- Think Local, Act Local: Promoting sustainable urban planning in Choma, a typical local district in Zambia    click here to open paper content133 kb
by    Elissen, Catelijne | celissen@gmail.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Choma is exemplary for the difficulties faced by local authorities in developing countries in executing their tasks. It addresses the proposed changes and its implementation on land issues, governance and urban planning, promoting sustainable methods.
Planning should be ahead of development however in most urban and peri-urban areas in developing countries this is not achieved. Typically, little resources and instruments are available to local planning authorities to provide adequate service to its citizens in terms of strategic planning and development.
The case of Choma is interesting as it is a typical local planning authority with a fast growing township that only takes up 1% of the total district, which covers an area of 7300 km2 with ca. 800 villages that are to be served by the council but still remain traditional land under supervision of chiefs and headman. The local government layer is often underexposed but characteristic for Sub-Saharan countries.

In Zambia, the planning instruments that are available to local planning authorities are very limited and even more restricted by poor financial budgeting and a lack of skilled, human resources. Although a decentralisation process is announced, the central government still has to approve all land acquisitions, which extend the duration of procedures significantly.

The current zoning process exists of layout plans limited to formal settlements and a district masterplan from over 2 decades ago. Concerning the last issue the ministry has commissioned the local planning authorities to draw up an Integrated Development Plan (IDP). Regarding the issue of zoning processes no improvements are commissioned for decades although a new Urban and Regional Planning Bill is on its way, which should also enhance decentralisation.

The paper concentrates on the practical experiences while working in a small local authority, promoting participatory, transparent and strategic procedures. It will consist of a thorough analysis of existing planning procedures and the implementation of sustainable improvements. Besides, I will address the potential that the IDP has and its constraints and show examples of the IDP.

- COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 2009, United Nations Human Settlements Programme, Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States, Nairobi Kenya
- Final Draft Regional and Urban Planning Bill (version 2.0), Ministry of Local Government and Housing
Local governance in developing world, growing urban centre, land issues, planning procedures, peri- urban settlements, Integrated Development Plan, Zambia
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