DW AngolaModule 2: Land Use Plans - Thirteen Participants

Module 2: Land Use Plans - Thirteen Participants


Jose Van-Dunem - 10:40 AM
Land Use Plans

Dear all, planning instruments like policies, land use and zoning regulations, have only being introduced recently in most municipalities of Luanda. In the period of civil war, Luanda sprawled with slum because of flock of people coming from different regions of the country looking for safer place to settle. The government could not control the haphazard growth of the city by then; even the existing colonial regulations became basically ineffective. The inexistence of professional planners within governmental institution led to the deficient attempt to reorganize the city growth.

Luanda's and most of municipality’s master plan are currently being elaborated with the involvement of public and the assistance of international urban planning companies. Within the municipalities these instruments aim to tackle urban redevelopment, appropriate infrastructure, and public housing, and incentive on economic development through local economic development since these are some of the major concerns affecting Luanda city. The public is reacting positively to these measures but still some reservations to the success of the implementation. The all process could take decades to be completed.

Allan Cain - Thursday, 13 September 2012, 08:58 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

Elections were held in Angola s few weeks ago at the end of August 2012. We do not have mayors yet in Angola and the first municipal elections will be held only in 2015. However, I am going to assume that I am one of the deputies elected for the urban district of Luanda and my constituency is Cazenga Municipality. This is the closest we have to an elected representative for an urban district. Cazenga is one of Angola’s oldest high density municipalities composed of mainly slum settlements. Cazenga is the most populous municipality in Angola and contains almost a quarter of the population of the metropolitan region of the capital Luanda. Some of the country’s largest informal market-places were located in Cazenga. Many informal market places have been recently closed and sellers forcibly removed to the periphery of the city.

There is a rising discontent in Cazenga’s slum communities due to the loss of informal sector employment and the threat by the previous administration to continue with demolitions and forcibly remove a large number of slum dwellers to townships beyond the edge of the city. While the governing party was re-elected last month it was with a smaller majority than previously and the turn-out for elections was drastically reduced to little over 50% in urban districts like Cazenga. Opposition parties made significant inroads into poor bairros. The newly elected Government has a five-year term and it is my proposal as elected deputy for this urban district to develop a new urban strategy that will regain the support of urban residents by revising planning strategies and taking more consultative and participatory approaches.

Cazenga occupies an area of 38.6 Km2. The municipality grew quickly during the years of conflict until 2002 when internally displaced families fled the interior of the country and occupied informal settlements. The population today is 1,250,000 and the average population density is 32,380 persons per square kilometer. Only 8% of the population has sewage connections, 14% have running water in their homes and 62% of the households have a connection to the electric grid. Only 26% of the working population has formal employment, 45% earn their livings in the informal market and 29% are unemployed. Less than 10% of householders have secure access to the land that their homes occupy. The government lacked the institutional capacity to manage Cazenga’s growth during the war years and settlers were obliged to acquire land, housing and basic services through informal market mechanisms. Populations consider assets purchased in good faith through these processes as acquired legitimately and are increasingly concerned about rumors of forcible removals.

The Government has begun to take a number of measures to begin to address the chronic problems of Cazenga and other urban municipalities of metropolitan Luanda. A draft “structure plan for Luanda” was published in the late 1990s when the war was still on-going, but aside from some specific “Greenfield” projects on the outskirts of Luanda was never detailed. A “strategic spatial plan” for the metropolitan region of Luanda and neighboring Bengo province was developed but never formally approved. The process of decentralization of governance began in the post war period. There has been a de-concentration of powers and budgets to municipalities but true local governance will only be achieved after municipal elections planned for 2015. Local Administration is still appointed by central Government and appointed Provincial Governors still have a strong influence in urban issues. Municipalities are obliged to prepare annual plans and budgets and have new responsibilities for land management and basic services, but do not yet have the qualified staff or resources to address these responsibilities.

