Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Urban Governance Related Abstracts

8 Urban Governance in Major Development Projects: Challenges, Issues and Constraints - Case of Constantine

Authors: Chouabbia Khedidja, Lazri Youcef, Mouhoubi Nedjima


In optics and in ambition to break into the ranks of international metropolis cities, Constantine, a regional metropolis of eastern Algeria, is facing multiple challenges shared between the response to the urban crisis plaguing the city and the creation of territorial attractiveness in the metropolisation process. This ambition cannot be achieve in conditions of poor governance and lack of cooperation especially between the actors involved in major development projects, these last qualified by change and hope carriers to make the city more attractive and pleasant. Thus, governance or good governance has become not only a necessity but also a challenge for the city of Constantine. Through this example of Constantine. We will analyze the challenges facing a metropolis amongst other urban governance and the constraints that affect the smooth running of major development projects when governance is missing or inoperative.

Keywords: Metropolis, Urban Governance, actors, Constantine, big development project

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7 Research on Container Housing: A New Form of Informal Housing on Urban Temporary Land

Authors: Lufei Mao, Hongwei Chen, Zijiao Chai


Informal housing is a widespread phenomenon in developing countries. In many newly-emerging cities in China, rapid urbanization leads to an influx of population as well as a shortage of housing. Under this background, container housing, a new form of informal housing, gradually appears on a small scale on urban temporary land in recent years. Container housing, just as its name implies, transforms containers into small houses that allow migrant workers group to live in it. Scholars in other countries have established sound theoretical frameworks for informal housing study, but the research fruits seem rather limited on this small scale housing form. Unlike the cases in developed countries, these houses, which are outside urban planning, bring about various environmental, economic, social and governance issues. Aiming to figure out this new-born housing form, a survey mainly on two container housing settlements in Hangzhou, China was carried out to gather the information of them. Based on this thorough survey, the paper concludes the features and problems of infrastructure, environment and social communication of container housing settlements. The result shows that these containers were lacking of basic facilities and were restricted in a small mess temporary land. Moreover, because of the deficiency in management, the rental rights of these containers might not be guaranteed. Then the paper analyzes the factors affecting the formation and evolution of container housing settlements. It turns out that institutional and policy factors, market factors and social factors were the main three factors that affect the formation. At last, the paper proposes some suggestions for the governance of container housing and the utility pattern of urban temporary land.

Keywords: Urban Governance, container housing, informal housing, urban temporary land

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6 A Study of Tactics in the Dissident Urban Form

Authors: Probuddha Mukhopadhyay


The infiltration of key elements to the civil structure is foraying its way to reclaim, what is its own. The reclamation of lives and spaces, once challenged, becomes a consistent process of ingress, disguised as parallels to the moving city, disperses into discourses often unheard of and conveniently forgotten. In this age of 'hyper'-urbanization, there are solutions suggested to a plethora of issues faced by citizens, in improving their standards of living. Problems are ancillary to proposals that emerge out of the underlying disorders of the townscape. These interventions result in the formulation of urban policies, to consolidate and optimize, to regularize and to streamline resources. Policy and practice are processes where the politics in policies define the way in which urban solutions are prescribed. Social constraints, that formulate the various cycles of order and disorders within the urban realm, are the stigmas for such interventions. There is often a direct relation of policy to place, no matter how people-centric it may seem to be projected. How we live our lives depends on where we live our lives - a relative statement for urban problems, varies from city to city. Communal compositions, welfare, crisis, socio-economic balance, need for management are the generic roots for urban policy formulation. However, in reality, the gentry administering its environmentalism is the criterion, that shapes and defines the values and expanse of such policies. In relation to the psycho-spatial characteristic of urban spheres with respect to the other side of this game, there have been instances, where the associational values have been reshaped by interests. The public domain reclaimed for exclusivity, thus creating fortified neighborhoods. Here, the citizen cumulative is often drifted by proposals that would over time deplete such landscapes of the city. It is the organized rebellion that in turn formulates further inward looking enclaves of latent aggression. In recent times, it has been observed that the unbalanced division of power and the implied processes of regulating the weak, stem the rebellion who respond in kits and parts. This is a phenomenon that mimics the guerilla warfare tactics, in order to have systems straightened out, either by manipulations or by force. This is the form of the city determined by the various forms insinuated by the state of city wide decisions. This study is an attempt at understanding the way in which development is interpreted by the state and the civil society and the role that community driven processes undertake to reinstate their claims to the city. This is a charter of consolidated patterns of negotiations that tend to counter policies. The research encompasses a study of various contested settlements in two cities of India- Mumbai and Kolkata, tackling dissent through spatial order. The study has been carried out to identify systems - formal and informal, catering to the most challenged interests of the people with respect to their habitat, a model to counter the top-down authoritative framework challenging the legitimacy of such settlements.

