. Current UDRC team established formal links with national and international level slum dwellers federations/Sparc team of Mumbai sensitized and got these concerned officials exposed to the contemporary national urban poverty debates and actions from poor themselves while simultaneously organizing the Mahila Milan (women together) groups which created a platform for the urban poor to arrive at mutually acceptable, win-win solutions for both the city in general, and the urban poor, in particular. Professionals from the same Sparc Alliance Program who were keen on honoring the federation and Mahila Milan (network of CBOs and women collectives driven organization management processes formed UDRC in 2008 with a

The Urban and Development Resource Centre (UDRC) is a non-profit regional level organization that provides the aforesaid grassroot networks/partners with administrative, financial, documentation and other similar support. It also links them with formal institutions. UDRC serves as a platform and a catalyst for a decentralized, bottom-up, women-led organizational process, rather than a top-down model. This body managed by a team of Trustees and Advisors.


PEOPLE LED MAPPING PROCESSES AS A TOOL FOR BOTTOM – UP PLANNING AND DEEPENNING OF DEMOCREATIC VALUES IN URBAN GOVERNANCE: Experience from eastern Indian cities by Monalisa Mohanty Director, UDRC-SPARC Alliances trace other than neighboring families’ memory lane. This situation made Sephali realize how poor are not accounted for anywhere and children go orphaned and no support system to provide essentials during these crisis days as it leaves everybody in a situation of struggle for their own bread.

The Eastern Indian Regional Alliance is active in about 220 informal settlements in five cities in the state of Odisha, India (Bhubaneshwar, Puri, Cuttack Paradip and Rourkela), and in three cities in the state of West Bengal, India (Kolkata, Kona and Kalyani) managed by UDRC/Mahila Milan /OSDF. The Alliance plans and builds proposals initiated by the aforesaid federations and “Mahila Milan” created and nurtured by the community processes/rituals of saving, survey, mapping and pilots projects for creating decentralized scope for scaling up.

Leadership and ownership from the bottom: Path for empowerment For ages poor live in subhuman conditions for the simple reason that they cannot afford or access city land and housing or basic services so they have to survive with all acceptances that are what Sephali of Paradeep and Nayana of Cuttack were told by community male committees and leaders. Then there was massive super cyclone 2001 that ruined the coastal Odisha state of India hit these communities the most. There were families who washed away without any record or

These leaders of Odisha state cities and towns in late nineties felt thoroughly disillusioned for the fact that; Why is it that poor have no right of citizenship, why poor have no security of life or what are the mechanism of officiating their identity to access social benefits, why middle class people are entrusted the work of taking survey of poor not why not they themselves? Is education deprives your right to access basic human services and identity. Why poors house open for everybody to peep in at their convenience/interest, do they have the similar rights for doing the same surveys/ other exercises for middle income families, would they ever allow them? If these people who intrude into lives and privacy of poor are without any accountability and then when crisis happens where are these people and most importantly they are left with nothing not even their own data. The most crucial realization among these women were , they are not reflected in city maps, their families data also invisible, non-existent in records, the city master plans never get updated or don’t take their habitation formal ones even though 30% of population lives in these shanties or slums or pavements. Today their data also they do not own which made them connect to current UDRC professionals, with realization of first and foremost level of disempowerment and associated poverty generated out of not just lack of financial resource but the whole trap of situation of formal nonexistence in city life, the way systems worked. There was another level of questions disturbed them and wanted to do something about that but with total ownership and leadership of own processes or people.



Why participation, processes and partnerships of the poor crucial to urban governance?

Why do women not have toilet if crime against women is a crime in itself, is deprivation of that is not permitting crime in itself? Being poor, illiterate why is it taken as a basis for deprivation, exclusion, are they not capable of managing their own households (do they need some middle income sections to come and manage their house hold?) If not why this structured mechanism of information being in the hands of others then that becomes whole reason behind their fundamental level of disempowerment.

Experiences of mass mobilization and participatory processes reveal how the relationship between the governors and the governed can change. However, with mass mobilization of the type being suggested, there is likely to be a surge of demand from below, such that the elected representatives and others would be forced to respond to the articulated public opinion of the poor. The power of grassroots community mobilization and participation becomes apparent in defying the cynical manipulation that goes by the name of politics and points the way towards reformed and decentralized governance.

So they decided to connect with President NSDF, A. Jockin along with the help of professionals associated with current UDRC team. These women realized the conventional formats of survey, scheme formulation; planning and implementation need to be changed for larger impact as it cannot suite to their needs and priorities as framed by set of people who have never lived their lives and who have brought them in the process of change. So the Alliance emerged having UDRC/ SPARC as NGO national and regional levels and supporting Peoples agenda in way of Networks of CBOs, women collectives “Mahila Milan and Slum Dwellers Federation” through negotiation mechanism not at a confrontation mode by building capacities of poor financial, skill, partnership and precedence demonstrations for a bottom planning. This realization led them the path for the transformation that are ; •

Federation building process to prepare communities on survey/enumeration/mapping to negotiate, demonstrate and address issues of urban poor - access to land tenure ship, housing, basic facilities and basic health services.

Capacity building/Skill improvisation among women of poor communities.

Partnership is necessary to support this agenda of people led processes through alliances partners - NGO, CBOs, SHGs or women collectives.

Demonstrating or Setting precedents for expression of people led women centered processes

Although city authorities and NGOs regularly discuss the important role the poor have in urban governance, by and large, the poor have been marginalized in the decision making process of development projects that affect them, and are only brought in at the very last stages of implementation. At the same time, when development initiatives fail, it is rarely the process that is questioned, but rather the ability of the poor to organize or manage their resources is put to blame. As a result, the city authorities change their role from simply being providers to working in partnership with communities to set standards for survey, planning, construction, and management. The alliances strategy is to formulate projects that benefit the bottom 30% of the economic pyramid of city dwellers-basically the poorest of the poor who live in informal settlements. The strategy is evolved with the understanding that if it works for the bottom 30% then it should work for rest; obviously the other way round (vice versa) is not true.




A general description of the project, including its key features: “Seeing is believing”- “Learning from each other “as basis for bottom up governance.

HOW CITY’S EQUATION OF POWER CHANGE IN FAVOUR OF POOR through a People led Mapping Process(between poor and city, women and men, private and public partners, organized and unorganized):

There is a critical role of mass movements or federation building in exploiting arrangements of governance to further the cause of the poor. The alliance believes that community based organizations can and will provide the critical pressure from below, to institutions of governance to make them act in the interests of, and be accountable to, the urban poor.

• Building a local leadership building for a larger collective mission for effective partnerships and scope for negotiation.

It is a mission driven work for which many projects and precedent setting activities have helped the processes to be built on the ground with expansion options for the poor, basically at two levels:

• Changing poor s role from beneficiary to primary partner . • through collaborative and solution driven approach through constant engagements .

1. Creating options for poor through internal resources through precedent setting activities. 2. Creating options for poor through government partnerships and other stakeholders.

• By Changing status of poor from encroachers to citizens to change agents/solvers for city .

Photo provided by Monalisa Mohanty

• Political and strategic solution not technical or academic solution.

People led Technical-NonTechnical Aspects



Why map?

Mapping as Tools for Bottom up Urban governance

Every city has its own context, identity to connect their history and existence in city's map was very crucial- one of the lady of Mahila Milan says whenever we see city map for a bus stand or a lane we get that in a city map easily but slums even though there are thousands of families living still we don’t get our settlement name there.

Mapping as Tools for Bottom up Urban governance – How community preparedness, activity and partnerships transform and redefine the relationships between the city and the poor: Mapping Informal Settlements thru an Alliance on Community-led Mapping supported by GLTN-SPARC in Cuttack, Orissa, with Urban Slum dwellers mapping for themselves.

Measuring & Mapping are tools used to find own identity in city maps, so as to identify slum priorities, assign city resources and establish rights.

Photo provided by Monalisa Mohanty

Prioritizing ‘informal’ and ‘vulnerable’ for development/financial support as part of holistic city planning – part of our new national policy How? Creating organized community groupsSavings & Loans Activities Community-led Mappin 2010: the Alliance began digital (GPS) settlement mapping in Cuttack under the GLTN grassroots pilot with the help and guidance of professional team of SPARC/UDRC, Odisha.


