DW AngolaModule 5: Land Use & Local Economic Development - Fifteen Participants

Module 5: Land Use & Local Economic Development - Fifteen Participants


Etelvina Saldanha -  04:08 AM
Land Use & Local Economic Development

In Angola, it is generally accepted that the weight of the informal sector in the economy is massive; the informal sector continues to weigh nothing trivial in wealth created annually. As might be expected in developing countries, given their economic structures often more fragile, which is the case in my town although we are on track to head the steps too wide, but in general, the existence of political conjunctures, less favorable social and legal, which makes us more susceptible to the proliferation of informal or parallel economy.

Although the weight of the informal sector is an unavoidable reality in the country, at least in the short term, and this is responsible for providing livelihood to a large majority of the population, we can not close our eyes to the negative consequences that entails for the informal economy economic and social development of Angola.
First, informal economic activities are not taxed. This limits the outset, the redistribution of wealth associated with taxes on corporate profits. The revenue collected by the state is not money that will not be channeled to increase the wellbeing of Angolans, delaying the march of Angola towards a more just and equitable society.
Furthermore, companies that operate in the informal sector alienate themselves generally of banking practices and conduct business with the financial system.

Another disadvantage generated by economic informality is that jeopardize the prospects for business growth.
The informal sector businesses employ usually only its owner, which is not generating more jobs and not contributing more effectively to create wealth in their surroundings, practice a price list which varies from day to day. You can still say that the informal sector has been unable to generate resources and solutions to put the Angolan economy in more advanced levels of development, it should be noted that informal economic activity may be a catalyst unwanted illegal activities such as marketing goods stolen, counterfeit or smuggled.

One of the changes our government is via the incentive to microcredit and BUE is the new service that concentrates in one place, delegations of various services,public administration involved in the process of incorporation and licensing of micro enterprises, Small Business, with supervision of the Ministry of Justice. With this program we intend to conduct the promotion and development of small businesses scale, with the following objectives:
increasing the supply of goods and services Angolans;
the creation of jobs and consequent poverty reduction;
reduce the informal economy;
stimulate the frequency of vocational training

Soumya Dharmavaram - Thursday, 4 October 2012, 03:08 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Thanks Etelvina and Gabriel, for taking the lead in this forum. Welcome!
Some initial thoughts:
The informal economy appears to be fairly significant (23% of workforce in Monterrey; Luanda?). Is the formal economy dependent on such informal activities? In Monterrey, people engaged in informal economy pay for a temporary permit or to local leaders. Are such activities still profitable? What are the barriers for such people to own formal businesses? The dynamics between formal and informal economic components in a city are not easy to understand. It is easy for planners to plan only for the formal economic sectors. What is the current focus of economic development plans in your city? Should we consider ways of integrating the informal economy?
Looking forward to hearing from all.

Ilídio Daio - Thursday, 4 October 2012, 05:05 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Etelvina,
To tax the informal sector goes through a process of recognition by the government of these activities. Still fully sec. XXI witnessed police chasing informal street vendors who sell in constant traffic jams in Luanda, and that the formal sector somehow if you benefit.

The informal economy in Luanda represents more less 70 % of the work force. Self employment for many of these young people who sell on the streets, is the one profitable option, and they represent the majority of the population of Luanda, in a way keeps them busy and away from criminal practices.

Much work has to be done since the creation of more professional institutes of basic technique training (carpentry, mechanics, locksmiths, etc..), and an inevitable and urgent recognition of this economy should be regulated, taxed and supported in a balance ways to avoid unfair comptetive.

Allan Cain - Friday, 5 October 2012, 05:55 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Etelivia and Ilidio,
I wanted to add some comments to your interesting discussion about urban livelihoods and the informal economy in Luanda. The concentration of economic activity in the oil and diamond sector in Angola, creates very little employment and practically no integration with the rest of the domestic economy, has resulted in a dual economy with a small portion of the population benefiting from these riches. Although the Angolan GDP is higher than that of most African countries, the per capita income of hides the real extent of poverty in Angola.
During the war, many people moved from rural areas and an agrarian existence to urban centres, and, with few skills and low literacy and educational levels, had to eke out an existence through some alternative income generating activity. Ilidio raises an important point. It is estimated that out of the 8 million economically active population, about 5.5 million are engaged in the informal sector, while only about 2.5 million people are formally employed, most of those by the government.
The rapid urbanisation also resulted in an increase in urban poverty, as the infrastructure of cities crumbled under the increase in population with little investment into improving conditions. At the end of the war in 2002, 35% of the population was living in urban areas around the capital. Luanda’s population alone is reported to have grown eight-fold over the last 30 years and is estimated to stand at between 5 and 6 million people today.  It is not clear how many people have returned to rural areas since the end of the war. But it is clear that urban migration still continues today.

