Urban Land Development

Access to land is a pre-condition to equitable and efficient urban development. Achieving this for low-income households under conditions of market-led development strategies presents particular challenges and opportunities. The central theme of GPA work in this area is to build local capacity for implementing public-private partnerships in land for housing in ways which benefit land-owners, local authorities and the poor themselves. The practice has extensive research and consultancy experience in countries as diverse as Bolivia, Cambodia, Cuba, Egypt, India, Iraq, Lesotho, Pakistan and South Africa. It has also reviewed European Community funded urban projects (with Marie Therese-Manchotte) and contributed sections on urban land development to the current European Urban Strategy Paper and the recently published UK Target Strategy Paper ‘Meeting the challenge of poverty in urban areas’. Papers on land development have been presented at numerous international conferences and published in academic journals. A number of books have also been published over the last few years;
‘The Urban Housing Manual: Making regulatory frameworks work for the poor’ (G.Payne and M.Majale) Earthscan 2004.
‘Land, Rights and Innovation: Improving tenure security for the urban poor’ (G.Payne Ed.) Intermediate Technology Publications, 2002.
‘Making Common Ground: Public-private partnerships in land’ Intermediate Technology Publications, 1999.

(Available via our Publications page).

Selected Projects

Urban land development has been a key focus of GPA activity over many decades. Examples of projects include the following.

Land-Based Finance for Affordable Housing
Commissioned by UN-Habitat to prepare a report on Land Based Finance for Affordable Housing. The report involves a review of the international literature and development of options for implementation.
India Land Pooling Project review
Invited by the World Bank to assess the proposed land pooling policy instrument being undertaken to develop land for the new capital city for Andra Pradesh and to prepare a report.dia Land Pooling Project review.

Mongolia urban planning and land management
Invited by Dai Consultants (Europe) to contribute as the urban planning and land policy expert on the ‘Urban Land and Service Area Growth Planning Due Diligence Services in Mongolia’ project. The project focuses on the capital city Ulaanbaatar. It started in October and is scheduled to last for at least three years. Two missions were undertaken in 2017.

Urban land supply and housing in Ethiopia
Invited by ICF International Consultants to undertake the urban land lead on a study of urban land supply and affordable housing. The project focuses on case studies in three cities, Addis Ababa, Adama and Mekelle.

Urban land management and resilience in Mekong Delta Province Vietnam
Commissioned as the international land use and master planning expert as part of a World Bank mission study of urban risk and resilience in seven interconnected secondary Mekong Delta Region cities.

Land and housing in Vietnam
Commissioned by the World bank to contribute as urban land specialist on the World Bank funded mission on ‘Affordable Housing in Vietnam: A Way Forward’ The assignment involved identifying policy options for increasing the supply of affordable and secure land for the urban areas of Vietnam, especially those on low incomes.

Indonesia urban land policy for housing
Advising on urban land policy to facilitate the provision of affordable housing in Indonesia as preparation for the development of a national housing policy funded by the World Bank. Responsibilities include reviewing the institutional setting, laws and regulations on land administration and management and urban land policy and identifying policies and programmes from international experience that may be applicable locally.

Land use planning in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Invited by the World Bank to contribute as Urban Development and Land Use Expert to the Ulaanbaatar Land Administration and Land Markets Study in Ulaanbaatar.

Bangladesh urban programme
Commissioned to review Scoping Report on draft DFID urban programme in Bangladesh.

India land management and governance
Member of World Bank mission to prepare Umbrella Non-Lending Technical Assistance (NLTA) Proposal on land management and governance in India to identify options for future funding.
Urban land and planning in India
Commissioned to prepare a report for DFID and the Government of India on ‘Institutional, Regulatory and Legislative Framework for Urban Planning: Lessons from International Experience’ for a conference on inclusive planning.

Urban Public Land Governance, Honiara, Solomon Islands
Appointed international adviser to contribute to the joint World Bank/UN-HABITAT mission on Urban Public Land Governance, focusing on the capital, Honiara.
City Development Strategy for Tirana, Albania
Contributing on land planning as part of Cities Alliance project to prepare a City Development Strategy for the capital, Tirana.

Land planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Commissioned by GIZ to undertake a review of a draft land policy paper prepared by a Task Team appointed by H.E. the Minister of Urban Development and Construction and related documents and to offer recommendations based on international good practice.