PEOPLE LED MAPPING PROCESSES AS A TOOL FOR BOTTOM – UP PLANNING AND DEEPENNING OF DEMOCREATIC VALUES IN URBAN GOVERNANCE: Experience from eastern Indian cities by Monalisa Mohanty Director, UDRC-SPARC Alliances Documents collected by SE team of Hung, Piligrimmer

The maps will show the Location and Boundary of all slums in the city and key features in each slum:

Photo provided by Monalisa Mohanty

• The digital (GPS) location points are then imported to Google Earth by the federation members which are further joined the points to make a complete boundary line by federation and UDRC together. • Selected Slum Profile data is entered into the properties box for each slum boundary. • Simultaneously, slum profile information is filled in by Mahila Milan with help from the community leader of the settlement.

Maps Couresty

Maps Couresty

• What is unique is that federation/ community leaders undertake this activity and create a process of inclusion, as opposed to having technical staff do the same thing.




Mapping with communities democratizing the process of data Step 1: GPS mapping of slum Boundaries . Step 2: Filling out the Slum Survey. Collection- The act of collecting creates organized communities, community ownership of data, Advocacy for rights,Transperancy. Technical/Non-technical outputs for inclusive people planning process Step 3: Importing GPS points to Google Earth Land Tenure status of slums of Cuttack. Step 4: OPEN-SOURCE GIS Step 5: Identifying slum planning issues using GIS Creating a city-wide plan for slums/Selecting and prioritizing slums for upgrading/relocation/redevelopment. Learning Lessons: Challenges

Step 6: Detailed Household and Total Station Surveys for prioritized slums only/Scaling-Up: Slum Mapping to Slum Planning .

Land Tenure status of slums of Cuttack With land Without Land

Total Slum

224 121

No. HH

48292 15877

Local community resistance: Sometimes communities get apprehensive of any positive action taken due to historically there has been a mistrust relationship that through this they might get evicted from the land. But due to federations presence in their own neighborhood slums they could win the trust allowed to do the mapping.


A physical barrier in slums to mapping makes it difficult to get the exact boundary even privacy during boundary process.

Yellow Blue

There was a different view to slum boundaries from community point of view to Government data and consolidating data from different sources; municipality versus our own data is a difficult issue.


PEOPLE LED MAPPING PROCESSES AS A TOOL FOR BOTTOM – UP PLANNING AND DEEPENNING OF DEMOCREATIC VALUES IN URBAN GOVERNANCE: Experience from eastern Indian cities by Monalisa Mohanty Director, UDRC-SPARC Alliances Capacity building ; Mahila Milan upgrades their capacities to map, adding to the experience of doing surveys. Additional organized community groups were formed during the project. The confidence that has come by ‘doing’, allows Mahila Milan to negotiate better with government and professionals. With this data is the opportunity to prioritize the needs of slum dwellers with them at the centre of decision making.

Some of the benefits of working with municipalities and using Technology: • Promoting open-source, low-cost solutions. • Seeking partnerships that maintain participatory processes. • Building relationships with municipalities.

Photo provided by Monalisa Mohanty

Legitimizing community data; March 2012: Cuttack Municipal Corporation officially requests the SPARC alliance to share the slum data (Google Earth and QGIS files) for city use, thus providing legitimacy to community collected data almost two years after the process first began. Scaling-Up: Slum Mapping skill as a mobilization and ownership tool to lead the basic ground for City scale Slum Planning strategy. Learning from UDRC-SPARC ALLIANCE: People driven and Government PILOTS (Mapping to Planning and Execution of Housing and Basic Facility) Case studies Analysis for Mapping to Planning/scale up towards a People led Process and Improved bottom up governance: Two pilots with and without Mapping as tool for Planning and Housing Execution; learning for scale up – success and issues (comparative study for Partnership and participatory Mapping to implementation project and only In-house Government Projects).

CUTTACK PARTICIPATORY SLUM MAPPING PROJECT OUTCOMES Updating slum lists; 2010: 345 slums discovered against the official list of 263 slums.

Photo provided by Monalisa Mohanty

April 2011: SPARC alliance wins the bid to conduct the RAY socio-economic survey in Cuttack. De-mystifying technology by simplifying the data collection process, using open-source software and cost effective methods, the fear of technology is removed and awareness increased.




04.Writing a DPR and tender for the project with conditionalities that ensure community participation at every level.

Case studies:

Survey /Mapping/Land Issues: People led processes in place:

1. Insitu Redevelopment- Nayapally Slum, Bhubaneswar: Housing on due to land Road Resettlement Projects. 2. Cuttack: Issue of evictions organized communities to negotiate for land, approved and cancelled twice.

1. Nayapally with revisions and housing is 70% over, Land issues dealt internally 2. Ringroad resettlement land clearance waiting for more than 5 years.

Planning halted due to land issues even though people process in place:

Secondary Center in Mata Matha Ring road Settlements : The well and its surroundings become useful community spaces for several social activities as well as daily chores. The tree in the center provides the necessary shade crucial to such spaces.

1. Challages dealt: People led/Mapping done in year 2007-08, had land entitlement but varied sizes and dimensions of plots, faulty planning could be addressed because of people process. 2. Choosen under Jnnurm /BSUP project -is ongoing successfully. Agreement signed 2010, 70 % Dwelling Unit construction complete.

Proposed Layout and House Designs – houses clustered around common open spaces and provision made for chullah, garbage depot, livelihoods and livestock, Barandah for social interactions(women specific needs).

The purpose was to demonstrate participatory methods for reaching solutions in housing and planning for settlements in response to eviction and to create a Win-Win Situation. The Cuttack project was stalled due to a land issue. People Processes on ground: 1. 1 . Surveys – household and plane table with communities. 2. 2 .Spatial Analysis to help inform design decisions. Eg. Some households along the Ring Road had livestock which affected design of new houses. 3. 3.Participatory design & planning-typologies worked out are discussed with communities and allowed to change.



Planning Issues - Municipality or ULB Lay out People and technical team; UDRC/SPARC/ASF revised with rounds of consultation Inclusive /People led Planning /Housing Process : In two years (2010 to 2012-13)DPR lay out. Planning revisions and housing started with complete people process ownership for mapping, planning, construction, follow ups with ULBs for permission, revision, progress clearances. Corrective Measures also can be addressed if people process is in place before any project conceived but lack of that creates a situation of structures without or negligible vibrant live or economy and people.

Proposed Ring Road Slum Settlements: Eviction prevented, Rights established /officiated and land identified by poor approved by Government though not released as halted due to litigation. Government and Technocrat driven ProjectsCase studies: 1. Government driven approved DPR or Planning (Ranga Matia). 2. Housing provision(Name of Settlement: R&R (Damana, Gadakan, Chandrasekharpur) In 2000, 2 acre land acquired by BDA for PPP housing, existing slums on land had to be cleared and in 2009 was to be accommodated under BSUP scheme. Unclear Slum families who are to be rehabilitated so only housing structures without people: 1. Ranga matia survey and planning sites:not acceptable to people- negotiation going on after a year of sanction: community resistance to the proposed DPR/Planning . 2. Damana, Gadakan, Chandrasekharpur sites: Government and Technocrat driven processes adopted so Lack of clear understanding among communities about responsibilities/steps regarding community mobilization and surveys for the project.

Photos provided by Monalisa Mohanty

Outcome DUs/Construction started in: April 2010 and on going but there is no inclusion or community ownership or preparedness visible for the Survey /Mapping/Land Issues: 1. People approval and acceptance yet to be achieved. 2. conventional mechanism like other city projects by engineers so no awareness/clarity about families to be accessing this housing project.