The formal economy, exists largely for those residents of the socially-exclusive urban enclaves who work for the state or in the extractive sectors—and even here the state is playing what is at best only a partially effective regulatory and fiscal role. It is widely recognized that there are strong aspects of “informality” (political and social manipulation) that characterize most transactions even in the so-called “formal economic system”, and that formal regulations tend to be applied very selectively and often only in the interests of elites. For the majority of Angolans it is the informal economy that is the source of their basic livelihoods--not least of all the 50% of the country’s population that became urbanized during the war, of whom have no plans for permanent rural return since the war ended ten years ago. A large number of Angolans survived—and continue to do so—by pursuing strategies and activities that are not regulated, or otherwise governed, by any formal legal framework or state institutions.
The scale of Angola’s “informal sector”—and its role in the lives of most Angolans— is still evident today. Throughout the urban musseques of peri-urban Luanda in which approximately 1 in 3 Angolans currently reside, essential services—such as water and fuel distribution—are provided almost exclusively through private initiative in the informal sector. This is specially evident these last several weeks when even the urbanised part of Luanda has been deprived of water and the informal sector has stepped in to provide a vital urban service of delivering water by tanker trucks.

An assessment in which we participated with the National Bank (BNA) found that over 84% of Luanda households and 77% of the residents of Huambo (Angola’s second largest city) were employed in small, medium or micro-enterprises (SMMEs)—the vast majority of which are neither taxed nor regulated by the state. Colonial era city bye-laws have been resurrected to prohibit street trading and close down the large informal urban markets. Such policies run counter to the Government’s own Poverty Reduction Strategies. Policies have been enacted based on prejudice, no contextual investigation and little debate.
Knowledge about the Angolan informal economy remains fragmented and partial at best. Recent studies conducted by Development Workshop have provided some basic baseline information about the informal market’s structure (such as the dynamics of informal peri-urban land markets), there is a need for a more comprehensive documentation and analysis of the Angolan informal economy, on how opportunities can be used to transform it to positively affect the enterprises of the millions of Angolans whose livelihoods depend upon it.

Allan Cain - Sunday, 7 October 2012, 01:28 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear All,
I think that one of the key issues that we need to recognize is that the "Informal Economy" often steps in to fill the gaps in providing urban services like water and sanitation and even land when Government administrations and we planners fail. Quite often informal entrepreneurs will discover opportunities for doing business when Government is incapable of delivering. I find it disturbing that Government planners often see the informal market as the enemy and usually seem determined to eliminate it. Maybe we should see informal service providers as our allies in meeting communities' basic needs, especially in the period up until when the state is capable of providing adequate and affordable urban services to all.

Devangi Ramakrishnan - Sunday, 7 October 2012, 08:31 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Allan,
While I do agree with your overall view of how informal economy steps in to fill gaps in the provision of urban services, I do think that informality, especially in labour perpetuates exploitation, where there is no access to legal or social protection available.

Allan Cain - Sunday, 7 October 2012, 10:03 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Devangi
I was basically talking about urban services like water supply. I am not saying that the informal economy´s solution is the best one. Water delivered by truck is very inefficient and very costly in energy and financially. It is much better to deliver water in a pipe. What I am saying is that it is wrong to criminalize the informal market at a time when the government is incapable of replacing it. Government need not apply the law to the informal market, they just need to provide a better and affordable alternative. Then the market will disappear.

Etelvina Saldanha - Monday, 8 October 2012, 01:58 AM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development
Dear Allan
Again totally agree, thanks, for always enlightening contribution, I have learned much from the enormous experience that Allan has in this area and the knowledge shared in this course on the issues of OUR City Luanda ...

Etelvina Saldanha - Monday, 8 October 2012, 01:45 AM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Soumya and Ilídio,
As much as we want to ignore this factor, it is impossible to say that one is not dependent on the other, the formal economy depends on the informal economy in the sense that it is the only way that the People have means to appeal other official services, (such as food, clothing and even deal Document), many of our young people are not studying and don’t have a job, the same is reflected in the population between 28 and 50 years old and many see this informal sector as the subsistence and the possibility of having their babies on his back (if money is not enough to eat, much less to give at nursery) and the possibility of going home to cook something for those who return from school at lunch time, and returns Zunga Most often the older taking care of siblings and the house, as long as she returns with money for dinner at 8(PM), this cash on hand for any need that may arise is vital.