The State President has created a “special office” to address the problem of urban renewal in Cazenga and several other urban districts of the inner-city of Luanda. The special office is linked with Provincial Government of Luanda and is tasked with developing au urban development strategy for these slum districts and proposing physical planning solutions. The tools needed for achieving this task are not yet in place. Land legislation published in 2004 reaffirming the State’s ownership of land has not been fully regulated yet and by-laws on managing peri-urban land have not yet been approved. Inappropriate “colonial era” regulations are still often applied. The informal land market prevails and has legitimacy with the large majority of people and the State has little authority to enforce its claim to land ownership and therefore to impose its master planning decisions without resorting to heavy-handed police coercion. Authority is further complicated by over-lapping jurisdictions. The “special office for urban renewal” has the political clout of the State President’s office behind it but was put in-place in offices adjacent to the office of the Luanda Provincial Institute for Urban Management, and without apparent institutional linkages with the Ministry of Urbanism and Construction who has national responsibility for setting policies for the urban sector. The new roles of Municipalities in urban management of land and basic services have yet to be fully developed but hold promise for the future when local elections are held.

As a newly-elected deputy representing this urban region I have one of the few legitimate voices to claim to speak on this issue on behalf of the constituency. The course that I have recently attended has demonstrated to me the limitations of traditional “master planning” approaches in the rapidly changing context of post-war Angola. The need to adopt a “strategic special planning” approach is evident but lacking local democratically elected representatives it is challenging to engage the “stakeholders” that should be consulted. An “urban reference plan” outlining major road systems that will provide a simplified guide to the growth of the metropolitan area and needs to be prioritized. Due to contentious land tenure at the margin or the city a “guided land development” plan is not feasible because private land owner’s claims are not fully respected by the state. However the process of land-pooling/readjustment has proven to be successful in another Angolan province and may prove to be a method that reconciles land claimants with government’s urban expansion plan in a way that market forces can be mobilized to compensate existing land occupants and provide financing for the implementation of basic infrastructure services.

Appropriate regulatory instruments need to be introduced to support the physical planning process in Cazenga. I will propose a regulatory by-lay linked to the Land Law covering peri-urban land that will reinstate the right of occupation in-good-faith that will provide scalable land tenure rights to slum-dwellers. The by-law will introduce a set of urban standards related to environment, safety, adequate access, floor area ratios and service access that will allow slum communities to progressively upgrade their land tenure status. A physical land cadastre will be an initial step in this process and I propose carrying this out in a participatory manner using local residents associations to implement enumerations using participatory mapping and GIS tools. The cadastre and the eventual land regularization will provide Municipalities with an opportunity to generate income through the issue of titles and eventually introduce property taxes in order to capture and recover some of the increased value created by the formalization of property rights. Income can then be invested in improving basic services such as water, sanitation and electricity that can produce more income through consumer service fees. Until municipal elections are held in 2015, the “consultative councils” (CACs) set up by the Decentralization Law must serve as formal mechanisms to promote community participation in the planning processes and approve physical plans and budgets, functions that “municipal councils” will assume after the 2015 elections. Municipal Forums that civil society organizations have already established to represent residents and local consumer interests must be engaged in the planning process and consulted at all stages and be adequately represented in the CACs. At this stage after the end of the civil war and before local elections it is important to promote behavior chance in urban areas by ensuring that civil society is adequately engaged in urban land planning processes in order to build consensus, ensure sustainability and reduce potential conflicts.


Laura de Azcárate - Friday, 14 September 2012, 01:19 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

Hi Jose,
 I find very interesting what you explained about master plan of many municipalities of Luanda. When did the civil war finish? It's common that after a war (and more intensively a civil war) people use to move massively and settle in slums.it's necessary to make a subdivision and specific area plans to achieve land use planning and be aware of the importance of this urban issues in order to not to cross the growth boundaries and create a distinction between urban and rural areas.

Jose Van-Dunem - Friday, 14 September 2012, 06:00 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

The civil war in Angola ended in 2002 when the leader of the rebel party Jonas Savimbe from (UNITA Party) was killed during the battle in February.

Concerning the slums; the authorities are developing townships in Viana Municipality located in the south of Luanda about 25 km from the city centre. It is mostly housing projects with water, electricity and sanitation. The housing typology varies from two to three rooms attached housing in stands of 250 m2. The authorities relocate people living in slums and risky areas to these new houses free of charge. Some problems concerning these settlements, is that most relocated people work in the city or nearby and they have difficulties with transportations to reach their workplace due to inexistence of efficient public transportation system (being addressed on the Master plans). Some services are not found within the new townships therefore people are forced to travel back to city centre to access services.

