DW AngolaModule 6: Land Use and Social Equity - Fourteen Participants

Module 6: Land Use and Social Equity - Fourteen Participants


Allan Cain - 05:42 PM
Land Use and Social Equity

I found it interesting that in the text for this module that there was no discussion about the indicators that UN Habitat uses to define urban poverty or describe slums. UN Habitat’s Global Observatory promotes the use of five key MDG indicators that are easily observable and measurable. The traditional definitions of those living below an economic poverty line ($1 or $2 per day) are difficult to compare between cities or countries.  UN Habitat’s indicators are much more useful to urban planners because they measure factors that can be influenced.
The indicators are as follows (the numbering is not important); click here to download this information as a PDF:
Indicator 1 - Access to safe water; A household is considered to have access to improved water supply if it has sufficient amount of water for family use, at an affordable price, available to household members without being subject to extreme effort, especially to women and children. Measurable indicators include:
-Affordability: water should consume less than 10% of the household income;
-Sufficient quantity: water should be available at a quantity of at least 20 liters per person per day;
-Potable quality available without excessive efforts and time: clean water should be available at each household or through standposts or improved wells or boreholes within 200 meters of the household;
Indicator 2 - Access to sanitation; A household is considered to have adequate access to sanitation, if an excreta disposal system, either in the form of a private toilet or a toilet shared between a maximum of two families. Measurable indicators include the proportion of households with:
- a direct private connection (to the dwelling or plot) to the public sewer or to septic system (with sufficient capacity)
-a pour flush latrine, private or shared (not public)
-a ventilated improved pit latrine, private or shared (not public)

Indicator 3 – Security of Tenure;  Defined by the right of all individuals and groups to effective protection by the State against forced evictions. People have secure tenure when:
-There is evidence of documentation that can be used as proof of secure tenure status;
-There is either de facto or perceived protection from forced evictions.
Indicator 4 - Quality of Housing; A house is considered as ‘durable’ if it is built on a non-hazardous location and has a structure permanent and adequate enough to protect its inhabitants from the extremes of climatic conditions such as rain, heat, cold, humidity.
The following should be considered as inadequate:
-Housing settled in geologically hazardous zones (landslide/earthquake and flood areas);
-Housing settled on garbage-mountains or industrial pollution areas;
-Housing around other high-risk zones, e.g. railroads, airports, energy transmission lines.
-Quality and durability of construction (e.g. materials used for wall, floor and roof)
Indicator 5 – Overcrowding;  A house is considered to provide a sufficient living area for the household members if not more than two people share the same room.
Measurable indicators include:
-The Proportion of households with three persons or more per room.
-The proportion of population living in settlements with a density of over 50,000 people per square kilometer.
The last line about population density should probably questioned since high densities are probably desirable in many cases for good economic reasons. Of course in this module most of these issues have been discussed but I think that it would be useful to take note that UN Habitat’s Global Observatory has systematized these into a set of measurable indicators. We have been working in Angola with the National Institute for Physical and Territorial Planning to build a National Urban Information System for monitoring these indicators across several cities.

Devangi Ramakrishnan - Monday, 15 October 2012, 06:41 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Allan,
Thanks for pointing this out. There have been rare mentions of the MDGs and linkage to the course modules, in spite of the fact that these are precisely the goals that countries around the world have formally adopted and are struggling to achieve.

Bratislav Đorđević - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 07:49 AM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Hello Allan,
It’s a good suggestion to be discussed. It is always useful to be reminded that there are systemized criteria of poverty evaluation at global level and based on defined indicators of the UN Habitat’ Global Observatory. If it would possible, I would like you to share with us some of your data created based on indicators mentioned above. I have not had a chance to look at them, especially the part regarding urban planning. I feel that your experience could be applied here in our city.

Allan Cain - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 07:09 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Bratislav,
Here is some background on how we are using those five Urban Poverty MDGs to produce useful data for urban planners. I am annexing some of the results from projecting this georeferenced data into GIS maps of Luanda. In Luanda, the city has been mapped into 11 settlement typologies by a team that includes representatives of residents’ groups, government planners and the local authorities. This has involved remote sensing using satellite imagery, cartographical maps and aerial photographs which are then validated by rapid on-the-ground appraisal. About two and a half thousand households were sampled in proportion to the typology size estimated through a preliminary remote sensing exercise. Enumerators were selected by local community based organisations in each municipality and a base-line questionnaire was employed. In addition to the standard household questionnaire that gathered data on the five urban-poverty MDG indicators, a poverty-score-card tool was included that employed observation (such as housing materials) as well as the collection of easily verifiable information on household assets that could be used to quickly categorize family poverty level. Local knowledge is also gathered and mapped using hand-held GPSs.

