All posts in Official Mission

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Planning Africa 2016 in Joburg

The 7th Planning Africa Conference – “Planning Africa 2016 : Making Sense of the Future – Disruption and Reinvention”  took place in Johannesburg, Gauteng Province on 3-6 July 2016, organised by the South African Planning Institute (SAPI). Thomas presented the paper “UN-Habitat’s Rapid Planning Studio: A Case Study of Integrated Planning for City Extensions in Africa” (download paper) together with Gianluca Crispi on a mission financed by UN-Habitat.

The Planning Africa 2016 conference focuses on the role of planning in shaping the future. It is a platform for (re)thinking, discussing and envisaging the outcomes planners desire for the future. The paper and presentation promote and discuss UN-Habitats three-pronged approach and integrated strategy for capacity building to foster sustainable urban development.

There is a general consensus among Among South African planners regarding objectives and principles of planning, yet a widespread frustration as the urban reality including recent developments is far from the consensus on good practice. The discrepancy between the professional discourse and the reality of the context is remarkable.

The paper elaborates the causes of the above-mentioned implementation gap and proposes a potential avenue to address the gap: the Rapid Planing Studio.

Mozambique: planning urban corridor

From 4th to 11th of June Thomas was invited to the seminars in the cities of Tete and Nampula, Mozambique. The events are part of a series of workshops guiding the development of the Nacala Corridor, supported by UN-Habitat and Cities Alliance.

One of the issues raised was the need for more tools to operationalize existing plans. The workshop establishes processes and tools to ensure plan implementation following the parameters of their plans.

Rapid Planning Studio in Nampula

From 15th to 18th of February 2016, a UN-Habitat team led another Rapid Planning Studio – this time in Nampula Mozambique. The workshop allowed local planners and leaders to discuss potential development strategies for their rapidly growing city with the UN-Habitat experts.

Nampula – a city with an estimated population of over 600’000 inhabitants – is the capital of Mozambique’s most populous province with more than 4 million inhabitants. The city’s massive in-migration and consequent housing shortage challenges current capacities to manage land effectively.

Addressing the challenges from three standpoints – legislation, finance/economy, and urban planning/design – allowed to deliver informed and feasible outcomes. Thanks to an energetic and collaborative atmosphere among the participants, the workshop successfully promoted more sustainable urban development strategies for Nampula.

 

Tacloban Urban Lab

Tacloban Urban Lab, jointly prepared by the UN-Habitat Design Lab and the Dutch Creative Industries Fund, took place during the 26th – 29th of January 2016 in the Philippines. It brought together international and local expertise to exchange applied knowledge and create urban design guidelines for the capital of Leyte province. Tacloban – a city of over 200’000 inhabitants – suffered from severe damage after the 2013 Haiyan Typhoon. The Tacloban Urban Lab is thus seen as an opportunity to draft guidelines for more sustainable urban growth and post-disaster reconstruction.

Designing a better urban future” – Urban Planning and Design Labs were established on the 15th of September 2015 by the Dutch Creative Industries Fund and UN-Habitat’s Global Network of Urban Planning and Design Labs. The Tacloban Lab was part of a one year series to support local governments in partner countries such as Myanmar, Mexico, the Philippines, Palestine and Ghana.

“With the planning labs, we promote to integrate design throughout the planning process, since design explorations can actually also contribute to problem definition and goal-setting. And as clear plans ease political buy-in, design also has the capacity to accelerate governments’ decision-making processes where plans often end up in gridlock.” says Rogier van den Berg, project leader of the Urban Planning and Design LAB at UN-Habitat.

Participating experts:

UN-Habitat: Thomas Stellmach, Chris Rolo, David Guera

UN URBAN LABS: STUDIO MAKSMars ArchitectskrillRademacher & De Vries

Integrated Urban Management In Practice

In October 2015 Thomas attended the workshop ‘Integrated Urban Management In Practice’ hosted by the BMBF Research and Development Project „Rapid Planning“ and the GIZ Sector Project „Sustainable Development of Metropolitan Regions“ at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences as part of a UN-Habitat delegation.