There has been restructuring of Luanda´s administrative municipalities and districts, which somehow can be seen as a strategy to avoid social segregation. The new townships are now located 5km to new urban centres like city of Kilamba south of Luanda, Talatona noble neighborhood (also in the south of Luanda) and Luanda´s new international airport currently under construction. Brown sites are being used as well as a strategy to carry out urban requalification process in order to eradicate slums within the city. Example; at the moment empty sites of 60 and 30 ha are being used to establish new urban zones for about 30 000 people. The project emphasizes social or public housing (mainly apartments, 4 storey buildings), infrastructure, urban parks, services and social equipments and provision of spaces for private investors as well. Once these sites are fully constructed, people will be removed from slums adjacent to these new settlements. Then areas left by the people will be cleared and the process will be repeated until the slums are eradicated. That’s the vision of the government for a long term process and implementation.

The master plan for Cazenga, Sambizanga and Rangel is still in course and at the moment the consultants are collecting contribution from different stakeholders; public in general and other institutions. The people involved in the project are shaping a plan which integrates as much as possible of the inhabitant’s background and social activity to prevent the elaboration of a plan which does not identify with the people to which it is being prepared for. Suggestions such free market which is very characteristic of Angolan culture is being considered, aspects such as sense of community, space for outdoor activities, sports, theatre etc all being considered, as well as. For more info u can access the face book here or search: Luanda Norte, and link here.

Vanessa Maschio dos Reis - Monday, 17 September 2012, 05:37 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

In Luanda land use plans and regulations still have low impact on the city. On the other hand, infrastructure projects have high impact on the urban fabric. In my point of view one of the main causes for the low impact of land use regulations and plans is the lack of inspection that is linked to the weak institutional capacity. Although the Government is promoting the recruitment and expansion of its technical staff, these actions are insufficient to account for the complexity of the problems of regulation of urban land.

Jose Van-Dunem - Tuesday, 18 September 2012, 01:37 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

Dear Klara, Vanessa and all,
Regarding your question about the threat to realization of the plan, I think that the position of the government towards implementation of the project can be considered as a concern. This project in particular has a strong social character in which the people are to be maintained in their area of origin as they participate in the process. But excessive involvement of private interest and corruption could cause deviation from original focus and therefore make vulnerable the people to which the project is intend to benefit.

Vanessa, from what I have seen, in terms of participation, there has been forums within Cazenga and Sambizanga, where the people from around these areas and other stakeholders have been asked to raise their concerns about the project as a give inputs, ideas to the vision and goals of the project in order to improve the initial set. There has been four sessions in which students from universities, representatives from other government institutions, community representatives have been invited to participate in the different phases of elaboration of the plan. New sessions will take place in each of the municipalities for community’s participation for discussion of more detailed plans to be developed.

Vanessa Maschio dos Reis - Tuesday, 18 September 2012, 10:48 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

Dear Jose,

Thanks for your response.
 It is important that the example of the participation on Cazenga and Sambizanga be heavily documented and later identified the good practices. So can serve as a reference for other Angolan municipalities, as a local and actual example (not theoretical or foreign), in addition to the already by-law established Councils of Social Dialogue and Consultation (Conselho de Auscultação e Concertação Social).

Allan Cain - Monday, 17 September 2012, 09:25 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

Dear Vanessa,
I agree with you that one of the constraints on planning is the lack of regulation for urban land and for planning legislation. The preamble to the Angolan planning law talks about public consultation and community participation but there are no clear regulations on how this consultation can happen. Angolan planners however should seek opportunities to formalise the regular participation of communities who will be affected by their plans. This can be done through civil society forums that exist in almost all of Luanda's municipalities and have a good representation of communities and local associations.