Each year since 2010 the Luanda Urban Poverty Network that we helped create undertook the task of making the monitoring of urban poverty a community-driven process. The Luanda Urban Poverty Network, whose members represent CBOs and civil society organisations from bairros across the city are now engaged in this research initiative, and have adapted the validation tools in order to measure the impact of government programmes in their own bairros and municipalities. The Network collects indicator data locally using tools adapted from the MDG monitoring survey and feeds this data through the Municipal Councils and Forums to feed into a city-wide monitoring framework that continues to feed the Ministry of Urbanism’s National Territorial Information System and will also become part of a National Poverty Observatory that civil society organisations are in the process of creating.

The Luanda Urban Poverty Network with Development Workshop’s assistance has transformed the diagnostic tool from a household based survey into a neighbourhood participatory monitoring exercise. Information on the five urban poverty MDG’s is still obtained using the same indicator framework but this is done using representational focus groups in each of Luanda’s bairros and repeated on an annual basis. This participatory poverty monitoring puts verified and regularly updated data into local community’s hands. It gives civil society representatives the evidence-based arguments they need to advocate for better and more equitable delivery of services to their neighbourhoods, and to follow up on government commitments to national poverty alleviation.

The information collected by communities is provided to Development Workshop’s GIS team who transforms data into maps and consolidates the multiple sources into municipal and city-wide data that is required by municipal planners. This process is providing vital monitoring information to the municipal administration and contributing data that is essential for building socio-economic profiles; citizens consequently gain access to decision-making arenas and have the potential of influencing local planning and budgeting. Aiming to provide a tool for pro-poor planning in the municipalities, these cover basic service provision and human development indicators.

Dansoaa Siaw-Misa - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 09:49 AM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Etelvina,
How do you propose a city can resolve the issue of high cost of land and housing, particularly in light of the point you raised where demand exceeding supply?

Etelvina Saldanha - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 03:44 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Dansoaa Siaw-Misa,
Thanks for ask. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that ... the indices of poverty is very high, not many people have a monthly income, and there’s no fixed prices of goods, nothings tabulated and we have not a organ (which work) to control the exaggerated values that people try to apply to everything ... the same happens with houses, everyone wants to win… they can, sell an egg for 15Kz and later on may charge the same egg 30Kz. To solve the high price of the houses ...we would have to go back a bit to consider fundamental issues such as water, light and sanitation for all, a job and some subsidies for the disabled to work, so people could have condition to pay for their own roof and this would lower prices, because the problem is not lack of houses but lack of power to acquire them.

Allan Cain - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 10:31 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Following on the discussions around post-conflict urban centres: When the Angolan civil war ended in 2002 there was an expectation from Government that those who had taken refuge in the capital during the four decades of conflict, would return to their rural places of origin. The population of Luanda had grown tenfold during those years. However after the end of the war, this return migration did not happen. In fact, as roads opened up after the fighting stopped, this permitted even more people who had been trapped in provincial towns to migrate to the capital region. You can see by the accompanying graphic that urban population growth continued to accelerate after 2002.

Clearly these previous IDPs had become "urbanized" by the war. Some families had settled over two generations and we must consider that they have acquired "urban citizenship". The demand now is to recognize their tenure to the land that they purchased or was granted to them by local authorities, despite the fact that no new land titles were issued during these years. We have been arguing that "occupation-in-good-faith" should be reintroduced into Angolan land legislation and the "rights to the city" should be recognized for these long term former-IDPs.

Claudia Funes - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 10:52 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Allan,
I am very interested in systems for monitoring and evaluation of the plans, and I found this indicators to be very simple. Don´t you think something is missing? You still need to consider the family´s income. But maybe, as you say, $1 in the USA for living cannot be compared to $1 in Honduras or Bolivia, where food is cheaper. Comparing percentages of income´s used in water consumption, services, food, etc. gives a better idea of quality of life. At least you can identify if the basic needs are met at a fair share.

