265 82 3MB
English Pages  Year 2021
113 62 14MB Read more
355 114 1MB Read more
Employing Salman Rushdie as a guide to a historicized contemporary, this study offers an interdisciplinary exploration o
130 90 9MB Read more
250 45 3MB Read more
382 120 6MB Read more
For the first time in history, the majority of the world's population lives in cities, the result of a rapid proces
131 39 2MB Read more
A cutting exploration of how cities drive climate change while being on the frontlines of the coming climate crisis How
494 76 2MB Read more
What is the motivation behind the transmission of knowledge and ideas in the specific cultural contexts of South Asian s
704 174 14MB Read more
Table of contents :
Alternative table of contents
List of figures
List of tables
List of contributors
Part I Politics and power in overlooked cities
1 Sanxian: re-/un-thinking Chinese urban hierarchy with a medium-sized city
2 The changing logic of urban planning in Nepal: from informal to incremental
3 The marginalised centre: overlooked cities in South Africa’s interior
4 Debt and developmental impasse in the secondary city: geographies of municipal finance in Zarqa, Jordan
Part II Production and negotiation of knowledge in overlooked cities
5 Intermediate cities as urban innovators: an analysis of disaster risk management in Santa Fe, Argentina, and Manizales, Colombia
6 Comparing secondary cities: holistic evaluation of urban development in Arequipa and Trujillo, Peru
7 Post-conflict Dili: an overlooked urbanscape reaching out for development
8 Middle cities: the politics of intermediary of Bandar Lampung, Semarang and Bontang city in Indonesia under climate crisis
Overlooked Cities reflects and impacts the changing landscape of urban studies and geography from the perspective of smaller and more regional cities in the urban South. It critically examines the ways in which cities are uniquely positioned within different urban and knowledge hierarchies. The book unpacks the dynamics of “overlooked-ness” in these cities, identifies emerging trends and processes that characterise such cities and provides alternative sites for comparative urban theory. It is organised into two themes: firstly, politics and power and secondly, production and negotiation of knowledge. The authors share a commitment to challenging the unevenness of urban knowledge production by approaching these cities on their own terms. Only then can we harness the insights emanating from these overlooked cities, and contribute to a deeper and richer understanding of the urban itself. This collection of essays, focusing on 13 cities in nine countries and across three continents (Luzhou, China; Bharatpur, Nepal; Bloemfontein/Mangaung and Pretoria/Tshwane, South Africa; Zarqa, Jordan; Santa Fe, Argentina; Manizales, Colombia; Arequipa and Trujillo, Peru; Dili, Timor-Leste; Bandar Lampung, Semarang and Bontang, Indonesia) makes a timely contribution to urban scholarship. The volume will be of interest to scholars from the disciplines of urban studies, geography, development and anthropology, as well as postgraduate students researching the global South and third year undergraduate students studying cities and urban studies, development and critical thinking. Hanna A Ruszczyk is a feminist urban geographer in the Department of Geography, Durham University. She is interested in the everyday lived experience of the world’s invisible majority in academically overlooked smaller cities. She utilises a feminist and postcolonial lens to consider how gendered aspects of cities intersect with inequality, risk and resilience. Erwin Nugraha is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Twente and a senior research fellow at the Resilience Development Initiative. His research focuses on climate adaptation, cultures of risk and resilience and urban decoloniality. He was one of the recipients of the Allianz Climate Risk Research Award in 2017. Isolde de Villiers is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Free State Centre for Human Rights. She works mainly with questions of spatial (in)justice and the role of law in time and space. She looks at law and cities from a critical and feminist perspective.
Routledge Studies in Urbanism and the City
Neighbourhood Planning Place, Space and Politics Janet Banfield Urban Neighbourhood Formations Boundaries, Narrations and Intimacies Edited by Hilal Alkan and Nazan Maksudyan Urban Ethics Conflicts Over the Good and Proper Life in Cities Edited by Moritz Ege and Johannes Moser Planning and Managing Smaller Events Downsizing the Urban Spectacle Edited by Stefano Di Vita and Mark Wilson Mega-Events, City and Power Nelma Gusmão de Oliveira Mega-City Region Development in China Edited by Anthony G.O. Yeh, George C.S. Lin and Fiona F. Yang Eco and Low-Carbon New Towns in China Sustainability Transformation in the Making Yang Fu and Xiaoling Zhang Overlooked Cities Power, Politics and Knowledge Beyond the Urban South Edited by Hanna A Ruszczyk, Erwin Nugraha and Isolde de Villiers For more information about this series, please visit https://www.routledge. com/Routledge-Studies-in-Urbanism-and-the-City/book-series/RSUC
Overlooked Cities Power, Politics and Knowledge Beyond the Urban South Edited by Hanna A Ruszczyk, Erwin Nugraha and Isolde de Villiers
First published 2021 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2021 selection and editorial matter, Hanna A Ruszczyk, Erwin Nugraha and Isolde de Villiers; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Hanna A Ruszczyk, Erwin Nugraha and Isolde de Villiers to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN: 978-0-367-64076-7 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-003-12676-8 (ebk) Typeset in Sabon by Apex CoVantage, LLC
Alternative table of contentsvii List of figuresviii List of tablesix List of contributorsx Forewordxiv Acknowledgementsxviii Introduction
HANNA A RUSZCZYK, ERWIN NUGRAHA, ISOLDE DE VILLIERS AND MARTIN PRICE
Politics and power in overlooked cities19 1 Sanxian: re-/un-thinking Chinese urban hierarchy with a medium-sized city
YI JIN AND YIMIN ZHAO
2 The changing logic of urban planning in Nepal: from informal to incremental
HANNA A RUSZCZYK
3 The marginalised centre: overlooked cities in South Africa’s interior
ISOLDE DE VILLIERS
4 Debt and developmental impasse in the secondary city: geographies of municipal finance in Zarqa, Jordan MARTIN PRICE
vi Contents PART II
Production and negotiation of knowledge in overlooked cities83 5 Intermediate cities as urban innovators: an analysis of disaster risk management in Santa Fe, Argentina, and Manizales, Colombia
JULIA WESELY, MARÍA EVANGELINA FILIPPI AND CASSIDY JOHNSON
6 Comparing secondary cities: holistic evaluation of urban development in Arequipa and Trujillo, Peru
7 Post-conflict Dili: an overlooked urbanscape reaching out for development
JOANA DE MESQUITA LIMA AND JOÃO PEDRO COSTA
8 Middle cities: the politics of intermediary of Bandar Lampung, Semarang and Bontang city in Indonesia under climate crisis
ERWIN NUGRAHA, ISOLDE DE VILLIERS, HANNA A RUSZCZYK, JOÃO PEDRO COSTA, JOANA DE MESQUITA LIMA, MARÍA EVANGELINA FILIPPI, YI JIN, CASSIDY JOHNSON, MARTIN PRICE, CHRISTIAN ROSEN, JULIA WESELY AND YIMIN ZHAO
Alternative table of contents
A to Z of overlooking Chapter 1 Arequipa and Trujillo (see page 106) Chapter 2 Bandar Lampung, Semarang and Bontang (see page 143) Chapter 3 Bharatpur (see page 39) Chapter 4 Bloemfontein/Mangaung and Tshwane/Pretoria (see page 55) Chapter 5 Dili (see page 124) Chapter 6 Luzhou (see page 21) Chapter 7 Sante Fe and Manizales (see page 85) Chapter 8 Zarqa (see page 68)
The missing middle from east to west Chapter 1 Dili (see page 124) Chapter 2 Bontang, Semarang and Bandar Lampung (see page 143) Chapter 3 Luzhou (see page 21) Chapter 4 Bharatpur (see page 39) Chapter 5 Zarqa (see page 68) Chapter 6 Tshwane/Pretoria and Bloemfontein/Mangaung (see page 55) Chapter 7 Santa Fe and Manizales (see page 85) Chapter 8 Arequipa and Trujillo (see page 106) Index
0.1 1.1 1.2 2.1 2.2 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4
Counter overlooking The geopolitical division of three “fronts” in China The expansion of Luzhou’s built-up area Bharatpur in 2015 Fertile agricultural land being built upon in 2019 Administrative boundaries and location of the municipality of Santa Fe, neighbouring municipalities and communes and main rivers “Watermarks” installation with extraordinary records of Salado (left) and Paraná (right) rivers in Alto Verde neighbourhood, Santa Fe Administrative boundaries and location of the municipality of Manizales and neighbouring urban centres Slope stabilisation infrastructure and housing in the Chipre sector Poor maintenance of drainage channel in central Dili – July 2019 River and drainage channel in central, seafront Dili – August 2019 Informal occupation in the Tasi Tolu Protected Area (west of the city of Dili) – August 2019 Informal housing on riverbank – August 2019
4 25 32 41 49 90 91 92 93 131 132 134 135
5.1 Characteristics of the intermediate cities of Santa Fe and Manizales87
João Pedro Costa is a professor of urbanism at the Lisbon School of Architecture of the Universidade de Lisboa, where he coordinates the urbanism department and the PhD program in urbanism. His areas of research include urban (re)development on waterfronts, climate change adaptation, urban planning and land management policy development, having published widely on these topics. He is also an experienced practitioner in these areas, extending from his academic practice, namely on the development of strategies, plans and policy tools, in the Portuguese and European contexts and in Timor-Leste. He is currently an elected city councilor in Lisbon (2017/2021). Joana de Mesquita Lima is a PhD candidate in urbanism at the Lisbon School of Architecture, Universidade de Lisboa. Her research focuses on the urban space in the post-conflict context, looking in particular at Dili, Timor-Leste. She is particularly interested in local territorial dynamics and processes of development, as well as governance issues and the roles of actors involved in shaping the territory. As part of her research, and in a broader perspective, Joana is also interested in discussions around urban structure and morphology, urban development and post-colonialism. Isolde de Villiers is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Free State Centre for Human Rights, where she continues her research on spatial justice in South Africa from a critical human rights perspective. Having completed her studies in law, her particular interest lies in the field of jurisprudence. This includes the intersection between law and other humanities disciplines, such as literature. She grew up in the economic capital of South Africa, studied law in the administrative capital, completed her articles of clerkship in the legislative capital and finds herself now in the judicial capital. Central to her work is a concern with the role of law in the continuation of spatial inequality in South Africa, which she pursues through a feminist lens. María Evangelina Filippi is a research associate at the University of Bristol, working as part of Tomorrow’s Cities research hub. The locus of
Contributors xi her research is situated at the intersection of disaster risk management, urban studies and international development, with a regional focus in cities and urban areas in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is particularly interested in experimenting with participatory and action research approaches in low-income settlements and municipalities that have the potential to nurture policy-academia interfaces at the city scale. Her doctoral research at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London, coalesced around an exploration of institutionalisation processes of disaster risk management and transformative urban change steered by municipal governments in medium-sized cities in low- and middle-income countries. She has conducted various consultancy projects in disaster risk reduction and urban resilience for international development organisations and national and local governments. Yi Jin is a research associate in the Department of Geography and Environment, and research assistant in Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, the London School of Economics and Political Science. He obtained his PhD degree in human geography and urban studies, with particular research interests on urban redevelopment, urban governance, vertical urbanism and the transformation of urban everyday life in China. Cassidy Johnson is a professor at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London, where she researches and teaches at master’s and PhD levels about disaster risk, post-disaster recovery and climate change adaptation. Her research contributes to the area of disaster risk reduction and recovery and to the role of local governments and civil society in this – and to integrating an understanding of disaster-risk into development. This has encompassed issues of urban planning, housing quality, building code regulations, informal settlements (and upgrading) and evictions. Her work engages internationally with policy makers as well as with local communities, and she has worked in more than ten countries across Asia and Africa, including Turkey, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi. Erwin Nugraha is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Twente, Netherlands, and a senior research fellow at the Resilience Development Initiative (RDI), Indonesia. His research focuses on the politics and governance of climate change adaptation, social dimensions of risk and resilience and urban decoloniality in the context of cities in the global South. He has published his research in peer-reviewed international journals, including Disaster Prevention and Management, Environmental Science and Policy and Environment and Urbanization. He was one of the recipients of the Allianz Climate Risk Research Award in 2017. Martin Price is an urban ethnographer who obtained his PhD in geography, government and international affairs from Durham University in 2020. His current research concerns the intersection of public finance
xii Contributors and urban governance in the global South. His previous work focused on the lived realities of displaced/refugee communities in the Middle East, challenging conventional narratives of transiency (the camp) and nostalgia (the lost homeland) and foregrounding the vibrancy of urban life and local political investment. Writing for a wide range of audiences, Price has delivered reports and briefing papers to key government and international development stakeholders in the UK and Jordan. He is currently a senior researcher at Gamos and a research associate on the Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) programme, led by the World Bank and Loughborough University. Christian Rosen is a research associate at the Institute of Sociology at Technical University Darmstadt, Germany. His work focuses on social field theory and sociology of space and on the development of secondary cities in the urban South. He published on capital cities and their national political fields. More recently and in collaboration with KFW Bank he conducted an international study on secondary city development, focusing the different perspectives of local experts within a city on challenges and potentials in development. He also contributes to the discussion on methods of city comparison. Hanna A Ruszczyk is a feminist urban human geographer at Durham University’s Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience and the Department of Geography. She is interested in the everyday lived experiences of the world’s invisible majority who live in academically overlooked smaller cities. She utilises a feminist and postcolonial lens to consider how cities intersect with ideas of livability, gender, living infrastructure and resilience. Before academia, Dr. Ruszczyk worked for two United Nations agencies, the International Labour Office and the United Nations Development Programme. She has published in the peer-reviewed journals Area, Disasters, Environment & Urbanization, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction and Urban Geography. She is particularly interested in exploring creative and interdisciplinary methods in her research. For more information, please see her website: hannaruszczyk.weebly.com. David Satterthwaite is a senior fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and editor of the international journal Environment and Urbanization. He is also a visiting professor at University College London. Most of his work has been on poverty reduction. His books include Squatter Citizen (with Jorge E. Hardoy) and two books on urban poverty with Diana Mitlin. He contributed to the last four Assessments of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He was awarded the Volvo Environment Prize in 2004 and was one of the IPCC team honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Julia Wesely is a postdoctoral research fellow at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London. Her doctoral research
Contributors xiii investigated the historical-institutional trajectory of disaster risk management in Manizales, Colombia, to learn how an enabling environment for “good practices” was developed and consolidated in this intermediate city. Her current research in the programme Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality (KNOW) seeks to understand and support critical pedagogies of learning the city for addressing urban inequalities in Latin American, African and Asian cities. Yimin Zhao is an assistant professor in urban planning and management, Renmin University of China. Trained as a human geographer, he uses mixed research methods (urban ethnography in particular) to understand microphysics of power relations and state processes in urban life. His current research focuses on two topics: One is about the urban mechanisms of global China (collaborating with researchers at the LSE and Monash University Malaysia and funded by the British Academy) and the other looks into renewed techniques of governance in Beijing (empirically focusing on urban density and street markets).
This book on Overlooked Cities brings careful, detailed case studies covering 13 cities. In terms of population, the cities range from Bontang (Indonesia) with less than 200,000 inhabitants, Dili (Timor-Leste) with 277,279 and Bharatpur (Nepal) with 280,000 to Pretoria (South Africa) with 2.9 million in its metropolitan area in 2017. Five of the 13 cities have more than one million inhabitants. It is intriguing to see this new category of cities, overlooked cities, rather than more conventional categories such as secondary or intermediate cities. There is no indicator for cities on the extent of their “overlookedness” except for how little research has been devoted to them and how few papers in urban studies mention them. So they are overlooked globally. They are also overlooked within their nation. Each chapter in this book describes and discusses whether the city (or cities) are overlooked within a national context – so often ignored by higher levels of government or not supported to meet their public services responsibilities. What is also overlooked globally and nationally is the demographic, economic, social and political role of “overlooked cities”. If we take a population range that includes all but two of the 13 cities (200,000 to two million), analysis of census data in 65 low- and middle-income countries showed that 48 had more than 10 percent of the national population in cities of 200,000 to two million, including 21 countries with more than 20 percent in that range. Most had more of their national population in the cities of 200,000 to two million than in two million-plus cities, but this was usually because the country had no city that reached two million. Of course, not all cities with populations in this range are overlooked, but the cities that are not – for instance national capitals in small- population nations – are relatively few, and they may still be overlooked in the global literature. One might question whether cities with more than one million inhabitants are overlooked because there are so few of them. This had some validity some decades ago, but this is no longer true. By 2020, there were 579 cities with one million-plus inhabitants (United Nations, 2018).
Foreword xv One of the key reasons why we chose to start research on what we termed “small and intermediate urban centres” was for their importance as centres for the production of goods and public and private services, not only for their population but for surrounding (mostly rural) populations and enterprises. These cities were also chosen for their political importance as capitals for regions/provinces/states or for lower local government tiers that are responsible for many public services. Reflecting on our work on this topic: It was Jorge Hardoy, the Argentinian urbanist who founded and directed IIED’s Human Settlements Programme from 1977, who suggested that we need to pay more attention to urban centres other than large cities; also to recognise how much of the urban population in most nations lives “Outside the Large Cities” (the title given to an annotated bibliography that we published in 1988) (Blitzer et al., 1988). It is also important to recognise that deficits in basic services were often higher than in large cities. But the main body of our research was five very detailed regional studies of how small and intermediate-sized urban centres grew, developed (or not) and interacted: Two regions in India and one each in Argentina, Sudan and Nigeria. These studies covered the last 100 to 150 years to allow us to better understand long-term patterns and influences; a summary of the research findings were published in 1986 (ibid.). But the funding agency who supported our work and who congratulated us for its quality did not fund the planned second stage of the research that was to look at the influence on each region’s urban system coming from outside the region. There was little interest in research funding agencies on this topic; in general, funding for urban research was limited, and there was a much greater interest in the un-overlooked “world” or “global” cities. However, we sought to keep this attention to smaller cities alive through publishing many case studies of smaller cities in our twin journals: Medio Ambiente y Urbanizacion (https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iieal/ meda) and Environment and Urbanization (https://journals.sagepub.com/ home/eau) and by organising a series of seminars and workshops, mostly in Latin America. In recent years, both journals had case studies of intermediatesized cities, looking at their responses to climate change from work directed by Jorgelina Hardoy, one of Jorge Hardoy’s daughters. Each new city case study reminds of how unique each city and its context are, an encouragement to researchers to get into needed depth and detail and a warning not to slip into easy generalisations. The surprises if you do so! The Argentinian case study pointing to how the whole region’s economy was made possible by the arrival of the railway – which had been built in the late 19th century to rush Argentine troops to the border with Chile. One of the Indian case studies showing how the location of new industrial development was related to the political power of that locality’s politicians, rather than the suitability of the location.
xvi Foreword Setting up categories for cities in order to highlight those that are “small”, “intermediate”, “secondary” or, as in this book, “overlooked” is important for widening our understanding of urban change. But it is always difficult to know where to set the boundaries, not least because of the lack of data on cities in most low- and middle-income countries. For some countries, this is because of no recent census; for others, it is due to the refusal of the census authorities to release city data to city governments. Also, so much data is collected in national household surveys that have sample sizes too small to provide data on individual cities. There is also the issue of whether the chosen definition is for a study of an individual nation or a comparative study across nations. Large-population nations can have cities of several million inhabitants that are secondary or intermediate, while many small-population nations have no city of one million inhabitants. The city studies in this volume enrich us by adding to the number of case studies but also by the needed depth and detail mentioned earlier – not so much in comparative studies, but more in how, in each unique local context, common issues are addressed. The studies show reality on the ground by giving real-life examples. The city case studies also point to or give examples of the importance of city governments both through what the governments did and what they failed to do. Perhaps the main point of difference between our work in the 1980s and the cities covered in this book is its greater attention to political issues, both on the government in the city or cities in question and in its relations with higher levels of government. On a more pragmatic issue, it is easier for researchers to make sense of what is happening in smaller cities. In the many small cities I have worked in, it was easier to engage local politicians and civil servants and local researchers. Perhaps the future holds out more prospects for overlooked cities if the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating consequences can be brought under control. There is a renewed recognition of the needed role of all city governments in good public health (obviously including overlooked cities) and in both climate change adaptation and mitigation: Active global networks such as United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) promoting and supporting local government’s role and highlighting innovation in a wide range of cities; Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) championing the role of all city governments; C-40, if it extends the range of members (it is currently very much the role of large and well-known cities); UN agencies following the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s (UNISDR) example of strong engagement with local governments. Sometimes it is these international networks highlighting good practice in cities such as Santa Fe and Manizales (see Chapter 5, Wesely, Filippi & Johnson, this volume) that makes them less overlooked. David Satterthwaite
References Blitzer, S., Davila, J., Hardoy, J. E. & Satterthwaite, D. (1988) Outside the large cities: Annotated bibliography and guide to the literature on small and intermediate urban centres in the third world. London, International Institute of Environment and Urbanization (IIED). Available from: https://pubs.iied.org/7013IIED/ [Accessed 9th August 2020]. United Nations (2018) World urbanization prospects 2018. Available from: https:// population.un.org/wup/ [Accessed 11th August 2020].