We discussed and evaluated trans-sectoral approaches and implementation activities for integrated urban management.

The Rapid Planning Project is an action oriented research project that has been developed under the umbrella of the Future Megacities Research Program of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Rapid Planning seeks to develop a rapid trans-sectoral urban planning methodology with a focus on urban basic services infrastructure, specifically targeting supply and disposal infrastructure. More about the project at rapid-planning.net.

Kenya Municipal Plans Review

Thomas of TSPA is giving support to the Sustainable Urban Development Sector in Kenya as part of a multidisciplinary UN-Habitat team. During the last two weeks of August, UN-Habitat will review the Integrated Strategic Urban Development Plans in 12 municipalities, particularly in line with addressing the challenges of urbanization, rapid urban growth and poverty, according to the following clusters:

  1. Mombasa
  2. Malindi /Kitui
  3. Thika/Machakos/Embu
  4. Naivasha/Nakuru/Nyeri
  5. Kakamega/Kericho/Eldoret

The project support of UN-Habitat to the Sustainable Urban Development Sector in Kenya funded by the Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi is premised on the fact that cities in Kenya are growing at an unprecedented rate without adequate urban planning. This contributes to the growing inability of Kenya’s urban areas to adequately provide the necessary urban services and to build sustainable and functioning cities for the future. The situation is exacerbated by the poor coordination of efforts by major urban and development actors in the sector.

Rapid Integrated Spatial Planning Studio at Kogi State, Nigeria

In July, Thomas facilitated as part of a UN-Habitat team a workshop with planning professionals and city leaders in Kogi state, Nigeria discussing the municipal plans of Dekina, Kabba, Okene and Lokoja.

The studio follows UN-Habitat’s three pronged planning approach integrating legal and finance components with planning. It introduced the rapid urban planning method in Nigeria to help local experts and consultants to prepare the foundation of their master plans. This three days long studio will also allow the participants to be engaged in an interactive sessions to address different planning challenges, to chalk out alternatives and to identify possible solutions through a collaborative exercise and dialogue session. At the end of the workshop participants will be able to draw a draft plan that will be analyzed and improved further for official use.

UN-Habitat Urban Planning and Design Branch Portfolio released

UN Habitat is the United Nations programme which aims to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all. For almost 40 years, UN-Habitat has worked worldwide, focusing on building a brighter future for villages, towns, and cities of all sizes.

Thomas (TSPA) has supported UN-Habitat since 2012, developing planning strategies for sustainable urban development and organizing workshops for planning professionals and city leaders in Kenya, Malaysia, Philippines and Rwanda. See some of his work in Kenya and Rwanda featured in the document.

UN Habitat UPDB Portfolio [15MB]

Training for city leaders in Adama, Ethiopia

Above a roadside impression while the UN-Habitat team is on the way to Adama, southeast of Addis Abeba in Ethiopia, to discuss sustainable urban development, planning and public space issues with 40 Ethiopian mayors on 19 & 20 of February. We are promoting an integrated approach, linking urban economy and finance, urban legislation and urban planning. The training is funded by UNDP.

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Maputo Sixties Modernism

Maputo is one of the cities with the highest concentrations of sixties modernist architecture, if not the highest. Some impressions here, while Thomas is on mission for the UN-Habitat ASUD programme in Mozambique.

Competition Preparations for ASUD Philippines, Manila

Thomas is in the Philippines to develop design briefs for planned city extensions with the municipalities of Cagayan de Oro, Silay, and Iloilo with the support of colleagues from UN-Habitat and Arcadis.

Support to the UN-Habitat workshop ‘Urban Planning for City Leaders’ in Diani, Kenya

From 11 to 14 November Thomas is part of the UN-Habitat team supporting the sustainable urban development sector in Kenya as part of the Kenyan Municipal Programme (KMP). He will conduct a learning session for decision makers and a two day workshop for planners and municipal staff.

UN-Habitat started training on “Urban Planning for City Leaders (UPCL)” guide as part of its capacity development initiative since September, 2013. Under this initiative, several trainings have been successfully delivered around the world.