Allan Cain - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 11:13 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Claudia,
I am including the full matrix here. You will see that water prices are included. However family income is an indicator that is very difficult to access using rapid diagnostic tools. Most economists actually use household expenditure indicators to do financial estimates of household finances. However UN Habitat recommends using easily observable indicators to estimate poverty. See the detailed indicators that we use below.

Allan Cain - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 11:19 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Here is the graphic on the post-conflict urban centres. It shows the population growth curve for Luanda in both war and peace (post 2002).

Ilídio Daio - Wednesday, 17 October 2012, 05:00 AM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Allan,
Do you have some social economic data for Luanda slums? The slums of Luanda represent between 75 to 80% of the population of Luanda. 

With the rapid growth of Luanda 7-8% per year, due not only to rural migration but also the high birthrate of aprox 3%, the suburban slums continue densificando up, while others are emerging in peripheral areas.

The socioeconomic framework of Luanda features a very large disparity in social inequality, almost 0,8 Gini coefficient, and segmented into the following classes:
A- Government Members, Diplomats, High military officers, Senior managers in business

B- Medium High Expatriates segment , National Entrepreneurs, High oil technicians

C- Expatriate staff in general, New Graduates (banking, oil, insurance), High Public Officials
D- Employees of public sector, Informal entrepreneurs

E- Self-employment in informal sector that represents the vast majority of the urban poor


Our Government has been implementing some strategies for urban renewal in the last 10 years after the end of armed conflict, which chronologically these strategies have improved and become more inclusive and participatory, but still far from meeting the needs of the overwhelming majority of the poor urban Luanda, with regard to access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and housing and affordable.

We can consider three main strategies:
1 - Relocation of slums in risk areas, which initially resulted in failure because the families who were relocated to outlying areas of very difficult access to the labor market many of them sold their houses and returned to the slums of origin

2 - Aided self construction, outcome is a good initiative of progressive urbanization and orderly, but has failed in the absence of supervision and monitoring by government
3 - Conversion of urban Cazenga and Sambizanga aims to be a more participatory and inclusive process, where an open area of the slum buildings are built social housing for subsequent resettlement of some households, up to then demolish their homes to start another construction cycle and resettlement.

Many Luanda slums its difficult to implement slum upgrading, comparing with many Latin America slums, due to extreme densification, that to provide basic services and emergency roads, adequate ventilation, etc., you must demolish several house. It's also difficult to do land readjustment for land tenure proposes.

Allan Cain - Wednesday, 17 October 2012, 09:47 AM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Ilidio
Regarding socio-economic data on Angolan slums I will send you some materials by email. One interesting graphic that I am including here shows the sources of population migration into the musseques. It shows that the population growth from returning refugees (from outside the country is quite small) but the main source of growth is divided between rural-urban migration from other provinces, the high birth rate, but also a significant inner-city migration from other bairros in Luanda. This is due to the gentrification of some inner-city musseques that has resulted in raising land values. Some of the poor are selling off or renting-out their inner-city land and housing to cash-in and then moving to cheaper land in the peri-urban periphery. This is resulting in a gradual lowering of population densities in the old musseques like Sambizanga, Rangel and Cazenga where you and your colleagues are working.

Allan Cain - Wednesday, 17 October 2012, 09:28 AM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear David
If we use the semantics of the United Nations a refugee is someone who has crossed an international border and usually can get some assistance in resettlement from international organizations such as UNHCR and IOM. While these people may or may not settle in an urban centre, I believe that in most conflict or post-conflict situations they are in a minority compared to IDPs. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) have not crossed an international boundary but may be from distant provinces within a country where the conflict is the greatest. In Angola for instance there were estimates of over 4 million IDPs when the war ended representing probably 30% of the national population. We estimate that at least half of them eventually ended up settling in musseques (slums) Luanda. The remainder took refuge in the provincial urban centres around the country where the Government forces could provide them some protection.

I think that those people cease to be IDPs after the end of the conflict, given a reasonable time to return to their areas of origin (say 12 to 18 months). I am attaching here a very interesting map of Angola showing the return migration of former IDPs during the year after the end of the civil war in 2002. You can see that there was a real return of IDPs from smaller provincial urban centres across the country of hundreds of thousands, but almost no return migration from the metropolitan region of Luanda (about 4 thousand). In fact you can see from the other graphic that I posted that the net population growth actually accelerated after the end of the conflict.

It would be interesting to compare the processes of urbanization and settlement from other countries that have experienced conflict.