The barriers that arise to create a business are a lack of clarification, bureaucracy, lack of documents, minimum schooling so they can read the forms that allow them to open bank accounts and manage a business... About the question - What is the current focus of economic development plans in your city? We should consider ways of integrating the informal economy? The government has already taken the first step by creating these counters and BUE and GUÈ , well as the opening of Bank accounts with minimums as 200 Kz. The Cazenga, Sambizanga and Rangel Master Plan intends to integrate the informal economy, as Colleague IIídio Daio said - informal sector represents less than 70% of the workforce is impossible to ignore it, but we must try to channel it wisely into the state coffers, giving them benefits, showing them that they more to gain than to lose by being taxed system.

Etelvina Saldanha - Monday, 8 October 2012, 11:01 AM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Alain Phe,
Recently Police demobilized street vendors who were in a roundabout causing increased traffic, accidents, garbage etc.. people were referred to a new market created for this purpose ... What happened is that they left the market benches and return to the roadside, so not always the lack of space is the reason ...

Alain Phe - Monday, 8 October 2012, 03:58 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Ethelvina,
There are at least two sides to this situation. One is that I believe the vendors came back because they are going where the buyers are and there is no physical obstruction to that. If you put barriers and station a policeman there, you would secure the place a minimum. It is also safer to avoid pedestrian to cross the roundabout.

Two, one can also wonder why the vendors didn't stay at the market benches? Is it a good location for selling or was it just where the municipality had land? What were the selling conditions? Any incentives for the people to stay? Presence of lavatory and toilets?...

I would also add that it depends on the goods sold. It is sometime difficult to ask someone selling chewing-gum or tissue to stay put all day on a bench...

These are the reason why I think that there is never one one solution or one side of the story, and that many should be involved as many share responsibility. Of course, I don't pretend to know the situation of the specific market you mentioned.

Massamba Dominique - Friday, 5 October 2012, 10:35 AM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Luanda as most of many sub Saharan African countries, and presents obvious symptoms of a diversified growing informalization process, both the economic dimension as the spatial dimension.

The formal economy in Angola covers only 12 percent of the working population, the informal sector is responsible for the livelihood of the "overwhelming majority" of Angolans.

In Luanda, the capital of the country, the economic activities conducted outside the formal sector support the livelihood of 73 percent of the city population.

 Are obvious losses arising from informality. First, informal economic activities are not taxed, leading to a large amount of revenue that is not collected by the state. Second, companies operating in the informal sector alienate themselves generally of banking practices and conduct business with the financial system.
To this end the government is taking progressively the informal economy into the formal sector with incentives and constant stimuli, through legal instruments such as the Law of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, the program of support for small business, the adjustment of legal regime of the Institute for Support to Small and Medium Enterprises (INAPEM) and the establishment of the Single Desk Entrepreneur. This program will integrate into the formal system allows all activities across the country, as is the case of zungueiras, hawkers.

Allan Cain - Sunday, 7 October 2012, 01:42 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear All,
Excuse me for cross-posting this comment. I think that one of the key issues that we need to recognize is that the "Informal Economy" in some countries often steps in to fill the gaps in providing urban services like water and sanitation and even land when Government administrations, formal private sector and "we planners" fail. Quite often informal entrepreneurs will discover opportunities for doing business when Government is incapable of delivering. I find it disturbing that Government planners often see the informal market as the enemy and usually seems determined to combat against it. Maybe we should see informal service providers as our allies in meeting communities' basic needs, especially in the period up until when the state is capable of providing adequate and affordable urban services to all.

Vanessa Maschio dos Reis - Sunday, 7 October 2012, 07:05 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Allan and all,
 I do agree with your concern about the attitudes of Government planning to eradicate the informal economy. I understand the importance of having goals to legalize economic activities, however a management plan for this transition informal>formal is highly needed. In Luanda there are many situations that illustrate it, as the informal water trucks (when there is a crisis on formal water supply), the fuel and generator vendors (where formal power supply does not reach), the "candongas" (where the formal buses do not reach). What do you think?