The rapid planning studio aims at informing local leaders of each town/county about the value that urban planning could bring to their counties and to facilitate a collaborative dialogue between local leaders, policy makers and planners on urban development especially on the themes of public space, densification, urban patterns, and connectivity including the importance of legal frameworks and urban economy.

Workshop on Territorial Planning for Nacala, Mozambique

Thomas will work with the UN-Habitat team and the colleagues at the University of Maputo on the Territorial Model and city extension plans for Nacala Porto and Nacala Velha in the North of Mozambique from 31 October till 8 November 2014.

Rapid Planning Studio in Kenya

From 2 to 5 September Thomas is part of the UN-Habitat team supporting the sustainable urban development sector in Kenya as part of the Kenyan Municipal Programme (KMP). He will conduct a learning session for decision makers and a two day workshop for planners and municipal staff in Nairobi and Naivasha.

UN-Habitat started training on “Urban Planning for City Leaders (UPCL)” guide as part of its capacity development initiative since September, 2013. Under this initiative, several trainings have been successfully delivered around the world.

The rapid planning studio aims at informing local leaders of each town/county about the value that urban planning could bring to their counties and to facilitate a collaborative dialogue between local leaders, policy makers and planners on urban development especially on the themes of public space, densification, urban patterns, and connectivity including the importance of legal frameworks and urban economy.

Kick-off workshop for good urbanisation in Rwanda

Thomas was invited to support the first of 7 workshops in Kigali (Rwanda) on sustainable urbanisation for secondary cities in Rwanda hosted by UN-Habitat and the Rwanda Housing Authority on the 19th and 20th February 2014. Thomas will discuss UN-Habitat planning principles, urbanisation patterns and reference projects with the mayors and planners from six attending cities.

Urban Transformation in Nilüfer

The municipality of Nilüfer, Bursa (TK) invited Thomas together with Laura Petrella of UN-Habitat to support the workshop on ‘Developing An Urban Transformation Project in Nilüfer, Bursa’ on 29 and 30 January 2014. We will present the UN-Habitat approach and principles as well as a set of best practices.

UPDATE: You can find a little TV interview with the mayor, Thomas and Laura on local TV and a print interview as also published in Hürriyet newspaper of 9 Feb 2014. Enjoy.

UN-Habitat mission to the Philippines, Mozambique, Kenya

Thomas will give a series of workshops as UN-Habitat consultant in the Philippines, Mozambique and Kenya in October and November. The Planning city extensions workshop in Manila on 23-25 October will involve 5 municipalities of the Philippines and focus on a rational ‘Back to the Basics’ approach for sustainable urban development and exemplify UN-Habitat principles. Thomas will also discuss the city-corridor developments and planning progress in Northern Mozambique in the cities of Nampula and Nacala from 3-6 November as part of the ASUD (Achieving Sustainable Urban Development) program.

Infrastructure Corridor in Mozambique

Thomas travels to Mozambique representing UN-Habitat as urban plnning expert for the ‘Achieving Sustainable Urban Development’ programme in Mozambique. He will discuss planning methodology and institutional set-up regarding the Nacala-Nampula development corridor with the local UN-Habitat team and partners.

Greater Kampala Metro Area Plan Support

Thomas represents UN-Habitat in Kampala from 8-11 December 2012 to initiate support for the Goverment of Uganda for the new Metropolitan Plan for Greater Kampala regarding spatial planning and institutional coordination.

Achieving Sustainable Urban Development in Philippine Cities

Thomas is on a 2 week mission in the Philippines to initiate the ASUD (Achieving Sustainable Urban Development) programme for UN-Habitat. He meets stakeholders and project partners in Manila and discusses planning procedures in Butuan and Cagayan de Oro with the local government.

UN-Habitat Mission to Rwanda

From 23 July to 8 August Thomas is on mission to Rwanda for UN-Habitat. He advises the City of Kigali and the Rwanda Housing Authority on National Urban Policy and several city extension projects in Kigali and other cities.