Claudia Funes - Wednesday, 17 October 2012, 03:41 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Allan,
Thanks for your reply. We definitely are going to try to apply it here.

David Young - Thursday, 18 October 2012, 12:48 AM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity


So sorry about the semantic slip-up! I am going to blame my intrapost terminological shift, talking about "IDP" in the framing statements and then "refugees" in the questions themselves, on thinking about your post as well as the posts referring to similar multigenerational characteristics of the migrant groups that left Afghanistan when composing the questions. A bad excuse is better than none, right? In regards to the map, I wholeheartedly agree that it is very interesting. The level of detail is incredible, to be able to track that type of migration among a population such as that is impressive. You said it is estimated that 50%, more or less, of the migrants ended up in Luanda’s musseques with the other 50%, more or less, going to provincial urban centers. It is the majority of the latter half that returned, presumably to their places of origin. From the map, it looks like the migrants that were most likely to return to their places of origin were also most likely to initially retreat only as far as they had to, as they seem to have migrated to the nearest place they believed represented a refuge. Since more than 75% or so of this group returned (1,559,825, which is the figure provided by the map minus the 4,130 for Luanda and the estimate of there being about 4,000,000 IDPs with a 50/50 split between Luanda and everywhere else), while only one-tenth of one percent of those who went to Luanda left (again, working off of the map), I wonder If those who went to Luanda did so with any intention to ever leave. If anything can be inferred from those numbers (assuming that I got them right), it seems that Luanda might have grown as it did, conflict or not.
Thanks for the response and the great map!

Allan Cain - Thursday, 18 October 2012, 10:06 AM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear David
I am most impressed by the care that you took in analyzing the various graphics that I posted! I agree with all of the conclusions that you have drawn. The reason that those who migrated to Luanda were less likely to return is that these families had in many cases migrated in stages from their villages, then to the nearest town, then when that became unsafe, to the provincial capital, and then generally to one of the coastal cities (that the Government forces were most easily able to defend). The final step in the migration was to the capital region of Luanda. These steps normally happened over several years. Clearly those families that stayed in one of these staging points during the duration of the conflict were more likely to maintain social and kinship ties with their communities of origin. They tended also to get access to "relief aid" that was supplied by international donors who tried to keep IDPs in their home provinces. This aid was withdrawn by donors in the months after the ceasefire. They were also less likely to become urbanized in the sense of developing autonomous survival strategies in the informal urban markets in cities like Luanda. Most urbanized IDPs started to acquire assets such as purchasing housing plots in the city over time.

I imagine that a comparative study of urbanization processes in conflict countries like Afghanistan and post-conflict countries like Angola would produce some interesting lessons and eventually even some good practices for urbanists. You may be interested in looking at a study that we did on Angola called "What to do when the fighting stops" you can download it here.

Andre Melo - Sunday, 21 October 2012, 09:15 AM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

The percentage of slum dwellers in Luanda is not very clear but certainly above 60%, maybe above 70%, experiencing quite high formal housing deficit. Over the last five to six years, efforts have been made to build some houses in suburbs or peri-urban areas to relocate some of the people who lived in slums. Besides the effort not making much of a difference in the number of households living in slums, the major objective of relocation was not much to create better housing for the slum dwellers as to leave the slum area free for government or some business tycoon projects. Because their inability to make a living in these areas to which they were relocated some have sold out their house, even without title, and returned to other slum areas where they find it easy to engage in home or street business to earn a living. In the whole process, those with the lowest socioeconomic capacity remain the most vulnerable

Two or so years ago a technical office was instituted to plan and implement the requalification of two Urban Districts. Households living in the target structures/areas have also been, and still are being relocated to the "spill over" suburbs/peri-urban areas. But different from the first cenario I mention above, the areas they left will still be residences, although some of it will serve for public facilities, but still to benefit the future residents. However, it is not very clear how the requalified properties will be remarketed and whether or not the previous inhabitants will still be equally competitive in acquisition.

The challenges that Ian mentioned in relation to Mazabuka town also apply in our case. Probably we will have to do more in relation to the legal aspect given that there are still some unresolved jurisdictional definitions resulting from the recent redefinition of politico-administrative boundaries of the Municipalities and Urban Districts in Luanda.