Allan Cain - Sunday, 7 October 2012, 09:59 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Vanessa,
I am not saying that the informal economy's solution is the best one. Water delivered by truck is very inefficient and very costly in energy and financially. It is much better to deliver water in a pipe. What I am saying is that it is wrong to criminalize the informal market at a time when the government is incapable of replacing it. Government need not apply the law to the informal market, they just need to provide a better and affordable alternative. Then the market will disappear.

Vanessa Maschio dos Reis - Monday, 8 October 2012, 07:50 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Allan,
In fact the informal economy finds plenty of space to expand over planning and administration failures. I agree that the Government needs to offer better alternatives and more accessible alternatives to the population than the informal market. But I do not think that even with this action itself the informal services would vanish. Even if the Government offers better alternatives and more affordable, there would still remain many interests at stake, and these informal initiatives often get more organized and resilient, occasionally acting on boycotts actions against the formal economy (e.g. purposely broken pipes, theft of power wiring, bus vandalism etc.). An archetypical situation can be found on the "candongas" system issue, where there are many fleets managed by individuals highly connected to political power, and that is what makes it so difficult to constrain its expansion on the transportation network. 

I do agree that the first step for the Government is to recognize the existence of the informal economy, identify it, and understand the nuances of its performance. From so on it can draw its best and more accessible alternatives to the population and in parallel develop a transition plan involving key actors in the informal economy.

Tsendsuren Dorjgotov - Monday, 8 October 2012, 03:40 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Alan,
I do agree with you that the role of informal economy is important for economic development. However, regarding the provision of urban services like water and sanitation, we have some differences. In our country, in order to provide such services you need to obtain "special permission". Even for construction of water and sewer works you need to have that permission. The company or entity that has skilled workers, experienced engineers should apply for this kind of permission. It is big barrier for informal sectors and it is also becoming subject for corruption. What is your opinion about that?

Mohamed Hilmi - Sunday, 7 October 2012, 09:18 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Hi Allan,
You brought up the point of not accommodating the informal sector stakeholders in planning. This is true for most developing or developed economies. I am wondering if this is due to short term planning goals (or immediate returns from taxes etc.) most administrations focus on.

The informal economy is usually run by those come from 'out-of-state' actors, immigrants, and those without proper identification. They also do not have the voting (and therefor a voice) power to pressure the authorities. The state usually relies on enforcement and prosecution to try to stop these activities rather than a policy of inclusion. I am not sure if this is true for most other cities?

Muhammad Reza Ansari - Monday, 8 October 2012, 06:40 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Hi dear Vanessa,
You described the situation of informal economic in your country so well I'm interested to know this displacement of part of traders to a new area didn't have any good effect on the Informal Economic? And also as your opinion what can your government do, do you have any alternative?

marie hinds - Sunday, 7 October 2012, 09:33 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development


Thank you for sharing the experience of Luanda. Although so far away from the Caribbean the experience you have shared about efforts to relocate the market is exactly the same in Trinidad. My colleague Jassodra is sure to share with you the "failed" attempts to move the market from downtown Port of Spain to the outskirts of the CBD. Now we have 2 market sites...the legal one and the market that is the life of our city is alive and well along the city's roadways.... subject to constant harassment from the police of course!  

Not entirely true though since efforts re their inclusion have been made over the years by renting them small sites on weekends. However these policies lack consistency and are often seasonal eg.: during the Christmas or Carnival seasons.

Vanessa Maschio dos Reis - Monday, 8 October 2012, 10:22 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Marie and Muhammad,
Thank you for your interest about the situation of the markets in Luanda. In this particular case of Panguila, we have a brand new infraestrutured market, sanitized and orderly, with also a Waste Management Plan. 

But while the space look better in terms of safety and health, it is located very far from where the traditional customers used to be. Relocated traders complain massively on the large distance from the original Market.

 Part of the traders who were relocated to the Panguila Market, although they keep paying daily rents in this peripheral market, they do the gross of their business in other even smaller informal markets or streets of the CBD, to minimize their losses.

This has led to the strengthening of smaller informal markets inner to the CBD.

As the Government had no interest that the original site was preserved as popular market area, and there was "allegedly" no other option besides the relocation, in my view planning always should have considered:

- Identify, together with the representative bodies of traders, land plots near the old Market in conditions to be infrastructured to install smaller markets and dilute all the vendors in these new markets.
- Analyze the existing popular markets to identify those who receive support traders.
- Provide proper infrastructure to Markets in existing CBD (Sao Paulo, Asa Branca, Kikolo, etc.), to accommodate traders.

