Symposium Themes

THEME 1— WHAT CAN URBAN PLANNING DO IN POST-CONFLICT CITIES?

30 min presentations + discussion.

In post-conflict areas, planning can be used to coordinate reconstruction and resolve conflicts between divergent interests. What more can planning contribute in post-conflict areas?  What can be achieved? What sorts of processes are needed? And what are its limitations? In many post-conflict cities, there is very limited information about the situation on the ground. Moreover, to collect this data is costly and time-intensive. How can plan without sufficient information of a context that is continuously changing. Moreover many areas, such as in Iraq and Somalia, the nature of conflicts have changed. In these areas, the state of ‘post-conflict’ is still a hopeful future prospect. Yet, people continue to inhabit these areas. Can urban planning work in these areas that are in constant threat of conflict?

 

THEME 2 – PRACTICAL PLANNING PROBLEMS.

30 min presentations + discussion.

 

Planning problems that plague ‘normal’ cities are magnified in post-conflict cities. For example, the question of tenure and ownership remains difficult for implementation and planning, for example in the case of informal settlements. Where land-grabs by warlords abound, how can one plan in this context of ‘semi-official’ ownership and conflicting land claims? How to separate control over development and land ownership. In post-conflict areas, weakened municipal governance, little alignment between budget and plans, and confusion with regards laws complicates planning efforts. For example, how can one resolve conflicts between indigenous laws vs. government drafted laws?

THEME 3 – HOW CAN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTE TO POST-CONFLICT PLANNING?

30 min presentations + discussion.

 

A lot of money dedicated to reconstruction efforts is spent inefficiently, and often little flows back to the local economy. For example, the international community has pledged more than 90 billion dollars for reconstruction in Kabul, yet according to a NATO special officer, more than 40% of this money flows back to donor countries. How can planning contribute to this money being used more effectively? Furthermore, reconstruction efforts often work without an explicit theory that theorizes how to achieve stability. Can urban planning coordinate the different efforts and to more stable regions. For example: should one propose planning models based on liberal market mechanisms in a patrimonial society?

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