Andre Melo - Sunday, 21 October 2012, 10:21 AM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Maseh,
It is interesting to hear that the upgrading of slums and unplanned areas in your city implemented by government is the most successful in the Asian continent. It is also interesting to note that your country shares similar post-conflict experiences as my country, Angola, with regards to land use and socioeconomic disparities linked to migration. The challenges with the legal systems and governance you mention are not only an issue in post-conflict countries like yours and mine, but also for countries that have spanned a substantial period after independence without armed conflict like Zambia, see Ian Chibale's contribution on Mazabuka town. What I find important is that if you shared a little more on the strategies your government used to achieve the success in the slum upgrading; a lot of us would take a great lesson home.

Jose Van-Dunem - Monday, 15 October 2012, 05:17 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear all,
We face In Luanda immense problems concerning the slums since the majority of populace of the city do live in slums. It’s about more than 60% of the total population living in precarious conditions. Even within the developed areas, where we find infrastructure and basic services, the conditions are also bad state.

The government has currently put in place number projects including municipal inter municipal master planning projects to eradicate slums and upgrade existing infrastructure. Still there are big challenges to overcome the situation because they have to recompense residents or companies that are relocated to new areas that imply very high expenditures. The people who are relocated to government houses end up selling their new given houses and construct shacks in some other areas so they can benefit again from relocation.

marie hinds - Monday, 15 October 2012, 09:13 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Jose,
What you have described re the situation in Luanda is so familiar. Although I believe we have done a pretty good job in tackling our slums we still have persons renting out their new homes and returning to the slum areas. The reality is that the unplanned settlements are usually close to job sites. Why would I choose to live far away from the city where I earn my income. For many there are advantages for remaining in the slum....no overhead costs and proximity to employment even though many of these areas are major health hazards.

Jose Van-Dunem - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 12:19 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Marie,
Muhammed and all That’s exactly what people reply. In most cases the given houses are located about 20 kilometers from their area of origin where you don’t find services easily and since they use informal commerce activities they prefer to stay closer to the city to be able to make some money.

Muhammed the slums grow extensively and quickly because of people from other regions of Angola flocking to Luanda because of civil war. Luanda was the safest city by then and the city itself wasn’t built to hold the number of populace it currently has. How has your government managed to reduce the slums? What about the quality of the houses that replace the slums? Is it improving the quality of living of your people?

Moisés Festo - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 05:06 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear José
We have now to reflect why after 10 years of cease fire, people who left their provinces during the war, some of them prefer to continue living in Luanda.

Vanessa Maschio dos Reis - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 03:23 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Jyotty,
Thanks for the description of issues related to housing and slums in Mumbai. In Luanda we have similar situations in relation to the proportion of the population living in slums (here, about 2/3 of the population lives in slums - favelas). The government's efforts have also been on relocating the populations elsewhere than keeping them in their original place.

I would like to know more about your suggestion "ii. Improve access to housing finance for the poor". Is there already any kind of funding system? For the case of those employed in the informal economy, how do they prove their income? Is there any a possibility of this funding be used to improve their houses inside the slum?

Vanessa Maschio dos Reis - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 04:22 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Marie,
I think in Luanda, and extending it to Angola, could have a regularization program similar to what you described in Trinidad. What are the main challenges you see in this system of regulation? What are the investments required to make the upgrading of slums?

marie hinds - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 05:47 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

 Hi Vanessa,
I'm glad you raised the issue of challenges which also includes our funding mechanism. In terms of regulations it has been quite a challenge for the LSA to upgrade sites using the established standards such as the requirements for open space, setbacks from boundaries and roads for example and the width of access, as used by the planning agency. Today there is more collaboration between these two agencies and the LSA is about to submit to the planning agency development standards that could be applied only to sites to be regulated.

Slum upgrade is a very expensive exercise and it is part of a larger settlements strategy. We could not do it alone and the IDB has been supporting re loans. The following two links should be useful: here and here.

How are slum upgrade projects funded in Luanda and Angola? What are the beneficiaries asked to contribute to the process?

Vanessa Maschio dos Reis - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 11:42 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Marie,
Thanks for sharing the challenges faced in Trinidad. In Luanda, as I could observe, and specially in transition areas, where there is a mix among slums and some consolidated dwellings, a portion of projects and plans used to have a focus on urban infrastructure and did not address the issue of land regularization, e.g. the District (comuna) of Neves Bendinha.

