Carrying It Out: Implementation
Implementation Issues

References are arranged following the project phases. ‘Must read’ are indicated by Must Read and most include a copy of the Table of Contents or an abstract.

Not too long ago, the act of planning was seen as a three-step exercise - Survey, Analysis and Plan. But over the years with many plans not being executed or being executed in a less than satisfying manner, much more attention is being focussed on the act of implementation. This new sensitivity has manifested in planning been seen as a much more complex and nonlinear exercise consisting of survey, analysis, plan, implement, monitor, and revise.

Apart from financial issues, five key aspects of implementation in urban upgrading are:

  1. Technical Capacity, Single-pronged and Multi-pronged Approaches
  2. Property Cadastrals
  3. Targeting the Beneficiaries
  4. Phasing
  5. Resettlement
Administrative and Operational Procedure for Programs for Sites/Services and Area Upgrading. Campbell, J. R. 1985. World Bank Technical Paper No. 42. Washington DC: The World Bank. (Table of Contents)

Must ReadLearning by Doing: World Bank lending for Urban Development. Cohen, Michael A. 1983. Washington DC: The World Bank. (Table of Contents)

“Lessons from Implementation: The Impact of an Active Land Management Policy on Integrated Land Development in Ismailia, Egypt.” Davidson, Forbes. 1990. In The Transformation of Land Supply Systems in Third World Cities. Edited by Paul Baross and Jan van der Linden. Brookfield: Avebury.

“Planning for Performance: Requirements for Sustainable Development.” Davidson, Forbes. 1996. Habitat International 20 (3): pp 445-462.

“Land Policy.” Doebele, William A. 1987. In Shelter, Settlement and Development. Edited by Lloyd Rodwin, pp 110-132. Boston: Allen Unwin.

“Development Control Systems for Housing Development in Southeast Asian Cities.” Kidokoro, Tetsuo. 1992. Regional Development Dialogue 13 (1): pp 64-87.

Land Management: Public Policy, Control and Participation. Larsson, Gerhard. 1997. Stockholm: Byggforskninsgradet.

Land Management and Guided Land Development in Jakarta. Marulanda, L. and F. Steinberg. 1991. Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) Working Papers Series, No. 1. Rotterdam: IHS.

“Negotiating for Public Benefits: The Bargaining Calculus of Public-Private Development.” Sagalyn, Lynne B. 1997. Urban Studies 34 (12): pp 1955-1970.

“Players in Urban Informal Land Markets: Who Wins? Who Loses? A Case Study of Cebu City, the Philippines.” Thirkell, A. 1996. Environment and Urbanization 8 (2).

Must Read“Land for Housing the Poor: How can Planners Contribute?” Ward, P. 1983. In Land for Housing the Poor. Edited by Shlomo Angel et al., pp 34-53. Singapore: Select Books. (Abstract)

Technical Capacity, Single-pronged and Multi-pronged Approaches

The relevance of technical capacity to urban upgrading is that cities must be cognizant of their capabilities before embarking on programs of upgrading. Two major areas of relevance are the structure and design of the project organization responsible for implementation and the creation of a supporting institutional environment that allows for smooth implementation.

At the same time it is unclear how difficult or easy it is to import technical capacity. How should cities organize collaboration with external agencies? How should projects be structured? In other words, under what conditions should projects be structured as single-pronged and under what conditions should they be structured as multiple-pronged projects.

Must Read“Instead of Focusing on Housing, Focus on Urban Land Development.” Angel, Shlomo. 1986. Open House International 11 (4): pp 39-56.

Must ReadUrban Land Policies and Land Management in Asian Countries, Archer, R. W. 1990. 1985/1990. Bangkok: Human Settlements Division Working Paper No. 33, Asian Institute of Technology. (Table of Contents)

An Outline Urban Land Policy for the Developing Countries of Asia. Archer, R. W. 1990. Bangkok: Human Settlements Division, Asian Institute of Technology.

“Urban Land and Housing Issues.” Brennan, Ellen M. 1993. In Third World Cities, Problems, Policies and Prospects. Edited by John D. Kasarda and Allan M. Parnell. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.

Establishing a Land Market in Shanghai: A Discussion Paper. Dowall, David E. 1991. Working Paper 529, University of California at Berkeley.

Modernizing Land Administration in Indonesia. Hoffman, M. L. 1991. Washington DC: The Urban Institute.

