DW AngolaAllan Cain - Community Land Sharing - UN Habitat workshop in Istanbul Turkey

Allan Cain - Community Land Sharing - UN Habitat workshop in Istanbul Turkey


Development Workshop's Director Allan Cain presented a paper on DW’s work at the PILaR Book Project Workshop at Istanbul Technical University which ran from October 22 to 23, 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. Most urban growth in Angola has been unregulated expansion at the periphery of cities, leading to large and still growing informal settlements around an older urban core. This paper maps out a model of “land readjustment” or “land pooling” that may be appropriate in the context of Angola’s current urban crisis. The paper presents two cases illustrating the introduction of land readjustment, one successful and the other not, with the aim of learning from and adapting the approach in future public land and settlement policies in Angola.

Land readjustment is a participatory land-assembly concept used to redraw boundaries of peri-rural and peri-urban land in order to prepare land for urban development. The process assembles numerous parcels of “raw” land and then, without paying monetary compensation to the owners, subdivides and services the land for urban use. Some of the resulting building sites are then returned to the original owners as compensation in proportion to the value of their land contributions, and the remaining sites are sold to recover public utility costs.

The cases presented here demonstrate how land readjustment was used in a participatory way to assemble land for planning new urban development in Huambo. This paper argues that despite a rather challenging environment, land readjustment in Angola has the potential to become an important tool for urban planning. It shows that, while there is still no legal framework for land readjustment and a very limited culture of participation in urban planning processes, growing land markets and strong private sector partners can make land readjustment a viable option for local governments.

The Huambo land readjustment case studies presented here demonstrate that de facto recognition of the good faith occupation rights of existing land owners-occupiers is fundamental to the functioning of an inclusive land market. The recognition of occupants’ rights allows them to benefit economically, along with all the other actors in the market at the time of legalization and regularization of tenure.

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Istanbul, 1950