- Identify, together with the representative bodies of traders, new centers in outlying areas that would receive smaller markets (given the clientele issue too). 

What do you think about this? You have similar situations in your cities? I'm waiting anxiously to find out ... (I could not find the comment about markets by Jassodra, is this forum or any previous module. Could you please send the link?)

Jose Van-Dunem - Sunday, 7 October 2012, 09:50 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Hi every one,
Informal economic activity in Luanda is very extensive. Unemployment is still accentuated (around 40%). Lack of professional skills combined with inefficient job offers forces people to carry out informal activities mainly retail, street sells for living. To revert the issue the government is now promoting local economic development by subsidizing small businesses and entrepreneurship initiatives. The ministry of economics has launched a national programme which provides support and collaboration to companies protected by law of micro, small and medium enterprise. They will help in the certification consultancy technical assistance and formation of the entrepreneurs so they can learn about legislation and regulations of the law which can help them manage their own business; in that registered entrepreneurs can receive a financial support of 150 thousand to 2 million US $ to invest.

Nyamsuren Bayarsaikhan - Tuesday, 9 October 2012, 02:13 AM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Jose,

Financial support based on legislation procedure is very good idea and i would like to know if there is any other eligible criteria for this national program.

Jose Van-Dunem - Tuesday, 9 October 2012, 10:30 AM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Hi Nyama,
An institution called Instituto Nacional de Apoio a Pequenas e Medias Empresas – INAPEM (National Institution of support to Small and Medium enterprises) is the organ responsible for the process of certification of enterprises. They are the ones that certify the enterprises before the companies can reach the bank for financial support. Although they can approve one´s application for accomplishing all the paper work requirements and actual fees, they prioritize enterprises which its social object cater for products which are in higher demand in national market like sectors of construction, agriculture and few others. The applicants have to contribute with a value of about 15% of the total financial request when it has been granted.

Jyotti Prakash Rout - Tuesday, 9 October 2012, 03:21 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Hi Jose,
Nice to read about Luanda, it’s interesting. But does small time hawkers also fall in the purview of the INAPEM, as you have mentioned? Will the hawkers like to get their products and articles (food, agricultural goods) certified? If not, how will the government enforce it?

José Tiago Catito - Tuesday, 9 October 2012, 04:52 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Klara,

This topic is very interesting. With regard to Luanda, as in other cities reported by colleagues, the situation is not much different. According to a study by DW - Development Workshop Angola 2007, about 40% of Luandaners had to guarantee the survival of the informal market. 

Likewise differentiate micro, small and medium enterprises can prove tricky to distinguish very clearly the formal sector of the informal sector in the Angolan economy is not easy. The definitions leave a part of economic agents on the border between the two, which should be considered as a more flexible zone than a thin line and fixed. Moreover, relations between the two sectors are numerous, especially because 90% of the activities of the informal economy is an engine purchase and resale of goods, early in the process, was bought in shops or warehouses formal.

For me, the informal sector is not unfair competition to the formal sector of the economy, quite the opposite is helping many families in the supply of basic needs mainly in the communities where governments fail to reach and meet the needs of communities in terms respect to access to water, basic services and even in land management.

Jose Van-Dunem - Tuesday, 9 October 2012, 11:03 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Jyotti Prakash,
INAPEM only works for people who have registered projects. There has been an announcement of credit release for some street shoe polishers who register themselves to some similar program which obliges them to have a license to carry out these types of activities. Municipal Gov is trying to integrate street vendors or hawkers those in new built free markets. But it’s quite challenging because they always come back to the streets; on the streets they don’t need to pay any sort of fees...

Pedro Ortiz - Monday, 8 October 2012, 01:48 AM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Focus on the economics that affect the urban development. Do not get entangled in macroeconomics or petty politics. The economics matter to make the right decisions in your urban planner job. If you know nothing about urban economics you will take the wrong decisions, or you will not be allowed to take those decisions anyway.
But if you want to 'make a difference' in your city, then you cannot do so without that knowledge.

Vanessa Maschio dos Reis - Monday, 8 October 2012, 11:42 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Pedro,
I agree with your statements and I have huge doubts about sustainable alternatives to address the issues of Panguila Market (the new peripheral popular market). There were large government investments to structure it and we need to think creatively so that there will be no more losses and underutilization of its installation.