The authors would like to thank Egle Zigaite and the publishing team at Routledge for supporting this book’s publication from its inception. The authors also would like to express their gratitude to Durham University’s Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR) for financing the 2019 conclusion-writing workshop and the RGS-IBG Urban Geography Research Group (UGRG) for sponsoring a double session in 2018. Hanna A Ruszczyk would like to thank Colin McFarlane for his timely support and advice during the evolution of this book project. Thank you to Louise Bracken, who allowed her to create an urban research agenda for the IHRR; this book is one of the key deliverables for that stream of work. Louise Bracken and Julian Williams both encourage and support early-career researchers (ECRs) to develop to their full potential. Durham Geography’s Urban Research Cluster helped in thinking through some of the issues arising from the book. Ruszczyk always looked forward to her Skype meetings with Erwin, Isolde and Alexandra, knowing that they had a great collaborative project. Last, a big hug to her children, James and Julian, who think it’s cool that she creates books. Erwin Nugraha would like to thank Hanna A Ruszczyk for inviting him to be involved with this project, and for being an excellent and a thoughtprovoking co-editor. He also would like to express his gratitude to Isolde de Villiers for being a committed, efficient and engaging co-editor. He gratefully acknowledges the support from the IHRR at Durham University and the Christopher Moyes Memorial Foundation (CMMF), especially Mrs. Jan Moyes. He is forever thankful for the love and support of Putri Karina for allowing him to grow beyond his comfort zone. Isolde de Villiers would like to thank Danie Brand and the Free State Centre for Human Rights for providing the space, time and support for focusing on this project. Thank you to the British Academy for hosting the Urban Lives Symposium in South Africa in February 2019, where she met Hanna and immediately connected around “boring cities”. To her two coeditors, thank you for inviting her on this journey – go team! Thank you to Alexandra, who was present at every Skype call and meeting for this book,
Acknowledgements xix gave her input in the form of babbling, learned to crawl and acquired four teeth during the process. The book is dedicated to all those who live their everyday lives in overlooked cities. Hanna A Ruszczyk, Erwin Nugraha and Isolde de Villiers August 2020
Introduction Hanna A Ruszczyk, Erwin Nugraha, Isolde de Villiers and Martin Price
With the massive demographic and economic changes of the last three decades, the parochialism of the research heartland is a problem. It means that cities that are highly profiled in the canon of urban studies no longer reflect the hubs of urbanisation or the most critical contemporary global urban problems. Oldfield and Parnell (2014: p. 1) Tell me what your cities are like, and I will tell you how your country or your continent is and most likely will be. This observation has never been truer, and it is fundamental that its implications are assessed. Ferrão (2003: p. 220)
Looking at cities – whether to explain, understand or merely to observe – inevitably involves a degree of “overlooking”. Some cities and urban processes always seem to be kept out of view and remain removed from familiar ways of seeing, thinking, questioning and engaging. And yet, these cities are still subjected to the various assumptions made and the categories and labels devised by scholars, policy-makers and practitioners alike. Critical urbanists have long emphasised the partiality of urban theory, demonstrating how patterns of urban knowledge production reflect particular historical, institutional, political, economic, cultural and (post) colonial formations. Even so, urban knowledge travels between cities and across continents and, in the process, it may be argued, becomes “richly populated in place, region, networks, and in conversation” (Oldfield, 2014: p. 7). But which cities are situated outside of these circulations of urban knowledge? What is happening in the streets, neighbourhoods, districts and cities that are rarely represented in these conversations? “Southern” and post-colonial urbanisms have been enormously influential in refocusing attention toward cities throughout the global South, and yet many cities continue to be systematically overlooked. While mega-cities and capital cities function as “city states in a networked global economy, increasingly independent of regional and national
2 Ruszczyk, Nugraha, de Villiers and Price mediation”, other cities are left to “seek new ways of claiming space and voice” (Appadurai, 2001: p. 25). The lack of attention given to smaller cities (Ali & Rieker, 2008: p. 2) is a self-imposed limitation on our understanding of the urban, and it implies that these cities are less worthy of critical analysis, or that they experience the same urban development issues but on a different scale (Sheppard, Leitner & Maringanti, 2013: p. 894). Methodological, theoretical and conceptual frameworks have yet to position smaller and/or more regional cities front and centre, and yet it is in these cities where the majority of city-dwellers reside (Price & Ruszczyk, 2019). The tendency to overlook certain cities is not just a concern for scholars. Political, economic and cultural logics within individual nations and across regions will inevitably look to certain cities over others. It is inevitable that growth strategies, development agendas, fiscal transfer arrangements, and restructuring and reform processes are designed with certain places and cities in mind, implemented unevenly across vast territories and with unresolved questions of equity and justice at their core. To overlook is not simply to ignore; processes of overlooking have direct material consequences for the present condition and possible futures of these cities. This exploratory and experimental book showcases the critical importance of research in overlooked cities. “Overlooking” is a multi-faceted process, reflecting different power relations, political economies, knowledge networks and resource allocations unique to each individual city. In other words, processes of overlooking strike at the very heart of what we understand to be “the urban” throughout many parts of the world. This collection of essays, focusing on 13 cities in nine countries and across three continents, makes a vital and timely contribution to urban scholarship. Overlooked Cities reflects and impacts the changing landscape of urban studies and geography from the perspective of smaller and more regional cities in the urban South. Our attentiveness toward the dynamics and processes of overlooking allows us to critically examine the ways in which cities are uniquely positioned within different urban and knowledge hierarchies. In many respects, these asymmetries define various aspects of the urban condition in these cities, and they are reflected in matters of governance, urban planning, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, international development assistance and the activities of non-governmental organisations. The aims of the book are to (1) unpack the dynamics of “overlooked-ness” in these cities, (2) identify emerging trends and processes that characterise such cities and (3) provide alternative sites for comparative urban theory. All of the authors are united by a shared commitment to challenging the unevenness of urban knowledge production, first and foremost by approaching these cities on their own terms. Only then can we harness the insights emanating from these overlooked cities and contribute to a deeper and richer understanding of the urban itself.
“Overlooked-ness” To overlook is not merely to ignore. Overlooking is not defined by a silence or an absence, but it is itself a process filled with presuppositions, prejudices, prioritisations and expectations. Overlooking may be intentional or unintentional, but it is a form of neglect all the same. It may involve a conscious choice to look elsewhere, or it may constitute an act of simultaneously knowing but not caring. Either way, overlooking produces its own hierarchies, impacts urban political economies and even plays a constitutive role in what urbanism means in cities out of the spotlight nor under the microscope. Overlooking, then, embodies heterogenous temporalities, relationalities and forms of socio-spatial configuration in cities throughout the urban South. The map in Figure 0.1 draws attention to the cities featured in this book. These cities would not usually appear on an ordinary world map, due to the convention of only displaying nation-states and their capital cities. Robinson uses “off-the-map cities” in contrast to global and world cities (2008). Countering the under-representation of these cities by putting them on the map, as it were, does not suggest a shift toward a new major category of analysis or grand narrative. This critical graphic depiction of our world forces us to consider the following questions: How does this map disrupt more established cartographic representations? What are the political implications of highlighting these cities over national capitals? What are the map’s intellectual implications? Take a moment to imagine this world. Pronounce the names of these places that might, for now, be unfamiliar to the ear. While reading through the chapters that follow, imagine this world, bear this map in mind and think of how this map places the different authors in relation to one another. It is critically productive to approach urban research in many parts of the world through Brenner and Schmid’s (2015: p. 155) epistemological question: “Through what categories, methods and cartographies should urban life be understood?” For scholars and practitioners more familiar with larger cities in each of these countries, think about its relationship to the smaller, more overlooked cities. What can you learn by foregrounding overlooked-ness in each of these contexts? It is important to emphasise that the implications of “overlooking” cannot be defined a priori. It is not our objective to categorise overlooked cities but to explore the dynamics of “overlooked-ness” and the consequences of overlooking as they manifest in particular cities and in specific contexts. We do not want to confine these cities to the margins, nor do we want to mainstream these “marginalised” cities into existing urban theory. Overlooking a city may marginalise it from important policy discussions and resource allocations, but it may equally provide local actors with the space to experiment, create and innovate. Additionally, we are not trying to fetishise or romanticise the ordinary, but nor are we content with “ordinariness” as a satisfactory analytical category. We challenge how the accumulation of
Source: Cartography Unit, Department of Geography, Durham University
Figure 0.1 Counter overlooking
4 Ruszczyk, Nugraha, de Villiers and Price
Introduction 5 urban knowledge has meant that certain cities – particularly in the global North but also the mega- and global cities in the South – have received special attention. Overlooked cities are neither the derivation nor the exception of other cities; there is something different about them, yes, but there is undoubtedly a kind of conventionality to them. Our focus on overlooking allows us to hold the ordinary in tension with the extraordinary, exploring cities on their own terms as they continue to be omitted from mainstream scholarly analysis. Even within critical urban theory, there remains an overwhelming focus on the world’s largest cities. This is not merely a case of under-representation; Paterson and her colleagues (2017: p. 109) explain that smaller cities face disproportionate risks, due not only to the concentration of “most of the world’s vulnerable urban populations” in these cities, but also due to “limited data, political power, personnel, and resources”. Jorge Enrique Hardoy and David Satterthwaite have dedicated much of their academic careers to these kinds of cities, and their work has provided the foundational thinking behind the orientation of this book. In Small and Intermediate Urban Centres, Hardoy and Satterthwaite (1986: p.xvii) argued that urban studies lacked a detailed and nuanced account of the diversity of urban centres, and how smaller cities interacted with their surrounding areas. In Squatter Citizen, the authors recognised that many of the largest Southern cities “owe their foundation and early development to colonial rule”, but focused their attention on the specificities and contingencies of life in smaller cities. To do so, Hardoy and Satterthwaite argue, it requires an understanding of their “own unique mix of resources, development potential, skills, constrains and links with the surrounds and the wider regional and national economy” (1989: p. 299). Reflecting on the book three decades later, Satterthwaite reiterated the urgency for this line of enquiry, explaining how “the rights [of residents] to water, education and healthcare are often denied” in these overlooked cities (2019: no pagination). As a collective, we share Hardoy and Satterthwaite’s commitment to the urban populations living in these cities, and share their hope for “a better body of knowledge [to] widen the understanding of small and intermediate urban centres” (1986: p. xix). Following the publication of these two books in the 1980s, urban geography has continued to diversify, welcoming increasingly nuanced accounts of different-sized cities throughout the North and South. Post-colonial urbanism views the constitution of the urban as “always variable, polymorphic and historically determinate” (Robinson, 2014: p. 62), and thus seeks to disrupt the universalising tendencies of urban theory through conceptual innovation and the examination of alternative urban geographies. This is not merely an intriguing intellectual exercise but a political and moral imperative, given its potential to re-write urban knowledge to account for a much larger proportion of the world’s urban population. The “provincialisation” of global urbanism has gained significant traction over the last two decades, seeking to put urban theories “literally and figuratively in their place” (Pile,
6 Ruszczyk, Nugraha, de Villiers and Price 2006: p. 306). Provincialisation involves an examination of the ways in which a particular city is both like and unlike other cities close by as well as further afield. Roy’s (2009: p. 828) concept of “worlding” has proved influential among critical urban scholars, recognising how “distinctive and alternative modernities are produced in multiple urban sites”, and that “such experiences can speak to and inform one’s analysis of other places”. This book offers a unique and timely contribution to these literatures, extending the critical perspective to overlooked cities in order to explore what these urban realities tell us about urbanism in and beyond the global South.
Ordinary, peripheral, secondary cities This book’s emphasis on “overlooking” reflects a political and intellectual commitment to challenge the “disproportionate visibility” (Parnell & Robinson, 2012: p. 596) of cities within urban theory. This can also be seen as an important epistemological intervention, not just focusing on overlooked cities but examining what a focus on overlooking tells us about the urban condition and the limits of existing urban theory. It is necessary to point out that a focus on overlooked cities should not be to the exclusion of other concepts, spaces and places. Rather, it provides a point of critical engagement with a range of labels used to describe these kinds of cities – “ordinary”, “peripheral”, “secondary”, and so on. The foundations of this perspective reside in Robinson’s highly influential work Ordinary Cities (2006). By emphasising the ordinariness of cities, Robinson advocates for a culture of theorisation that accepts significant levels of differentiation in and among cities. Here, “ordinary” is not a descriptive category of urbanism but an epistemological position, which focuses on the dynamism and diversity of cities and moves away from the labels and categories familiar to a Western-centric intellectual canon. A recent text such as Cities of the Global South Reader (Miraftab & Kudva, 2015) illustrates how the legacy of colonialism lead to binary relations in conceptualising cities: Historical legacies first/third worlds, wealth/poverty, development/underdevelopment and inclusion/exclusion. By asking “whose city? whose development?” Miraftab and Kudva (2015) call for questioning these binaries. In this collection we show how history, climate, politics, markets, academic projects, financial institutions, national leaders, law and city officials have perpetuated another binary – that of looked-at/overlooked. In the variety of cities chosen for this collection we challenge not only the fact that certain cities are looked at (forming part of what Parnell calls the urban canon) but also the very dichotomous thinking underlying the parochial production of knowledge on cities. The emphasis we place on “overlooked-ness” must be distinguished from other labels that may be viewed as interchangeable with the concept. While this book acknowledges the indebtedness to the way in which the following concepts have shaped our ideas, this book emphasises the notion of
Introduction 7 overlooked-ness as related but distinct from notions of small/middle, marginal/peripheral and intermediate/secondary cities. What follows is a brief description of these concepts with the valence and value judgement they carry and also an overview of the way in which this edited volume challenges and expands these terms through a focus on overlooking. Small/middle cities Hardoy and Satterthwaite’s scholarly interest toward small and intermediate cities began over thirty years ago; since their initial publications, detailed earlier, few other studies have engaged with different epistemological approaches toward and the significance of “theorising from the middle” (Chen & Kanna, 2012). Studying non-capital and non-mega-cities, leaning toward smaller or secondary cities, is not only an intriguing theoretical exercise but a political and moral imperative. In this edited collection, Nugraha’s chapter explicitly uses the term middle city to refer to the pervasive embodiment of cities in between complex interplay with other, mostly dominant, cities. It invokes the in-between where finitude of spectacles has to be negotiated and re-scaled, and strategies for counter overlooking have to be defended. The “missing middle” is potentially a rich concept for these cities that are not looked at, not investigated nor respected by policy, development cooperation, academic scholarship, other cities or the private sector. Overlooked-ness does not only relate to population size, and this edited collection was not conceptualised around numbers. But since low numbers of inhabitants often coincide with a lack of resources and a lack of attention politically and academically, most of the cities in this book are small cities, understood in terms of number of inhabitants. Half of the cities have a population lower than one million (with three of them, Bharatpur, Bontang and Dili, below 500,000); only Luzhou has far more than 1.5 million inhabitants – at almost five million. Paterson and her colleagues (2017) state that small- and medium-sized cities, with between 300,000–500,000 and 500,000–five million populations, are home to most of the world’s vulnerable urban populations and yet have received less research and policy attention than large and mega-cities. This is a result of limited data, political power, personnel and resources (Birkmann et al., 2016). Marginal/peripheral cities The concepts margin, centre and periphery are also at home in critical race theory and feminist theory, and this edition engages both with margin as a metaphor and a spatial designation, as illustrated by the chapter on Bloemfontein/Mangaung and Pretoria/Tshwane (de Villiers, this volume). This proposes that the analytical investigation is part of our critical and political commitment to challenge the current production of urban knowledge and urban politics of knowledge production. This collection of essays is an effort
8 Ruszczyk, Nugraha, de Villiers and Price to de-centre and re-centre theory as well as avoid flat ontology toward cities in the urban South (for example, see Lawhon & Truelove, 2020; Robinson, 2011; Roy, 2011; Roy & Ong, 2011). There are increasing critiques that suggest these “southern” cities are a distinct and plural arena of urban practice or urbanism but yet have partial and contextual specific conjunctures (Lawhon & Truelove, 2020). To date, there are several contributions that have provided groundbreaking debates and discussions on the diversity of geography of cities beyond a single urban characteristic or phenomenon. These contributions include case studies from across the world, for example: Different-sized cities, such as small cities in Bell and Jayne (2006) and secondary cities in Chen and Kanna (2012), and different geographical sites, such as urban Asia in Bunnell and Goh (2018), middle Indonesia in Van Klinken and Berenschot (2014) and, last, India in Denis and Zerah (2017), as well as different theoretical perspectives. These books all make valuable contributions and provide empirical evaluations for the geographical sites and regions they cover. Small Cities (Bell & Jayne, 2006) focuses on small cities in industrialised countries. Implosions/Explosions (Brenner, 2017) is concerned with urban processes on the planetary landscape. Urban Asias (Bunnell & Goh, 2018) engages with global cities in Asia, including Dhaka, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Singapore and Seoul and Subaltern Urbanisation in India (Denis & Zerah, 2017) presents Indian case studies. This edited collection wishes to add to these explorations of cities on the periphery. The chapter on Luzhou (Jin & Zhao, this volume) contributes the notion of a “double marginal situation” where cities are overlooked by multiple systems and marginalised both horizontally and vertically. The chapter on Bandar Lampung, Semarang and Bontang city (Nugraha, this volume) concedes that the discourse of the marginal, peripheral and those on the edges of new capital dominates secondary cities, but it argues that the politics of intermediary is not only the politics of the margins in idle, but also a politics in the making by small and intermediate cities. The chapter on Bloemfontein/Mangaung and Tshwane/Pretoria (de Villiers, this volume) points out the ways in which cities in the interior of South Africa are overlooked. This results in what the chapter calls “marginalised centres”. By drawing from feminist theory, the chapter further draws similarities between the concepts of overlooked, marginal and peripheral and notions such as minor, everyday, ordinary, local and domestic. Secondary/intermediate cities The concept of a “secondary city” is used in the chapters on Peru (Rosen, this volume) and Jordan (Price, this volume), while the chapter on Zarqa develops the notion of secondariness with reference to relationality and qualitative difference. The chapter on Santa Fe and Manizales uses the term intermediate city rather than secondary, medium-sized or medium cities due to the wide use of this concept in Latin American scholarship and also
Introduction 9 because this concept characterises these cities as outward-looking (Wesely, Filippi & Johnson, this volume). Roberts and Hohmann (2014) in their thoughtful review of considering what comprises a secondary city in different contexts throughout the world created three broad spatial categories of secondary cities: (1) Subnational cities that are centres of local government, industry, agriculture, tourism or mining; (2) city clusters associated with expanded, satellite and new town cities that surround large urban metropolitan regions; and (3) economic trade corridors that are urban growth centres or poles planned or developing along major transport corridors. Roberts and Hohmann (ibid.) considered characteristics and functions of these cities rather than actual area or population. They suggest there are three characteristics of secondary cities including the first group of secondary cities that have a strong growth path and dynamic local economy often with an international connection; another group represents economies driven by migration and economic activities driven by local and national market; and last, the laggards that include large numbers of urban poor. These cities are often forgotten.