Learning Note on land markets
Commissioned by the World Bank to prepare a Learning Note on land markets and regulation to be circulated to policy makers and administrators in countries where the Bank is operating.

Urban land in Bihar, India
Invited by WSP Group to prepare a policy paper on urban planning and housing for DFID India following a request from the Government of India. Contributed to the implementation phase of the DFID funded technical assistance programme for municipal strengthening of urban land and housing policy in Bihar.
Land and housing policy in Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA)
Commissioned by AECOM (USA) to advice on housing and land policy and contribute to a regional conference addressing housing policy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, held in Amman in February 2010.

Land markets and regulation
Commissioned by the World Bank Institute to prepare a paper on ‘land markets and regulation’ as part of a collaboration between leading international development agencies and the governments of India, Brazil and South Africa.

Land markets in Bihar, India
Commissioned by DFID to undertake a review of urban governance and land markets in Bihar, India, as part of the design stage of a six year capacity building programme being undertaken by WSP.

Innovative land policy instruments
Commissioned by PADECO of Japan to review the literature on innovative land policy instruments, partnership approaches used worldwide, review necessary conditions for improving land access and develop a political economy framework on these issues for the World Bank. Examples in India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam were reviewed.
Urban land reform, Rwanda
Commissioned by HTSPE for DFID to contribute to a national Urban Land Reform project. Geoffrey Payne and GPA Associate Alain Durand-Lasserve will undertake the assignment between June-September 2007.

Public sector urban land management, Macedonia
Provided training to public sector professionals in Macedonia to improve public sector management of land and housing markets (January to April) as part of an EU project. The knowledge transfer programme was delivered to representatives from all 85 municipalities in the country.

Regulatory framework for urban planning, Lima, Peru
Commissioned by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank to undertake a review of the regulatory framework relating to urban planning and construction in Lima, Peru. The assignment identified options for removing constraints to inward investment in the Lima economy. It was undertaken in two stages from 10 April-17 May and 05-30 June.
Guidance for urban land issues in South Africa
At the suggestion of DFID, contributed texts and references for further information on urban issues to a series of guidance notes being prepared by the Programme of Advisory and Support Services (PASS), of HTSPE Ltd.

South Africa – Towards developing a Programme of Support on Land Issues
Advising the UK Department for International Development (DFID) – South Africa on options for supporting government policy on urban land management in ways which benefit the urban poor.

Maldives –Land management, housing and urban development
Team leader of international team and adviser on housing and urban development for World Bank funded project to provide capacity building for the Maldives Housing and Urban Development Board.

Bolivia, India, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania and Turkey – Regulatory Guidelines for Affordable Shelter
Research project commissioned by UK Department for International Development (DFID) to review existing barriers to legal shelter by the urban poor and options for removing them.

DFID Strategy Paper ‘Meeting the challenge of urban poverty’
Contributed to the preparation of this paper which forms the basis for UK priorities for reducing global poverty

Cuba – Participatory urban development project
Preparing detailed proposals for a socially and economically sustainable urban development and housing project in Matanzas in collaboration with the municipality and the Instituto Superior Politecnico Jose Antonio Echeverria, Havana. The project is funded by the British Government.

European Union Urban Strategy
Contributed section on land policy to the EU Urban Strategy Paper for assistance to developing countries.

Lesotho – Lesotho Institution Link project
Advising on the preparation of a participatory urban land development pilot project involving central and local government agencies, local residents and chiefs and the private sector. Sub-consultant to Ordnance Survey International on project funded by the UK government Department for International Development (DFID).

Public-Private sector partnerships in land for housing
International comparative review for DFID. The project focused on examples in Egypt, India, Pakistan and South Africa with commissioned studies on examples in Bulgaria, Cameroon, Mexico, Thailand, Russia and UK, etc.

Housing and planning in Papua New Guinea
Appointed by the European Commission as adviser to the government on research and providing advisory services on urban planning g and housing policy and practice and identifying training needs.

Ismailia Demonstration Projects, Egypt
Architect-Planner and Deputy Team Leader of team preparing detailing planning proposals for an area of Ismailia, as part of the Ismailia Demonstration Projects to help implement the new Master Plan. The projects later won an Aga Khan Award.

Housing and planning in Ankara, Turkey
Directed major research project on housing, planning  and urban growth in Ankara, Turkey. The research involved detailed surveys of twelve settlements in different parts of the city, case studies of households and interviews with landowners, developers, officials, NGOs and academics.