Photo provided by Monalisa Mohanty

Photo provided by Monalisa Mohanty

Planning in the context of poverty alleviation and governance in a city should not be visualized as typical mainstream urban projects as it is not just a technical process, nor can be made successful if implemented by typical Contractor/Corporator /bureaucratic/technocrat oriented process. It is more of a socio-political issue demands transformation at socio political level with a deeper democratic impact, accountability and leaderships with strictly bottom up approach. So it demands special skills to see these projects beyond the lenses of physical up-gradation or implementation, special processes in place as homework to access and control the projects cycle. For this paradigm shift also demands processes to be un-bureaucratic, flexible, people led. These are the projects which changes equation of a city from usual mistrust to trust, engineer/ bureaucratic to collective process, making people being seen as encroachers/beneficiary to architects/builders of the city as opposed to conventional city projects.


Planning Healthier Communities in the Heart of Florida by Richard L. Perez, MPA, AICP

Planning Healthier Communities in the Heart of Florida

less physically active. In 2007, approximately 59 percent of all jobs in Polk County were considered sedentary. (Florida Department of Health, 2011) That is to say we have traded in our hammers for computers as We often view the quality of life of communities and its the majority of jobs do not involve substantial physical residents in terms of things like the quality of housing, activity. In our home lives we are spending more time the availability of jobs paying above average wages, the watching movies, social networking, or playing video quantity of parks, educational attainment, air quality, games rather than walking to the park or playing tentraffic congestion and crime. However, community nis. The automobile has dominated the way we travel health does not receive the same attention, especially and we are typically spending more time in traffic each in terms of how healthy we are as individuals. This day than walking or biking. omission has left us at odds with the quality of life we espouse to draw corporate headquarters or high tech industries and the creative class to relocate, invest in our communities, and create jobs. The fact that our quality of life is diminished when our residents are increasingly suffering from chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, or asthma is something we must take seriously. If we are in a state of poor health as a community and as individuals our health care costs increase, the number of sick days we take from work increase, and overall we are less productive as a society. The alarming rate at which adults and children are suffering from chronic diseases related to sedentary lifestyles and poor diet must be addressed. According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Polk County is a large, rapidly urbanizing area with 17 Prevention, the prevalence of adult obesity more than municipalities doubled between 1990 and 2010 and by 2018 half of the nation’s population could be obese. (Begley, 2010) Without getting the recommended 2 hours and 40 Gallup has estimated that the Lakeland-Winter Haven minutes of moderate activity per week, adults are at Metro Area annual medical cost from obesity-related risk of becoming overweight and obese. Data from diseases is $279 million. (Gallup-Healthways, 2011) Florida Department of Health shows that only 30 This impacts our economic well-being and negatively percent of adults in Polk County get the recommended impacts our quality of life. In other words, what is bad amount of weekly moderate activity and about 33 perfor our health is also bad for our economy. cent of Polk’s adults are obese. Both of these statistics rank below the State average and are among the worst Obesity and its associated medical conditions stem of all 67 counties in Florida. (County Health Ranking, from societal changes that have made us more seden- 2012) The causes are many, but in terms of the physical tary. While on average our leisure time has remained environment there are a number of factors that conabout the same, we have become less active at work, tribute to the problem: community design, automobile home, and the way we travel. Technology, both a dependence, school location, limited access to healthy blessing and a curse, has made us more efficient, but food. As is the case throughout much of the nation,


Planning Healthier Communities in the Heart of Florida by Richard L. Perez, MPA, AICP

the dominance of the personal automobile as the most common mode of transportation and a historical market preference for large-lot single family subdivisions are significant contributors. With this type of development pattern and a tendency for school districts to favor the construction of new schools on large tracts of land outside of urban areas, schools today are less accessible to students on foot or by bike. Prior to 1970, fifty percent of elementary school students lived less than two miles from school; by 2000 only about 33 percent lived within this distance. (Safe Routes to School Partnership) Furthermore, the suburban development pattern has become stretched so far out that the children, the disabled and elderly who do not drive or those who cannot afford a car have become transportation disadvantaged with few if any other options to get to the places they need to go. This group is increasingly at risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Senior citizens aged 65 and older are particularly at high risk with 79 percent living in isolated suburban and rural enclaves with no means to get anywhere without a car. (Transportation for America, 2011)

To change the current trends, healthcare administrators, governmental agencies, urban planners, developers, civic organizations, private businesses, engineers, and the public in general must consider these public health issues and begin to work together to find solutions. Our understanding of environmental health with emphasis on physical and social environmental factors such as housing, community development, green space, land use and transportation, as well as the importance of being good stewards of our agricultural lands should be utilized in addressing such community needs. POLK COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FUTURE LAND USE ELEMENT POLICY 2.1251-B2: COORDINATION WITH HEALTH DEPARTMENT a. Polk County shall work with the Polk County Health Department to improve health indicators for Polk County. Under the Healthy Communities Initiative, Polk County will: b. Coordinate with the Polk County Health Department to identify key health indicators which re quire attention and improvement; c. Meet at least biannually with the Polk County Health Department to determine if the indicators, priorities, or strategies to achieve the objectives of this section should change; d. Partner with the Polk County Health Department to develop a “Healthy Community Design” Standard; and e, Incorporate a “Healthy Community Design” Standard into the Land Development Code to include incentives and minimum standards for healthier design.


Planning Healthier Communities in the Heart of Florida by Richard L. Perez, MPA, AICP

Photo provided by Richard Perez

It is not enough to suggest that residents should walk and bike for exercise and eat healthy foods; we also must assist in enabling them to do so by planning and building communities with sidewalks and bike paths, and strategically build parks and grocery stores near neighborhoods. Where feasible, we should encourage and permit fruit and vegetable stands and community gardens in neighborhoods or the commercial corridors located close to neighborhoods, especially for underserved and at-risk communities. Local governments should be encouraged to go the extra mile to ensure that capital projects and public infrastructure such as streets, mass transit service, and parks are offering the opportunity to live healthy lifestyles. Localities must also work with private developers to ensure communities develop that offer people the opportunity to make healthy choices and to age in place.

Photo provided by Richard Perez

Winter Haven Trail Bridge 2

Winter Haven Trail Bridge 1

Many barriers to improving bike-ped mobility exist in Polk County. These photos show the site where a new trail bridge will be constructed in 2013 in the City of Winter Haven. Photos courtesy of the City of Winter Haven.


Polk County land use planners began to study the County’s chronic health issues with the County Health Department in 2005. Steps were taken to develop a comprehensive plan objective dedicated to improving the health of Polk’s communities. Adopted in 2010, the Polk Comprehensive Plan healthy community initiative recognized how community design impacts the public health, quality of life, and sustainability. The adopted policies introduce a comprehensive, formal, and systemic integration of local public health considerations into the community design and development review processes in order to protect and enhance the health of the citizens of Polk County. The adopted Comprehensive Plan language included specific and measureable goal targets that will be used to set priorities and to determine the impact of the policies on chronic health and disease factors. These efforts resulted in the development of a “Healthy Community Checklist” that will be promoted to developers to encourage them to design future communities consistent with healthy community design principles.

Planning Healthier Communities in the Heart of Florida by Richard L. Perez, MPA, AICP

The County also launched the Livable Polk Initiative to work with community partners to develop and implement coordinated land use and transportation strategies to address the many facets of quality of life, including the health of our communities. The intent is to promote best practices that fit the context of Polk County and its many municipalities. This resulted in a community recognition program, the Livable Polk Awards, to recognize private and public sector development for consistency with healthy community design principles in late 2012. Winners received a Board of County Commission proclamation, media coverage and press recognition including Polk Government TV coverage, articles in trade publications, and distinctive on-premise signs and plaques.

as demonstrated by the 2012 designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Lakeland has a bicycle network of over 159 miles of combined bike lanes, trails, sharrows and other facilities. However, there remain challenges that must be overcome to improve public safety for residents that wish to bike and walk. Existing and planned major thoroughfares continue to favor wide multi lane designs for large volumes of high speed automobile traffic that impede the mobility of bicyclists and pedestrians such as Us Highway 92/ Memorial Boulevard and the Bartow Northern Connector Road, currently under construction. However, across the county in the City of Winter Haven plans are underway to address as similar barrier. State Highway 544, a major barrier to the completion of the city’s Chain of Lakes Trail, will be crossed by the first trail bridge in Polk County with funding for construction by the Florida Department of Transportation in 2013. Photo provided by Richard Perez