Collaborative process This project has maintained a balance between inter-disciplinary, multisite collaboration and independent, empirically-driven field research. All of the authors are early career researchers originating from and researching in many different countries and working across geography, sociology and urban studies. It was at the 2018 RGS-IBG Annual International Conference in Cardiff, Wales, where the idea for this book crystallised. Two of the coeditors (Ruszczyk and Nugraha) organised a two-part session titled Urban South’s medium-sized cities: emerging research, and three of the chapters in this book began as presentations in the session (Timor-Leste, Peru, Colombia and Argentina). The session’s organisers formulated the content for their own chapters (Nepal, Indonesia) and invited three additional authors to submit their own contributions (China, Jordan, South Africa) in order to expand the book’s geographical reach and deepen its conceptual examination of “overlooked-ness”. By bringing together scholarly research on different urban issues across different cities and using different theoretical and conceptual frameworks, this book brings overlooked cities forcefully into international urban debates and agendas. Our contributors have decided to conduct research in these overlooked cities because these cities represent a breadth and depth of geography in the global South. The selected cities are taken from small and medium-sized cities in five major regions: Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. These cities embody ordinariness in a world of cities that reach beyond the dominant urban landscapes. Our authors also engage in a rich body of theoretical and methodological approaches in analysing these cities including dynamic structuralism and ethnographic enquiry (Price,
10 Ruszczyk, Nugraha, de Villiers and Price this volume), southern and postcolonial urbanism (Ruszczyk, this volume), relationality (Nugraha as well as Rosen, this volume), urban hierarchy as an emerging concept (Zhao & Jin, this volume), production of space (de Mesquita Lima & Costa, this volume), feminism (de Villiers, this volume) and comparative urbanism (Wesely, Filippi & Johnson, this volume). Our authors also use a wide range of methodologies, including document analysis, interviews and comparative analysis. In compiling this book, we have undertaken explorative knowledge exchange and a collaborative organic learning process. Following the 2018 RGS-IBG conference, the writing of the chapters took place in early 2019. Each of the chapter authors reviewed two other chapters and gave constructive comments in the summer of 2019. Some chapters needed more attention and care, and the editors as well as other authors supported each other. In September 2019, most of the book’s project authors came together at a writing workshop at Durham University, where we discussed the individual and collective contributions of the book. The conclusion was developed at this workshop. In this book, all the early career researcher authors contributed to peer review, as well as supporting the writing of the introduction, conclusion and selection of themes. This book project is a collective experience that is a product of collaboration and dedicated evolution of knowledge production. Implications of this process for the theoretical engagements are significant. The authors of this book also share many similarities in their motivation to choose their respective cities: Luzhou has been chosen for several reasons. First, as Jin and Zhao show in their chapter, this city bears the two identical labels as “sanxian” city in different historical-political conjunctures, which can facilitate historical comparisons. Second, this chapter is based on a larger research project on urban redevelopment conducted in this city. The historical complexity of this city makes the urban redevelopment project a more problematic process. Third, this “medium-sized” city (and more cities of this type in China) had never captured academic attention in the English literature. Ruszczyk chose Bharatpur as the empirical site for her urban research after extensive consultation with national stakeholders and investigation regarding emerging urban issues in Nepal. She found there was very little academic research on cities located outside of Kathmandu Valley and the second largest city of Pokhara. Half the population of Nepal lives in the Terai, the plains bordering Nepal, yet there has been minimal research into the cities located there. This led Ruszczyk to conduct her research on Bharatpur, one of the largest yet overlooked regional cities of Nepal. De Villiers had recently moved to Bloemfontein/Mangaung and, having looked at the overlooked city of Pretoria/Tshwane in her doctoral project, decided to compare it to her new home city, which is overlooked in comparable ways. For her, overlookedness manifested initially when she realised that there was a dearth of literary and artistic engagement on these cities in comparison to other South African cities.
Introduction 11 The city of Zarqa was chosen for several reasons: Firstly because urban studies in the Middle East is centred on a select number of capital cities, predominantly Cairo, Beirut and Tehran. Secondly, “Arab” cities are also often viewed through the lens of terrorism, social unrest, violence and Islamism, and the author (Price, this volume) was aware of the need to challenge these representations. He chose Zarqa for its strong association with Salafi Islam and al-Zarqawi, the former leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Lastly, the residents of Zarqa do not expect to encounter academic researchers, and local government as well as residents can be expected to be more open to research engagement. Prior to Price’s first visit to it, Zarqa municipality had actively sought out foreign researchers interested in the city. Wesely and Filippi, who conducted the empirical research that informs their chapter, selected the case studies for their doctoral research on the basis of the recognised experience of Santa Fe and Manizales in the field of disaster risk management. They were intrigued about the underlying conditions and drivers that could explain why these two cities have been labelled as “frontrunners” and “champions” in previous research as well as policy discourses. Rather than evaluating the success of innovative disaster risk management (DRM) measures in terms of risk, both authors were motivated to understand the processes and trajectories that have contributed to the emergence and sustainability of an enabling environment for DRM in the mid- and long-term. This is interesting because it could be argued that, due to their “success”, these cities are not overlooked but instead overly looked at. This chapter unpacks the complex ways in which cities are overlooked. Apart from the capital Lima, Arequipa and Trujillo are the two most important regional centres in Peru’s urban system in terms of economy, politics and infrastructure. Rosen therefore viewed them as particularly suitable for the relational research approach of secondary cities. The choice of the city Dili stems from de Mesquita Lima having lived and worked there on different occasions, for different periods of time, and her desire to understand why and how the city changed between these periods. Costa stayed in Dili on different occasions in 2015 and 2016, as part of other work on the urban realm they were both working on, having also participated in discussions about the creation of a national planning system. Apart from these reasons, studying Dili was also an opportunity to understand a city that grows amidst a lack of a formal framework and consequent controls, as a result of the postconflict context. It offers an opportunity to look for triggers of growth and processes in urban development in this context. Nugraha selected these cities in his chapter on Bandar Lampung, Semarang and Bontang in Indonesia for empirical and conceptual reasons. These cities represent new empirical sites that are known as under-studied or under-represented spaces in urban climate literature (Lamb et al., 2019). For conceptual reasons, these cities have a rich potential to inform broader
12 Ruszczyk, Nugraha, de Villiers and Price knowledge production that goes beyond the global circuit of power from dominant cities, e.g. mega- and capital cities. Looking at the motivation of each author for choosing a respective chapter, it is therefore clear that this book is more than a collection of essays covering 13 overlooked cities. These chapters all stand on their own as significant contributions to thinking about overlooked-ness and about the specific cities they discuss. As a collection, several common threads bring these chapters into conversation with one another, as they expose blind spots in urban theory, and the authors simply dared to look. These commonalities and their implications for urban theory will be discussed in greater depth in the concluding chapter. For the purposes of clarity, we have organised the essays into two important yet distinct themes that emerged organically from the project’s collaborative process: (1) power and politics and (2) the production and negotiation of knowledge in these overlooked cities.
Power and politics in overlooked cities Power and politics is the first theme in this book, and both are central to debates and discussions focusing on who has power, where it originates and how it is being produced in overlooked cities. Negotiations over power, differential access to and control over resources (economic, technical, political, financial, human) from the perspective of the local authorities (Price, this volume), the act of using urbanisation as a political project to further public sector agendas (Ruszczyk, this volume) and not allowing some cities to be politically (de Villiers, this volume) or economically important (Jin & Zhao, this volume) are themes addressed in the chapters from China, Nepal, South Africa and Jordan. Political contestations are a key theme in many overlooked cities and play a tremendous role in the development of the city. Hierarchy and related concepts in all their forms stand central to this theme. These chapters consider power, politics and the public sector in multiple ways. With politics, we do not (only) have party-politics in mind, but rather also the various power dimensions not only within these cities, but also between these and other cities. In this sense this theme makes a double move – the political nature of these cities and political nature of knowledge production on cities, which links to the second theme of production and negotiation of knowledge. The four chapters that contribute to this theme are introduced in the following paragraphs. Jin and Zhao’s chapter explores a city in Western China that has long been “overlooked” by paying attention to its changing role as a “sanxian” city in two categorisations of cities in different time periods. The China chapter makes two major contributions to this volume. First, it investigates a newly emerging discourse in China’s urban agenda – the rise of “Tier City” in terms of its content, background, and how this kind of urban hierarchy will have an impact upon “overlooked” cities. Second, by adopting a historical perspective, this chapter seeks to shed light on comparative urbanism and
Introduction 13 ordinary cities literature. This chapter raises questions such as: What are the constraints for “overlooked cities” in their trajectory of development and how did these constraints limit and enable their redevelopment? How did the emergence of the urban hierarchical system shape cities’ practices? This chapter underscores the power relations brought about by history and its continuance in the present, as well as the power exerted by markets and as such the link between public and private power. Ruszczyk’s chapter represents a country that is rarely represented as an area of knowledge production in urban theory: Nepal. The Nepal chapter makes two intellectual contributions to the volume. Firstly, it develops the concept of urban planning through a critical consideration of the changes that occur in the regional city of Bharatpur, due to politically motivated administrative changes led from the central level. Nepalese urban planning efforts are also highly dependent on the local authorities’ relationships with elites in different parts of the city. Secondly, utilising the concepts of informality, incrementalism and learning, a space is opened to think and consider the limits of knowledge, politics and power of the regional metropolitan city. This chapter raises questions such as: For how long will the rural areas and their elites be allowed to circumvent urban planning laws? If and when will the balance of power shift in favour of the government? De Villiers’s chapter draws attention to the silences and absences in urban theory from South Africa. By drawing historical similarities between the cities of Pretoria/Tshwane and Bloemfontein/Mangaung in central South Africa, she argues that overlooking these cities has been and continues to be political. She further points out how this can perpetuate the reproduction of unequal urban spaces in South Africa because of a lack of critical engagement with these cities that still fulfil important governmental functions. Drawing from feminist critiques of dominant discourses on spatial justice as well as calls for a rediscovery of the ordinary, she shows how shifting the scale of urban inquiry can change the perceptions around the roles that the overlooked cities of Pretoria/Tshwane and Bloemfontein/Mangaung play and can potentially play in addressing spatial injustices of the past. The power in this chapter is challenged to the extent that it correlates to patriarchal power and can be critically engaged from the perspective. The final chapter in this section is the only case study in the volume centred in Southwest Asia (the Middle East), another under-represented region in the production of urban theory. Focusing on Zarqa in Jordan, Price’s chapter makes several intellectual contributions to the volume. Firstly, it develops the concept of the “secondary city” through a critical consideration of what “secondariness” entails, as a relational and qualitative point of difference in the urban experience. Secondly, it advocates for a critical finance position within urban studies, particularly regarding the politics of public debt and the ways in which municipal finances are implicated in the “overlooking” of certain cities by national governments and scholars alike.
14 Ruszczyk, Nugraha, de Villiers and Price Thirdly, this chapter is evidence of how “thick description” can shed important light on the lived experience of (otherwise) overlooked cities.
Production and negotiation of knowledge in overlooked cities The production and negotiation of knowledge is the second theme in this book. This theme is central to the key debates and discussion to understand how knowledge of the urban is produced, negotiated and resisted. Understanding the production of urban knowledge as a contested space in overlooked cities provides an opportunity to evaluate and examine epistemic relations, representation and material consequences in the production and re-production of urban knowledge. Our contributors engage in diverse and empirically rich analysis in which we question the following: Whose knowledge counts in these cities? What techniques are deployed to frame and understand these cities? How is expertise (and whose expertise is) utilised in these cities? And how is knowledge produced and negotiated in relation to these overlooked cities? Our authors contribute in this wide range of analytical points to discuss how urban knowledge is produced and negotiated in overlooked cities, from challenging the circuit of innovation and learning and how the process and trajectories influence overlooked cities in order to become urban innovators (Weseley, Filippi & Johnson, this volume), the role of urban actors in producing urban knowledge and what counts as expertise (Rosen, this volume) and engaging in intellectual examination of how urban development is negotiated in a post-conflict city (de Mesquita Lima & Costa, this volume) to the politics of intermediary and relational power in small- and medium-sized cities (Nugraha, this volume). The four chapters that contribute to this theme are introduced in the following paragraphs. Wesely, Filippi and Johnson’s chapter comparatively examines the cities of Santa Fe in Argentina and Manizales in Colombia as flagship cases in disaster risk management (DRM). This chapter makes three distinct contributions to this book. Firstly, it analyses two already consolidated cities with rather low levels of urban growth, firmly institutionalised municipal government procedures, and relatively high availability of financial, human and environmental resources. While DRM practices in Santa Fe and Manizales have been overly looked at, the authors argue that their role in the discourse of intermediate cities remains largely overlooked. Hence, the case study selection and focus on capacities for innovation contribute a critical interrogation of these cities’ positions as outliers in the narratives of rapidly growing and relatively young, resource-scarce medium-sized cities. Secondly, Argentina and Colombia both seek decentralisation of roles and responsibilities from the national government levels, thereby making departmental/provincial capitals central actors in shaping urban policies and developments. Decentralisation trends have severe repercussions on
Introduction 15 factors like institutional density, municipal budgets as well as local autonomy in decision-making. Thirdly, both cities are outward-looking intermediaries, meaning that their reference points and aspirations are not policies of capital or larger cities, but other champions and frontrunners that excel in the DRM field, which can be found in regional, international or global networks. Considering these three contextual specificities, the chapter shows how analysing Santa Fe and Manizales as “intermediate” cities enables a comparative and inevitably relational interrogation leading to a more nuanced understanding of their flagship roles in DRM. Rosen’s chapter contributes to debates on urban development processes in secondary cities in the global South. On the one hand, it helps us to understand how similar the challenges are that those cities are facing in different geographical and political settings. On the other hand, it shows us how different the development paths are as answers to these challenges. Conceptually, this contribution makes an argument for turning to the uniqueness of each city and a deeper analysis of local conditions. The presented approach of the holistic evaluation of urban development is particularly suitable for this, as it reconstructs the perspective of different actors and thus makes different perspectives of local experts and actors comparable with each other. Of particular relevance is the role of academia in urban policy creation. Altogether, this contribution delivers a new methodological framework for the qualitative analysis of secondary cities to identify potential categories for future work on a definition of this type of city. De Mesquita Lima and Costa’s chapter allows for an exploration of Dili in Timor-Leste, a city that was brutally torched, left without records and operative capacity, and without the most basic of infrastructure for its population. Since the re-establishment of independence, Dili has been the stage of fast densification and population growth, yet the city itself has been overlooked, with limited attention being afforded to processes and frameworks required to put checks in place to allow for an urban development that can respond to the needs of its fast-growing population. With focus turned to the international sphere and international positioning, despite it being a capital city, the regional scale of Dili, in itself a medium-sized city, has meant that it is overlooked nationally and regionally, left with hollow references in governance tools, despite the urgency for action to improve the conditions in which its population lives. In a global scenario of conflict entering urban areas, tearing physical and governance structures apart, the importance and relevance of reflecting upon the post-conflict recovery of an overlooked urban fabric, is timely. This chapter signifies the intellectual examination on how irregular urban development is negotiated between the urban agency and social actors in a post-conflict city. Finally, Nugraha’s chapter critically examines the roles of medium-sized cities in Indonesia, which joined a transnational network of urban climate change resilience in 2009. The analysis evaluates how these cities are best described as “intermediary organisations” and as “agents of change” that
16 Ruszczyk, Nugraha, de Villiers and Price contribute to the process of achieving successful socio-technical transitions toward climate resilience. The chapter expands our understanding of asymmetric relationships of influence and control, and the socio-political reconfiguration of urban climate governance at national and international levels. This chapter’s central concern is around the politics of urban knowledge and relational power of small- and medium-sized cities, also known as secondary cities, to encounter the global circuit of ideas and practices of urban climate resilience that flow nationally and internationally. This chapter exemplifies the geographical scale, as a network power, that is initiated, conducted and negotiated by medium-sized cities in Indonesia. This chapter contributes to discussions on how small- and medium-sized or overlooked cities, which are underrepresented in the global literature on climate change adaptation and urban resilience, have been involved in productive and critical engagements that challenge the dominant discourse by the mega- and capital cities.
Dare to look This collection provides an exploratory glimpse into academically ignored urban spaces. We consider what these cities can tell us about urbanisation and the urban condition, and the state and potential of cities throughout the world. The chapters explore a range of issues that are of critical importance to each individual city, with the aim of opening up a discussion that transgresses multiple borders and boundaries. Individually and collectively, these chapters ask whether different processes are taking place in these overlooked cities, compared to their larger counterparts, and whether the production of knowledge in these cities has the space to challenge urban theory and conventional urban practices. This book marks an important stage in the proliferation of interest among early career researchers in overlooked cities, united by a common goal of exploring these spaces and furthering critical intellectual debate. More insight and knowledge needs to be produced in these and other overlooked cities in order to develop vocabularies and conceptual frameworks that reflect the diversity of global urban realities. We invite other scholars into our virtual collective in order to broaden the scope of this project and to deepen our understanding of the urban from the perspective of overlooked cities. Join us. These cities matter to our collective urban future.
References Ali, K. A. & Rieker, M. (2008) Introduction: Urban margins. Social Text, 26 (2), 1–12. Available from: doi:10.1215/01642472-2007-026. Apparadurai, A. (2001) Deep democracy: Urban governmentality and the horizons of politics. Environment and Urbanization, 13 (2), 23–43. Available from: doi:10.1177/095624780101300203.