Sara Castro - Tuesday, 18 September 2012, 04:53 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

Dear Allan, 
I am interested to know if you read the case study on Japan and the CDC or Community Development Councils model. Is the Angolan experience similar? See here. 
Also, there is this fascinating ICT based Porto Alegre Brazil model for community engagement on behalf of local governments. It is the WIKICITY or PortoAlegre.cc model. Citizens voice their concerns, needs (Via text, phone or social media) and these are mapped on the website here. You can even zoom in by street level to see the key needs. Then the local government has 5 days to respond to the message, and they also organize face to face events and the upgrading happens according to key citizen needs in that area.

Moisés Festo - Friday, 14 September 2012, 11:55 AM
Re: Land Use Plans

Dear all,
I agree with José, Example of Luanda we can find in all provinces in Angola but in low scale. One of challenge I think is capacity building for member that work in institution that have responsibility to land management. In Huambo province the master plan was elaborated in 2003/04 without take account participatory aspect. The result of this master plan was good in papers (a lot of colors) but impossible to Implement because that master plan does not reflect the real context of Huambo city. When we talk about institutional reform in institutional capacity be how can we have strengthened. Also take in account aspects of capacity building for the technicians of public institutions.

Etelvina Saldanha - Tuesday, 18 September 2012, 02:52 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

In my view referring to the topic, the reasons that lead to inefficiency and failure of master plans is that in my country as well as in other underdeveloped countries, these master plans are being developed by people outside the Angolan reality. There is a tendency from these planners to pick example from other countries that are not related to our experiences then they try to apply.

At the moment city of Luanda has a vast area of slums to be urbanized and it will be impossible to accomplish if these basic instruments of development and urban expansion are not applied. They contain guides for economic growth as well as social equilibrium and justice.

For that reason the government is requesting the people to participate in the process of urbanization by giving inputs to what they consider important to assist the technicians working on the plan of urban redevelopment. I completely agree with you Alain when u mentioned: "people in the street don't know about urban regulations and plan. Some can't read a plan while some can't read at all. So how can we expect them to respect them?" First people need to know that there is a master plan and know what they r saying this because there are people in my town who are unaware that the country is making a master plan and is working on it right now (Angola has high levels of illiteracy about 33%,. It has decreased to 11% in 8 years from 44% to 33%).

We can create something that fits the reality of Angolans in general, there should be more disclosure and taking into account that there is about 37 to 50 languages (dialects) it would be essential to translate this same information in native languages so that all population in tune and can know the important step that government is giving. A master Plan should definitely grant the participation of the public since groups of all sphere of the society should be involved in all phases of the elaboration and implementation of the plan.

José Tiago Catito - Tuesday, 18 September 2012, 03:29 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

My opinion about this matter is: The city of Luanda, built to house 700 000 people, welcoming nearly six million, as a result of 30 years of civil war that devastated Angola, forcing the displacement of thousands of people from the countryside to the capital in search of safety and supply.

 However, Luanda remains literally an urban center surrounded by slums, called "slums" where live the vast majority of its population, with the social problems that this entails concentration. However there are plans for redevelopment of the city of Luanda, they are being implemented in several phases, but in my opinion there is still a lack of compliance with plans and land use regulations on the part of urban builders, weak institutional capacity of Luanda government for the enforcement of these plans and regulations, on the other hand the land is owned by the state which in itself does not represent incentive for private investors

Ellen Pratt - Tuesday, 18 September 2012, 11:28 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

Dear Jose,
Luanda's urban context is similar to Monrovia. I would be interested to learn what types of redevelopment plans have been developed? Were they municipal lead planning exercises or were these plans done at the national level. Can you also tell us more about how planning is structured. Is it a function of the City of Luanda or the mandate of a national agency (such as a Ministry of Works).

Massamba Dominique - Tuesday, 18 September 2012, 04:40 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

Hi everybody,
This is my opinion about the reality of my city. The city of Luanda still has many problems due to various factors combined, since the construction of which was to house 700,000 people, and is not that what is happening today, there is a very sharp growth. However, Luanda remains literally an urban center surrounded by slums, home to the overwhelming majority of its population, with the problems of lack of infrastructures. 

In Luanda there are plans for redevelopment and land use regulations, the more they have little impact on the city for lack of oversight by the institution responsible for this area, and lack of disclosure by the population because the population inhabit the lands to order.