Along with public safety barriers to active transportation, there is evidence that indicates significant gaps in access to healthy food and places to recreate exist. Polk County is a large mostly rural county. Access to food is an issue on which 46 percent of restaurants are considered fast food and 19 percent of low income households have poor access to grocery stores with healthy food and fresh produce. (County Health Ranking, 2012) ) To address the food deserts, efforts at various levels to promote community gardens, farmers markets, and produce stands are emerging in local government planning policies and development regulations. Recreation deserts, where little to no access to parks, playgrounds, trails, or other recreation facility, also exist throughout many parts of the county. One example is the fast growing Southwest sector of the Lakeland metro area. The southwest Lakeland area is approximately 14,600 acres and is projected for

The City of Lakeland planning staff have followed suit and are currently moving forward this year to adopt comprehensive plan objectives and policies in its future land use element to ensure public health considerations are included in future development plans. The proposed policy framework builds on the principles of existing policies to foster mixed use, compact development and multi-modal transportation to promote active transportation, access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and aging-in-place for a growing senior population. In addition, Lakeland is working diligently to establish itself as a national destination for bicycling


Planning Healthier Communities in the Heart of Florida by Richard L. Perez, MPA, AICP

Photo provided by Richard Perez

significant population growth with more than 4,000 units of residential units planned. (City of Lakeland, 2008) Nowhere in the development area are there public parks, recreation centers, or trails. The closest public recreation facilities are several miles away and only marginal public bus service to the area exists. To change this trend, local governments will have to adopt proactive policies that engage the public rather than acting reactively to market forces.

To expand the effort across the County, the City of Winter Haven Parks and Recreation planners have joined Lakeland and Polk County planners to take a leading role in the Polk Vision: Building a Healthier Polk Community Health Improvement Plan which includes the Health Department, major area hospitals, colleges, the school board, and large employers. (Adams, 2013) The concerted effort has the stated goal of reducing the obesity rate in Polk County to the state average (from 37.6% to 27.2%) and has developed specific strategies towards improving the overall health of the County. One particular strategy aimed towards the 17 local governments located in Polk County is to “increase access to and participate in physical activity for all members of a community”. Two objectives associated with this strategy are “reduce the number of adults who engage in no leisure-time/physical activity” and increase the number of local governments and agencies who pledge to take specific action to promote physical activity. (PolkVision, pg.5, 2013)

Fort Fraser Trail Head

Photo provided by Richard Perez

Photo provided by Richard Perez

The Fort Fraser Trail is a critical multi-modal transportation facility that provides not only an alternative mode of transportation between the Cities of Lakeland and Bartow in Polk County, but an opportunity for recreation.

Winter Haven Trail Head

The Winter Haven Downtown Chain of Lakes Trailhead Park was recognized as a Livable Polk Healthy Community Design project of merit. Courtesy of the City of Winter Haven.

Fort Fraser Trail Bridge


Planning Healthier Communities in the Heart of Florida by Richard L. Perez, MPA, AICP City of Winter Haven (2010) Sidewalk, Pedestrian and Multimodal Infrastructure Access Plan; Winter Haven, Florida - http://www.

What is becoming more apparent is that there are various measures that can be implemented by local governments at various levels of planning and community development, i.e.: comprehensive plan, zoning, land development regulations, capital improvement plans, etc. The goal is to strategically select options that fit the local context. The health, social, and economic consequences of doing nothing are apparent. While understanding that we cannot make people choose to be healthy, we can make a difference by implementing a sound policy framework as part of our community planning programs that:

County Health Ranking; (2012) The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps: A healthier Nation, County by County: - Florida Department of Health Division of Public Health Statistics & Performance Management Community Health Assessment Resource Tool Set (CHARTS), 2011 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index; State of Well-Being (2011). Franklin, TN 37067 Polk County Board of County Commissioners. (2012) Comprehensive Plan Bartow, Florida: id=226&nav=bus&id=478 PolkVision. (2013) Building a Healthier Polk; pgs. 5-6 - http://www.

• Provides more opportunities and access by building sidewalks and bike trails, promoting farmer’s markets, allowing mixed land uses, and building schools that children can walk and bike to; • Removes barriers by retrofitting streets that are unfriendly to pedestrians and bicyclists, permitting seasonal produce stands closer to residential areas and reconnecting isolated communities; and • Fills in gaps by connecting pedestrian and bike pathways strategically locating parks and guiding or incentivizing full-service grocery stores to underserved neighborhood locations. • Collaborate with community partners by engaging the many agencies and stake holders in our communities to become part of the effort.

Safe Routes to School Partnership (2012) -

About the Writer Richard L. Perez, AICP, MPA is a Senior Planner for the City of Lakeland Long Range Planning Division and has more than 10 years experience in community development as well as previously worked for the City of Lake Alfred, City of Eagle Lake, and Polk County Board of County Commissioners. Richard is AICP certified and has extensive experience in long range and comprehensive planning. He also serves as the City of Lakeland’s Bicycle Friendly Community Program Coordinator and was instrumental in getting Lakeland the designation by the League of American Bicyclists. In 2012, Richard led a collaborative effort with local planners and the public health department to produce a comprehensive report for the “Livable Polk Initiative” on healthy community strategies for local governments in Polk County, Florida. He also serves as the Vice Chair for the Heart of Florida (HOF) Section of the American Planning Association Florida Chapter. Richard holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Geography from the University of South Florida and a Masters in Public Administration from Troy University.

By planning a better physical environment we can enable people to make better choices about their health. References Adams, Robin Williams. (2013) Citizens Group, Polk Vision Tackle Cutting Obesity Rate With Countywide Program; The Ledger, Lakeland, Florida - January 9, 2013 Begley, Sharon. (2011) Fat and getting fatter: U.S. obesity rates to soar by 2030: Business & Financial News, Breaking US & International News | Sep 18 2012 City of Lakeland (2008) Southwest Lakeland Sector Plan; Lakeland, Florida –


Brownfield Redevelopment in the Netherlands by Andre Maltsev

Across Netherlands, the presence of derelict land is a subject of concern in many regions. Brownfield redevelopment is a quite complex problem. However, there are much wider aspects that need to be reviewed and implemented to achieve effective results. The most important of them are: the economic, political and social context of brownfields.

Also more important and specific characteristics of brownfields are the utilization costs are connected to the actual end use of the land. For example, recreational land use generally requires a different level of cleanness than industrial land use. Another characteristic is that utilization costs are often hard to predict. Brownfield redevelopment, has higher risks associated with them and in addition to these costs, involves typical financing costs. Another feature of brownfield lands is that they are often situated in developed urban areas. Compared to green field development, brownfield redevelopment can have a variety of effects on neighboring people and businesses over a long period of time.

The redevelopment of brownfields around Europe made quite clear that the problem has been recognized in the most countries. In the Netherlands, urban brownfields are defined as “...areas in towns and cities where in the past industrial activity has taken place, but which have since fallen into disuse (MINISTRY OF HOUSING, 1998)”. In such areas there is often a combination of a weak social and economic structure. The Dutch have more specific issues with brownfields in comparison to other countries. Basically, because the small country has high demand for space in urban regions, there is a policy ‘patchwork quilt’, in which government, the provinces and the municipalities have very similar responsibilities and tasks.


A distinction must be made here between: • economic and social benefits for society at large;


The lands may have the different contamination problems. Therefore a brownfield is not available for immediate use.

• financial benefits for private investors and fiscal benefits for governments;   • reduction of development pressure on greenfield zones; • maintenance of existing jobs and creation of new ones; Commercial benefits The main motivating factor for private investments is the profit that can be earned by just selling the property after remediation.

Beneficial use could involve a combination of the current options: • Residential area • Commercial and industrial land use • Service industry • Recreational facilities

Public fiscal benefits The positive financial effects for government of the brownfield redevelopment include:


• renewal of the tax base of vacant lands

Brownfield redevelopment first involves all the usual costs relating to redevelopment. It also faces special costs due to contamination and revising planning.