Keywords: urban Design, Civil Society, State, Urban Governance, tactical urbanism, insurgence

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5 A Meaning-Making Approach to Understand the Relationship between the Physical Built Environment of the Heritage Sites including the Intangible Values and the Design Development of the Public Open Spaces: Case Study Liverpool Pier Head

Authors: May Newisar, Richard Kingston, Philip Black


Heritage-led regeneration developments have been considered as one of the cornerstones of the economic and social revival of historic towns and cities in the UK. However, this approach has proved its deficiency within the development of Liverpool World Heritage site. This is due to the conflict between sustaining the tangible and intangible values as well as achieving the aimed economic developments. Accordingly, the development of such areas is influenced by a top-down approach which considers heritage as consumable experience and urban regeneration as the economic development for it. This neglects the heritage sites characteristics and values as well as the design criteria for public open spaces that overlap with the heritage sites. Currently, knowledge regarding the relationship between the physical built environment of the heritage sites including the intangible values and the design development of the public open spaces is limited. Public open spaces have been studied from different perspectives such as increasing walkability, a source of social cohesion, provide a good quality of life as well as understanding users’ perception. While heritage sites have been discussed heavily on how to maintain the physical environment, understanding the courses of threats and how to be protected. In addition to users’ experiences and motivations of visiting such areas. Furthermore, new approaches tried to overcome the gap such as the historic urban landscape approach. This approach is focusing on the entire human environment with all its tangible and intangible qualities. However, this research aims to understand the relationship between the heritage sites and public open spaces and how the overlap of the design and development of both could be used as a quality to enhance the heritage sites and improve users’ experience. A meaning-making approach will be used in order to understand and articulate how the development of Liverpool World Heritage site and its value could influence and shape the design of public open space Pier Head in order to attract a different level of tourists to be used as a tool for economic development. Consequently, this will help in bridging the gap between the planning and conservation areas’ policies through an understanding of how flexible is the system in order to adopt alternative approaches for the design and development strategies for those areas.

Keywords: Identity, Environmental Psychology, Urban Governance, historic urban landscape

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4 Beyond Informality: Relocation from a Traditional Village 'Mit Oqbah' to Masaken El-Barageel and the Role of ‘Urf in Governing Built Environment, Egypt

Authors: Sarah Eldefrawi, Maike Didero


In Egypt, residents’ urban interventions (colloquially named A’hali’s interventions) are always tackled by government, scholars, and media as an encroachment (taeadiyat), chaotic (a’shwa’i) or informal (gheir mokanan) practices. This paper argues that those interventions cannot be simply described as an encroachment on public space or chaotic behaviour. We claim here that they are relevant to traditional governing methods (‘Urf) that were governing Arab cities for many decades. Through an in-depth field study conducted in a real estate public housing project in the city of Giza called 'Masaken El-Barageel', we traced the urban transformations demonstrated in private and public spaces. To understand those transformations, we used wide-range of qualitative research methods such as semi-guided and informal interviews, observations and mapping of the built environment and the newly added interventions. This study was as well strengthened through the contributions of the author in studying nine sectors emerging by Ahali in six districts in Great Cairo. The results of this study indicate that a culturally and socially sensitive framework has to be related to the individual actions toward the spatial and social structures as well as to culturally transmitted views and meanings connected with 'Urf'. The study could trace three crucial principals in ‘urf that influenced these interventions; the eliminating of harm (Al-Marafiq wa Man’ al-Darar), the appropriation of space (Haqq el-Intefa’) and public interest (maslaha a’ma). Our findings open the discussion for the (il) legitimate of a’hali governing methods in contemporary cities.

