Geoff was commissioned by the World Bank to review the plans and land policy instruments being applied for the development of the new state capital after the bifurcation of the state in 2014. Land for the new capital is being acquired by three policy instruments, namely land pooling, negotiated settlements and formal land acquisition. The land pooling scheme is possibly the largest in the world and is the subject of local debate. Geoff’s role is to assess the way the policies are being implemented to ensure that no groups are disadvantaged.
Geoff was invited by the World Bank to act as international adviser to two missions taking place concurrently in India. The first is being led by Ms Bernice van Bronkhorst, with Mr Augustin Maria and is preparing the design of an Informal Settlement Improvement Project.
The World Bank is currently working with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation to provide support to participating states and cities to implement city-wide slum upgrading programs. Specific attention is being given to pilot flexible and innovative approaches towards improving tenure security for the residents of informal settlements. The Project could also provide support to participating states and cities to develop strategies to improve urban land delivery systems. Geoff is contributing to the project on both these aspects.
The second mission addressed land issues, and involved a stocktaking of the Bank’s work on land in India, identifying good practices and scoping out the Bank’s future engagement on land. It focused on land issues in urban and slum settings, industrial development and land administration. The mission was led by Maria Correia, Sector Manager, Social Development Unit, South Asia Region and included a number of colleagues from the Bank offices in New Delhi.
During the mission, visits were made to Bengaluru, Chennia and New Delhi, where meetings were held with a wide range of ministry and local government officials and senior representatives from the private and civil society sectors. Visits were also undertaken to different projects to assess the situations at first hand. The missions were conducted between 23-30 June.
We are pleased to announce that Sheena Pandita joined GPA as a Trainee for three months while doing an Msc. in Spatial Planning from Oxford Brookes University. She did her dissertation on the Interplay of Neoliberal Policies and social inequality on access to housing in India. Sheena left GPA in September to take up a full time post elsewhere.
Geoff was invited to participate in the International Workshop on ‘Scaling up Upgrading and Affordable Housing: From National Policies, to State Programs and City-Wide Slum Free Interventions’, in Udaipur, India. Geoff presented a paper on ‘Land Markets and Regulation: Building Better Urban Futures’. To download a copy of Geoff’s presentation, click here.
Geoff Payne has been appointed by WSP, the lead consultants, as an advisor to the DFID funded ‘Design, Interim Support and Implementation of Bihar Strengthening Urban Management for Inclusive Growth Programme’, starting in August 2008. Geoff will be visiting India for two weeks for the initial stage of this major three-year project. More details later.