The Market Management registered traders (but I have doubts about the comprehensiveness of the registry), invested in a post-occupation control system (not sure if it is flawed), but in my opinion, the main challenge for the market is to become sustainable in attracting customers.

The market has been removed from an area of high density in the center of Luanda, for a far away sparse periurban area. Apart from all, this territory was detached from its original province (Luanda) and now belongs to another one (Bengo). Thus, the Provincial Government of Luanda has no more responsibility to manage the new market.

The "candongas" (informal transport), the main locomotion means of client population and merchants, are prohibited from crossing the interprovincial boundaries.

As a way of improving access to and encourage customers to this new peripheral market, I would suggest creating lines of interprovincial transportation (with many buses at various times) priced as urban fare (the actual ticket cost of formal bus transport is 1/3 of the "candonga" fare, and its route is about 10 times longer).

What do you think? What do you consider possible alternatives to this situation? Do this other element to be included?

Pedro Ortiz - Tuesday, 9 October 2012, 02:41 AM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Vanessa,
To know which have been the errors or the right decisions in the Panguila Market: Location, potential market, selection of supply, installations, commercialization, etc, etc. there are many aspects, and I know nothing about them. I am afraid it is impossible for me to form criteria.

The decision to take the market away from a high density area for a far away sparse peri-urban location seems to be the obvious description of a condition for a failure. Locations of markets are not random, and they are the product of very subtle aspects. You cannot run a city at your will. You must 'listen' carefully to the underlying forces, both economic and social, and adapt your policy to your capacity to manage that.

I would have tried, if keeping the original location impossible (where was it?) , to have found a place as close as possible. Close to a main nodal transport point of the metropolitan structure to facilitate access and to create an intermodal transport hub that would accumulate urban centrality functions and assure success.

Remember, I wrote that some time ago in one of the entries that the centrality functions are: 1) Intermodality, 2) Public spaces, 3) Commercial activity, 4) Housing density, 5) Social facilities, 6) Institutional building and 7) Iconic social reference. If you want to read more about this go through the file you can download here.

The fact that transport cannot access, and that it is beyond the limits of Luanda administrative capacity are all elements that suggest failure before it was started. It all seems a crazy move.

What would I do? A new market in Luanda, in the right location and within the parameters i have described. Why don't you suggest that location and we can discuss if it is a good one? I have some ideas.

Ilídio Daio - Wednesday, 10 October 2012, 04:02 AM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Pedro,

Luanda has a very intense urban informal commercial activities (see below). In the implementation of future plans, many African planners have a Eurocentric approach as a synonym for "modern", easily accepted by rulers who approve plans. Know any different reality?

Assuming that recognition of the informal economy by the state, as it is possible to reconcile the street vending, and other informal commercial activities, maintaining the aesthetic image of the city and knowing that some of these activities happen and common areas of the city. Do you know any example?

Architect Charles Correa has some urban studies that include informal commercial activities in Mumbai. Got any more information on this subject in other city?

In Barcelona Rambla is a very intense urban space and pleasant, with various commercial activities, can we consider to use it as a case study, without neglecting the idiosyncrasies of each local context?

Pedro Ortiz - Wednesday, 10 October 2012, 04:15 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Ilidio,
You raise a very important point just the last minute of the Discussion. This is my last post but I wish we would have more time to discuss it because the future of Africa and other developing countries is at stake. The methodologies of planning we are using are produced for countries with a low pace of growth, which have been doing so for 150 years and whose Governments are able to control situations and uncontrolled development is just a minimum part of construction and is immediately restrained.

The Developed-centric Instruments and figures of planning work for annual rates of growth 0.5%, uncontrolled construction rates of 1% and marginally unsatisfactory Governments.

But when the rates of growth are 5% (100% in 14 years), uncontrolled developments is 80% (or even more) and the Government is more than marginally unsatisfactory (in some places no Government at all!!!) that develop-centric planning is not only useless. It is even counterproductive.

And what I am saying is not just a personal position. It is the position shared by Cities Alliance which is a joint organism with partners as the World Bank and UN-Habitat...

Africa (the developing countries) have to create their own system of planning and management, adapted to those circumstances. Planning is essential because the phenomena you are undergoing if it is not canalized and focus is going to produce a mess impossible to manage in a few years. But a system which is not appropriate is like no system at all. And that is the situation you (we) are now.

How should that Developing-centric system be? Obviously you are the ones who should know best. Do you need help? Happy to try to help.

