Category Archives: News

What do you think? Can we plan the future?

Geoff recently received a copy of a paper he wrote in 1989 for a conference on ‘Cities and People: Can we plan the future?’ organised by the Development Planning Unit at University College London!

Since the conference was held exactly thirty years ago, we are now living in that future. However, to what extent can we consider that planning has succeeded in its  social objectives?

Please see the article here, we are looking forward to hearing your comments!

Geoff’s BBC Television Interview from 2008!

We are happy to share the transcript of a BBC television interview Geoff gave on the day in February 2008 that the UN announced that the world was more than 50 percent urban!*

Enjoy listening while thinking how rapid the world is urbanizing!

*According to the World Bank, the rate has reached to 55 percent in 2018.

Geoff continues lecturing at Darmstadt

Geoff lectured to a great international group of students on the Mundus Urbano master degree course at the Technical University Darmstadt, Germany in May 2019.

Each student prepared a land tenure and property rights matrix using the GPA format and the completed examples from different cities can be found here!

A group picture after Geoff’s lectures were over at Darmstadt!

Land based finance for affordable housing

A land readjustment proposal in Tirana, Albania

GPA has been commissioned by UN-Habitat to prepare a review of Land Based Finance (LBF) and its role in providing affordable housing through land planning systems.
Geoff invited Daniela Muňoz Levy to collaborate on the project and a draft report was submitted to UN-Habitat prior to a presentation Geoff and Daniela were invited to make at a Brown Bag lunch meeting for staff at UN-Habitat in Nairobi in May, 2019. The final output of the project will be a report reviewing, analyzing and proposing a range of LBF instruments, including land value sharing, that can help improve access to adequate housing in countries at all levels of economic development and within different political and institutional contexts. The strengths and limitations of each instrument will be identified to help policy makers determine which option is appropriate for local application. It is hoped that the report will help put Housing at the Centre of urban development and land management.
The project is due to be completed by the end of August, 2019.

New GPA Associate!

Geoff is happy to announce the appointment of a new GPA Associate! Daniela Munoz-Levy is collaborating with Geoff on a major study for UN-Habitat on land based finance for affordable housing. As her Bio (click here for details) shows, Daniela has wide ranging academic and professional experience on urban development, housing and transport policy and practice. 

The Bartlett Development Planning Unit meeting in London!

Geoff attended the Bartlett Development Planning Unit meeting to celebrate five years of the DPU’s 60th Anniversary PhD Scholarship at University College London on 16 May. He was happy to meet current students on the Building and Urban Design in Development (BUDD) MSc course which Geoff established in 1993. Karen Waneska (right) is currently helping Geoff with some research.

Land based finance for affordable housing

Geoff and Daniela at UN-Habitat, Nairobi.

GPA has been commissioned by UN-Habitat to prepare a report on international examples of land based finance that can improve access to affordable housing. The project includes countries at all levels of social and economic development and builds on ongoing research by UN-Habitat, the World Bank and academic publications. Geoff invited Daniela Munoz-Levy to undertake the project with him and a draft working paper was submitted for peer review in March 2019. A presentation based on the working paper was presented to senior UN-Habitat staff in Nairobi during a visit between 06-10 May 2019 and both Geoff and Daniela are now preparing a revised paper as a guide for elected officials and professionals. It is intended that this will be ready for publication by the end of the year.

Geoffrey Payne is in Tirana!

A view from colorful streets of Tirana.

Geoff was invited by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to contribute to a meeting in Tirana, Albania on formulating indicators for implementing the SDGs related to urban land and housing, in May 2019. The visit demonstrated the massive improvements to the public realm in Tirana since Geoff was there in 2011 contributing to a City Development Strategy. Many roads are pedestrianised and building painted bright colours!


Book re-launch!

Geoff is pleased to announce that Routledge publishers have decided to relaunch a book he co-edited (with David Cadman) called ‘The Living City: Towards a sustainable future’. Given that the book was originally published in 1990, Geoff is flattered that ideas and examples published nearly thirty years ago are still considered relevant for the future. The book is to be relaunched in July 2019.