The current state of global urban development
is unsettling and plagued with manmade
and natural disasters. In many developing
countries, the government does not
have the fiscal and institutional capacity to
build affordable housing and basic infrastructure
for the growing urban population, resulting in a
proliferation of informal settlements and slums.
At the same time, natural disasters in some of
these distressed regions have destroyed homes,
roads, water and sewage systems, and other public
facilities, exacerbating the already limited basic
services available to the urban poor.
In response to these problems, many international
aid agencies such as UN-HABITAT and the
World Bank, as well as governments, scholars, and
practitioners, are looking for new ideas or repackaging
existing ways to rebuild cities. This article
discusses a long-established land management tool
that has attracted recent attention—land readjustment
(LR)—and describes how selected elements
of this tool are being adopted to assist post-earthquake
reconstruction efforts in Chile.
The LR approach emphasizes the integration
of the urban economy, city planning, law, and governance
with land management to form a comprehensive
urban development or upgrading strategy.
It requires an interdisciplinary team of experts with
different perspectives to work on a concrete land
development project. A lthough many scholars such
as Doebele (1982) and Hong and Needham (2007)
have emphasized the importance of this integrated
approach, some practitioners perceive it as merely
a tool to facilitate land transactions. This narrow
view has limited opportunities in some developing
countries to resolve urban upgrading and development
problems in a more comprehensive way.
The recent resurgence of interest in LR is due to
the recognition of the importance of coordinating
economic, legal, political, and social institutions in
the design and implementation of urban (re)development
plans. Practitioners are also contemplating
the possibility of extending LR from management
of peri-urbanization and post-disaster reconstruction
to slum upgrading, for example in some rapidly
urbanizing A frican cities. T he application of this
LR approach to countries where the technique
has never been used is still at an experimental stage.
Potential pilot projects are being designed, but have
not been fully implemented, so further research
is needed to test the validity of assertions about
Anyone can leave a comment, but you need an account first.
If you already have an account, please sign in.
If you don't have an account, you can create an account now.