• increased utilization of public services • benefits from development charges


Brownfield Redevelopment in the Netherlands by Andre Maltsev

Dutch National and Regional Policy

World War, the subsequent relocation and modernization of the docks left large areas of derelict land in the city and high unemployment, especially among unskilled workers. At the same time, there was a large outflow of people to the growing suburbs and a large inflow of immigrants from former Dutch colonies. By the mid-1990s, more than 20 per cent of Rotterdam’s workers and 40 per cent of its districts were of nonDutch origin. By 2005, unemployment in the city was above 10 per cent. Rotterdam has had to face many of the same challenges as other big industrial cities around Europe. It is a municipality and is run by its city council, which is responsible for the economic, spatial and social development of the city. The main strategy of a municipality, for the last several years, has been to build on the strength of its port and logistics sector. They are also trying to modify the city’s economy and make it an attractive location for ‘high technology industries’ and for ‘high knowledge workers’. Transport has been an important element in Rotterdam’s renaissance. A new tramline was built in advance of the development of Kop van Zuid to assist the area’s brownfield regeneration and promote the use of public transport, and a further major investment was made in the Erasmus Bridge over the Maas.

Photo by Andrey Maltsev

The Netherlands is a small, low-lying and compactly populated country, with a population of 16.3 million. The country has a reputation for being neat and tidy. Furthermore, a national priority, for last period, has been changed to upgrade the centers of the main cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht) in the belief that they act as the economic engine for their city-regions.

Fig.1 Rotterdam. Rotterdam City Citycenter. Center


Kop van Zuid

Rotterdam, located in the delta of the Rhine and the Maas, is by far the largest port in Europe. Although all terminals have moved out of the city to land a few miles away from the sea, it still keeps its huge national and international importance. The port provides 10 per cent of the GDP of the Netherlands. Rotterdam has a population of 600,000. There are other large towns and cities nearby (The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht), and together (including Rotterdam) these are referred to as the Randstad (‘Ring City’), an population of around 7.5 million people, or nearly half the country’s population. Although the port and city center were rebuilt after massive bomb damage during the Second

Kop van Zuid is a small peninsula, about 130 hectares and city with same name, on the bank of the River Maas directly opposite Rotterdam. In previous times it used to be an important terminal for ocean liners, a big shipyard with several docks. But later, the economic situation changed and the port, together with the docks and shipyard, was closed. Kop van Zuid became an abandoned town. It was isolated, cut off from the river by warehouses, and poorly connected to the city center. Also there is high unemployment level, and this region used to have a very poor image, which made it difficult to attract private investment or people with choice to live there.


Brownfield Redevelopment in the Netherlands by Andre Maltsev

the city to existing residents of Rotterdam. Photo by Andrey Maltsev

Furthermore, in spite of previous housing renovation program in Kop van Zuid, there were high unemployment and social exclusion needed to be solved. The Kop van Zuid master plan renovation was intended to address all these issues, by; • linking Kop van Zuid directly to the city center of Rotterdam – by building Erasmus Bridge, a new metro station and the city’s high quality tram service;

Fig.2 Kop van Zuid (Southern Headland) Kop van Zuid (Southern Headland)

There were some plans to redevelop the area for social housing, but in the end of 1980s, under a new master plan, Kop van Zuid was seen as a key to unlocking great potential for the whole region. It was developed as a high technology area, with eye-catching buildings and a nice looking waterfront, and connected directly to the Rotterdam. This not only changed Rotterdam’s image, but also created new technology and developments in the brownfield. Nowadays, Kop van Zuid has become a successful mixed-use area with residential, commercial, educational and leisure uses. It is estimated that around 15,000 people will be living in Kop van Zuid and 18,000 working there by 2014. A number of Kop van Zuid new buildings have been designed by world-famous architects. The spectacular Erasmus Bridge, a new metro station and a new tramline join the area – and areas further to the south – to the city Centre. Kop van Zuid is not only a successful regeneration scheme in its own right, but it has indeed also helped to change the image of Rotterdam – from an industrial port to ‘Manhattan on the Maas’ – and to attract in the young professional workers who are needed to diversify and modernize the city’s economy.

• creating many places for lively and attractive mixed-use with offices, residential, leisure and educational facilities in Kop van Zuid;

Photo by Andrey Maltsev

• creating high quality design in all buildings.

Brownfield regeneration in Kop van Zuid.

Actions and achievements

The plan for redeveloping of Kop van Zuid is to create a line of modern buildings that will contribute to increasing the population and create new jobs in the area. For young people, two colleges were built with capacity for 10,000 students. The plan for redevelopment provided for 5,300 residential units and 400,000 square meters of offices. The redevelopment of Kop van Zuid as a high quality mixed-use area close to the

Regeneration of Kop van Zuid

The scheme to de-brownfield Kop van Zuid, was both complex and ambitious. It had big social and economic goals. Above all, it aimed to change not only the image of the city to business investors and enterprising people, but also to change the image of a large part of


Brownfield Redevelopment in the Netherlands by Andre Maltsev

city center is playing an important part in economy of Rotterdam. Look back in the 1980s, the city feared that Rotterdam could never compete with Amsterdam or The Hague as an office center. However, this has now started to happen. Unemployment fell from 17 percent in the early 1990s to 6 percent in 2010. The population of the city is slowly rising again. Much of the new employment has been created in Kop van Zuid are in organizations that have relocated there from other parts of the city. New housing shares a great part in that success, and it has helped in attracting highly qualified people with good jobs to live in the city. Many of the residents of the area come from outside the region. Furthermore, as life in Amsterdam has become more expensive, so Rotterdam, with its new image, is becoming the place for living of the qualified employees. This is exactly what is required to change in that region as not just a port but also a dynamic city for the 21st century. Also, the underground train lines and the pedestrian links to the residential areas have been improved. And finally, between Kop van Zuid and Rotterdam there is a system of free water taxis which cross the river. Kop van Zuid is now only a few minutes from the city center. The high quality of the public places, direct pedestrian ways and high quality surfaces, has helped to attract people with higher incomes to live in the area. This attraction is helping to rebalance the region’s demographic profile. Netherlands government is doing intervention in the land market. This small article has analyzed some benefits of brownfield redevelopment, which may be regarded as an important aspect of planning inside country. From this article, we have seen that brownfield redevelopment may yield sub stantial external benefits. Understanding, that brownfield redevelopment is very valuable part of strategy to preserve green field land when planning cities and suburb in modern world.

Photo by Andrey Maltsev

2. Prof. Dr. Nico Groenendijk, School of Business, Public Administration and Technology, Financing Techniques for Brownfield Regeneration 3. Edwin Buitelaar PBL –Netherlands Environnemtal Assesment Agency, Amsterdam School of Real Estate, University of Amsterdam. Transparency of land markets: not only a matter of market outcomes Experiences from the Netherlands

The Erasmus Bridge

About the Writer Andre Maltsev works in IT Technology and is a freelance photographer/journalist from Almere, Netherlands. Born in Russia, Andrea’s career has taken him from Russia, to working in Her Majesty’s service for the British Embassy, to Italy to where he is located today in the Netherlands. Currently Andre is also the magazines European Consultant. You can view many of Andre Maltsev’s works at ryzhik/

References: 1. Rosenthal, S. S. and Strange, W. C. (2004). Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies. In Henderson V. J. and Thisse, J. F. (eds.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Volume 4. Amsterdam: North-Holland/Elsevier.



Luke entered my life about three years ago. He is not my first dog, but he is the first to share a place in my work as well as my home and family. It turns out that my “intern”, as I refer to him, has a good deal to teach me about planning and creating vibrant, healthy, and desirable communities. Photo by Michael Stumpf

Greetings It is late October and we are in the City of Marquette, Michigan. I am here to work on the City’s economic development plan, and will spend the week meeting with businesses and stakeholders to gather their observa-tions and opinions. But for the moment we are out walking the streets of downtown. A few minutes ago I spoke with an elderly gentleman going into a bank. He is a lifelong res-ident of the community and gave me a long history of the businesses that once lined Washington Street, how bad things got to be, and how pleased he is to see the changes that have been occurring over the past several years. One street over a young woman coming out of the food co-op tells me about the wonderful trail system, what a catalyst the co-op has been for improving the quality of restaurants, and how much she would like to see more support for local businesses and entrepreneurs. Twice a day during our stay we will spend an hour walking through the area. In the process I will have con-versations with perhaps twenty people who might rarely be identified to participate in a focus group or show up at a public workshop. I will gather some great information from them. But I am not the reason they stop to talk. They want to meet Luke. People are drawn to dogs. But now the reaction is an emotional one, and one that would not have been all that common a generation ago. Many people who would walk right past another human will stop to pet a dog, opening up the opportunity for a con-versation.