Must Read“Housing and Urban Development Indicators: A Good Idea Whose Time has Returned.” Malpezzi, S. and S. K. Mayo. 1997. Real Estate Economics 25 (1): pp 1-11. (Abstract)

“Urban Management Intervention in Land Markets.” Mattingly, Michael. 1994. In Managing Fast Growing Cities. Edited by N. Devas and Carole Rakodi. London: Longman.

The Housing Indicators Program: Extensive Survey, Part II. UNCHS and World Bank. 1992. The World Bank.

Property Cadastrals

A major constraint in the implementation of urban upgrading plans is the absence of accurate property cadastrals, i.e., physically accurate drawings along with a fiscal and legal database. Accurate and up to date property cadastrals not only allow for well-planned improvements, they also make cost recovery and future taxation feasible.

The most popular technique for organizing land is a combination of remote sensing and surveys. Of course collection, storage and updating of information is an expensive and foreboding exercise and it is not always clear whether the cost is worth the benefit.

Apart from property cadastrals is the larger institutional question of what land registrations stem supports property transactions in a city. The crucial policy choice is whether transfer deeds are guaranteed or merely registered.

Land Information Management: An Introduction with Special Reference to Cadastral Problems in Third World Countries. Dale, Peter F. & Mclaughlin, John D. 1988. New York: Oxford University Press.

Must ReadLand Registration and Cadastral Systems: Tools of Land Information and Management. Larsson, Gerhard. 1991. New York: Longman Scientific and Technical. (Table of Contents)

Must ReadUrban Applications of Satellite Remote Sensing and GIS Analysis. Paulsson, Bengt. 1992. Washington DC: The World Bank, Urban Management Program. (Table of Contents)

Urban Property Tax Reform: Guidelines and Recommendations. Dillinger, William. 1991. Washington DC: The World Bank, Urban Management Program.

Targeting the Beneficiaries

The policy imperative is that non-target groups do not capture benefits. Specifically, this has relevance in the design of subsidies and special incentives for the poor and other vulnerable groups.

The literature suggests that the two biggest problems facing planners and policy makers is that most subsidy systems tend to be open to abuse. And second, that informal settlements tend to be heterogeneous making it very difficult to treat beneficiaries differently.

Housing Africa’s Urban Poor. Edited by Philip Amis and Peter Lloyd, pp. 253-271. New York: Manchester University Press.

Must ReadThe Economics of Survival: A Study of Poverty and Planning in Haiti. Fass, Simon. 1980. Washington D.C.: Office of Urban Development, USAID. (Table of Contents)
A shorter version is available as: "Housing the Ultra-Poor: Theory and Practice in Haiti." Fass, Simon. 1987 JAPA 53(2): pp 193-205.

“A Matter of Interface: the Need for a Shift in targeting Housing Interventions.” Tipple, Graham A. 1994. Habitat International 18 (4): pp 1-15.


First it must be recognized that upgrading takes time and has a number of segments or constituents. Second it has to be acknowledged that the different segments can follow a number of sequences. An unanswered question is the appropriate phasing sequence. The literature suggests that the framework to decide the phasing sequence consists of financial constraints; technical considerations; the composition of the beneficiaries and the potential social and economic impact on them; and city level infrastructure and urban planning decisions.

Must Read“Sequencing Land Development, the Price Complications of Legal and Illegal Settlement Growth.” Baross, Paul. 1990. In The Transformation of Land Supply Systems in Third World Cities. Edited by Paul Baross and Jan van der Linden. Aldershot, England: Avebury. (Abstract)

“The Timing of Urban Infrastructure and Housing Improvements by Owner Occupants.” Strassman, W. P. 1984. World Development 12 (7): pp 743-753.


Past experience with resettlement projects has largely been negative. As a consequence the literature largely advocates against resettlement and displacement on the grounds of loss of jobs and social networks. Nonetheless resettlement can be necessary because of land values, ownership patterns, infrastructure provision or dangerous sites. This makes the question of appropriate compensation crucial. The literature suggests that resettlement strategies should focus on the creation of real property assets as forms of compensation and even poverty alleviation.

A new innovation that has taken place in the last few years is on-site resettlement. In considering on-site resettlement two crucial areas of concern are the facility of temporary housing and the interim impact on employment.

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