Local Strategies and Policies Sessions

STS 13 - Land and Public Space Management to foster Equitable Economic Growth in Cities

21 Nov

21 November

9:30 to 12:30

Venue: Rabat


Cities Alliance

Tel: +32 2 880 40 88

Email: info@citiesalliance.org

Web: http://www.citiesalliance.org/


Department for International Development

Tel: +44 (0)20 7023 1120

Email: foi@dfid.gov.uk

Web: www.dfid.gov.uk


The importance of public land and space as key assets in the transition towards more sustainable, inclusive and equitable city economies in Africa can hardly be overstated. The public goods, amenities and services located on public land are part of the urban infrastructure that allows economies to grow and people to thrive. Inclusive public spaces such as streets, sidewalks and markets are fundamental to the productivity and wellbeing of workers and formal and informal businesses, as primary sites of economic, social and cultural exchange. Regulated access to public space is a direct productive asset to the urban workforce, particularly the working poor in the informal economy. Moreover, well managed and maintained public land and spaces can increase land and property value and generate much needed revenues though taxes and fees. Crucially, the management of urban public land and space typically lies within the control of local governments, which is why the development and identification of appropriate strategies to maximise its benefit is at the heart of the Africities 8 Summit agenda.   The objectives of the session are to:
  1. Share new research and insights on the theme, produced by the JWP for Equitable Economic Growth, in order to inform African local government policy and practice related to public space and land management;
  2. Provide a venue for multi-stakeholder discussion on a highly relevant topic, including local government representatives, representatives of informal workers and development partners;
  3. Highlight the significance of improved access to public goods and services for more equitable economic growth in African cities




The session will have three sections, starting with two key input presentations. UNCDF will share highlights from their research on public land management in two secondary cities in Uganda, including policy-relevant recommendations for local governments. WIEGO will then summarise their comprehensive material on the intersection of public space and informality to answer two key questions: Why is public space so important for informal livelihoods, and what can local governments do to ensure regulated and inclusive access?

The second section introduces a panel to reflect on the topic from a number of viewpoints, with the aim to share good practices. The overarching question is how public land can be managed, protected and leveraged as a municipal asset and public good to support more equitable and inclusive economic development. The third section is dedicated to identifying recommendations for policy and practise.


Parallel Sessions