lowering_the_ladder_regulatory_frameworks[1]

lowering_the_ladder_regulatory_frameworks[1] - Development...

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Lowering the ladder: regulatory frameworks for sustainable development Geoffrey Payne A major proportion of urban housing in developing countries, and also in some European countries, is developed outside officially sanctioned processes. This is less a reflection of a global desire to break the law than of the existence of inappropriate planning regulations, standards, and administrative procedures. Many countries have inherited or imported their regulatory frameworks from outside, and these were designed to meet very different conditions from those currently facing countries in the South. By attempting to impose such approaches on populations which are invariably too poor to be able to conform to them, the danger is that respect for the law and official institutions in general will be undermined. For urban development to be socially, economically, and institutionally sustainable, it is therefore vital to assess the extent to which changes in the regulatory frameworks are required in order to lower the bottom rung of the legal housing ladder so that the urban poor can start climbing it. This paper serves as a ‘position paper’ for an international research project to evaluate the social and economic costs of such frameworks for new urban development. Introduction Why do so many people in the cities of developing countries live in housing and urban settlements which disregard official planning regulations, standards, and administrative procedures? Clearly, there are many factors to consider in attempting to answer this question. However, opportunities for access to legal shelter are significantly influenced by the social and economic costs of conforming to official requirements. Where these costs are greater than households can afford, they have little alternative but to seek other options. An extreme example of this is squatting, though there are now many other processes of varying degrees of legality or illegality operating in most cities. For example, households may construct a house on land they own, in an area officially designated for residential development and in conformity with building regulations, but not in conformity with administrative regulations. Since such developments will not qualify for the essential documentation required by the authorities, they may be regarded in the same category as other unauthorised housing. Under such conditions, the ability of urban authorities to impose official norms is restricted to developments under their direct control. Elsewhere, the proportion of people unable to 308 ISSN 0961-4524 print/ISSN 1364-9213 online/01/020308-11 © 2001 Oxfam GB DOI: 10.1080/09614520120056405 Carfax Publishing
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Lowering the ladder conform has reached a critical mass that enables people to act with relative impunity in undertaking further illegal actions. Such processes not only challenge the authority of the urban agencies responsible for managing urban development, they also threaten public respect
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This note was uploaded on 09/23/2011 for the course USP 480 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at S.F. State.

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lowering_the_ladder_regulatory_frameworks[1] - Development...

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