I think the greater challenge for Luanda, and by extension Angola, are related to integrated plans and projects that address issues of land tenure, upgrading slums and housing financing. Our other colleagues in Luanda certainly may have further opinions at this issue, let's hear them ... ;)

Allan Cain - Wednesday, 17 October 2012, 01:13 AM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Dear Vanessa
I very much agree with your assessment of the priorities for Luanda. All of these issues overlap and need also to be addressed by the policy makers as well as the planners.

José Tiago Catito - Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 05:22 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Hi Klara and everyone,
For lack of population census since 1983, as well as major migrations caused by war, there are no reliable data on the size and distribution of the population in the province of Luanda. It is said that about three quarters of Luanda's population lives in peri-urban slums. Estimates good are a total of 2,494,305 inhabitants in March 1994. More recent calculations, although unofficial, estimated the total population of Luanda, at the end of 2000, around 3.5 million.

The Government of Luanda, is undertaking redevelopment of slums programs aimed at improving the living conditions of the populations. However, it is a great challenge because in some circumstances the government has to relocate and compensate or retrain residents of those areas which is a great financial cost. Ex: Program reclassification of Cazenga municipality and district of Sambizanga and Rangel.

Massamba Dominique - Monday, 22 October 2012, 05:16 PM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Hello everyone and Klara,
The city of Luanda continues to expand rapidly in size and density, with about 60% of its population living in peri urban slums. And this data is not realistic since the lack of population census since 1983, as well as migration caused by war; no reliable data disposes of the size and distribution of the population in slums.

Due to few politics on urban development, the slums of Luanda are crescent informally; people are building their house in any area available. The government is creating programs designed to improve the living conditions of the populations, whereas access to adequate housing and security of tenure are virtually nonexistent with regard to the poor.

Nuno Reis - Tuesday, 23 October 2012, 11:34 AM
Re: Land Use and Social Equity

Hello Milena,
Thank you for your question and sorry for this late answer, During the seventies, Portugal witnessed a remarkable growth in its urban areas of illegal genesis. This has resulted from such factors as: the increase of the Portuguese population(not only by increasing the birth rate, but also because of the return of Portuguese who have resided in the former colonies and were forced to return asa result of independence of these colonies), the absence of land and housing policies and an increased tendency of population concentration in urban centers, seeking low-cost housing.

Given the growth of neighborhoods of illegal origin and the imperative need tore habilitate, it began to emerge in the 80 various laws providing for the conversion processes of many of these urban spaces. However, these laws have not proved to be sufficiently effective. In1995 the government approved Law n. º 91/95 of 2 September that created the Exceptional Regime for urban redevelopment in urban areas of illegal genesis. According to this law, known as the Urban Areas of Illegal Genesis, covering buildings, or set of contiguous buildings, which had been the subject of physical operations instalment for construction without, for that, had the relevant license allotment, when legally required (aka,illegal allotments). The applicability of this exceptional regime depended on the requirement of the construction operations took place before 1984.

The Law n. º 91/95 of 2 September brought with it the advantage of ease and expedite the legalization of illegal urban settlements, with unauthorized construction but that, given the characteristics of these urban areas is presented subject to urban redevelopment and consequent legalization. With the publication of the aforementioned Law of UAIG, it was intended to give the owners the ability to initiate and manage a process of urban redevelopment, under the ‘supervision' of the city council entity that advance down the perimeter of urban areas for redevelopment.

After the necessary approval of the subdivision permit, by the respective city council, and finished the whole process of urban redevelopment (eg: infrastructure works) there was the possibility of using the division of existing parcels into lots autonomies either by use agreement (required by contract division common thing, through a notary) or through the relevant legal action.

That was the reason for the exceptional regime for the conversion of Urban Areas of illegal Genesis, to allow people – usually with scarce economic resources - to legalized illegal construction, built on parcels subject to allotment illegal (unauthorized). The Law n. º 91/95 of 2 September brought with it the advantage of ease and expedite the legalization of illegal urban settlements, with unauthorized construction but that, given the characteristics of these urban areas is presented subject to urban redevelopment and consequent legalization.

With the publication of the aforementioned Law of UAIG, it was intended to give the owners the ability to initiate and manage a process of urban redevelopment, under the ‘supervision' of the city council entity that advance down the perimeter of urban areas for redevelopment.
With Law n. º 91/95 it was established a special division common thing, applicable to UAIG, formed in joint ownership, by the date of entry into force of Decree-Law n. º 400/84 of 31 December.

