People drive in heavy traffic in Manila, Philippines

The Philippines: National Urban Policies and City Profiles for Manila and Batangas

People drive in heavy traffic in Manila, Philippines

Overview

This research report reviews and analyses The Philippines’ planning and urban development policy documents for the last twenty years, identifying the key ideas and policies that have shaped the delivery of public services, paying particular attention to education and healthcare.

This report also presents city profiles for two of The Philippines’ cities: Manila and Batangas.

Report written by University of the Philippines Planning and Development Research Foundation, Inc. (PLANADES)

Key messages

This report explores the characteristics and drivers of urbanization in the Philippines and how major policies have affected the development of the country’s major cities. It also describes how the relationship among urban development, health, education, livelihood, and migration have manifested in the Philippines.

The report also describes how institutions and the policy environment have considered the concepts of social, economic, environmental sustainability in urban governance, and how the case study cities of Manila and Batangas have come to exhibit these interventions.

Urban planning in the Philippines is a shared responsibility of national and sub-national levels of government but local governments are considered to be the key in urban development. Urban planning follows a hybrid of top-down and bottom-up approaches.

The country now espouses a decentralized approach to health care after long years of having integrated care from national down to the district level. In this arrangement, the private sector plays an active, if not, a dominant role in health services delivery.

In the educational scene of present day, quality education remains as the most pressing problem. The low quality of education provided by the government has resulted to the increasing rise of private schools that are able to solve for the problems confronting public schools resulted again to a spatial and socio-economic divide when it comes to educational services delivery and outcomes.


Khulna, Central Business District. Credit: Irfan Shakil, Khulna University

Bangladesh: National Urban Policies and City Profiles for Dhaka and Khulna

Khulna, Central Business District. Credit: Irfan Shakil, Khulna University

Overview

This research report reviews and analyses Bangladesh’s planning and urban development policy documents for the last twenty years, identifying the key ideas and policies that have shaped the delivery of public services, paying particular attention to education and healthcare.

This report also presents city profiles for two of Bangladesh’s cities: Dhaka and Khulna.

This report is written by Khulna University.

Key messages

Bangladesh is one of the fastest urbanising countries in the world, with an average annual rate of urbanisation of 5.34 since 1974. It is anticipated that by 2050 country’s share of urban population will reach 56%.

In the face of rapid urbanisation, the number of cities in Bangladesh has increased by about 4.7 times in the last 40 years. The concentration of the urban population is rising in the large cities disproportionately compared to the rest of the cities.

The urbanisation process, however, has brought some of the most pressing urban sustainability challenges.

  • In 2011, 7.35 million people who account for 21% of the urban population live in poverty.
  • In 2014, the number of slums increased dramatically to 13935 from 2991 in 1997.
  • High density urban built-up areas are already putting pressure on extremely deficient urban facilities and services in the big cities.

Bangladesh has made notable improvement in addressing inequality concerning school enrolment and learning outcomes. There was a dramatic rise of net enrolment rate in primary school from 90% in 2000 to 98% in 2015. The net enrolment rate at the secondary level has also increased from 45% in 2000 to around 54% in 2015. Still, urban exclusion, gender inequity and spatial imbalance of service distribution are challenging the effective and inclusive education service provision.

Urbanisation process in Bangladesh has witnessed an improved health status of the urban people. The country has also achieved notable recognition in improving general health status in compare to many of its neighboring countries in South Asia, in terms of reduced maternal mortality, reduced under-5 mortality, reduced infant mortality rate. Still, per capita expenditure on health sector is only about 5 USD against the standard of 34 USD.

Both the health sector and education delivery system are highly centralized system, which often leads towards inefficiency and inequality of service provision.

Both Dhaka and Khulna are finding it difficult to provide urban services and quality built environment to their citizens. Dhaka’s challenge are linked to its inability to meet the demands of its growing population. However, Khulna is struggling because of limited investment and resources.  Both the cities have local level urban plans in place but Dhaka has a more forward-looking plan that includes sustainability agendas.

There are policy implementation challenges for both Dhaka and Khulna, which are mainly because of uncoordinated development projects and a lack of institutional and funding strength of the local planning and City Corporations in the cities.


Busy market streets with colorful houses, buildings and crowds of people, rickshaws near Jama Masjid in Old part of New Delhi, India

India: National Urban Policies and City Profiles for Delhi and Madurai

Busy market streets with colorful houses, buildings and crowds of people, rickshaws near Jama Masjid in Old part of New Delhi, India

Overview

This research report reviews and analyses India’s planning and urban development policy documents for the last twenty years, identifying the key ideas and policies that have shaped the delivery of public services, paying particular attention to education and healthcare.

This report also presents city profiles for two of India’s cities: Delhi and Madurai.

This report is written by the National Institute of Urban Affairs.

Key messages

India, one of the fastest growing economies of the world, has witnessed a deceleration in the growth of population during the last three decades, dismissing the spectre of over-urbanisation.

