Urban LandMark sheds light on what can be done to remedy the problems
that have made urban land markets dysfunctional, and hence land
unaffordable. It does this by using the development approach known as
"making markets work for the poor" while acknowledging the importance of
Lack of access by the poor to urban land is a hotly debated policy issue in developing countries around the world. South African cities share common problems with many other cities such as rapid urbanisation, rising land prices, unequal access to services, uneven legal protection and political advantage, and limited state resources.
In South Africa, where there is a history of dispossession, land is a politically charged issue. Despite large investments by the state in housing, land and infrastructure, South African cities continue to grow along the divided lines of the apartheid era with the poor mainly banished to the margins, far from work and other amenities.
The rise in the price of urban land has become a barrier to government policies to erase the geographical divisions left by apartheid and bring the poor closer to the benefits enjoyed by wealthier communities. The way urban land markets now work affects the lives of the urban poor in many ways. These include, for example, higher transport costs, and not being able easily to visit clinics, send children to good schools, or get decent housing.
Urban LandMark is dedicated to making urban land markets work for (and with) the poor. The 'making markets work for the poor' approach is increasingly being adopted by the international development community. Urban LandMark defines what making markets work for the poor could mean for access to affordable urban land.
Urban LandMark aims to influence policies and practices in South Africa to improve poor people's access to well-located urban land by making market, land planning and management systems work better, giving effect and meaning to the idea of people having a right to land.
A number of initiatives around land already exist, though they approach land from very different ideological standpoints. Urban LandMark plays a catalytic role in bringing people together for dialogue. By enabling debate between government, the private sector and civil society, the programme aims to help all role players reach an understanding of the problems and how they may be tackled.
Urban LandMark stands for the Urban Land Markets Programme. A South African organisation based in Pretoria, the programme was set up in May 2006 with two years of funding from the UK's Department for International Development. The mandate was subsequently renewed for another three years, until 2011.
Urban LandMark has been designed to play a short-term, catalytic role and is financially managed by FinMark Trust. FinMark Trust is already applying the 'making markets work for the poor' thinking in financial and housing markets, which are relevant to the urban land markets question.
Urban LandMark is an autonomous organisation with its own management structures, which include a Project Management Committee and a Programme Advisory Committee to help review and guide research.
The organisation has as its core staff a programme director, programme manager, administrative manager and office administrator. Consultants, experts and partners involved in similar areas of intellectual inquiry conduct the research. Through research, we are building an empirical base on which to build a better understanding of the urban land market.
Urban LandMark is working to make urban land markets work for the poor by:
- Defining what 'making markets work for the poor' means for urban land and developing a distinctive voice for this approach,
- Mobilising diverse players, including the private sector and civil society, to come up with innovative ways to achieve this objective,
- Promoting policy dialogue between people , and
- Bringing about change in government policy and implementation, and in private sector praxis.
Research projects cover four sectors: people, place, governance and the market, in an integrated way.
Research is disseminated widely to industry, government, NGOs and other interested people.
Individuals affiliated with Urban LandMark are available to government and the private sector to take part in task teams.
To ensure industry professionals incorporate MMW4P ideas in their work, we assist with the development of courses and academic exchange programmes as well as forums and seminars.
Networking and advocacy
We develop and maintain relationships with industry and government players, and build partnerships with academic institutions and organisations, local and international, working on urban land issues to share information and participate in joint activities.
||The Urban LandMark team:
Mary Phalane (Office Assistant),
Lucille Gavera (Projects Co-ordinator),
Lerato Ndjwili-Potele (Programme Operations Coordinator),
Girly Makhubela (Programme Administrator) and
Mark Napier (Programme Director).
Mark Napier - programme director
Mark Napier is an architect by profession, and has an MA in Housing Studies and a PhD from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Before setting up Urban LandMark, he worked for two years in government, establishing a research unit in the national Department of Housing (now the Department of Human Settlements). Mark was also with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for 13 years. He has researched and published in the areas of housing extensions, home-based enterprises, environmental aspects of informal settlements, and land and housing markets. He can be contacted at email@example.com or +27 12 342 7636.
Lucille Gavera - projects co-ordinator
Lucille Gavera is an information manager with expertise in the areas of economic policy and development, pro-poor growth and sustainable livelihoods. She was previously the Communications Manager at both Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies and the ComMark Trust. Between 2008 and 2009, Lucille was also involved in the design and implementation of pro-poor agri-business interventions within a market-based development approach, and implementing processes for the monitoring and evaluation of such interventions. At Urban LandMark, Lucille is responsible for project contracting and oversight, the dissemination of programme outputs, writing material for publication and managing Urban LandMark's website. Lucille can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 12 342 7636.
Lerato Ndjwili-Potele - programme operations coordinator
Lerato Ndjwili-Potele has a Bachelor degree in Business Administration and a post-graduate diploma in Marketing. She previously worked at the Royal Danish Embassy, the Transvaal Rural Action Committee (TRAC) and the Black Sash. She is responsible for project and financial administration and operations at Urban LandMark. She can be contacted at email@example.com or +27 12 342 7636.
Girly Makhubela - programme administrator
Girly Ntombizodwa Makhubela previously worked at the South African Revenue Services and at South African State Information Technology Agency. She is responsible for office administration and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 12 342 7636.
Mary Phalane - office assistant
Mary Phalane hails from Temba near Hammanskraal and worked in the food and retail sector
before joining the organisation. She is responsible for assisting with office administration and filing, and can be contacted at +27 12 342 7636.
Caroline Wanjiku Kihato, Stephen Berrisford, Robert McGaffin, and Lauren Royston act as Theme Co-ordinators for Urban LandMark, advising and managing projects within their theme areas.
Caroline Wanjiku Kihato
Caroline Wanjiku Kihato is the co-ordinator of Urban LandMark's regional initiative. A senior research fellow at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand until 2010, she is spending 2011 in the US. At Urban LandMark, Caroline works on understanding urban land markets on the continent, and in collaboration with UN-HABITAT has developed a guide on urbanisation in Africa for policy-makers, private firms and NGOs involved in the fields of housing, urban planning, engineering, architecture and related areas. Her research and teaching areas are around public policy in developing countries and participatory planning, as well as the impact
of migration on African cities, in particular inner-city Johannesburg.
Stephen Berrisford is Urban LandMark's theme co-ordinator for regulatory and governance matters. Trained as a lawyer and a town planner, Stephen has worked as a consultant in the field of urban land and planning law and policy since 2000. Before that, Stephen worked on land development facilitation for the then-Department of Land Affairs and as an urban planner with the city councils of Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Robert McGaffin, our property market theme co-ordinator, is a town planner and land economist. He has worked as a town planner for local and provincial governments and as property finance manager for Standard Bank. He also lectures in Land Economics and Valuation at the University of Cape Town.
Lauren Royston is theme co-ordinator for Urban LandMark's urban land rights and secure tenure programme of work. A development planner by training, Lauren has worked in the NGO and public sectors, and has been a principal at Johannesburg-based Development Works for over 10 years. Her fields of specialisation are land and housing, where she has focussed on planning for housing as part of municipal integrated planning and urban tenure security. She advises the Centre for Applied Legal Studies and the community-based organisations with which they work on anti-evictions and community engagements, and serves on a panel which assesses municipal capacity and compliance for housing accreditation, which makes recommendations to provincial housing members of the executive council.