Introduction 17 Bell, D. & Jayne, M. (2006) Small cities: Urban experience beyond the Metropolis. Abingdon, Routledge. Birkmann, J., Welle, T., Solecki, W., Lwasa, S. & Garschagen, M. (2016) Boost resilience of small and mid-sized cities. Nature, 537, 605–608. Available from: doi:10.1038/537605a. Brenner, N. (ed.) (2017) Implosions/explosions: Towards a study of planetary urbanization. Berlin, Jovis. Brenner, N. & Schmid, C. (2015) Towards a new epistemology of the urban? City, 19 (2), 151–182. Available from: doi:10.1080/13604813.2015.1014712. Bunnell, T. & Goh, D. P. S. (eds.) (2018) Urban Asias: Essays on futurity past and present. Berlin, Jovis. Chen, X. & Kanna, A. (eds.) (2012) Rethinking global urbanism: Comparative insights from secondary cities. New York, Routledge. Denis, E. & Zerah, M. H. (eds.) (2017) Subaltern urbanisation in India: An introduction to the dynamics of ordinary towns. New Delhi, Springer. Ferrão, J. (2003) Intervir na cidade: Complexidade, intervenção e rumo. In: Portas, N., Domingues, Á. & Cabral, J. (eds.) Políticas Urbanas – Tendências, Estratégias e Oportunidades, 1st edition. Lisbon, Portugal, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, pp. 218–225. Hardoy, J. E. & Satterthwaite, D. (1986) Small and intermediate urban centers: Their role in national and regional development in the third world. Suffolk, Hodder and Stoughton Educational. Hardoy, J. E. & Satterthwaite, D. (1989) Squatter citizen: Life in the urban third world. London, Earthscan Publication Ltd. Lamb, W. F., Creutzig, F., Callaghan, M. W. & Minz, J. C. (2019) Learning about urban climate solutions from case studies. Nature Climate Change, 9, 279–287. Available from: doi:10.1038/s41558-019-0440-x. Lawhon, M. & Truelove, Y. (2020) Disambiguating the Southern urban critique: Propositions, pathways and possibilities for a more global urban studies. Urban Studies, 57 (1), 3–20. Available from: doi:10.1177/0042098019829412. Miraftab, F. & Kudva, N. (eds.) (2015) Cities of the global South reader. London and New York, Routledge. Oldfield, S. (2014) Critical urbanism. In: Parnell, S. & Oldfield, S. (eds.) The Routledge handbook on cities of the global South. London, Routledge, pp. 7–8. Oldfield, S. & Parnell, S. (2014) From the South. In: Parnell, S. & Oldfield, S. (eds.) The Routledge handbook on cities of the global South. London, Routledge, pp. 1–4. Parnell, S. & Robison, J. (2012) (Re)theorizing cities from the global South: Looking beyond neoliberalism. Urban Geography, 33 (4), 593–617. Available from: doi:10.2747/0272-36184.108.40.2063 Paterson, S. K., Pelling, M., Nunes, L. H., Moreira, F. A., Guida, K. & Marengo, F. A. (2017) Size does matter: City scale and the asymmetries of climate change adaptation in three coastal towns. Geoforum, 81, 109–119. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.02.014. Pile, S. (2006) The strange case of Western cities: Occult globalisations and the making of urban modernity. Urban Studies, 43 (2), 305–318. Available from: doi:10.1080/00420980500404038 Price, M. & Ruszczyk, H. A. (2019) On what basis are urban futures being decided? Available from: https://blog.geographydirections.com/2019/06/28/on-what-basisare-urban-futures-being-decided/ [Accessed 12th August 2020].
18 Ruszczyk, Nugraha, de Villiers and Price Roberts, B. & Hohmann, R. P. (2014) The systems of secondary cities: The neglected drivers of urbanising economies. CIVIS: Sharing Knowledge and Learning from Cities, 7. Available from: www.citiesalliance.org/sites/citiesalli-ance.org/files/ CIVIS%20SECoNdARY%20CITIES_Final.pdf [Accessed 23rd January 2020]. Robinson, J. (2006) Ordinary cities: Between modernity and development. London and New York, Routledge. Robinson, J. (2008) Global and world cities: A view from off the map. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 26 (3), 531–554. Available from: doi:10.1111/1468-2427.00397 Robinson, J. (2011) Cities in a world of cities: The comparative gesture. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35 (1), 1–23. Available from: doi:10.1111/j.1468-2427.2010.00982.x. Robinson, J. (2014) New geographies of theorizing the urban: Putting comparison to work for global urban studies. In: Parnell, S. & Oldfield, S. (eds.) The Routledge handbook on cities of the global South. New York, Routledge, pp. 57–70. Roy, A. (2009) The 21st-century metropolis: New geographies of theory. Regional Studies, 43 (6), 819–830. Available from: doi:10.1080/00343400701809665. Roy, A. & Ong, A. (eds.) (2011) Worlding cities: Asian experiments and the art of being global. Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell. Satterthwaite, D. (2019) Author interview: David Satterthwaite. Available from: https://www.routledge.com/posts/15986?utm_source=shared_link&utm_ medium=post&utm_campaign=B190911461 [Accessed 25th September 2019]. Sheppard, E., Leitner, H. & Maringanti, A. (2013) Provincializing global urbanism: A manifesto. Urban Geography, 34 (7), 893–900. Available from: doi:10.1080/0 2723638.2013.807977. Van Klinken, G. & Berenschot, W. (eds.) (2014) In search of middle Indonesia: Middle classes in provincial towns. Leiden and Boston, Brill.
Politics and power in overlooked cities
1 Sanxian Re-/un-thinking Chinese urban hierarchy with a medium-sized city Yi Jin and Yimin Zhao Introduction The rapid urbanisation process in China not only witnesses the increase of the gross number of urban population, which reached 831.37 million by the end of 2018, accounting for 59.58 percent of the total population (NBS, 2019), but also the birth of many big cities with large populations. During this process, a new trend is emerging in Chinese mass discourse that categorises cities according to economic conditions and political statuses and that formulates a new urban hierarchical system. Some cities, despite being big in terms of their size and population, still fall “off the map” in this urban hierarchy. Indeed, the practice of urban categorisation is performing attendance to some cities that have long been overlooked, while simultaneously overlooking these cities as it tends to only highlight those cities at the top. In this chapter, we will explore cities “off the map” in China – the “san xian”1 cities in particular. By referring to cities “off the map”, or “overlooked cities”, we are not talking about internationally well-known metropolises, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, for they have been investigated extensively in the literature. In contrast, we are here exploring the development trajectory of Luzhou, an overlooked “sanxian” city in Sichuan Province. It bears two labels, both are with sanxian in the title, yet they are in two totally different historical-geographical conjunctures. The analytical goal is to interrogate the changes of urban political economy and governing techniques that are actually underlying these two different (yet at the same time identical) labels of a city and to shed light on recent reflections on comparative urbanism and ordinary cities more broadly.
The birth of Chinese urban hierarchy, 2013 In recent years, the “tier city” vocabulary – with labels like “First-tier City” and “Second-tier City” – is becoming more popular in China, which generates a new hierarchical urban system. This new tier city hierarchy was created by a Chinese business magazine called China Business Network Weekly (Diyi caijing zhoukan, hereafter Yicai) in 2013, which originally
22 Yi Jin and Yimin Zhao meant to reflect the business attractiveness and the potential of economic growth of different cities (Yicai, 2013). The system created by Yicai is based on a complex criteria called “synthetical business index” (zonghe shangye zhishu) rather than a single parameter, and it takes a series of indicators into account, including the number of top brands that can be found in a city, GDP, annual income per capita, the number of key universities, the number of major corporations that consider this city as one of their key strategic cities, airport capacity, the number of foreign consulates and the number of international air routes (ibid.). Four hundred cities in China (including all provincial-level cities, all prefecture level cities and some county level cities) have been ranked according to this synthetical index and further classified into six tiers. In Yicai’s 2013 report, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen were categorised as First-tier Cities (yixian chengshi), although Guangzhou and Shenzhen are just deputy provincial-level cities in terms of their administrative status. Yicai coined a term “(Emerging) New First-tier City” (xin yixian chengshi) for the second category, indicating that they have the potential of upgrading to be a First-tier City. Also in this report, 15 cities were categorised as New First-tier Cities, including Tianjin and Chongqing, two provincial-level cities, along with nine provincial capitals, three deputy provincial-level cities and one prefecture-level city. Below these, 36 cities were categorised as Second-tier Cities, 73 cities as Third-tier Cities, 76 cities as Fourth-tier cities, and 200 cities as Fifth-tier Cities (ibid.). After 2013, Yicai conducted this city ranking another four times, in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. In 2016, this magazine renewed the system of criterion it used to rank different cities and made it more complicated. It introduced more indicators into this ranking system, such as the size of urban population, the number of skyscrapers and air quality. These indicators have been divided into five parameters, which are “the extent of the agglomeration of business resources, the degree of a city as transportation hub, activeness of citizens, the diversity of life, and malleability in the future” (Yicai, 2016). In all four rankings, four cities were identified as First-tier Cities, 15 cities as New First-tier Cities, 30 cities as Second-tier Cities, 70 cities as Third-tier Cities, 90 cities as Fourth-tier Cities and 129 cities as Fifth-tier Cities. Most cities remained in the same category across years. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are always categorised as (the only four) First-tier Cities, while 11 other cities, such as Chengdu, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Chongqing, stayed in the category of New First-tier City in all five rankings since 2013. The only major change is the order of cities within each category. This ranking created by Yicai is not the only hierarchical urban system in China. However, it is the first one not initiated by the state that still became highly influential. Officially, Chinese cities were classified mainly based on an administrative system, which consists of three levels: Provincial-level city, or city under the direct administration of the central government (zhixiashi), prefecture-level city (dijishi) and county-level city (xianjishi) (see Ma, 2005). By 2019, there were four provincial-level cities (including
Re-/un-thinking Chinese urban hierarchy 23 Beijing, the capital city, and Shanghai, the largest city in China), 294 prefecture-level cities under the administration of different provinces and 375 county-level cities under the administration of different prefectures or prefecture-level cities. In addition, amongst all the 294 prefecture-level cities, 10 provincial capitals and five cities with political and economic significance have been granted the title of deputy provincial-level city (fushengji shi). This policy makes the latter above, administratively, those normal prefecturelevel cities. On top of this, since 2008 the Ministry of Land and Resources started to extend its monitoring of land price to 105 selected cities (MLR, 2008). Within the report it published, all 105 cities have been roughly divided into three tiers for the sake of making comparison: First-tier, Second-tier and Third-tier (but only three tiers). It designated Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen as First-tier; all other provincial-level cities, provincial capitals and deputy provincial-level cities as Second-tier; and all other ordinary prefecture-level cities as Third-tier.2 Although this system could be regarded as the archetype of the Yicai system, it only covers selected cities and still follows the administrative hierarchy system. The two hierarchies noted earlier, however, are based on one and the same singular parameter, namely, the administrative level. In contrast, the system created by Yicai is based on a “synthetical” index that captures different dimensions of cities, which makes the ranking more in accordance with public perception. Meanwhile, this hierarchy not only includes large cities like Beijing and Shanghai, but it incorporates many other cities that used to be “off the map” within this linear narrative and perspective of cities as well. To some extent, every city in China could find its position in the list provided by Yicai. Therefore, it is understandable that within just six years, this rising hierarchical urban system has become so influential that it has permeated into China’s mass discourse, including not only everyday discourse among the public, but also official, academic and planning vocabulary. A significant evidence is that both Xinhua News Agency and People’s Daily, two mouthpiece presses of the Party State, now adopt the tier-city discourse in their reports. For instance, in January 2019, Xinhua News Agency (XNA, 2019) published an article on the current trend of migration in China, which reported that the population of Beijing and Shanghai started to decrease for the first time in the past two decades, while the gross population of some “New First-tier Cities”, such as Zhengzhou, Xian and Hangzhou, were going to surpass ten million as they became more attractive to young people newly entering the labour market. Similarly, earlier in 2018, People’s Daily (2018) called the new trend of migration “the effect of New First-tier Cities” in one of its articles. This article also described the uneven distribution of population in contemporary China as “the First- and Second-tier cities were crowded with too many people, while the Third- and Fourth-tier cities had to compete for more talented people” (ibid.). In this regard, the tier-city discourse is now no longer limited to the land price
24 Yi Jin and Yimin Zhao monitoring as it first appeared, but rather widely accepted in the discussion on urban issues in China. However, the formulation of the new urban hierarchy is to some extent also a practice of continuing to overlook those cities that have long been overlooked. Although almost every city, including those that have long been overlooked, can find its position in the hierarchical list produced by Yicai, this hierarchical system was designed primarily to target and promote those “New First-tier Cities”. In this urban hierarchy, as in any other, the presence of many “ordinary cities” is not for their own sake but instead for highlighting these cities that are not “off the map”, which have much higher scores of business attractiveness and the potential of economic growth (Yicai, 2013). Beyond these cities that still dominate the top of the ranking, those Third-, Fourth- and Fifth-tier Cities are incorporated into this urban system only to be overlooked in the end. The dialectics of looking and overlooking emerge here. In the next sections, we will show with more detail how and to what extent the co-existence of looking and overlooking is made possible in China’s urban process, where the local and historical conditions play a critical role.
The Third Front Construction: a geopolitical categorisation of Chinese cities, 1964 To divide all cities into different “tiers” (xian) may remind people of an earlier strategy of the Chinese government that divided the entire country into different “fronts” (also xian in Chinese), namely, the “Third Front Construction” (sanxian jianshe). It was a large-scale project of industrial development for the interior provinces of China between 1964 and 1981. In the heyday of the Cold War, the drastic changes of geopolitics in East Asia, particularly the start of the Vietnam War and the deterioration of the relationship between China and the Soviet Union, convinced the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), especially Mao Zedong himself, that China might soon be invaded (Meyskens, 2015; Naughton, 1988). However, the distribution of industry in China at the time was generally unbalanced. Most industrial bases were located in strategically “vulnerable” places including the northeast (close to the border of the Soviet Union) and eastern (coastal) regions, thus jeopardising national security. This urged the Party leaders to balance industry distribution for defence purposes. In August 1964, the Secretariat of the CCP Central Committee decided to launch the Third Front Construction (Chen, 2014: p. 7). To be more specific, this is a national strategy that divides the whole territory into three fronts.3 In general, the northeastern and coastal regions are designated as the First Front (yixian), the mountainous inland region (except for two provinces on the border, Xinjiang and Tibet) as the Third Front (sanxian) and the region in-between as the Second Front (erxian) (see Figure 1.1). The central planning authority would follow this new territorial
Re-/un-thinking Chinese urban hierarchy 25
Figure 1.1 The geopolitical division of three “fronts” in China Source: Illustrated by the authors based on Naughton, 1988
arrangement and reduce resources allocated to the First Front; instead, it is the Third Front that would be prioritised with significantly more construction projects to be done. More importantly, most factories in the First Front, especially those producing machineries and arms, together with plenty of universities and research institutes, were to be entirely or partly relocated to the Third Front for defence purposes (Naughton, 1988). Millions of employees and their family members were to migrate with these organisations as well, the number of which reached four million at its peak (ibid.). By and large, China devoted 205.2 billion yuan to the Third Front Construction, accounting for 39.01 percent of all national investment in capital construction in this period (AROTFC, 1991: p. 32). With these funds, more than 1,000 industrial projects were completed, scattered across the Third Front region (Meyskens, 2015: p. 238). Nevertheless, this geopolitical-strategic project on the Third Front did not last for long. After 1971, as the geopolitical tensions assuaged, marked particularly by the visit of US President Nixon to Beijing, the urgent motivation for establishing a supplementary
26 Yi Jin and Yimin Zhao industrial system in the Third Front region no longer existed. Therefore, the central planning authority ceased to give the Third Front region priority in terms of resource redistribution (Naughton, 1988: p. 362). In 1981, when China entered the reform era, the Third Front Construction was officially terminated. Some of the factories evacuated to the Third Front were relocated once again to their original places, while some others stayed where they were in the Third Front. Despite the fact that the Third Front Construction project has been widely taken as a big failure, especially in terms of its economic performance (see discussions in Chan, Henderson & Tsui, 2008; Naughton, 1988; Shapiro, 2001; Yang, 1990; Wu & Zhang, 2010), its legacies have been consistent and play a critical role in shaping the urban process of Western China – especially in those cities labelled “Third Front Cities” (sanxian chengshi) (Zhou, 2014). While it was a principle of the Third Front Construction project to locate factories evacuated to the Third Front in a way that could “disperse (fensan) and conceal (yinbi), making them near mountains (kaoshan) and inside caves (jindong)” (Meyskens, 2015: p. 239), this was not fully implemented in practice. Indeed, many “sanxian” factories were not built in remote areas, and cities there witnessed a huge increase in scale since so many factories moved nearby (Naughton, 1988: p. 361). With their affiliated amenities, such as hospitals, schools and shops, these factories could be seen to have produced independent towns/urban communities in themselves. Cities such as Panzhihua in Sichuan Province (Panzhihua Steel Factory), Liupanshui in Guizhou Province (Shuicheng Steel Factory) and Jiayuguan in Gansu Province (Jiuquan Steel Factory) all exemplify perfectly this mode of industrial/spatial production (Xu & Chen, 2015; Zhou, 2014). On top of this, after the official termination of the Third Front Construction in 1981, some factories and research institutes relocated from the First Front remained in the Third Front, thus constituting a solid foundation for industrialisation in Western China. In addition to those aforementioned industrial cities, for other cities in the Third Front, including some large cities like Chongqing, Chengdu and Xian, which are now “New First-tier Cities”, their industrial capacity has also been significantly enhanced because of the Third Front Construction project (Zhou, 2014). This marks an indirect yet deliberate effect of Mao’s geopolitical strategy, for regional disparities between the coastal region and the inland regions had been a general trend in the history of modern China. They were taken seriously in the Maoist era, with projects like the Third Front Construction being implemented, aiming to narrow down such disparities. These endeavours, however, melted as quickly as the Maoist utopia because preferential policies were once again given to the coastal region after Deng’s reform in the late 1970s, thus further enlarging regional inequalities (Fan, 1995, 1997; Wei, 2000). While the term sanxian, “the third front”, is referring to the mountainous inland here, which was less industrialised but being conceived as a reliable place for protecting national security, its recent reappearing in the new
Re-/un-thinking Chinese urban hierarchy 27 urban hierarchy takes a brand-new perspective as noted earlier. In the next section, drawing on both the literature and empirical observations of the city of Luzhou as a case, we will analyse here the ways in which the first connotation of “sanxian” is gradually mutated and replaced by its new hierarchical alternative in China’s “urban age”.
