United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

UN-HABITAT

New thinking is that land has to be dealt with in terms of national land frameworks, followed by rural and urban, as sub-systems of the national framework. This presentation will show how rural and urban land is integrally linked.
Land and Livelihoods
For the first time there are now more people living in urban areas than rural areas in the world. Land is also a key livelihood issue for urban people:-
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People need land close to jobs so that they can commute on a daily basis
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As they need land to live close to services such as water, roads and electricity
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For them to be able to run their informal businesses
Most importantly, there is a strong link between rural and urban because of migrant labor remittances where money earned in the urban areas is sent back to rural areas in the same country and to other countries.
Climate change and land resources
Rural and urban are connected because of a number of reasons. Climate change refugees will flood into the cities and as the cities grow to accommodate these refugees they will further impact their rural environs. More than that, climate change will impact on planning systems, systems used to value property, the way property is financed, national economies, as well as the governance arrangements for the settlement of the poor.
At a recent event of the Humanitarian agencies and NGOs, so-called ?hot-spot? countries were identified where natural disasters continually occur already. Prevention approaches were discussed such as the introduction of pro poor planning standards, land records, maps, improved governance and the need to create a cadre of people qualified to deal with the disaster, both within government and non state actors. With increasing climate change more countries will need to look into such preventative measures.
Integrated land use planning and management
The Secretary General?s report to CSD mentions the issue of ?uncontrolled informal settlement.? The Global Land Tool Network has been set up as a coalition of partners to help to address these issues. The network includes multi-laterals such as the World Bank and FAO, bilaterals such as Sweden and Norway who are funding the network, international civil society and research and training institutions and the International Land Coalition. This alliance of land partners have identified that there are insufficient pro poor land tools to implement land policy.
One of these missing tools is land use planning. There is a lot of work taking place on participatory planning at community level. One of the key challenges is how to scale this up to undertake city wide participatory planning and district wide land use planning. Without participatory planning it is not possible to get enforcement done and informality will continue. Planning has to be done at national level to include urban and rural planning. UN-HABITAT has produced a publication, ?Secure Land Rights for All? which links rural and urban land also in regard to the planning issue.
Information systems and tools for land use planning
The Secretary General?s report to CSD noted that there is a need to ?adapt information systems? for pro poor purposes and to deliver poverty reduction. Currently conventional information systems for planning at the land parcel, plot or site level are linked to the cadastre. However in most developing countries less than 30% of the country is covered by the cadastre. This means that 70% of the country is off register and therefore information and land management is a problem. One of the key challenges is to place de facto information about the ?as built? or customary and/or informal land uses onto a land information system, in order to improve planning for city management and/or rural development.
The International Federation of Surveyors, together with the International Institute for Geo-information and Earth Sciences, partners in the Global land tool network, is developing a Social Tenure Domain Model which makes it possible to include legal rights, claims, secondary rights, over-lapping claims onto the same information system. This will make it possible to place pastoral rights, women?s rights, Islamic forms of land tenure, group and family rights, as well as individual registered rights on the same system. This information system can also be used to create land records of all types of rights, along the continuum of land rights, from permissions to occupy, leases up to registered rights. This Social Tenure Domain Model forms part of the overall Land Administration Domain Model (LADM) which has been submitted by the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) as a New Working Item Proposal (NWIP) for standardization to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), with the Social Tenure Domain Model as a specialization of the LADM. A first positive vote was held recently in the Technical Commission ISO/TC 211 on Geographic Information.