A dog enjoys a moment with its family in downtown Hood River, Oregon.

that common a generation ago. Many people who would walk right past another human will stop to pet a dog, opening up the opportunity for a con-versation. The New American Dog I am fortunate to have my own con-sulting practice and have the ability to bring my dogs to work with me, whether in the office or on the road. Luke accompanies me when I travel to work on projects across the continent. He has already been to 36 states and this year made his first trip into Canada. A purebred mutt, Luke has the intelligence of his border col-lie mother and the gregariousness of his Labrador retriever father; a perfect combination for a professional planner-dog. More and more people are bringing their dogs to work. About one in five workplaces are dog-friendly, up from 17 percent just five years ago. An estimated three percent of pet parents are taking their dogs to work. Since 1999 there has been an annual Take Your Dog to Work Day to help more reluctant workplaces explore the idea. (In 2013 it will be held on Friday, June 21, in case you want to run that one past your boss.)

People are drawn to dogs. But now the reaction is an emotional one, and one that would not have been all



Why is there this interest? A look at the numbers only partially explains it. In 2012 there were 78.2 million dogs in 46.3 million U.S. households, ac-cording to the American Pet Products Association. In other words, 39 per-cent of U.S. households have at least one dog, and the percentage of households with dogs has continued to rise even through the recession. But what is more important is the way in which we relate to our dogs. The animal that was once relegated to the doghouse and fed scraps is now embraced as a member of the family. (In fact, there are 4 million more dogs than there are children 18 and younger in the U.S.) They sleep in bed with us, eat a grain-free or even organic food, and are referred to as our children and granddogs. We will spend $52 billion on our pets this year.

But on this particular trip I will not be disappointed. Passing through the downtown I spy a family with two golden retrievers sitting at an outdoor table. We soon joined them at a place called Ali’s Deli. Seeing me standing with Luke in the doorway trying to read the menu, the owner beckons me in. “Just let me know what you want” she says, “and I will bring it out to you.” We are soon seated at a table in the sunlight enjoying a wonderful sandwich piled ridiculously high with meat. It is certainly more than I can eat. Luke’s tail wags in anticipation. I will learn that Ali’s is not the only dog-friendly establishment in town. Several downtown merchants invite dogs into their stores and sell treats or other merchandise for dogs. There are water bowls outside of shop doors. The town even hosts dog-themed events during the summer months. Tourism is important to the local economy and people here understand an important fact; last year almost a quarter of owners took their dog with them when traveling by car for at least two nights. By making it clear that dogs are welcome, the businesses in downtown Sisters are making it easy for visitors to stop, dine, and browse their stores.

As planners we have probably already noticed the growing number of pet bakeries, spas, and hotels cropping up in our communities. While this trend will continue on its own, we can – and should – do more to accommodate dogs in our built environment. There is much to be gained. A Bowl of Water and a Bite to Eat

Photo by Michael Stumpf

Luke and I tend to seek out opportu-nities to go hiking whether traveling for work or pleasure. It was a warm day in July when we pulled into Sisters, Oregon around lunchtime. We spent the morning in dense pine forests outside of town, hiking along roaring streams to some of the waterfalls for which the Cascade Range is named. I am hungry now and while I crave a meal as special as the place, I am resigned to stopping at a driveup window. It is too warm to leave Luke in the car.



How Might We Respond?

Before our trip is over I will have to contrast my experience in Sisters with another Oregon community. Also a tourist community, its businesses included a pet store and a dog bakery. Its businesses also put out water bowls and catered to the people walking dogs up and down the street. There was one small greenspace in the downtown, a city park, and at the entrance stood a red and white sign proclaiming “no dogs allowed”. It seems that somebody has not gotten the message.

As planners we have to ask how we can use this information to create better communities. To begin with, since dog owners are among the most prolific walkers we need to enable them to walk their dogs without barriers or hindrances that we are sometimes responsible for creating. More proactively, we can provide destinations in our downtown and neighborhood commercial districts, adding to the street life and reinforc-ing the notion of walking, instead of driving to neighborhood businesses.

Walking the Dog Accommodating dogs can be a strat-egy to help in creating great places anywhere, not just in tourismdependent communities. Dogs can help us to attain at least two of our goals – economic vitality and walkability. The secret is to tap into their unique behavior, and the ways they influence their human companions. One of the first words a puppy will learn is “walk”. Research has shown that people with dogs walk more of-ten than those who do not have dogs. A Michigan study found that about two-thirds of dog owners took their pets for regular walks. In California, dog owners were about 60 percent more likely to walk for leisure than people who owned a cat or no pet at all. Researchers at the University of Western Australia found that seven in every ten adult dog owners achieved 150 minutes of physical exercise per week, compared with only four in every ten non-owners. And finally, a study in the United Kingdom esti-mated that the average person will walk nearly 24,000 miles during their dedicated dog walkers. Dog owners were more likely than non-owners to walk regardless of the type of urban environment in which they lived, and most people preferred to walk their dog within their own neighborhood. The obstacles to walking were much the same as for people without dogs, but access to public open space and dog-accessible environments are im-portant considerations.

Photo by Michael Stumpf

Community dog parks are a great resource, but owners will not always have the time to take their dogs to one, which usually involves a trip by automobile. Since most walks occur in the neighborhood, it stands to reason that neighborhood parks and path systems

Visitors to downtown Banff, Alberta are walking their dog.

should allow leashed dogs as a measure to promote walking. The experience can be improved by providing bags and trash cans for litter removal. Most drinking fountain manufacturers offer models with dog accessible bowls – a nice touch for the comfort and safety of our walking companions.



Within traditional business districts it may be even more important to en-sure that there is a grassy space for dogs who may be visiting or working with their, and the resources for their guardians to clean up after their pets. Ordinances should allow dogs to accompany their owners in outdoor seating areas. Businesses can reinforce the image of the district as a pet-friendly destination through sim-ple actions like setting out a water bowl, providing a hitching post, or allowing dogs into their shops. More than likely some businesses in the district already have a dog of their own in the shop ready to greet cus-tomers.

160,000 pedestrians on the street during the course of a year, creating street life that might encourage others to visit. And those dog walkers themselves might become customers, stopping off at a coffee shop or bakery in the morning, or running an errand in the evening. What do dogs offer? Healthy residents, walkable neighborhoods, and vibrant communities. Maybe it is time we let our communities go to the dogs. That’s a bone to chew on.

At the district level, find ways to in-corporate dogs into events and promotions, such as encouraging people to dress their pets and walk in the Fourth of July Parade, or hosting an adoption event at the farmer’s market. New events might include a Dog Days celebration, dog talent shows, or wiener dog races. These events reinforce the idea of the dis-trict as a destination for dogs.

About the Writer

Is this a strategy that can really make a difference? Consider an estimate of the potential impact. North Avenue is a neighborhood commercial district in the early 20th century suburb of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. The street features a number of good dining places, delis and coffee shops, and assorted other businesses. Surround-ed by a dense neighborhood of single family homes, two-flats, and scattered larger buildings, there are more than 16,000 households within one mile of the district. It should be a very pedestrian-oriented corridor, but for a variety of reasons it is not.