Luzhou: being a “sanxian” city at the Third Front To better illustrate the changing connotations of sanxian in China’s urban process, in this section we will look into the case of Luzhou, an ordinary city “off the map” in Sichuan Province. Established in 1950, Luzhou was once a county-level city and the administration centre of Luzhou Prefecture. In 1960, Luzhou Prefecture was merged into Yibin Prefecture, rendering Luzhou to be an isolated county-level city for 23 years. It was upgraded again to a prefectural-level city in 1983, administering three districts and four counties now, with a total population of five million (more than 1.5 million living in the urban built-up area). In the 1960s, Luzhou hosted several factories relocated from the First Front as part of the Third Front Construction. In this regard, Luzhou could be called a Third Front City (sanxian chengshi). Coincidently, in 2016, when Yicai conducted its second city ranking, Luzhou was categorised as Third-tier City (once again, the sanxian chengshi) (Yicai, 2016). This echo of sanxian makes Luzhou an interesting case to interrogate, which could hopefully help us understand the changes of urban political economy and governing techniques that are underlying the two different (yet at the same time identical) labels with the same Chinese characters. In the 1960s, as a city in the geopolitical Third Front, Luzhou got “quota” to host some factories evacuated from the vulnerable First Front. In the original plan formulated in 1964 (see Feng, 2017: pp. 1–5), a large-scale engineering machinery complex was to be established in Luzhou, turning this city into a hub of production for engineering machinery in the Third Front. For this aim, five factories and institutes were required to move to Luzhou to form the industrial complex, including Beijing Crane Factory, Fushun Excavator Factory in Liaoning Province, Shanghai Engineering Machinery Factory and Shanghai Construction Machinery Factory, and a machinery engineering institute located in Changde, Hunan Province. In 1965, the first three factories started to relocate. Between 1965 and 1967, 1,357 workers from Fushun, 1,100 from Beijing and 65 from Shanghai arrived in Luzhou. Their families either came with them or arrived later. After a year of preparation, in 1966 these factories started to operate (Feng, 2017: p. 4). But the chaos brought by the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) disrupted the relocation of the fourth factory and the research institute. In addition, the three factories failed to constitute an industrial complex but operated separately as Changjiang Crane Factory, Changjiang Excavator Factory and Changjiang Piledriver Factory.
28 Yi Jin and Yimin Zhao In practice, the location of those factories evacuated to Luzhou did not comply with the general principle of the Third Front Construction Project that planned to relocate factories to remote areas. On the contrary to remote sites, it was Qiancao Peninsula, on the other bank of the Changjiang River just opposite the city centre of Luzhou, that was selected. There were two reasons for this choice. Firstly, this location provided the proposed industrial complex with a shipping channel and easy access to an established city. Secondly, there was already an industrial base built on this peninsula, with infrastructural and other preparations at place, that could be easily transformed for the making of this newly built industrial complex. The arrival of these factories to Luzhou had exerted significant influences upon the development of this “Third Front City”. Firstly, the three factories constituted a key engine of Luzhou’s industry. Even until the 1980s, machinery manufacturing, exemplified mainly by the three factories, was still one of the pillars of local economy (Luzhou Daily, 2010). Secondly, the three factories, with all their affiliated facilities like residential buildings, school and hospitals, transformed a large scale of agricultural land into the urban landscape. As they were located right next to the city centre (across the Changjing River), the size of Luzhou’s urban area also expanded. Thirdly, the arrival of migrants from First Front cities, because of these factories, not only physically expanded the size of the city but also brought more “urban-ness” to Luzhou. Compared to their hometown like Beijing and Shanghai, Luzhou was a city that lagged much behind. Mr. Xu, now a retired worker from Changjiang Crane Factory, is a Beijing native. When recalling his experience upon arrival at Luzhou, he said: When we first arrived here, frankly speaking, there was literally nothing in this city. Many rickshaw pullers were wandering. A lot of boat trackers along the riverside were even naked. This is the portal of the city! How could they behave like this? Only after we complained about this did they change. At that period, what did people eat? Just a bowl of porridge and several pieces of pickles. [It was hard to imagine] that’s a proper meal. (Interview with a retired worker, 14 September 2015) After their arrival, a distinction was generated between these migrant workers and the local residents. Workers in the three factories had a higher salary, secure employment and better welfare provided by the state-owned enterprises. Local residents envied them. According to workers who served in Changjiang Crane Factory for a long time, working opportunities in their factory were highly attractive at its peak years in the 1970s and 1980s. Even the leaders of Luzhou municipal government would try to send their offspring to work in the factory via personal ties. A ballad composed at that time also echoed this story, which goes as follows: “Little girl, grow faster.
Re-/un-thinking Chinese urban hierarchy 29 When you grow up, you might marry into the three ‘Changjiang’ factories” (CCTV, 2012). Despite all benefits that these relocated factories and their workers could enjoy, they were not sincerely welcomed by local officials. This was due to a “bar-block” (tiao-kuai) power structure of planned economy back at that time. Here, bar refers to a vertical hierarchy of production and consumption, while block indicates localities where such state activities take place. The vertical hierarchy was constituted by the central government, Party and military units, research institutions and state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Although being physically located within the jurisdiction of municipal governments, the SOEs were subject to the vertical administrative control of the bar (Hsing, 2010; Lu & Perry, 1995), namely, a higher level of state agency, and, in some cases, the central government. To be more specific, Changjiang Crane Factory and Changjiang Excavator Factory were under the direct administration of the First Ministry of Machine Industry of the central government (bushu qiye). Their directors ranked at the same level in the bureaucratic hierarchy as the mayor of Luzhou, which was then just a county-level city. Furthermore, because of this administrative arrangement, it was their responsibility for these directors to submit all products to the ministry for further redistribution according to the central plan. In this process, no taxes or revenue were directly transferred to the local government at all. In other words, despite the factories being located geographically in Luzhou, they were by no means a part of the territory of the Luzhou municipal government. Nevertheless, the local government still had the obligation to serve these factories in terms of land and infrastructure, which made local officials reluctant to bear such burdens. This has been well explained by an expert of local history: Previously, our mind was super conservative. After the three factories settled down here, a similar factory was planned to be relocated to Luzhou. The then mayor of our city, Mr Xu, held a passive attitude. Why? Not because these factories would cause pollution. . . . He did not take the issue of pollution into account. What he cared about was what he could do to serve the workers of those factories. At that time (under the planned economy system), it was almost impossible for the city government to secure sufficient food supply for citizens, not to mention to serve more workers. Now, city officials are eager to attract external investment. At that moment, it was supposed to benefit local economy when the central government directed investment to our city. However, what he (the mayor) considered was that the local government could not supply vegetable. The investment could cause troubles. We could catch a glimpse of the rationale of governance under planned economy. (Interview with an expert of local history, 21 November 2016)
30 Yi Jin and Yimin Zhao To wrap up, the Third Front Construction was initiated by the Party leaders mainly for security concerns and discontent with the uneven development of industrialisation in China. Its entire process fluctuated correspondently with the change of national and international politics. In this era, Luzhou as a “sanxian” city was just passively receiving geopolitical tasks and politicaleconomic responsibilities allocated by the central planning authority. Those relocated factories were operated out of the municipal territory, with the supply of land and infrastructure as the only articulation point. In this regard, the local state could hardly display any initiative, which is in sharp contrast with the state behaviours in the new era.
Toward a “sanxian” city, a half-century later In 2016, Luzhou was categorised as a “Third-tier City” by Yicai in its city ranking, along with 69 other cities, including some provincial capitals like Lanzhou, Yinchuan and Xining, as well as many prefectural-level cities in the coastal region (Yicai, 2016). “Third-tier City” (sanxian chengshi) marks an identical label in Chinese as “Third Front City” (sanxian chengshi) in the 1960s.4 As the intention of Yicai to conduct such city rankings is to highlight the New First-tier Cities, it did not provide detailed scores for cities in other categories. But this label itself already tells a newly given marginal status of Luzhou. On the other hand, to make this city stand out among other prefectural-level cities in the same province, for the sake of procuring more external investment and resources allocated from a higher level of authorities, Luzhou municipal government is actively re-labelling the city as the sub-centre of provincial economy (quansheng jingji fuzhongxin; Sichuan Daily, 2018). In the tension between the “sanxian” label and the endeavours of being a sub-centre, we can recognise three dimensions of this city’s new development strategy. Urbanisation has become a state project; this observation could be applied to Luzhou just as to any other Chinese city (Shin & Zhao, 2018). Here, urbanisation is indeed a strategy of state-led and land-based accumulation, remarked by some researchers as the Chinese version of speculative urbanism (Hsing, 2010; Shin, 2014). This is the urban political-economic basis of Luzhou’s transformation from an old “Third Front City” to this new status of “Third-tier City”. In 1983, when Luzhou was upgraded to be a prefecturelevel city, the administration of the three factories has been gradually transferred to the municipal government. Industrial development was hence foregrounded in local economic strategy, with the designation of four industries (natural gas, machinery manufacturing, coal and Chinese liquor) as the “mainstay industries” in Luzhou (see a review in Luzhou Daily, 2010). However, since the 1990s (when the system of planned economy in China was replaced by the so-called market economy), as part of the economic reform, these industrial sectors were badly beaten by more competitive counterparts in the coastal regions or from overseas (ibid.). This also
Re-/un-thinking Chinese urban hierarchy 31 happened to the three engineering factories that moved here in the 1960s. According to local residents, a large proportion of their employees were laid off amid the reform of state-owned enterprises in late 1990s. The local government struggled hard to revitalise these local industries. For example, in 2001, it tried to rebrand Luzhou as “the City of Chemical Industry in Western China” (zhongguo xibu huagong cheng) (People’s Daily, 2001); this still centred on the city’s effort in existing industry and reaffirmed the industrial pillar of the local economy, though machinery manufacturing had been replaced by a new focus on harbour along the Changjiang River (Luzhou Daily, 2010). Unfortunately, apart from investment in the built environment, these measures to boost local industry were not altogether effective. The final remedy, it turned out, was the land-centred accumulation system in line with those successful models that had emerged from coastal cities in the 1990s (Hsing, 2006). Since 2005, Luzhou’s plan for boosting the local economy no longer focused on industries only. While attracting external investment in new industries is still at the centre of local agenda, this endeavour has been by and large extended to the investment in built environment, such as the creation of industrial parks and new urban areas, as well as the construction of transportation infrastructure (Luzhou Daily, 2010). The state-run land transaction centre5 was established in 2000 (OLC, 2001: p. 188). From then on, land revenues have become a critical portion of extra-budgetary income of the local government. In 2017, the peak year, Luzhou’s land revenues reached 18.23 billion yuan, which was 1.25 times the budgetary fiscal revenue in total (14.6 billion yuan).6 The transformation of Qiancao Peninsula exemplifies the shift of urban development strategy. As noted earlier, Qiancao was once a hot spot of industrialisation in the Third Front Construction era. But in 2014, the local government decided to relocate all factories and existing residents on Qiancao Peninsula, demolish most of the existing buildings and translate it into the Pudong7 of Luzhou (newssc, 2015), which would accommodate “modern finance, commercial service, creative industries, urban tourism, and ecoinhabitancy” (LRDC, 2014: p. 1) in the future. As urbanisation became the most significant strategy for local development, the size of Luzhou expanded significantly as both an outcome and an instrument. As shown in Figure 1.2, throughout the 1990s, the size of Luzhou remained relatively stable, increasing slightly from 15 square kilometres to 23 square kilometres (although it was already a 50 percent expansion). However, after 2000, when Luzhou formally adopted the urban-oriented development strategy, its size increased nearly seven-fold within 19 years, from 23 square kilometres in 1999 to 169 square kilometres in 2018.8 In the same period, the urban population of Luzhou also grew from 0.27 million to 1.61 million, which is a six-fold increase. Using the criteria set up by the State Council (2014), Luzhou has grown from a small city to a big city. But this is not the end of the story. According to a recent regional plan of Chengdu-Chongqing urban agglomeration, issued by the
135.6 120.07 113.17 109.37 101.05 93.6
90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
55.25 49 51.64
Unit: square kilometres
Source: Xiong, Z. (ed.) City Chronicles of Sichuan (2001); Chengdu: The Editorial Board of City Chronicles of Sichuan (in Chinese); Sichuan Statistics Bureau (ed.) Sichuan Statistic Yearbook (1999–2017), Beijing: China Statistics Press (in Chinese). Notes: (1) the unit is in square kilometres; (2) the figure for 2000 is not available; (3) the reason for the figures from 2006 to 2008 being smaller than those from 2003 to 2005 cannot be verified – it is highly likely due to the change of statistical criteria.
Figure 1.2 The expansion of Luzhou’s built-up area
Size of Urban Area
32 Yi Jin and Yimin Zhao
Re-/un-thinking Chinese urban hierarchy 33 Central Government and its National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC, 2016), the size of the Luzhou metropolitan area will further expand to 200 square kilometres by 2020, with an urban population of two million, which will make it the second largest city in Sichuan Province. In addition to the expansion of city size, the local government also actively seeks to collaborate with various capital to enhance the city’s “urban-ness”. For example, from 2015 to 2018, five large shopping malls, including a Wanda Plaza,9 have been completed in Luzhou, with several others already being scheduled. These commercial complexes have brought in plenty of international high street brands, such as H&M, Starbucks, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, which could help to make the city more fashionable (Scol, 2017). More spectacular public buildings and high-rises were also built to make the city more arresting. In addition, in terms of transportation infrastructures, the municipal government also endeavours to accelerate the construction of two new high-speed railways, open up four to five international air routes (there are none at this moment) and construct several light railways across the city (LMG, 2019). Looking into these efforts of the local state, we could get better ideas on the new urban hierarchy, formulated by Yicai, as a “synthetical business index”. To a large extent, this index does capture the major development trajectories widely adopted in Chinese cities. For Luzhou, as a medium-sized city off the map, its capability to procure resources is limited, and its position in urban hierarchies is marginal. Facing the relatively small urban population (even though the scale of population has been as huge as 1.6 million), the lower status in the administrative system of the state (as a prefecturallevel city) and the recent label of “Third-tier” (which is translated as “with limited business attractiveness”), Luzhou has been struggling hard to capture seemingly trivial infrastructures and other kinds of urban materiality to enhance its “urban-ness”. For many other cities “on the map”, such elements as international air routes, the metro system and large shopping malls with high street brands are quite ordinary. But they are taken by Luzhou, a Third-tier City, as a new channel to showcase its viability and hence get higher scores in the new city-ranking system. In this regard, for an overlooked city “off the map”, a reasonable trajectory of development is to imitate those “successful” cities “on the map”. This is why and how this new capital-oriented urban hierarchy initiated by Yicai has been influential in many cities like Luzhou, be they the “Second-tier”, “Third-tier” or even lower. They are now incorporated in one and the same system of comparison, one that is at best a ranking system and at worst a capital-led inter-city competition machine.
Concluding remarks In this chapter, by referring to Luzhou, a medium-sized city in Western China that bears two labels as “sanxian chengshi” off the map at different
34 Yi Jin and Yimin Zhao time periods, we attempted to reveal the dynamics of urban political economy and governing techniques in Chinese cities. The two labels, both as “sanxian chengshi”, bear sharp different meanings. The previous one associated with the Third Front Construction was the product of a temporal geopolitical tension during the Cold War period. Under the territorial logic of the planned economy era, the central state could arbitrarily divide the entire nation into fronts and redistribute resources for strategic purposes, rendering the local state a passive subject. As shown by the case of Luzhou, local officials were once reluctant to bear more obligations to boost local economic development. In contrast, the recent tier-city discourse introduced by Yicai in 2013 suggested a broader image of inter-city competition. A series of marketisation and decentralisation reforms have empowered the local state in China and impelled more entrepreneurial local governance (He & Wu, 2005; Shin, 2009; Wu, 2003, 2018). The local state now becomes increasingly active, as being evidenced in Luzhou, to promote urbanisation and boost “urban-ness” in partnership with the power of capital. But for Luzhou, which has been labelled as “sanxian chengshi” twice, the two labels indicate its double marginal situation as a medium-sized city. Indeed, the division of three “fronts” is embedded in an enduring horizontal disparity between the coastal region and the interior region. The Third Front Construction, although initiated mainly for defence purposes, narrowed down the regional gap for a certain period. However, with its termination and the commencement of the economic reform that re-prioritised the coastal region, the horizontal regional gap once again widened (Fan, 1997). The new urban hierarchy reflects a mode of vertical disparity. Within each “tier”, there are cities from both the coastal and the interior region. But those cities with higher administrative levels, namely, the provincial-level cities, provincial capitals and deputy-provincial level cities, have much higher opportunity to rank in upper categories (31 out of 36 rank as Second-tier City or higher). A sanxian chengshi like Luzhou, which is marginalised both horizontally and vertically, has to struggle even harder to showcase its viability and procure external resources and opportunities, so as to get a better position in the hierarchical urban system. The development strategies of “sanxian chengshi” in China as exemplified by Luzhou could also shed light on comparative urbanism and ordinary cities literature. The endogenous make of urban hierarchies within China resembles the long-assumed global urban hierarchy that puts “innovative global cities” and “imitative third world cities” in a dichotomy, which has been challenged by the ordinary cities approach (Robinson, 2006). By creating the urban hierarchy with clear criteria, First-tier Cities and New Firsttier Cities have been situated as a model for cities ranking lower to imitate the development trajectory. Constrained by their conditions and pressures of inter-city competition, for these medium-sized cities, it becomes more reasonable to follow rather than to innovate. This is how Luzhou, as many
Re-/un-thinking Chinese urban hierarchy 35 other “ordinary cities” in China, are being looked at and overlooked simultaneously in the new urban hierarchy. And in this regard, we need to attend to historical and political economic conditions to critically interrogate the local making of the aforementioned dichotomy and, hopefully, to blast it open toward an alternative urban world in the future.
Notes 1 “Sanxian” literally refers to the Third Tier, but also bears other meanings. We will explain the meaning of this term in detail in the third section. 2 See the Report of Land Price Monitoring in Major Cities (2019 Quarter 1), note 3 (CLSPI, 2019). 3 The Chinese word for “front” is xian, which literally means “line”. Some researchers translate sanxian jianshe as “Third Line Construction”. But other English writers (such as Meyskens, 2015; Naughton, 1988) translate xian as “front”, which in Chinese refers to qian xian (“front line”). In this chapter, we adopt the latter version. 4 But this is the only case. In the other four rankings, Luzhou has been categorised as “Fourth-tier City” (sixian chengshi), along with many other alike prefecturelevel cities in the central and western regions (Yicai, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019). 5 The land transaction centre is the only place where the land-use right can be transacted. Ordinarily, the land-use right is leased by the state. 6 The figure of Luzhou’s land-related revenue is available from: www.chyxx.com/ data/201802/610142.html; the figure of Luzhou’s budgetary revenue in 2017 is available from: news.lzep.cn/2018/0120/260242.shtml. 7 Pudong is a newly developed district of Shanghai. Within less than 20 years, it has now become the central business district (CBD) of Shanghai. 8 The number of urban population in 2018, see scnews.newssc.org/system/20181214/000929843.html. 9 Wanda Plaza is a business complex developed by one of China’s real-estate magnates, Wanda Group. By 2018, there were 282 Wanda Plazas throughout China.
References AROTFC (Adjustment and Reform Office of the Third Front Construction) (1991) The Third Front Construction. Beijing, Unofficial Publisher. [In Chinese] CCTV (2012) City stories of Luzhou, episode 4. Available from: tv.cntv.cn/video/ C35153/6f34956c58154ee79703a07dcfa88a0e [Accessed 4th June 2018]. Chan, K. W., Henderson, J. V. & Tsui, K. T. (2008) Spatial dimensions of Chinese economic development. In: Brandt, L. & Rawski, T. G. (eds.) China’s great economic transformation. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 776–828. Chen, D. (ed.) (2014) The CCP and the third front construction. Beijing, Publishing for the CCP History. [In Chinese] CLSPI (China Land Survey and Planning Institute) (2019). Report of Land Price Monitoring in Major Cities (2019 Quarter 1). Available from: http://www.land value.com.cn/News/NewsRead?id=c3b908446fed4f24b2b828e25dd792e7 [Accessed 21st October 2020]. Fan, C. (1995) Of belts and ladders: State policy and uneven regional development in post Mao China. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 85 (3), 421–449. Available from: doi:10.1111/j.1467-8306.1995.tb01807.x.