Out of my experience, a few clues:

1) It has to be a strategy to be built quickly. You cannot spend 4 years approving a Plan. In 4 years time the data you planned with would be obsolete and so the Plan. The Plan is obsolete before you start to enforce or apply it. You need plans to be applicable in 6 months or a year.

2) Due to this speed you have to be aware of the possible flaws. So it has to be very flexible and adaptable to be able to correct the direction at the time you are managing it. There is no point in precise plans that will not be possible to be implemented as they were designed.

3) Reduce details and avoid determining a lot of variables and aspects that it is impossible to enforce.

4) Allow for uncontrolled aspects. Incorporate the uncontrolled as part of the Plan. Give a lot of margin for it. Provide an imprecise framework which will allow for a lot of alternative initiatives. Allow for the freedom of people to do what they want to do. They are going to do it anyway because you are not going to be able to prevent it.

5) Act against those initiatives that really are harmful for the rest and/or society as a whole. Let the ones which are not to flow even if they are not the 'ideal' ones.

6) Foster development not through administrative control (you are not able to enforce) but through positive actions.

7) Those positive initiatives have to be strategic. They have to produce a lot of spin-offs and opportunities for others to grasp and to follow. Those are urban leadership initiatives.

8) Apply your scarce public budget for those leadership initiatives. Complement your limited capacity with private capital investment.

9) Define, direct and control those private capital investment leadership actions. They are 'formal economy' so you can control them. They have to fit the strategic framework.

10) Strategically coordinate the public and private investments: The private investments that are substantial and would have strategic dimension and effects cannot be piecemeal and left to disjointed incrementalist accumulation of 'smart' ideas unrelated one each other. They have to be part of the Strategic Plan to produce synergies and multiplier effects.

Synthesis: With this type of planning you will be able to Plan in six months and you will be able to implement leadership investments within six months. You will be able to attract private investment consistent with your public investment and objectives. You will be able to adapt to evolving circumstances in a continuous process. You will be able to canalize the uncontrolled (informal) sector in a positive way, and within a framework of freedom, both for the informal economy as for the informal construction sector.

These are just a few thoughts. But they are worth discussing them further because if they are not exactly those, I know the right ones are in that direction. I have been these days in Barcelona at the 6th Urban Research and Knowledge Symposium with Allan Cain that, apart from being a participant in this course, you know well and will meet in a few days in Luanda. I will be very happy to be able to pursue this discussion.

This is really my last post in this course. The time of the discussion is well overdone. It has been very interesting time of sharing with all.

Allan Cain - Thursday, 11 October 2012, 12:04 PM
Re: Land Use & Local Economic Development

Dear Pedro and Vanessa,

Please forgive me for cross-posting this again but I wanted to give some last thoughts on the informal and formal market situation in Luanda. What I am talking about here pre-dates the Panguila story by some years.

I wanted to mention the tradition of many cities to incorporate farmer's market-places often into the formal urban design. This was the historic case in Luanda and most Angolan cities. Luanda had an interesting architecturally designed city market at Kinaxixi in the heart of the city that was built in the 1960s. Kinixixi followed the tradition of "market days" and was open on different days of the week specializing in different products. The main function of Kinaxixi was to provide a place for small-scale market gardeners and agricultural cooperatives from the green-belt around the city to sell their products to urban dwellers in the heart of the CBD. The market was stocked late at night, much in the way of the old Covent Garden in London, so as not to disturb urban traffic patterns during the day. I think we had here a solution for the dilemma of the informal market. This was a formal space in the prime CBD that was made available for small producers, farmers and traders. In many countries multi-story parking garages or parking-lots in the CBD are converted on weekends to serve the function of farmers markets.

The planning tragedy in Angola (one of many unfortunately) was the demolition of Kinaxixi farmers-market over ten years ago. It destroyed a piece of architecture that had won awards in its day, but most importantly provided a formal space in the city for an important economic and social function. Kinaxixi is being replaced by a high-end shopping centre that will no doubt include a supermarket where imported food can be sold to the urban dwellers. The local farmers have been forced to sell in the city periphery today in places like Panguia and have become impoverished in turn. Their profits and client base has been reduced substantially. The destruction of Kinaxixi preceded the demolition of Roque Santeiro, Luanda's and Africa´s largest informal market that served a similar economic function. That is another story that Vanessa and some of my other Angolan colleagues have already discussed.