Michael Stumpf is a principal with Place Dynamics LLC, providing economic devel-opment, market research, and planning services across the United States and Can-ada. Luke (Alpha Planner) and Lizzy (Planner I) are rescues. According to the American Humane Society, approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 mil-lion are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats). To contact the author: michael.stumpf@placedy-

Becoming dog-friendly is not going to solve all of the district’s problems, but consider this; the neighborhood is generating 31,200 walking trips every week if each of its estimated 6,240 dogs are walked five times per week. If just ten percent of those walks had the district as a destination, that would add more than


China Brownfield Redevelopment: Problems and Perspectives by Yekaterina Dobritskaya, PhD

Chinese brownfield history dates back to the Great Leap Forward (1958-1961), when highly polluting industries was firstly built on the perimeter of its cities. Because the industries were all state-owned, antiquated equipment use, poor management legacy and environmental services were the norm. As a result, the concentration of pollutants in the soil on these sites is sometimes hundreds of times allowable limits [3. P. 2]. Relocating old polluting industries from the perimeter of cities started only in the last decade due to rapid urbanization processes.

contaminated sites.

Here are some barriers for brownfield redevelopment in China:

In the absence of any integrated state program, existing options lie in a collection of local rural measures, which are at best, chaotic. Redeveloped properties are all located only in metropolitan areas, such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

Thus in 2006 the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLP) started the national survey on soil condition and pollution prevention. With starting preparations for the Shanghai Expo 2010, the government established a soil pollution remediation center in 2005. The main structure of Shanghai Nanqu Power Plant converted into an exhibition hall is one of the great efforts of the center [3].

• The absence of an integrated state brownfield redevelopment program is holding back the systematic redevelopment process in the country.

Government land ownership An important question is the liability of the previous polluters and the new developer once a site is considered a "cleaned" site. Polluters and new developers are always temporary owners of the land site. To escape unlawful profits from polluting land sites and wasted resources, the government should define and tighten the responsibilities for both old and new owners.

• Government land ownership: private developers are just temporary owners and usually focus only on securing profits, which causes further waste of sources. • “Double pollution” phenomenon caused by relocation polluting industries from coastal areas inland, from urban to rural areas [2; 3].

Currently, developers are forced to make major investments in the brownfield redevelopment which creates an incentive for many to pollute to attempt to recover those costs. At the same time, the Chinese law system for the contaminated site prevention, site remediation and redevelopment is too weak and useless for identification of stakeholders’ responsibility.

Missing integrated state brownfield redevelopment programs

Photo by Yekaterina Dobritskaya

The Chinese government began investigating land contamination only in the last decade after some serious cases were reported in the media. In April 2004, three workers collapsed during construction of Songjiazhuang Metro Station in Beijing. The area housed a pesticide plant in 1970s and quantities of residual poisonous gases remain at a depth of five meters. The site was closed and contaminated soil was transported and incinerated. It was the first such incident and marked the beginning of government surveys on the


China Brownfield Redevelopment: Problems and Perspectives by Yekaterina Dobritskaya, PhD

“Double pollution” phenomenon

Photo by Yekaterina Dobritskaya

In the last decade, the Beijing government relocated more than 200 enterprises from the urban area. Between 2005 and 2012 more than 400 factories in Guangzhou were relocated. Unfortunately, there are no consistent legal framework and coordinated regulation and standards for industrial relocation and brownfield redevelopment. Thus, “double pollution phenomenon” were caused. Instead of curbing pollution on old contaminated sites, new contaminated land appeared in rural areas. There is also a tendency to relocate old polluting industries from coastal to inland areas. “Relocation of industrial enterprises has intensified greatly in major urban areas in China - such as Beijing and Tianjin in the Hai River Basin, the old industrial belt in northeastern China; the Yangtze River Delta, and the Pearl River Delta… Today, many old industrial sites located inside cities cannot be redeveloped due to contamination concerns. They become a roadblock to urban development, owing to both environmental contamination (groundwater, soil, surface hazardous and non-hazardous waste, ongoing dumping) and liability concerns for both owners and developers. The abandoned or delayed redevelopment of brownfield sites in urban areas also has a profound social impact on local communities such as poor living conditions, lack of employment opportunities, and even social instability” [5].

China brownfield sites fall under the following classifications: 1. Heavy metal (arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury, and chrome) contaminated sites. Contaminants come from steel, iron and smelting plants as tailings and chemical solid waste piles. 2. Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP) contaminated sites. Lengthy and wide usage of pesticides such as DDT, HCB Chlordane and Mirex caused contamination in older sites, whereas PCB burial brought about new POP-contaminated sites. 3. Organic contaminated sites. Organic polluters are usually petrochemical, coking, substances including organic solvents, benzene and hydrocarbons, probably mixed with other components such as heavy metals.

The rapidly increasing Chinese population causes shortage of space and natural resources. Moreover, unlike the American mentality of moving to the suburbs, urban areas always were the dreamland for most Chinese due to higher living standards [4. P.7]. Thus as The World Bank mentioned, “…unlike many Super Fund sites in the US, where contaminated lands, once remediated, are usually not developed for other economic activities, there is always pressure in China to find new land suitable for development” [3. P. 6].

4. Electronic waste sites. “Incorrect disposal of electronic waste can affect human health“, the World Bank reported. China main soil polluting elements are heavy metals and POPs [3. P. 2–3].


China Brownfield Redevelopment: Problems and Perspectives by Yekaterina Dobritskaya, PhD

China mostly uses off-site (ex-situ) contaminated soil disposal technologies, including excavation and coincineration in cement kilns or incineration [3. P. 5, 18]. On-site (in-situ) technologies must be developed. Now there are some of (in-situ) remediation technolo

gies, such as bioremediation and vapor extraction at the pilot stage (see table 1). Demonstration and pilot disposal projects were implemented in metropolitan areas such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Shenyang, Zhejiang and Jiangsu.

Table 1 Pilot and Demonstration Remediation Projects in Year

Soil type

Major pollutants Major technologies


Reuse purpose


Heavy metal contaminated soil

Lead and other heavy metals

Induction of plant fixation extraction, chemical, chemical leaching methods, electrokinetic remediation


Exhibition space


PCBs demonstration project

PCBs waste, PCBs contaminated soil and water

Cleanup of storDemonstration age sites,thermal desorption of lowdensity PCBs waste, disposal, online transformer PCBs oil dechlorination storage facility long-distance transport of high concentration waste


Polluted soil Chemical engineering plants

Tetrabutyl tin, dioctyl phthalatem, DDT, lead, etc.

Solidification by ce- 65,000 m3 ment kiln technology, landfill

Residential land


Soil in pesticide plants

DDT, BHC and other organic pollutants

Solidification by cement kiln incineration

140,000 m3

Residential land


Soil contaminated by paint

Soil contaminated by paint

Thermal desorption and solidification by cement kiln incineration

52,000 m3

Residential land


Petroleum contami- Benzene and nitronated soil benzene


8,000 m3

Eliminate potential environmental risks


Coal Chemical con- Phenol, sulfide and taminated soil polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Phenol, sulfide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

2,000 m3

Commercial development


China Brownfield Redevelopment: Problems and Perspectives by Yekaterina Dobritskaya, PhD


Soil type

Major pollutants Major technologies


Petroleum contami- Oil shuldge nated soil


Polluted soil Chemical engineering plants

Volatile, semivolatile organic compounds


Reuse purpose

Plant-microbial remediation


Eliminate pollutants

Biological reactor and ventilation repair techniques


Residental land

Source: [3. P. 18-19]

The system is called “risk-based” due to potential risks of use remediated land sites.

Recommendations for the Chinese government brownfield redevelopment:

• Currently, China government is worried about rapid economic development rather than public health and environmental condition. However, brownfield redevelopment processes include lots of hazards to human health. Thus public attention should be paid to the importance of site redevelopment while new remediation standards are being developed. [3. P. 27–30].

• An integrated legal framework and administrative structure for brownfield redevelopment management should be established. Currently, there are no integrated legal systems for the prevention and control of land contamination at both national and local levels. Laws and regulations are scattered and not detailed enough. Responsibilities among stakeholders and liability of contaminated land after “cleaning up” must be clearly defined.