36 Yi Jin and Yimin Zhao Fan, C. (1997) Uneven development and beyond: Regional development theory in post-Mao China. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 21 (4), 620–639. Available from: doi:10.1111/1468-2427.00105. Feng, K. (ed.) (2017) The Third Front Construction in Luzhou (Volume on Jiangyang). Luzhou, Unofficial Publisher. [In Chinese] He, S. & Wu, F. (2005) Property-led redevelopment in post-reform China: A case study of Xintiandi redevelopment project in Shanghai. Journal of Urban Affairs, 27 (1), 1–23. Available from: doi:10.1111/j.0735-2166.2005.00222.x. Hsing, Y. (2006) Land and territorial politics in urban China. The China Quarterly, 187, 575–591. Available from: doi:10.1017/S0305741006000385. Hsing, Y. (2010) The great urban transformation: Politics of land and property in China. Oxford, Oxford University Press. Available from: doi:10.1093/acprof: oso/9780199568048.001.0001. LMG (Luzhou Municipal Government) (2019) The special implementation plan of transforming transportation structure within three years. Available from: www. luzhou.gov.cn/zw/zcfg/szfwj/lsfbf/content_595358 [Accessed 4th June 2018]. LRDC (Luzhou Reform and Development Committee) (2014) Plan for the renovation and relocation of old industrial bases of Shawan-Qiancao-Lantian in Luzhou. Document provided by the Urban Planning Bureau of Luzhou Municipality. [In Chinese] Lü, X. & Perry, E. J. (eds.) (1995) Danwei: The changing Chinese workplace in historical and comparative perspective. Armonk and London, M. E. Sharpe. Luzhou Daily (2010) The development trajectory of Luzhou: from ‘Tian-Chang-DiJiu’ to ‘four-four’ strategy. Available from: scnews.newssc.org/system/2010/10/27/ 012943612.shtm [Accessed 19th June 2019]. Ma, L. J. (2005) Urban administrative restructuring, changing scale relations and local economic development in China. Political Geography, 24, 477–497. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2004.10.005. Meyskens, C. (2015) Third front railroads and industrial modernity in late Maoist China. Twentieth-Century China, 40 (3), 238–260. Available from: doi:10.1179/ 1521538515Z.00000000068. MLR (Ministry of Land and Resources) (2008) Notice on enhancing the urban land price monitoring. Available from: www.landvalue.com.cn/News/NewsRead?id=ec 9e4b853d4e48aea934bc15f3e5a7e5 [Accessed 19th June 2019]. Naughton, B. (1988) The third front: Defence industrialization in the Chinese interior. The China Quarterly, 115, 351–386. Available from: doi:10.1017/s030574 100002748x. NBS (National Bureau of Statistics) (2019) Statistic bulletin of national economy and social development, 2018. Available from: www.stats.gov.cn/tjsj/zxfb/201902/ t20190228_1651265.html [Accessed 19th June 2019]. NDRC (National Development and Reform Committee) (2016) Development plan of Chengdu-Chongqing city agglomeration. Available from: www.ndrc.gov.cn/ zcfb/zcfbghwb/201605/t20160504_800780.html [Accessed 19th June 2019]. newssc (2015) Transforming Shawan-Qiaocao to be the Pudong new city of Luzhou. Available from: lz.newssc.org/system/20151214/001809671.html [Accessed 19th June 2019]. OLC (Office of Luzhou Chronicles) (2001) Chronicle of Luzhou (2000). Beijing, Chronicle Press. [In Chinese]
Re-/un-thinking Chinese urban hierarchy 37 People’s Daily (2001) Luzhou, the rising city of chemical industry in Western China. Available from: data.people.com.cn/rmrb/20011225/5 [Accessed 19th June 2019]. People’s Daily (2018) How to elevate the “marsh land” of talents. Available from: data.people.com.cn/rmrb/20180601/17 [Accessed 19th June 2019]. Robinson, J. (2006) Ordinary cities: Between modernity and development. London, Routledge. Scol (2017) International brands in different cities in Sichuan. Available from: bbs. scol.com.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=15183605&extra=&highlight=% C9%CC%D2%B5&page=1 [Accessed 19th June 2019]. Shapiro, J. (2001) Mao’s war against nature: Politics and the environment in revolutionary China. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Shin, H. B. (2009) Residential redevelopment and the entrepreneurial local state: The implications of Beijing’s shifting emphasis on urban redevelopment policies. Urban Studies, 46 (13), 2815–2839. Available from: doi:10.1177/00420 98009345540. Shin, H. B. (2014) Contesting speculative urbanisation and strategizing discontents. City, 18 (4–5), 509–516. Available from: doi:10.1080/13604813.2014.939471. Shin, H. B. & Zhao, Y. (2018) Urbanism as a state project: Lessons from Beijing’s green belts. In: Jayne, M. (ed.) Chinese urbanism: Critical perspectives. London, Routledge, pp. 30–46. Sichuan Daily (2018) As a big city, Luzhou is striving to become the sub-economic centre of Sichuan province. Available from: epaper.scdaily.cn/shtml/scrb/ 20180813/197864.shtml [Accessed 19th June 2019]. State Council (2014) Notice on the change of scaling cities. Available from: www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/2014-11/20/content_9225.htm [Accessed 19th June 2019]. Wei, Y. (2000) Regional development in China: States, globalization and inequality. London, Routledge. Wu, F. (2003) The (post-) socialist entrepreneurial city as a state project: Shanghai’ reglobalisation in question. Urban Studies, 40 (9), 1673–1698. Available from: doi:10.1080/0042098032000106555. Wu, F. (2018) Planning centrality, market instruments: Governing Chinese urban transformation under state entrepreneurialism. Urban Studies, 55 (7), 1383–1399. Available from: doi:10.1177/0042098017721828. Wu, F. & Zhang, F. (2010) China’s emerging city region governance: Towards a research framework. Progress in Planning, 73 (1), 60–63. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.progress.2009.12.001. XNA (Xinhua News Agency) (2019) The population of Beijing and Shanghai decrease and several ‘new first-tier cities’ are to have 10 million people. Available from: www.xinhuanet.com/local/2019–01/07/c_1123958604.htm [Accessed 19th June 2019]. Xu, Y. & Chen, X. (2015) The implications of the third front construction for industrial economy and urbanisation in China. Contemporary China History Studies, 22 (4), 81–92. [In Chinese] Yang, D. (1990) Patterns of China’s regional development strategy. China Quarterly, 122, 230–257. Available from: doi:10.1017/S0305741000008778. Yicai (2013) The newest city ranking in China. Available from: www.yicai.com/ news/3236894.html [Accessed 19th June 2019].
38 Yi Jin and Yimin Zhao Yicai (2016) Chengdu, Hangzhou top list of 15 emerging new first-tier Chinese cities in 2016. Available from: www.yicaiglobal.com/news/chengdu-hangzhou-top-list15-emerging-new-first-tier-chinese-cities-2016 [Accessed 19th June 2019]. Yicai (2017) New first-tier city ranking. Available from: www.yicai.com/news/ 5293378.html [Accessed 19th June 2019]. Yicai (2018) New first-tier city ranking. Available from: www.cbnweek.com/articles/ normal/20992 [Accessed 19th June 2019]. Yicai (2019) New first-tier city ranking. Available from: www.yicai.com/ news/100200192.html [Accessed 19th June 2019]. Zhou, M. (2014) The third front construction and urban development in interior China, 1964–1980. China Economic History Studies, 1, 142–151. [In Chinese]
2 The changing logic of urban planning in Nepal From informal to incremental Hanna A Ruszczyk
Introduction The development of cities is fundamentally linked to planning laws and mechanisms to enforce land use plans in the global North (Yiftachel, 1998). Planning practices in most parts of the world challenge this conventional thinking of the global North. Often times, in the global South, urban planning and land use plans have been conceptualised and developed. The difficulties lie in implementation of these plans, specifically who is required to implement urban planning, who must follow the law and where in the metropolitan city must urban planning be implemented (Ruszczyk, 2020). Furthermore, systems of government and governance are being actively developed over time and space. Public sector rules often follow the action of people. This chapter creates a scholarly space to present this logic of urban planning practice that is evident in regional, metropolitan cities located throughout Nepal but which is academically overlooked. This chapter argues that Nepalese urban planning efforts are highly dependent on the relationship between the form of government and elites in different parts of the city. A central government and non-elected officials espoused informality while a newly elected government adopts incrementalism. Five fieldwork trips contributed to the empirical foundation for this book chapter. The initial investigation started in 2014 as part of my PhD research exploring understandings of urban resilience. There were three fieldwork trips over an 11-month period (November–December 2014, April 2015 and September 2015). The research continued after the PhD with a monthlong dissemination trip/new research into urban risk governance in November 2017 and, most recently, a fieldwork trip in April 2019 to continue this longitudinal research into the changing urban risk governance landscape of Bharatpur, Nepal. Over 100 interviews were conducted as part of this longterm investigation. In each of the two trips after 2015, investigations into other regional cities of Nepal has also taken place in order to assess which changes were representative of more general emerging trends and what was specific to Bharatpur.
40 Hanna A Ruszczyk
Newly urban Nepal Nepal, sandwiched between the political and economic behemoths of India and China, is a country of almost 30 million residents. Nepal has survived a ten-year internal conflict (1996–2006) that killed 13,000 people, an earthquake in 2015 that killed almost 9,000 people and an everyday economic and social landscape where international remittances from young men are increasingly the backbone of the economy (Ruszczyk, 2017). Since 2014, due to political and administrative battles taking place on a national level between ministries regarding who had control over the larger and more urban centers, as well as the structural impact of the earthquake, the central government transformed Nepal. In 2014, 86 percent of the population lived in rural areas (IFAD, 2014), but within 36 months Nepal nominally became an urban country where up to 60 percent of the population lived in urban municipalities (Mahat, 2017). Specifically in 2013, there were 58 municipalities. In May 2014, 72 municipalities were created; in December 2014, 61 more; in early 2015, 28 more municipalities were created, for a dizzying total of 219 municipalities. These 90 newer municipalities have not been sufficiently trained by the central government in their new responsibilities, partly due to the earthquake sequence and, subsequently, the constitution and the economic blockade. By the end of 2017 there were 753 local government units in Nepal (six metropolitan cities, 11 sub-metropolitan cities, 276 urban municipalities and 460 rural municipalities). Nepal’s ambitious transition from a unitary to a federal government system is a daunting task in the short term for a lowincome country such as Nepal with “fragmented politics and weak institutions” (The World Bank, 2018: p. 10), and many challenges exist that will strain the government whose implementation capacity is already stretched. During this same time period, the earthquake occurred. The political leaders in Kathmandu were spurred to come to consensus on the long-debated constitution after the earthquake. The earthquake mobilised leaders who were relieved that the impact of the earthquake was not as devastating as had been expected. A political space was created where the previously quarrelling political parties agreed to pass the constitution and almost unanimously voted in favour of the constitution in September 2015 (Ruszczyk, 2018, 2019). This led to profound changes, including a federal system of government with seven provinces and significant decentralisation of power to the local authorities. These administrative changes of 2014–2018 have been radical. Bharatpur, a regional city, is located on the fertile plains of Nepal near the border with India. Bharatpur is the fourth most populated city of Nepal (280,000 residents) and second largest city in geographic area (see Figure 2.1). Until November 2014, Bharatpur Municipality had 14 wards and a population of 144,000. In December 2014, it became a submetropolitan city (SMC) with 29 wards; its physical area increased by
Changing logic of urban planning in Nepal 41
Figure 2.1 Bharatpur in 2015 Source: Author
50 percent and its population increased over 50 percent (to 210,000) due to five amalgamated villages in the southeast and southwest of the city. These villages brought their rural poverty and specific hazards (river flooding and wild animal attacks from the jungle) to the newly created SMC. Five months later, the earthquake struck and the local government struggled to inspect the damaged 8 percent of 40,000 buildings. In 2017, Bharatpur became a metropolitan city, its geographic area increased again and the population increased to 280,000 residents due to the addition of adjacent villages. These changes have made Bharatpur very rural in terms of demographics, geographic coverage and physical attributes such as quality of roads, access to electricity, piped water and access to sanitation. At the same time, municipal elections had taken place in the spring of 2017, the first elections in 20 years. While the national political project to create an urban country is underway in Nepal, this radical and rapidly imposed administrative change is straining the capacity of newly elected local authorities (the first since 2002, when they were banned by the king) to cope with the new and increased responsibilities (Asia Foundation, 2018). For example, the newly elected mayor and Municipal Executive Committee of one of the most important cities of Nepal, the metropolitan city of Bharatpur, now lead a local government that has a significantly broadened range of responsibilities, including education and hospitals. The local government is not fully aware of the range of its responsibilities and does not have qualified staff to carry out its duties. Administrative changes including locally elected officials are profoundly impacting development on a local level in Nepal. This can be seen through the logic of urban planning from the perspective of the local government
42 Hanna A Ruszczyk and its interaction with the elite. When Nepal had a central government and non-elected officials on a local level, until 2017, there was not a necessity to formally implement urban planning. Rather it was informal, and residents built homes in a haphazard manner with minimal restrictions imposed by the local government. After the central government was restructured into a federal government and local government officials were elected in 2017, the situation changed. The logic of urban planning also changed from informality to incremental urban planning. The elected officials are emboldened to implement urban planning in the core areas of the city but importantly, not in the rural areas. These rural areas are removed from the centre and its regime of urban planning and land use plans. The newly incorporated villages and the rural elite do not perceive a necessity to follow these laws.
Conceptualising informal and incremental planning processes Conceptualisations of urban theory rooted in the global South, where the majority of the world’s population lives (United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs and Population Division, 2018), is fundamental to the framing of this chapter related to overlooked cities of the global South. The author agrees with Pieterse (2013: p. 14), who suggests there is a nuanced and complex story occurring on a local level: “If nothing else, the (local) state is a site of constant contestation, stabilisation, adaptation and re-legitimation through actors of learning and institutional recalibration”. This chapter utilises and expands on postcolonial interpretations of urban informality and incrementalism scholarship to interrogate the manifestations of power dynamics of local state in Nepal. In this research, urban informality is defined as (Alsayyad & Roy 2004: p. 5): An organising urban logic. . . . A logic that structures the very fabric of urban life [in much of the world]. It is a process of structuration that constitutes the rules of the game, determining the nature of transactions between individuals and institutions and within institutions. The urban is not only created by governmental plans and formally led by government, but to a significant extent, the urban is managed through informality (Bayat, 2004; Roy, 2009; Roy & AlSayyad, 2004). The concept of informality warrants consideration not only from the perspective of the individual, but as important for this research is the informality of the government and how urban space is informally controlled through legibility. “The binary distinction between formal and informal-economies, housing, settlements – often carries with it an implicit positive appraisal of formality and a devaluation of informality” in the global South (Lombard & Huxley, 2011: p. 121).
Changing logic of urban planning in Nepal 43 Yet, viewing formality as aspirational is misleading because this is not necessarily the goal of urban residents, nor is it the goal of municipal governments. Roy (2009) proposes in the Indian context, not only are the rich and the poor informal, but the government’s planning regime – “a state of deregulation, ambiguity, and exception” (ibid.: p. 76) – is also informal. In other locations of the global South such as Bharatpur, Nepal, because the city has never been fully mapped on paper, the government can make decisions on urban planning, including land use planning and infrastructure provision, in a more negotiated manner. Thus the state “itself is a deeply informalized entity, one that actively utilize[s] informality as an instrument of both accumulation and authority” (ibid.). Through a focus on urban planning whose main feature is informality, Roy suggests, there is a “certain territorial impossibility of governance, justice, and development” (ibid.). Roy suggests that informality is at the centre of the government and is a fundamental part of governing; this conceptualisation is supported by this research. Urban informality as a planning paradigm is also being built upon in recent scholarship following Ghertner’s seminal work (2011) exploring governance arrangements between the local authority and middle-class residents in Delhi. Recently, Moatasim (2019) suggests that informal urbanism warrants further consideration through the lens of the contentious and contested nature of elite informalities because the elite mobilise their networks of financial and social resources, including political connections, to legitimise illegal building activities. Importantly, Moatasim argues for acknowledging the active role that urban middle- and upper-class citizens currently are taking in shaping discourse and practice related to informal urban planning and development. This chapter suggests this argument can be furthered to countless cities throughout the global South. Beyond urban informality, rather than in opposition with, incrementalism as a concept is essential to the argument of this chapter in continuing to think about organising urban logics. In the recent past, scholars have utilised incrementalism in a range of ways from exploring incremental infrastructures in relation to slum dwellers and energy provision in Accra (Silver, 2014) to thinking through urban development in Amsterdam as adaptive and incremental (van Karnenbeek & Janssen-Jansen, 2018). Dovey suggests incrementalism is a concept that describes “a scale of process and form rather than formality, legality or livability” (2014: p. 46). “It describes a process whereby the shape of urban morphology and public space emerges incrementally through a multiplicity of design decisions and without any prevailing master plan”. Incrementalism is related to processes and change. Baitsch argues “much of city-making processes happen in a . . . discrete manner” (2018: p. 22). He considers incremental development to be the stepby-step, resident-driven improvements and transformations of houses and neighbourhoods over an extended period of time. This acknowledgement
44 Hanna A Ruszczyk of urban development to be step-by-step and occurring over extended, stretched periods of time is important to understanding city processes because it subtly nods to active contribution of people in creating change (Simone, 2014). Incremental urbanism is a continuation of processes that involves a multiplicity of actors, including the informal settlement dwellers, the middle class and affluent and, as importantly, the local government officials. There is a complexity to incremental urbanism that creates a space for the processes of “innumerable encounters between actors of unequal powers and knowledge, and equally many individual decision-making processes” (Baitsch, 2018: p. 75) to be considered in a different way to informality. In this way, incremental urbanism and (importantly) incremental planning processes represent activities and exchanges in cities in the global South and beyond. Lastly, consideration of how learning takes place in planning is of relevance to thinking about the logic of urban planning. Learning as incremental provides guidance on how urban planning is implemented through the local authority. In his writing about learning from the city, McFarlane (2018: p. 326) suggests that “learning is often messy and happenstance, that it often includes a wide range of people, things and places, and that planners can learn not just from different groups from the city but from the ways in which those groups learn”. McFarlane expands upon incremental learning, suggesting that how people learn the city “is not a process of linear addition, but instead involves translation” (ibid.: p. 327). Incremental urbanism is a process by which a range of actors accumulate knowledge over periods of time through a continuous give and take with other actors and then consolidate it to their advantage, often in relation to the built environment. For government officials, there is some attempt to utilise incremental urbanism in the hope to formalise, codify and institutionalise elements of urban planning. Urban planners are using incrementalism as a “form of learning and to use Arjun Appadurai’s (2002) apt phrase, a ‘politics of patience’ ” (ibid.: p. 328). The local authorities understand that they need to tread carefully and to slowly implement urban planning regimes in a staggered manner throughout the city.