Antonio Capitango - Tuesday, 18 September 2012, 04:29 PM
Re: Land Use Plans
There is a lack of urban plans and urban planning regulations because it mostly makes the city grows by a disordered and partly unable to clear a legal instrument that people can rely on for his defence. 'Cause here we can say that land and a scarce resource in urban development for several reasons but also their management is a factor of economic development. But in general we have a source of information in the event of doubt on it be updated depending on the development of cities with different counting policies.

Ilídio Daio - Wednesday, 19 September 2012, 01:02 AM
Re: Land Use Plans

Dear Collegues,

My city Luanda, after decades of conflict, and living now 10 years of peace, it still faces massive migration, before for the war, but now for the improvement of the life conditions and job. Thereby, peri-urban areas are densifying quickly in a chaotic way, originating ghettos and slums. I agree with that the urban plans and regulations have little impact due to some reasons: 

- The governmental framework is still very centralized what turns the local power still weak. The social and ethnic heterogeneity of the urban peripheries, hinders the creation of community sense and participative
- The local administrations lack qualified technical personnel in amount to face several challenges.
- The institutional fragilization is outstanding, with consequences of corruption, fiscalization lack, impunity, etc. 

- The different partners' and stakeholders coordination doesn't exist in the implementation of the urban plans.
- The outdated laws urban, are not sufficiently regulated.
- Strong predominance of the informal sector exists, in the market of lands, construction, etc. 
But the main reason for the lack impact of the urban plans is inexistence of a deep study of the target population.

Etelvina Saldanha - Wednesday, 19 September 2012, 03:27 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

Soumya thanks for the reply, and I would say that the population plays a very important role, or the most important of all role in the acceptance of the master plan, the cities are made for people and cities without them, are nothing but abandoned buildings and we have a good example in Luanda in addition to the centrality of Kilamba Kiaxi, since the population may act as a saboteur of the director plan, we've had examples where the population said ''build something here that we do not want and we will destroy it''- and so, to say that the city planners teem to be in tune with the community, that’s the only way we can see the success and effectiveness of all this land use plan.

Andre Melo - Thursday, 18 October 2012, 12:15 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

Dear Etelvina,
In my opinion a master plan is not the best for a city that grows so fast like Luanda, worse still knowing that the whole country is actually growing at a very fast rate. It is more favorable to create land use instruments that can be turned into planning tools and applied at basic or intermediate administrative levels beginning with titling. This is very important to guarantee an orderly and responsible development and application of sustainable policies.

Vanessa Maschio dos Reis - Monday, 17 September 2012, 05:01 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

Hi Ellen,
In addition to what has been already commented about Luanda on Forum 2, both Group 1 and Group 2, I have some comment to add about the institutional capacity for participatory urban development plans in Angola in general.

 Although there has been a remarkable renewal of part of the institutional framework through technical procurement, there is still a reluctance to incorporate participatory activities from technical staff of some public planning agencies.
 In other words, in general, institutions are not used to be an element actively participative on the development of urban planning process when lead by hired consulting companies. Although it is mandatory by law the popular participation in the development of these urban plans, some technicians of those public agencies sometimes set themselves absent from this process. This is a pretty much likely reminiscence of the immediate post-conflict period, when those agencies used to get plans alike already finished.

 In my point of view, it is important to develop awareness actions for institutional agencies change in posture. What are your impressions on this very particular situation? What could be the proper approach to insert those public agencies in a leading way, even when they hire consultants for the general planning task?

Ellen Hamilton - Wednesday, 19 September 2012, 02:29 AM
Re: Land Use Plans
Hi Vanessa,
This is an interesting experience. So the public is involved and the technical people are not? It's usually the other way around! Does the city have a city development strategy that is the broad framework for the plan? Would it help for the elected leadership of the city to take ownership of the process of developing a city development strategy which would provide the rationale behind the planning process (and which would also mean the city officials saw it as their job to be involved)? (If I have misunderstood the political situation, please let me know.) 