Urbanisation in India is increasingly becoming exclusionary in nature. The past two decades have witnessed a systematic decline in the share of rural to urban migration in India’s cities.

Public spending on health is still very low. Although this is not the case for education sector, both sectors suffer from a lack of holistic and integrated approach to ensure an efficient and effective system of delivery. Further, there has been an increasing dependency on the private sector in both cases. This can be attributed to the lack of adequate and quality services in the public sector which has adversely impacted the urban poor.

A holistic and integrated development approach and coordination among different stakeholders is essential for Delhi and Madurai to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and become a model of learning and healthy cities in India.


A view towards town, Kigali, Rwanda

Rwanda: National Urban Policies and City Profiles for Kigali and Huye

A view towards town, Kigali, Rwanda

Overview

This research report reviews and analyses Rwanda’s planning and urban development policy documents for the last twenty years, identifying the key ideas and policies that have shaped the delivery of public services, paying particular attention to education and healthcare.

This report also presents city profiles for two of Rwanda’s cities: Kigali and Huye.

This report is written by University of Rwanda

Key messages

Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, with 394 persons per km2 in 2008 . Rwanda is labelled ‘the land of a thousand hills’ due to the hilly topography. This means that although land is a prime resource, much of it is too steep or too wet to build on.

Rwandan land tenure has been mainly conditioned by three factors: the natural environment, population, and politics. Twenty-four years after the genocide against the Tutsi, the Government of Rwanda (GoR) has clearly embraced urbanisation, seen as a vehicle for post war reconstruction in Rwanda. Indeed, the urban development agenda is seen as a possible resource to unlock the transformative economic opportunities for growth and poverty reduction through which Rwanda could make significant progress in its national development.

Rwanda is urbanising rapidly as well as proactively planning for it. Urbanisation in Rwanda is catalysed by demographic growth, migration to urban areas and installation of returnees after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

The urban population was 4.6% in 1978, increasing to 16.5% in 2012 and is expected to reach 35% by 2020. The average urban density is 1871 inhabitants per square kilometer. The current annual growth rate of the urban population is 4.1%. Almost 80% of the city’s residents live in unplanned settlements. The capital city, Kigali, accommodated about half of the urban population in 2012.

Since 2000, steps have been taken towards restructuring and decentralizing healthcare. Now the district health offices operate as autonomous entities, providing services to well-defined populations in either urban or rural zones.

Despite many achievements recorded in education, there are still challenges that must be tackled to halt the threats to the education system. Challenges include insufficiency of school infrastructures, namely classrooms, and textbooks in various schools to meet the student’s demands.


Central Business District, Johannesburg, South Africa

South Africa: National Urban Policies and City Profiles for Johannesburg and Cape Town

Central Business District, Johannesburg, South Africa

Overview

This research report reviews and analyses South Africa’s planning and urban development policy documents for the last twenty years, identifying the key ideas and policies that have shaped the delivery of public services, paying particular attention to education and healthcare.

This report also presents city profiles for two of South Africa’s most populous cities: Johannesburg and Cape Town.

This report is written by University of the Witwatersrand and Human Sciences Research Council

Key messages

Two-thirds of South Africa’s population live in urban areas. This is one of the highest proportions in Africa, reflecting the long history of mining and industrialisation. The pace of urban growth has fallen in recent years, which makes it more manageable, but urbanisation has always been highly contentious and posed dilemmas for successive governments.

Today, South Africa’s cities are among the most unequal and visibly divided in the world, with some of the most affluent and liveable neighbourhoods alongside some of the most squalid, unhealthy and dangerous.

Continuing anti-urban sentiment across government and society has also obliged many people to live in informal settlements and backyard shacks, and to retain a foothold in both urban and rural locations, thereby living a double life of circular migration.

Local authorities in Cape Town and Johannesburg have made many plans to create more compact, sustainable and integrated cities, but they have had little impact on structural problems of chronic poverty and socio-spatial inequality.

  • Johannesburg is South Africa’s largest and fastest-growing city, with high levels of domestic and foreign in-migration. It is marked by extreme social and spatial inequalities. The spatial mismatch between housing and job opportunities is a serious challenge, with the largest and highest density townships located on the urban periphery.
  • Cape Town is South Africa’s second most populous city after Johannesburg. It is also marked by extreme social and spatial inequalities.


Khulna River Bank, Bangladesh

SDG Responsive Urban Planning Practice

SDG Responsive Urban Planning Practice: Bangladesh Thinking and German Insight

  • Saturday 08 December 2018

  • from 09:30-14:00

  • Bangladesh Institute of Planners

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer new hopes to the world cities in achieving a better and more sustainable future. These goals are crucial for cities in the developing countries including Bangladesh. In the face of rapid urban migration, poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation as well as progress towards prosperity and justice the country demands committed and innovative ways to deliver these goals. Along with other planning and development initiatives, urban planning must respond efficiently and deliver these goals.