Informally, local government has “its hands tied” Until 2017, the local authority was part of the central government. The chief executive officer and other high-ranking officials of the municipality were central government officials who were rotated to different municipalities on a periodic basis (between two and five years). The goal of these government officials was to please Kathmandu superiors in order to move to their next post, somewhere else in Nepal. Their line of vision was always upward to the central government. They were not particularly keen on managing their local portfolio. At the same time, they were also keen to not upset local politicians and affluent landowners because this could informally impact
Changing logic of urban planning in Nepal 45 their career mobility. Consensus amongst elite reigned, rather than a focus on governing the city. In November 2014, a senior Bharatpur municipal official discussed the difficulties related to urban planning and land use planning. The municipality (before it became a sub-metropolitan city) was in a quandary, he explained; “it has its hands tied”. This was due to increasing levels of responsibility with insufficient political, financial and technical resources to implement all that was expected of it. He continued by saying, “people purchase agricultural land and build homes and subsequently receive planning permission from the municipality”. Even in 2014, this was an illegal practice, but this official acknowledged his municipality was retroactively approving illegal construction. After the 2015 earthquake, a SMC official leading urban planning for the sub-metropolitan city echoed his colleague’s earlier comments: Now that we have 29 wards, it is more complicated, the area of the SMC is too big. In the near future, there will be a [new] SMC master plan with a land use plan. At the present time there is no demarcation of land use. People will be angry that agricultural land cannot be residential. It is all easy on paper but in the “field” [in reality] it is difficult to implement [for the local government]. He continued by stressing that the local government did not have the financial resources to purchase land for infrastructure initiatives or the political power to lead urban planning. “It is back to front”, according to this key respondent from the SMCB; the urban local government is following development led by elite residents rather than planning it. The local officials are overwhelmed with their increased responsibilities, lack of additional resources and lack of understanding how best to implement the central government dictates. The senior official’s comments resonate with the findings of the World Disaster Report 2010. In this report, Hardoy et al. (2010: p. 142) suggest that in almost all cities located in low-income countries, urban expansion is haphazard, led by households, enterprises and public sector activities both legal and illegal. “There is no plan to guide this process or if there is, it is ignored”. The World Bank (Hallegatte et al., 2017: p. 113) states: In most of the world today, risk-sensitive land-use plans face strong political economy obstacles and are only rarely enforced. One of the main obstacles is the asymmetry between the costs and benefits of risksensitive land-use planning. The informality of the local government in Bharatpur allowed a range of elite actors (politicians, property developers, neighbourhood groups) to influence the city’s development rather than a land use plan. Politically, this
46 Hanna A Ruszczyk was the most expedient manner to work in. The logic of urban planning in a context of a rapidly urbanising medium-sized city focused on placating elite actors who were fully aware that the SMC, controlled by central government employees (rather than elected officials), could not and would not enforce urban planning. It was not in anyone’s interests. After the 2015 earthquake, the central government began to decentralise responsibility to local levels without appropriate resources. At the same time, it was known that local government struggled to respond to disasters when their functions were further overwhelmed (Pelling, 2012). The local government was acutely aware of its visible role to the residents as well as how it would be held to account to the Kathmandu central government in relation to urban planning and earthquake-resistant construction, even though the local government was struggling with insufficient human and financial resources. There was a conflict between what some parts of the central government wanted to create in their vision of the city and lower levels of the state in Bharatpur that had a direct link with the residents. The lower levels of the state were torn between their allegiance to the central government and their desire to support (some of) the residents they were engaging with. Urban informality could be considered the case here. People built homes anywhere and everywhere they chose to if they had the money to build a house. Most often this was on fertile agricultural land. A mosaic of housing can be found surrounded by agricultural land. There is not a “system” to the construction of houses. Rather, each house was built in a way that suited the owner. Until 2017, the central government governed who was eligible, what urban materialities were important and how governing on a local level was allowed to take place. It is the changing relationship between local government and residents that contributes further knowledge to discussion concerning urban planning.
Incremental urban planning In the initial period after the local elections in the spring of 2017, the new federal government did not increase the municipal block grant that Bharatpur relied on for its budget (almost 80 percent), and additional human resources were not allocated to any significant degree. The range of hazards and risks to manage increased, and the politically promised infrastructural obligations toward the amalgamated rural areas were tremendous (creation of gravel roads as well as paved roads, access to electricity and possibly even piped water). Meanwhile, all residents interviewed believed the local authority was flush with money to implement a range of projects that were promised in the election campaigns of 2017. Eighteen months after the first locally elected officials came to power, the situation in Bharatpur is still in flux but clearer than in 2017. Wrangling over what elements of government will be decentralised, over what time
Changing logic of urban planning in Nepal 47 period, how much budgetary control would be given to the local authorities and which individuals would need to leave the federal level of government and relocate to the municipalities were negotiated. These evolving and emerging systems (including human and financial) are being put into place, and devolution of power has been formalised from the previous central level (now the federal level) to the local level. Human resources are being transferred from federal to local levels, and subsequently tensions due to hierarchy and skill levels are apparent between staff members. Additional staff have also been hired. Finances have been reallocated from line ministries to local authorities. The logic of urban planning implementation has changed. Whereas before the central government did not enforce urban planning and land use plans, now the federal government is demanding, requiring the local authorities to implement urban planning measures. Now the responsibility is with the local level and with the locally elected government officials rather than with officials from the central government. This is essential to understanding whether urban planning will be implemented or not. The Ministry of Urban Planning is providing “guidance notes” to local authorities on how to implement urban planning and land use plans. Local authorities are hiring private consultants to guide them. The federal government is particularly scrutinising medium-sized, regional cities because these metropolitan cities will be considered models by the smaller cities of Nepal as urban planning is considered, debated and possibly implemented informally or possibly incrementally throughout the country. During 2019, local politics have created an impasse in strategic urban planning, and the metropolitan city decided to pause and reconsider how to proceed. From interviews with a senior official and a mid-level official from the metropolitan city of Bharatpur, it is evident that this is not a smooth process. It is also evident that urban planning and land use planning is being implemented in a different way compared to when the local government was central-government led. Now, under federalism, with local officials being elected from the community, implementation depends on spatial location. For the elected local officials, there appears to be a calculated decision to implement urban planning and accompanying land use plans on the basis of whether the geographic area being considered is a core, semi-rural or rural part of the city. This calculated decision to incrementally implement urban planning is based on factors such as whether the ward is physically part of the original boundaries of the municipality (2014), sub-metropolitan city (2015) or metropolitan city (2017). This consideration is based on the relationship the local government would have had with its residents. Those wards that have been part of the city, the municipality, as of 2014 would have been educated on how to implement urban planning requirements such as earthquakeresistant construction. Residents would have been familiar with the staff of the local authority. After the boundaries of Bharatpur were enlarged
48 Hanna A Ruszczyk to amalgamate villages, relationships were not developed with the local authority. It is in these spaces where the metropolitan city of Bharatpur is incrementally deciding not to intervene yet. For the government officials, working in the core city area is noticeably easier than in the rural areas of the metropolitan city. For example, the national building code and the necessity to conform to earthquake-resistant construction is being enforced in the urban “core” areas of the city by the metropolitan city’s ward offices, and it is also being implemented in geographic areas physically close to the centre. Residents here express a desire for the government to lead, and residents want to follow the law. The reality in the rural areas, areas that were villages until 2016, is different. The local government does not have a working relationship with these residents. The rural areas are very difficult to access in terms of transport and communication. The human resources assigned to the ward offices (lowest level of local government) are insufficient and lack knowledge, social networks and capacity to implement the law. Often times, these staff members have been recently hired and are learning how to do their role. They do not have the informal established relationships with the rural residents who need advice and guidance. In reality, the rural areas are left to their own devices for the time being. This creates opportunities for elites located in these areas or those from outside Bharatpur who know the local government is taking an incremental approach to implementation of urban planning, land use planning and possibly even of overall governing. Importantly, in rural areas, the former villages, the building code and earthquake-resistant construction are not being implemented. According to government officials interviewed in 2017 and again in 2019, this will take time. This chapter furthers Moatasim’s (2019) argument of elite informality by noticing that the affluent who live in the rural areas of the newly expanded metropolitan city pretend that they do not need to follow urban planning laws and regulations. In the rural areas (see Figure 2.2), residents directly ask the metropolitan city of Bharatpur why they should pay the government a fee to get approval to build a house on their own land in accordance with rules they do not understand. The local government is not powerful enough to stand firm against residents in rural areas and implement the law. The city officials fully acknowledge that they are incrementally implementing urban planning guidelines. The example from the earlier paragraphs shows who has informal power and who can be forced to follow urban planning. This is of relevance to Nepal, where until a few years ago the local authority governed through informality. In a medium-sized regional city such as Bharatpur, there is no evidence of large scale, private developers building gated communities. There are no mega projects. Rather, urban planning is being considered in a localised manner radiating from the centre, the urban core, to the city’s periphery, the rural areas. The logic of urban
Changing logic of urban planning in Nepal 49
Figure 2.2 Fertile agricultural land being built upon in 2019 Source: Author
planning is incremental because this is all the local government is capable of implementing at the present time.
Conclusion Bharatpur, Nepal, an academically overlooked, medium-sized, regional, metropolitan city matters to urban research and requires scholarly attention. This metropolitan city is important for a range of reasons. It has a large population for Nepal (280,000), and it is located on the flat plains of Nepal, bordering India. Over half of Nepal’s population lives on the Terai. Regional cities on the Terai such as Bharatpur are increasingly visible in
50 Hanna A Ruszczyk national discourse. This is due to the new focus on regionalisation, devolution of authority, responsibility and funding. Kathmandu Valley (where 10 percent of the country’s population lives) is overwhelmed and not considered manageable or liveable. People are migrating to regional cities now rather than to Kathmandu Valley. Bharatpur is considered a guiding light by smaller municipalities located on the Terai and throughout Nepal. It is a city catering to the affluent and a city renowned for its “safety” from conflict. Bharatpur is now one of the six metropolitan cities that the 250 smaller urban cities (nagarpalika in Nepalese) with a population of less than 100,000 are observing to see what takes hold in regard to urban governance and urban planning. Nepal’s changing urban landscape offers an opportunity to reflect on the medium-sized city in places that are not often explored or considered in discussions of global urban theory. Rather, Nepal and its regional cities are quietly considering what constitutes the 21st-century city out of the limelight of urban research. This is why Bharatpur matters. This chapter sheds a glimpse into the everyday realities of a country and a city that is overlooked in urban theory even though the everyday reality of Nepal and Bharatpur is undoubtedly more similar to many parts of the world than the global North’s reality. It is vital to academic discourse to generate inquires, concepts, theoretical and policy language that can shape the way we think about the urban and practice from “here” (Bhan, 2019), the places where the world’s population lives. Bharatpur is representative of where the world’s urban population lives – in medium-sized, regional cities of the urban South with less than 500,000 urban residents (United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs and Population Division, 2018). “Modes of urban planning practice are rooted in space and time, and we must begin by looking, listening and paying attention to the current instantiations of practice and their relationship to place” (Bhan, 2019: p. 13). This is vital to consider. This chapter shows the changes in urban planning implementation from the period before 2016 and after local elections in 2017 led to different ways of implementing urban planning. Administrative changes matter. A political struggle of ministries propelled Nepal, its local authorities and residents to become urban and at times citylike at a pace unparalleled in Nepal’s history. Places such as Nepal and specifically the regional city of Bharatpur matter because it is in such places that rapid urbanisation is creating a new category of cityness. Modes of urban planning in Bharatpur, Nepal, do not assume that laws will be implemented uniformly, that all parts of the city are equal when implementation occurs and lastly, that “the rules of the game are fair, known or stable” (ibid.). This book, and this chapter following Bhan’s (ibid.: p. 15) wise words, is a project “of speaking from moving and relational peripheries to challenge dominant forms of knowledge and practice, and a commitment to remaining rooted in the specific geographies of these peripheries at different historical conjunctures”. Furthermore, producing knowledge and assigning it
Changing logic of urban planning in Nepal 51 legitimacy is a deeply political act that is a lens through which to see current configurations of power (Derickson, 2015). There is a logic to Bharatpur’s strategy over time and space. The logic of urban planning differs based on the form of government and is evolving from informality to incrementalism. This chapter also compliments Moatasim’s efforts to expand the range of elite informal actors to include private home-owners in rural areas that were previously villages. Moatasim (2019: p. 15) shows how private homeowners and the “outcomes of their actions have had long-term consequences for the planning and development of the entire city”. This is also what Bharatpur, Nepal, shows – how the individual actions of affluent residents can fundamentally impact the planning and development of a regional metropolitan city. Moatasim (ibid.) cleverly re-appropriates Asef Bayat’s (2013) term, the quiet encroachment of the ordinary to be the bold encroachment of the extraordinary. This has traction in Nepal, showcasing the confidence of until now, ignored, not “city”, elite homebuilders to infringe on existing planning laws and to build in whatever way they wish, knowing the metropolitan city is powerless for the time being to act against them. At the present time, the physical location dictates who has power rather than solely the characteristics of the person. In the Pakistan experience of Moatasim, elite informality showcases the confidence of the urban elite to infringe on existing planning laws and their ability to develop strategies to legitimise spatial violations. In the Nepal experience, landowners show the confidence of the rural elite who are part of the metropolitan to ignore existing planning laws knowing that the metropolitan city does not dare to implement urban planning laws yet. They have a few years before the formal urban planning regime and incrementalism of governing will apply to them. This incremental nature means step-bystep action by everyone. There is an awareness of who may act first, in what space and who controls this space of action. There is also a forgiving nature of change in this process (Bhan, 2019: p. 14). Everyone understands this is an incremental process. In cities such as Bharatpur, where rapid urbanisation is taking place, the metropolitan city must balance legal and illegal spatial practices where the local government is trying to manage and also serve the needs of a range of constituents. This is critical to understand the limitations of the metropolitan city of Bharatpur at this specific point in time and space. This chapter creates a scholarly space to present a southern urban planning practice that is evident in metropolitan cities located throughout Nepal but that is academically overlooked. This chapter argues that Nepalese contemporary urban planning efforts are based on changing forms of local government espousing informality and incrementalism in tension with rural landowners. There is not a binary tension between formality and informality, between the poor and rich, or between government and residents. Rather, living in the city and learning about urban planning and how to implement it is a process with many stakeholders who are learning
52 Hanna A Ruszczyk how to act, how to live in the city. By utilising the concepts of informality and incrementalism, a space is opened to think and consider not only the poor, informal settlements, or even the rich and gated communities, but to broaden thinking about the local authorities. Incremental urbanism extends thinking about informality and allows us to consider how cities make processes happen in a more discrete manner. Local authorities are incrementally learning how to create and enforce urban planning in places where government did not have a presence before. Where the limits of knowledge and power of the local authority are evident, the logic of urban planning is extended from informality to incrementalism throughout the expanded boundaries of the city.
References AlSayyad, N. & Roy, A. (2004) Prologue/dialogue urban informality: Crossing borders. In: Roy, A. & AlSayyad, N. (eds.). Urban informality: transnational perspectives from the middle East, Latin America, and South Asia. Transnational perspectives on space and place. Lanham, MD, Berkeley, CA, Lexington Books, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of California, pp. 1–6. Appadurai, A. (2002) Deep democracy: Urban governmentality and the horizon of politics. Public Culture, 14 (1), 21–47. Available from: doi:10.1215/0899236314-1-21. Asia Foundation (2018) Diagnostic study of local governance in federal Nepal 2017. San Francisco, CA, Asia Foundation. Baitsch, T. S. (2018) Incremental urbanism: A study of incremental housing production and the challenge of its inclusion in contemporary planning processes in Mumbai, India. Doctoral Thesis, Switzerland, Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lalusanne. Bayat, A. (2004) Globalization and the politics of the informals in the global South. In: Roy A. & AlSayyad N. (eds.) Urban informality: Transnational perspectives from the middle East, Latin America, and South Asia. Transnational perspectives on space and place. Lanham, MD, Berkeley, CA, Lexington Books, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of California, pp. 79–104. Bayat, A. (2013) Life as politics: How ordinary people change the middle East. Stanford, Stanford University Press. Available from: doi:10.5117/9789053569115. Bhan, G. (2019) Notes on a Southern urban practice. Environment & Urbanization, 31 (2), 1–16. Available from: doi:10.1177/0956247818815792. Derickson, K. D. (2015) Urban geography 1: Locating urban theory in the ‘urban age’. Progress in Human Geography, 39 (5), 647–657. Available from: doi:10.1177/0309132514560961. Dovey, K. (2014) Incremental urbanism the emergence of informal settlements. In: Haass, G. & Olsson, T. (eds.) Emergent urbanism: Urban planning and design in times of structural and systems change. Abingdon, Oxon, Routledge, pp. 45–53. Ghertner, D. A. (2011) Gentrifying the state, gentrifying participation: Elite governance programs in Delhi: Gentrifying the local state in India. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35 (3), 504–532. Available from: doi:10.1111/ j.1468-2427.2011.01043.x.
Changing logic of urban planning in Nepal 53 Hallegatte, S., Vogt-Schilb, A., Bangalore, M. & Rozenberg, J. (eds.) (2017) Unbreakable: Building the resilience of the poor in the face of natural disasters. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site& db=nlebk&db=nlabk&AN=1413765 [Accessed 2nd February 2017]. Hardoy, J., Roberts, D., Pelling, M. & Satterthwaite, D. (2010) Chapter 7, urban governance and disaster risk reduction. In: McClean, D. (ed.) Focus on urban risk. World Disasters Report. Geneva, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, pp. 138–157. IFAD (2014) Rural poverty in Nepal. Available from: https://www.ifad.org/ documents/38714170/39972509/Enabling+poor+rural+people+to+overcome+po verty+in+Nepal.pdf/679c83d1-648e-4e67-9a4d-a8430adadd40 [Accessed 26th June 2019]. Lombard, M. & Huxley, M. (2011) Self-made cities: Ordinary informality? Planning Theory and Practice, 12 (1), 120–125. Available from: doi:10.1080/146493 57.2011.545626. Mahat, B. (2017) Nepal urban resilience project: Scoping study (inception report). ADRA Nepal Report. Available from: http://adranepal.org/wp-content/uploads/ 2019/07/NURP-Scoping-Study_Report.pdf. McFarlane, C. (2018) Learning from the city: A politics of urban learning in planning. In: Bhan, G., Srinivas, S. & Watson, V. (eds.) The Routledge companion to planning in the global South. London and New York, Routledge, pp. 323–333. Moatasim, F. (2019) Entitled urbanism: Elite informality and the reimagining of a planned modern city, Urban Studies, 56 (5), 1009–1025. Available from: doi:10.1177/0042098018767011. Pelling, M. (2012) Hazards, risk and urbanisation. In: Wisner, B., Gaillard, J. C. & Kelman, I. (eds.) The Routledge handbook of hazards and disaster risk reduction. London and New York, Routledge, pp. 145–155. Available from: doi:10.4324/ 9780203844236.ch13. Pieterse, E. (2013) Introduction. In: Pieterse, E. & Simone, A. M. (eds.) Rogue urbanism: Emergent African cities. Auckland Park, South Africa, Jacana, pp. 12–15. Roy, A. (2009) Why India cannot plan its cities. Planning Theory, 8 (1), 76–87. Available from: doi:10.1177/1473095208099299. Roy, A. & AlSayyad, N. (eds.) (2004) Urban informality: Transnational perspectives from the middle East, Latin America, and South Asia. Transnational perspectives on space and place. Lanham, MD, Berkeley, CA, Lexington Books, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of California. Ruszczyk, H. A. (2017) The everyday and events, understanding risk perceptions and resilience in Urban Nepal. Doctoral Thesis, Durham, Durham University. Ruszczyk, H. A. (2018) Chapter 8: The earthquake and ideas lying around. In: Bracken, L. J., Ruszczyk, H. A. & Robinson, T. (eds.) Evolving narratives of hazard and risk: The Gorkha earthquake, Nepal, 2015. London, Palgrave Pivot, pp. 125–139. Available from: doi:10.1007/978-3-319-65211-5_8. Ruszczyk, H. A. (2019) The earthquake and ideas lying around. Blog post reflecting on my presentation and the After the Earth’s Violent Sway Workshop at SOAS, 11–12th January 2019, uploaded 26th February 2019. Available from: sway. soscbaha.org/blogs/the-earthquake-and-ideas-lying-around/ [Accessed 26th February 2019]. Ruszczyk, H. A. (2020) Newly urban Nepal. Urban Geography. Available from: doi:10.1080/02723638.2020.1756683 [Accessed 27th April 2020].