Thus, after the necessary approval of the license allotment, by the respective city council, and finished the whole process of urban redevelopment (eg: infrastructure works) there is the possibility of using the division of existing parcels into lots ring-fenced, either by use agreement (required by contract division common thing, through a notary) or through the relevant legal action.

After the publication of the first. ª version of UAIG Law (Law no. º 91/95 of 2September), followed by three updates: through Law no. 165/99 of 14 September; Law. 64/2003of 23 August and finally the Law n. º 10/2008 of 20 February.

In all of them it was stressed the need to extend the time limitation that resulted from the 1. ª published version of the Law n. º 91/95.

Since the last update to the Law of UAIG (through Law no. No. 10/2008), the time limitation was intended to the composition of the joint administration until December 31, 2008 and its title conversion until December 31, 2013.

This time, the owners or co-owners of the urban areas of illegal origin that have not legally established their joint management committee (with mandatory registration on the National Register of Legal Persons) by the end of2008, according to the mentioned Law -and while nothing about legislating - no longer have the possibility of using urban conversion mechanism used in that statute. Apart from the temporal reference, subsequent legislative changes allowed also a better match to the results of the legal requirements and experience gained on the ground.

We emphasize at the outset that the Committee of Directors of the Joint UAIG is responsible for managing and administering the accounts of the administration from the process of conversion which, in most cases, represents thousands of Euros.

Embracing the need for a process of transparency in financial management of UAIG, it became necessary for the existence of a supervisory body, assisted by a Chartered Accountant.
And because the process of AUGI was revealing specific needs, throughout the duration of Law n. º 91/95, it was necessary to comply with the requirement sand experiences that were emerging, such as the case of tax laws, and the deadlines for entry in the matrix, after the ring-fenced plots of land urbanized, as is clear from Article 30. Thereof, Law n. º 91/95 in the version amended by Law n. º 10/2008 of 20 February.

One of the main changes introduced by Law n. º 10/2008 results from the extension of the term of validity of urban redevelopment initiated by individuals.

In fact, since its inception, the Law n. º 91/95 intended to apply for a limited period of time. What happens is that the duration factored in the original Act quickly proved to be insufficient. Why, if proved necessary to extend the term, according to the demands forwarded promptly.

In the first two updates, the validity showed up and limiting lagged UAIG of the many situations that, despite having started the process of their conversion, they found numerous unforeseen obstacles. Of these numerous obstacles, we highlight issues of a formal nature - issues registry and tax matrix - as well as, cash flow problems, to follow, in a swift, with the whole process (eg: lack of money to carry out procurement of works infrastructure and others that they were necessary to the process of urbanization).

Being that the last amendment introduced by Law n. º 10/2008 of 20 February, has already allowed a broader temporal validity of the Law no. UAIG of, since the co-owners were already organized, and constituted its Committee of Directors of the Joint UAIG until 31/December/2008.

Faced with such a temporal limitation, this Act only covers situations where the UAIG disposal of joint administration committee, validly until December 31, 2008 and titled conversion until the 31st December of the year2013. It happens, however, that their City Council may delimit the UAIG, fixing mode conversion as a municipal initiative without the support of joint administration. Possibility city council, however, finds its temporal limitation, in the year 2011.

With particular relevance to Law n. º 10/2008 note the addition of Article30. º-A. Tax issues are linked to the entry in the array and all the doubts that resulted from the application of the legislation in force until that date. Thus, it follows from that normative precept that "the buildings constituted in ownership, the deadline for submission of the declaration for registration of the lot in the matrix, referred to in Article 13. Of the Code of Property Tax, shall be counted from the date of registration of the acquisition of the lot by dividing common thing ... ".

Moving on, this time, the question of when the batch is properly-ring-fenced should be entered in the matrix. This is because, in most cases, from the date of approval of the permit by the date of allotment of the instrument "division common thing" resulted from a lapse of time that had not been compatible with tax legislation including the Municipal Tax Code about homes.

Excluding such normative cases where unlicensed building already existed, but now enrolled in the matrix. Where a declaration for updating the array on the building erected in the urban area of illegal genesis, is made based on their usage license.

Beyond merely formal aspect of the processes of legalization of buildings, municipalities sought to ensure the urban redevelopment of these urban areas through programs to build roads, through the construction of schools, healthcare centers, gardens as well as links to systems for water supply and drainage and treatment of urban waste water.