Thanks to Solly Angel, Patrick Lamson-Hall and Nicolás Galarza for leading this week’s brown bag discussion and providing a progress report on the Urbanization Project’s Urban Expansion initiatives in Ethiopia and Colombia.
The Urban Expansion initiative is currently working with several rapidly-growing cities in Ethiopia and Colombia to plan for their inevitable growth. The collaboration is based on Angel’s “making room” approach to dealing with urban expansion.
Angel’s “making room” paradigm has four propositions:
One: The inevitable expansion proposition: urban population growth cannot be contained and we must make room to accommodate it
Two: Sustainable density proposition: cities should stay within a sustainable density range, it cannot be too high or too low
Three: Decent housing proposition: decent housing for all can be ensured if urban land is in ample supply
Four: Public works proposition: the land for public street and infrastructure needs to be secured before development; infrastructure can then be built as development occurs
Patrick Lamson-Hall, a Research Scholar at the Urbanization Project, highlighted the Urban Expansion Initiative’s progress in Ethiopia. The Initiative held a workshop in Addis Ababa in July with the participating cities - Adama, Bahir Dar, Hawassa, and Mek’ele. Each city created an expansion plan along with a 3-to-5 year compensation plan to purchase the rights-of-way for an arterial grid. The first phase of the project will continue through June 2014. Find an interim progress report on the work in Ethiopia here.
Nicolás Galarza, also a Research Scholar at the Urbanization Project, presented an update about the Urban Expansion Initiative in Colombia. This initiative recently held a workshop in Cartagena with participating cities, similar to the Ethiopia Initiative. The participating cities are Montería, Santa Marta, Tunja, Yopal and Valledupar. In the second phase of the project, cities will determine the best way to secure land for an arterial grid, prepare cost and compensation plans, and collaborate with financing partners to implement the project.