However, both current practices and literature have acute shortages to offer insights into how urban planning is responding and should perform in achieving sustainable urbanisation and development in our cities and neighborhoods.

This event will bring policymakers, thinkers, practitioners and academics from Germany and Bangladesh together. This event is jointly organised by SHLC’s in-country Bangladesh team, Khulna University Planners Alumni (KUPA) and the German Alumni Association in Bangladesh with an aim to co-create ideas for delivering sustainable tomorrow that will inform planning policy processes. The event will share experience and knowledge from both countries to understand scopes, challenges and future guidelines in achieving SDGs.

Presentations will be uploaded following the event. The SHLC Bangladesh team are also planning to edit a post-event book to document the discussion and support new directions for planning practice and thinking.


SHLC international team, capacity-strengthening workshop, University of Glasgow.

SHLC Capacity-Strengthening Workshop

SHLC Capacity-Strengthening Workshop

  • 27 August - 7 September, 2018

  • Adam Smith Building, University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow proudly hosted a two-week long capacity strengthening workshop as part of the Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC). 

Over the course of two weeks more than 40 researchers and academics from 10 different countries attended 30 different workshops and training sessions on range of different topics including global urban policy, learning cities, healthy neighbourhoods, big data, virtual reality, research impact, policymaking, geographic information systems (GIS) and much more!  ‌

SHLC international team, capacity-strengthening workshop, University of Glasgow.
SHLC international team, capacity-strengthening workshop, University of Glasgow. Credit: University of Glasgow
Discussing neighbourhoods at the SHLC capacity-stengthening workshop.
Discussing neighbourhoods at the SHLC capacity-stengthening workshop. Credit: Gail Wilson, University of Glasgow
Using lego to learn about research data management.
Using lego to learn about research data management. Credit: Gail Wilson, University of Glasgow

Busy market streets with colorful houses, buildings and crowds of people, rickshaws near Jama Masjid in Old part of New Delhi, India

The Satellites that Ate Delhi

The Satellites that Ate Delhi: GIS, Big Data and the Politics of Space at the Margins of the Indian City

Sanjay Srivastava, Professor of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Institute of Economic Growth, delivered a seminar covering his research exploring remote sensing technologies and how big data influences our understanding of cities and urban inequalities.

In his presentation Sanjay explored relationships between official, digitally mapped visions of the city and ‘raw’ maps produced by residents of ‘Unauthorised Localities’ (ULs) drawing on a example of a recent dispute between residents of a particular UL in Delhi over the accuracy of a satellite map of their locality.

Sanjay Srivastava is Professor of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University.

Watch event video and download presentations below.


Elderly man overlooks port, Yangtze river. Chongqing, China

Exploring Neighbourhoods in China: Chongqing

Exploring Neighbourhoods in China: Chongqing

Researchers from the SHLC team joined their international research partners, who had travelled from Africa and Asia, in China to visit and learn more about the built environment and social infrastructure of Chinese cities.

The international team of 30 researchers explored different neighbourhoods in Chongqing, which is said to be one of the biggest cities in the world with an estimated population of 30 million. The research visit formed part of the GCRF Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC) international partner meeting hosted by project partner Nankai University.

From traditional ‘work unit’ housing areas to social housing, and high-end luxury villas where the Yangze and Jialing rivers meet, the international team explored many different types of neighbourhoods in Chongqing.

The international SHLC team began their research meeting at Nankai University in Tianjin by sharing key lessons from the first stage of the research project. Researchers from South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda, India, Bangladesh, China and the Philippines presented an overview of national policy frameworks responding to urban, health and education challenges including a profile of SHLC case study cities.

‘Work unit’ housing area, Chongqing, China. June 2018
‘Work unit’ housing area, Chongqing, China. June 2018. Credit: Gail Wilson, University of Glasgow

Launching the GCRF Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods

Launching the GCRF Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods

  • Monday 13 November 2017

  • from 17:00

  • Senate Room, University of Glasgow

In November 2017 many colleagues from across the Univeristy of Glasgow came together with international academics from the Phillipines, South Africa, China Tanzania, India, and Bangladesh, to celebrate the launch of the GCRF Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC). They were also joined by representatives from DFID and the Scottish Government.

Professor Anne Anderson, Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Social Sciences, welcomed guests and informed them how delighted and excited the University is to host such an important project.

Centre Director, Professor Ya Ping Wang, outlined the upcoming plans for SHLC. He explained how the focus will be on Africa and Asia with a knowledge exchange in and between countries via training, visiting research fellow programme, professional staff exchanges, events, and networking.

The final speaker of the evening was Professor Ivan Turok, Executive Director in the Economic Performance and Development Unit of the HSRC. He described how happy he was to be part of the team who will try and improve living conditions for poorer communities, and how the emphasis on international collaboration and mutual learning was particularly important in this new era of rising global tensions and uncertainties. Professor Turok stressed that this was a partnership of equals, rather than an old-style unequal and imbalanced relationship between researchers in the North and South.