Resources: 1. Jones R., Welsh W. Michigan Brownfield Redevelopment Innovation: two decades of Success. – Michigan, 2010: http://www.miseagrant. 2. Matthew Gaudreau. Relocating China’s Pollutive Industries: a “Double Pollution” Problem // Asia Pacific Memo. 2012: http://www. 3. Overview of the Current Situation on Brownfield Remediation and Redevelopment in China. The World Bank Discussion Papers. – Washington, 2010: bitstream/handle/10986/2933/579530ESW0P1191se0situation0EN0Full. txt?sequence=2 4. Wang Min. Adaptive Reuse of Chinese Urban Places.. Muncie, 2012: WangM_2012-1_BODY.pdf 5. Zhang Xiang. Clean up toxic brownfields before China go can go green // Xinhua Wang News, 2011:

• National soil remediation technical standards should be worked out and put into practice. Contaminated land technical aspects, practical procedures, standards and technologies must be established or be at the pilot and demonstration stage soon. Owing to rapid urban development pressure, such technologies and standards should be developed quickly. Redevelopment program plans should also be designed for each remediation site, something that requires highly qualified specialists currently not in supply in the country. • Advantage of foreign technologies and experience should be taken. US experience in financial management and remediation technologies should be employed during Superfund and brownfield sites redevelopment. World Bank specialists think it is more effective to learn from other countries established “risk-based” remediated site-use systems with certain standards than search for new urban land under existing brownfields’ neighborhood.

About the Writer Dr. Yekaterina Dobritskaya recieved a PhD in Chinese Philosophy and interpreter from Chinese of the Tomsk Polytechnic University in 2009. During 2003-2005 she lived and studied at Jilin University, Changchun China. Dr. Dobritskaya is an author of the number of articles in Chinese philosophy and culture areas.


The Truth About Child Marriage by Gillian Felix

been victims. Child marriage is a gross human rights violation that puts young girl’s health at risk and keeps them mired in poverty.

The Truth About Child Marriage

Which countries practice child marriage

Last year about this time I was totally ignorant about child marriage. It wasn’t something that ever crossed my mind. I knew about Children of the Night and about Joseph Kony abducting children and forcing them into sex-slavery and child soldiers.

Turkey, India and Africa have been reported to have one of the highest cases of child marriage (source: UNICEF, Latin America, Middle East, South Asia, Haiti are among the countries where girls are at risk. There are cases in the US, Australia and UK.

One evening while browsing through my Facebook page I saw an article from the Daily Mail about child marriage. At first blush I’m thinking, Henry VIII betrothed his daughter Lady Mary to the Dauphin of France both at the age of 2, (thank you The Tudors) and they would be married at the appropriate age. Nothing prepared me for the horror story I read. The child featured was a 5 year-old girl, married to a 40-year-old man. She was about 10 when she finally divorced him and told how she hid from him on her wedding night. To say that I was greatly upset would be the understatement of the year.

What are the reasons for child marriage

In some cultures it is believed that if a girl is not married by the age of 10 or 12, they risk being sexually abused by men. Child marriage is viewed as protection for young girls, and that pre-marital sex and pregnancy are extremely shameful for a family, even if a girl has been raped. It is believed that men would not rape or abuse a married girl. In Morocco rape victims are forced to marry their attacker to save the family from embarrassment. Attackers do not serve jail time if they marry their victim. A group of Women’s Rights Activists are trying to get that law changed.

A week of sleepless nights kept me thinking about that little girl and all the little girls we haven’t heard about. So I started researching, which led me to get involved. I found out that people need to be educated on this issue for the laws to change. The more people talk about it and bring it to light the more pressure is placed on governments to make it a priority. So here are the facts about child marriage.

Parents of child brides are often poor and use marriage as a way to provide for their daughter’s future, especially in areas where there are few economic opportunities for women.

What is child marriage?

Some families use marriage to build and strengthen alliances, to seal property deals, settle disputes or pay off debts.

In some cultures parents arrange marriage for their children (usually under 18), without the consent of the bride or groom. Most of the arranged marriages are between young girls and much older men. It has been reported that girls as young as 3-5-years-old have

In some cultures, child marriage is encouraged to increase the number of pregnancies and ensure enough children survive into adulthood to work on family land and support elderly relatives.


The Truth About Child Marriage by Gillian Felix

What are the effects of child marriage

Opportunities: Provide eventual employment for women and empowering wage earning opportunities as an alternative to early marriage.

Violence: Young brides are more likely to be beaten, threatened, staved, enslaved or sexually exploited, by their husband and in-laws.

Government involvement: Many countries such as Pakistan have laws against child marriage. However the laws are not enforced. In Afghanistan, a new law was written into the country's code enabling Shiite, or Hazara, communities to impose their own form of family law--including permitting child marriage. (Source: About Middle East)

Health: Girls aged 15-19 are twice as likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth as women aged 20-24. When a young girl’s body is not physically mature to permit the passage of a baby, fistula is one problem that can occur. Another is maternal or infant mortality. Each year about 50,000 girls aged 15-19 die of pregnancy and childbirth related causes.

Bangladesh: The average age of marriage has risen since the government launched a secondary school program in 1994 that pays parents compensation for the loss of their daughters’ domestic and agricultural labor. It also covers school fees and requires parents to sign a commitment not to marry off their daughters until they reach 18.

Studies show that young brides contract HIV at a faster rate than sexually active single girls in the same locations. According to Swazi practice, a widow can be claimed by her husband’s brother. If her husband died of HIV and his wife is infected, she can pass it on to her new husband.

India: Increased the marriage age from 14.5 to 18 in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra state, just two years after girls were offered a life skills course. The course, run by the Institute for Health Management, Pachod, aims to improve girls’ confidence in influencing decisions about their own lives, including marriage. The Supreme Court requires married couples to register their consent to be married and their age with local authorities, to better enforce the law. In the state of Uttar Pradesh, the government has launched a program to increase awareness about the legal age of marriage, change values and attitudes about child marriage and deny eligibility for government jobs to people marrying before the age of 18.

Psychological and social damage: Girls are forced to drop out of school. Some husbands fear that if their wives receive an education, they will be less willing to fulfill their traditional roles as wife and mother. Once married, girls are isolated from their parents. They are often abandoned if they develop a condition like fistula or their husband decides to take another wife.

How can child marriage be prevented Awareness: Raising awareness in communities to the consequences of child marriage and enforce laws to protect children.

Ethiopia: Early marriage committees in Amhara and Tigray regions intervene when they hear of parents wanting to marry off girls under the legal age of 18. The committees include government officials, women’s associations, religious leaders, teachers, parents and the girls themselves. The committees counsel parents

Education: Girls with at least a secondary education are least likely to have an early marriage than those with no education.


The Truth About Child Marriage by Gillian Felix

and if necessary use legal action to stop marriages. In one year, 12,000 marriages were prevented. (Source: Swaziland: Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku announced the government’s intention to enforce the Child Protection and Welfare Act by prosecuting men who marry underage girls. Today, perpetrators face statutory rape charges, and they are additionally fined R20,000 ($2,400) by the child welfare law. The new law also penalizes parents and guardians who collude with adult men to orchestrate a child marriage. Offenders face prison terms of up to 20 years.

About the Writer Gillian Felix is a Caribbean born freelance writer, entrepreneur and advocate for children and women’s rights. Her professional writing career began when she was hired as an Associate Producer for Action 7 News Live at 10 in Albuquerque.

The Staggering Figures

Prior to moving to New Mexico, Gillian lived in Los Angeles and New York working as a script supervisor on films, stage manager in theater and associate producer in television.

Despite all that is being done more than 60 million girls under the age of 18 are married, many to men twice their age or older. If child marriage continues at its current rate, an additional 100 million girls in developing countries will be married within the next decade. That's 25,000 new child brides every single day for the next 10 years and 19 girls every minute. Additional resources:,, UNICEF

She is the writer, creator and producer of the television series Family Portrait, currently in development. On her blog Plain Talk Bad Manners she interviews local and international talent, review products and introduces her audience to under-reported international news.


Urban Planning and Economic Development April 2013  

Urban Planning and Economic Development News Magazine provides educational information and services in urban planning and environmental cons...

Urban Planning and Economic Development April 2013  

Urban Planning and Economic Development News Magazine provides educational information and services in urban planning and environmental cons...