Keywords: Chaotic, Public space, Urban Governance, public housing, Urf, encroachments, Egyptian cities

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3 State Rescaling of the Urban Development in Hong Kong after the Reunification: A Case Study of the Planning Process of the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link

Authors: Zhihua Xu


In the era of globalization, the urban question is increasingly being posed in the form of a scale question. Scale theory provides a new perspective for analyzing various dynamics and their influences on urban development. After the reunification, how the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) interacts with the actors at various scales and carries out state rescaling are the keys to exploring the issue of urban development and governance in Hong Kong. This paper examines the entire planning process of the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, from project conception, design, to consultation, and fund application, to identify the actors at different scales involved in the process, and analyze the modes and consequences of their interaction. This study shows that after the reunification, the Hong Kong SAR Government takes the initiative to scale up to expand its hinterland. Intergovernmental institutional cooperation is an important mode of state rescaling for the Hong Kong SAR government. Meanwhile, the gradually growing civil society plays an important role in the rescaling of urban development. Local actors use scalar politics to construct discourses and take actions at multiple scales to challenge the government’s proposal and trigger a discussion on the project throughout the Hong Kong society. The case study of Hong Kong can deepen the understanding of state rescaling of territorial organizations in the context of institutional transformation and enrich the theoretical connotation of state rescaling. It also helps the Mainland government to better understand the case of Hong Kong and formulate appropriate.

Keywords: Urban Governance, Hong Kong, state rescaling, scalar politics, Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong express rail link

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2 Citizen Participation in Smart Cities: Singapore and Tokyo

Authors: Thomas Benson


Smart cities have been heralded as multi-faceted entities which utilise information and communication technologies to enhance citizen participation. The purpose of this paper is to outline authoritative definitions of smart cities and citizen participation and investigate smart city citizen-centrism rhetoric by examining urban governance and citizen participation processes. Drawing on extant literature and official city government documents and websites, Singapore (Singapore) and Tokyo (Japan) are chosen as comparable smart city case studies. For the smart city to be truly realised, this paper concludes that smart cities must do more to incorporate genuine citizen participation mechanisms.

Keywords: Smart Cities, citizen participation, Urban Governance, Tokyo, Singapore

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1 Historic Urban Landscape Approach, a Methodology to Elaborate Sustainable Development Plans through Culture and Heritage: The Case Study of Valverde de Burguillos (Spain)

Authors: Julia Rey Perez, Victoria Dominguez Ruiz


The phenomenon of depopulation puts the authorities at risk of abandoning a number of rural-urban areas of significant cultural value, affecting their architecture and intangible cultural heritage. The purpose of this research is to present a methodology created according to the UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL), which through the identification of cultural values and attributes, leads to ´Strategic Plans´ build upon the culture and heritage. This methodology is based on the analysis of the town from three perspectives: 1) from the public administration, 2) from the discipline of architecture, and 3) from citizen perception. In order to be able to work on the development of a diagnosis from three very different approaches, collaborative cartographies have been used as working tools. The methodology discussed was applied in Valverde de Burguillos, in Spain, leading to the construction of an inclusive ‘Strategic Plan’ that integrates the management of the town within the overall territorial development plan. The importance of incorporating culture and heritage as a conductor for sustainable urban development through the HUL approach has allowed the local authorities to assume these new tools for heritage conservation, acknowledging community participation as the main element for the ´Strategic Plan” elaboration.

Keywords: citizen participation, Urban Governance, UNESCO, Inclusiveness, rural heritage

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