Ilídio Daio - Wednesday, 19 September 2012, 02:19 AM
Re: Land Use Plans

Dear Ellen, my city Luanda, capital of Angola, is facing a post-conflict effects of massive migration. Peri-urban area still densifying, and i agree with you that, master planning has been so unsuccessful particularly in rapidly growing cities as Luanda. I would like to know is if the strategy of "Urban Cell", in a very dense and overcrowded slum "Cazenga" municipality, could be a option, a mix of Strategic Spatial Planning with Urban reference and urban grid?

Ellen Hamilton - Wednesday, 19 September 2012, 03:35 AM
Re: Land Use Plans
Dear Ilídio,
Thank you for sharing the PowerPoint. I just looked at it. As I understand the idea is to introduce regular avenues and a street grid into a densely populated slum area. Have I understood correctly? If so, I would imagine that this could be very beneficial to the residents, although also could be very costly for the city as some sort of resettlement/compensation would be needed for people who lose their homes in order to build the roads. Are you looking at other elements of slum upgrading, too? There are some very successful programs in some cities and they might have some experiences that they could share with this kind of retrofitting of a slum area with roads. One thing this does suggest to me is the importance of keeping road rights of way free from being built upon as this is much cheaper to do than paying for moving people who are already living where the roads should go.

Ilídio Daio - Wednesday, 19 September 2012, 03:41 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

Dear Ellen,

I aware of Brazilian experience of "Favela Bairro", but paradoxically the favelas communities have some basic infrastructure and facilities solved, but still marginalized and social/spatial segregated, probably very costly in tong terms.
 Our Luanda reality, 80% of the lives, work in informal sector, normally very dense. 
Slum upgrading can result in some semi-regular slums, but the vast majority are very crowed and chaotic shape, that its very difficult to create some emergency access roads or drainage/sewage systems without demolish several home. I'm more concerned with transformation or evolutions status of the slums, but obviously aware of social and financial cost. Maybe some special chemotherapy for that particular "urban cancer".

Vanessa Maschio dos Reis - Thursday, 20 September 2012, 11:15 AM
Re: Land Use Plans

Hi Ellen,

Thanks for your comment. I am not aware of the 'existence' of such city development strategy, although the Central Government promotes regularly some Federal Programs among which include various sectors related to urban infrastructure and urban planning. When I write 'existence' I mean actual implementation, because there are some published laws that were supposed to act as part of a legal Master plan but are effectively only a scarce draft of it, with no practical use (outdated goals, inconcise information, not validated statistics etc). 

Concerning to the technical motivation at the offices, in my point of view it can be partially explained due to a serious overlapping of technical authorities addressed to planning commissions, when the tasks of each of them is usually not clearly defined. Sometimes these technical authorities have some political or technical incongruence among themselves, particularly regarding to the leading heads. Otherwise, it is much easier to promote popular participation, because the political machine itself has inherent mechanisms of mass appeal that work very efficiently, regarding to moving the citizens to participate in any process. May the results be politically guided or not, it only depends of the progress of democracy, which is very slow but it is happening, truly. 

I hope I have been clear, because this issue is so full of subtle nuances that probably I missed some other detail.

Allan Cain - Monday, 17 September 2012, 09:29 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

Dear Vanessa,
I agree with you that one of the constraints on planning is the lack of regulation for urban land and for planning legislation. The preamble to the Angolan planning law talks about public consultation and community participation but there are no clear regulations on how this consultation can happen. Angolan planners however should seek opportunities to formalise the regular participation of communities who will be affected by their plans. This can be done through civil society forums that exist in almost all of Luanda's municipalities and have a good representation of communities and local associations.

Leonardo Cambumba Samunga - Monday, 1 October 2012, 04:31 PM
Re: Land Use Plans

Unfortunately this lack of monitoring of the few existing urban plans that reside in the locality (municipality of Cacuaco), and there often and get hit by several factors, which include: Little personal and sometimes unqualified to work in the area of Municipal Administration urbanism, and to follow strictly implemented, the plans gizados; and another aspect relates to the centralization of the subject that is usually designed by professionals linked to the Ministries (former Housing and urban Development) without regard to the involvement of local technicians; as well as the absence of a culture of listening and consulting residents, which would play a role when involved in local tax.