54 Hanna A Ruszczyk Silver, J. (2014) Incremental infrastructures: Material improvisation and social collaboration across post-colonial Accra. Urban Geography, 35 (6), 788–804. Available from: doi:10.1080/02723638.2014.933605. Simone, A. M. (2014) The missing people: Reflections on an urban majority in cities of the South. In: Parnell, S. & Oldfield, S. (eds.) The Routledge handbook on cities of the global South. London and New York, Routledge, pp. 322–336. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs and Population Division (2018) 2018 revision of world urbanization prospects. Available from: https:// www.un.org/development/desa/publications/2018-revision-of-world-urbaniza tion-prospects.html [Accessed 25th May 2019]. van Karnenbeek, L. & Janssen-Jansen, L. (2018) Playing by the rules? Analysing incremental urban developments. Land Use Policy, 72, 402–409. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.12.021. Yiftachel, O. (1998) Planning and social control: Exploring the dark side. Journal of Planning Literature, 12 (4), 395–406. Available from: doi:10.1177/088 541229801200401. World Bank (2018) International development association program document for a proposed development policy credit. Available from: http://documents.world�bank.org/curated/en/336971521770470985/text/PD-Nepal-DPC1-02262018.txt [Accessed 1st December 2019].
3 The marginalised centre Overlooked cities in South Africa’s interior Isolde de Villiers
Introduction The narrow focus of this chapter is the way in which urban theory emanating from South African cities can look different if written from the contexts of the country’s overlooked cities. In this chapter, the emphasis falls on Bloemfontein/Mangaung and Pretoria/Tshwane. The aim of this contribution is to draw attention to the way in which the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town are at the centre of urban theory in South Africa, while other cities are overlooked. It is also important to show what different theories can emanate from different geographical locations, but that extends beyond the scope of this chapter. For now, the chapter will show that there is a discrepancy in writings on these different cities. Written from a spatial justice perspective and with a predominant interest in jurisprudence, this chapter concerns the role that law plays in these cities being overlooked. Both Bloemfontein/ Mangaung and Pretoria/Tshwane fulfil particular legal functions, different from the more popular cities. Their governmental power and possible ways to subvert this power are therefore also overlooked. The chapter therefore starts with a historical overview of these two cities and their place within the broader functioning of South Africa. Drawing on the work of Roland Barthes on wrestling, Njabulo Ndebele warned South African writers in the 1980s against the trap of the spectacle (1994). He specifically addressed and criticised the use of spectacle in certain Drum magazine stories. Drum nowadays is a typical popular magazine with hair, love-life and beauty tips, but in the 1950s it was considered to be part of South Africa’s resistance press. Drum magazine was initially an attempt to respond to urbanisation, to help the rural “native” adjust to the stresses of urban life and still maintain rural simplicity. Early Drum magazines of the 1950s and 1960s were an attempt at defiance, refusal, resistance against the apartheid regime (Switzer & Adhikari, 2000). Ndebele’s critique is aimed against the Drum stories of the 1960s, where stories became more sensational and, according to him, had less political impact. He calls for a rediscovery of the ordinary and a new vocabulary with which to write about the apartheid condition. In a similar vein, this chapter explores different
56 Isolde de Villiers theoretical registers. In particular, it explores concepts of ordinary, marginalised, local and domestic scale. The research problem identified in this chapter is that existing and dominant spatial justice theory has limited application to cities that were not produced primarily around market forces, but instead they were created mainly to fulfil government functions. The sub-questions raised by this problem are firstly: What is spatial justice theory currently in South Africa, and how has it been influenced by Marxist theory via radical geographers? How do existing urban theories contribute to the fact that Bloemfontein/Mangaung and Pretoria/Tshwane are overlooked? Secondly: How does feminist theory respond to this gap in spatial justice theory, and how do overlooked cities and overlookedness contribute to a different theoretical engagement with cities? Can capital cities be read in a lower-case manner?
Leading urban theories in the South African spatial justice discourse South Africa and South African academic institutions play an important role in producing urban theory from the South. In this regard, two centres stand out in particular: the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town and the Centre for Urban and Built Environment Studies at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. These institutions make important and significant contributions to understanding cities from the context of the South. Due to their geographical location, however, the bulk of the work from these centres is produced on the cities in which they are located: Johannesburg and Cape Town. Their initial establishment in these locations and growing importance are (to start with) attributable to the historical prominence of these two cities in the South African landscape. While acknowledging the value of the work coming from these cities, this chapter is concerned with what is overlooked in terms of spatial justice theory when these two cities dominate the discourse. How is injustice understood and possibly perpetuated in the cities that receive less attention, and what is the impact of this on the everyday lives of ordinary inhabitants of South Africa? An attempt to start a Capital Cities project at the University of Pretoria between the years of 2013 and 2017 failed because of a diversity of reasons, but mainly due to a too-close relationship with the city authority. At the time the mayor of Pretoria/Tshwane was a student enrolled for a doctoral degree at the University of Pretoria. The historical importance of the city’s bureaucratic functions overshadowed the relationship and led to signing an agreement between the city and the University, which made critical engagement with power relations virtually impossible. It would be incorrect to say that there is not already important work emanating from these overlooked cities. The work of scholars and their academic cohorts such as Karina Landman (in Pretoria/Tshwane) and Lochner Marais (in Bloemfontein/Mangaung) is
The marginalised centre 57 exciting because it brings to light a different urban reality and asks fresh and important questions. Lochner Marais, in collaboration with other authors (Marais & Visser, 2008; Marais, Nel & Donaldson, 2016; Marais, Nel & Du Plessis, 2019), has contributed greatly to this body of work. Whereas the argument in this chapter is mainly a theoretical one, the work, collections, collaborations and projects of Marais and Landman can be used to illustrate and supplement an approach where the overlooked centre is scrutinised. This chapter, however, shows particular interest to law and the concept of spatial justice. In a country with stark spatial inequalities and with growing urgency in respect of land (also urban land) redistribution, the question of spatial justice is an important one. With a few exceptions, the bulk of spatial justice work is done in Johannesburg (see Marius Pieterse and Thomas Coggin) and Cape Town (see Jaco Barnard-Naude and Margot Strauss). This chapter now turns to some of the most important theoretical influences on the spatial justice discourse in South Africa in order to argue for the need to include overlooked cities in thinking about (urban) spatial justice in a postapartheid context. Law’s spatial turn has been greatly influenced by radical geography and especially the work of Lefebvre. This section provides an overview of the way in which this has been taken up in South African legal scholarship and exposes the limits of this approach. In an attempt to find new vocabularies to capture South Africa’s urban condition (acknowledging that Pieterse and Simone have already done so with their “rogue urbanism”, Nuttall and Mbemebe with their “necropolis”), I turn to the work of Iris Marion Young and Marianna Valverde – especially the way in which the notions of difference and relations have been used in jurisprudence and can be drawn on in the moulding of urban theory from the marginalised centre. Because these cities did not develop around industrialisation or mining, urban theories that are mainly informed by radical geographers (David Harvey, Edward Soja) are often ill-equipped to investigate these cities. This chapter is interested in the possibility of feminist theories that shift the focus to relationality and difference to look at these otherwise overlooked cities. The importance of overlooked cities lies not only in what they can offer empirically but, even more importantly, what they can contribute to urban theory. The central argument of this chapter is that the study of overlooked cities and the notion of overlookedness present in themselves a “world view”. This line of argument comes from the work of Ananya Roy. Roy (2014: p. 12), in providing an understanding of “Southern”, refers to Jennifer Robinson. Mega-cities were, as Jennifer Robinson (2002) sharply put it, “off the map” of urban theory. Against the “regulating fiction” of the First World global city, Robinson (2003: p. 275) called for a robust urban theory that could overcome its “asymmetrical ignorance”. Robinson’s call has been taken up by several genres of urban scholarship, from the mandate to “see from the South” (Watson, 2009) to the effort to create new regional
58 Isolde de Villiers theories that can “speak back to putative ‘centres’ of geography in transformative ways” (Sidaway, Bunnell & Yeoh, 2003: p. 270). This section is concerned with the blind spots in this view. Following Roy, this relies on understanding the world as a view, one that is inescapably disorderly or necessarily “unmasterable” (Said, 1983: p. 173). World view as a view of the world connected to the worlding of the global South is explained extensively in Roy’s chapter “Worlding the South” in Susan Parnell and Sophie Oldfield’s The Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global South (2014: pp. 9–19). Roy quotes from Martin Heidegger in “The age of the world view” 1976 (translated by Marjorie Grene in “Boundary” 1976  on 353. Theory that is generated from vantage points that are overlooked, and not only based on empirical data from these overlooked cities, corresponds with the concepts of minor, ordinary, Southern, rogue. Karin Van Marle (2012) provides a thorough engagement with how the concept of “minor”, from Deleuze and Guattari, is used from a feminist angle in the South African context. The work of Lefebvre has played an important role in theorising the urban in South Africa. His concept of the right to the city has led to particular attention to his work in the context of law and spatial justice. In this regard the work of Marius Pieterse (2014), Margot Strauss (Strauss & Liebenberg, 2014), Alan Mabin (2005), Mark Oranje (Van Wyk & Oranje, 2014) and Jeannie Van Wyk (2015) are good examples. Given Lefebvre‘s prominence, it is important to locate the foundations of his urban theory, namely his association with the situationists and focus on everyday life and the expression of social relations of production, with the urban environment as a context for these (Hubbard & Kitchin, 2004: p. 280). The question of what constitutes the urban, for Lefebvre, was ultimately answered as all of the following put together: Geographical size, a node, a centre of production, a conglomerate of people, buildings (Hubbard & Kitchin, 2004: p. 280). While this is a broad and complex understanding of cities, the emphasis on production gave urban research a particular direction. The city as node is useful in exploring the overlooked cities of Pretoria/Tshwane and Bloemfontein/Mangaung. Even though these two cities were not so central in production in a market sense, they were very important as governmental nodes and the provision of governmental services. Regarding the geographical size of cities, the chapter later discusses the politics around Bloemfontein’s boundaries and their redrawing in order to categorise the area as metropole for financial benefits. The city is, in Lefebvre’s understanding, the place where all capitalism’s elements convene in space (Hubbard & Kitchin, 2004: p. 280). It is not fruitful, nor accurate, to draw a strict distinction between the elements of governments and the elements of capitalism. The one, after all, ties in with the other. Local governments and government functions such as judicial review (Bloemfontein/Mangaung) and registration and documentation of citizens (Pretoria/Tshwane) can be understood as superstructures on
The marginalised centre 59 a capitalist base, in Marxist terms. In The Production of Space, Lefebvre writes that it is not so clear what is meant exactly by “capitalism” and “influence”. What some have in mind is “money” and its powers of intervention, or commercial exchange, the commodity and its generalization, in that “everything” can be bought and sold. Others are concerned rather with the actors in these dramas: companies national and multinational, banks, financiers, government agencies. (Lefebvre, 1991: p. 10) In describing the development of the urban, through the code of space, in Western Europe during the 16th century, Lefebvre tells the story of an almost organic process. The town overtaking the country, the logos of the feudal lord becomes usurped by the logos of the merchant. The urban is described in terms of the rural. Feudal power is exchanged for commercial power. The possession of land, at least in that time and place, becomes less important than the possession of other means of production (Lefebvre, 1991: pp. 265–268). The city is described and conceptualised following the experiences on sea and river voyages; it is perceived of in terms of a bird’s eye view, in relation to its countryside surroundings. Then, only later, the state steps in and takes control of this existing situation: Later, in a second spiral of spatial abstraction, would the state take over: the towns and their burghers would then lose not only control of space but also dominion over the forces of production, as these forces broke through all previous limits in the shift from commercial and investment capital to industrial capital. (Lefebvre, 1991: p. 269) This is, simply speaking, just not the story for South African cities. Perhaps this organic shift, and development of urban centres around transport nodes, can ring true for port cities such as Cape Town or Durban/Ethekwini or for a city that developed abruptly around the discovery of gold – Johannesburg – but in the case of Pretoria/Tshwane and Bloemfontein/Mangaung, the state was first. These cities were created as capital cities of newfound republics; they were primarily and forcefully created to provide government services, with their industries and mining benefits only of secondary importance. Where then does it leave us with theories like Lefebvre’s? Later, this chapter looks at the way in which the cities of Pretoria/Tshwane and Bloemfontein/ Mangaung were produced. The apartheid project also involved active resistance against urbanisation. Some centres were selected for urbanisation, such as Johannesburg, and the relocation into these cities was facilitated and encouraged. In other cities, and notably the ones investigated in this chapter, legal instruments such as the Natives in Urban Areas Act, the Group Areas
60 Isolde de Villiers Act and the Homelands Act were used to actively prevent urbanisation of the majority of black people in South Africa. The denial and prevention of the urban is therefore a historical remnant that should be questioned and interrogated through a focus on overlooked cities.
Marginalised centres – Pretoria/Tshwane and Bloemfontein/Mangaung Neither Pretoria/Tshwane nor Bloemfontein/Mangaung receive much academic attention. These cities are both in the centre of South Africa. Their geographical location made them ideal cities for capital cities with the establishment of the Union in 1910. They are central cities, but on the margins of urban theory in South Africa. The aim of this chapter is not to call for increased focus on these cities in order to mainstream them or to make them more central in the production of urban theory in South Africa, but rather to look at the subversive possibilities of marginalised theory or minor theory. Furthermore, these cities are mainly bureaucratic cities, fulfilling legal functions (Bloemfontein/Mangaung as former judicial capital and Pretoria/ Tshwane as administrative capital). Because of the role they play in government functions and the concentration of government employees in these cities, considerable national power is exerted from these central cities. It is for this reason that it is important to take a closer look at them because if they continue to be overlooked, the state functions they perform also go unquestioned and unchallenged. This is therefore a critical engagement with their centrality and not a redemptive attempt at restoring their centrality. An important, also frequently overlooked, mechanism of governance in cities is the municipal bylaws, which are used to effect evictions and exclusions and to conduct various clean-up operations. In addition to the lack of academic projects on these cities there is also a dearth of works of literature and other creative engagements with it. This is however an investigation for another project. This section looks at the history and legal functions of Pretoria/ Tshwane and Bloemfontein/Mangaung. Pretoria’s current infrastructure developed mainly around Church Square. Its chief aim, at the time, was to serve as a reminder to subsequent generations of the ideals of the great Trek (Meiring, 1980: p. 12). The first church was built in 1855 (Dunston, 1975: p. 14). People, when settling in a place, inevitably leave their imprint on the environment. Some authors would claim that this is exemplified in particular in Pretoria/Tshwane (Meiring, 1980: p. 12). Hannes Meiring’s book on Pretoria does not give acknowledgement to any of the tribes or settlements in Pretoria before the arrival of the Boer trekkers, nor does Piet Muller’s introduction: Pretoria had its beginnings in an open space among the Bushveld trees, where the winters were dry enough to offer an outspan to hunters. Here people sought the warmth of one another’s company, long before there
The marginalised centre 61 was any thought of founding a town. . . . Just as the cities of Europe developed mostly around the marketplace, Pretoria grew from this winter outspan. Here the first buildings were erected, as if the pioneers wanted to say: “We belonged to this land long before it was ours”. Here they gave expression to their confident belief that they had found a permanent place. (Meiring, 1980: p. 9) The settler-logic and unfounded entitlement underlying the sense of belonging in this passage is clear. Bloemfontein/Mangaung also has its roots in settler colonialism. Mahmood Mamdani distinguishes between settlers and natives (1998). The comparison between the marketplace and the winter outspan is a curious one and ultimately a forced attempt at trying to model early Pretoria/ Tshwane on European cities. This aspiration to European cities marked the writings and cities and urban planning landscape of apartheid South Africa. Pretoria, named after Voortrekker leader Andries Wilhelmus Jacobus Pretorius (founded by his son Marthinus Wessel Pretorius in 1855), was the administrative and legislative capital of the apartheid regime of the National Party. The city is still the administrative capital and officially called Pretoria, but the broader area around the Pretoria central business district was renamed to the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality. One of the concerns around the name change is that it will obliterate history. The meaning of the word tshwane is also in dispute. The most plausible explanation is that the word tshwane is Setswana for the Apies River that runs through the city, but some claim that it is named after a Ndebele chief who ruled the area before the settlement of whites in the area (Makhubu, 2012; Meldrum, 2005). The city of Tshwane/Pretoria is the capital city, the city of capital and of capital punishment. The symbolic value of Tshwane/Pretoria is at the heart of the debates around the changing of the city’s name. Currently, the broader metropolis is called Tshwane and the inner city is still called Pretoria. However, the council is bringing fresh attempts to change the name of the central business district to Tshwane. This chapter uses Tshwane/Pretoria to refer to current day Pretoria and Pretoria to refer to the apartheid capital. Pretoria became the seat of government of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek on 1 May 1860 (Dunstan, 1975: p. 18). Bloemfontein cannot be understood without its broader geographical surrounds, or what is sometimes referred to the BBT region, which includes Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Taba-Nchu. The most thorough account of Bloemfontein’s early history can be found in Karel Schoeman’s Bloemfontein: Die ontstaan van ’n stad 1846–1946 (Schoeman, 1980). Unlike some other accounts of cities, Schoeman acknowledges the earlier history of Bloemfontein, before the arrival of whites in the area: “Originally, it is speculated, this was a gathering place for hunters, and the black people also gave the place the name Mangaung, place of the large cats or leopards (Mangaung is still the Sotho name for the city) but it became known as Bloemfontein
62 Isolde de Villiers during this time” (ibid.: p. 1).1 But the official date for its (white) founding is listed as 1846, when British soldiers were stationed in the vicinity of Bloemfontein to keep the peace in the area across the Orange River. The Basotho, under king Mosjwesjwe, established themselves on Thabo Bosigo (nearby mountainous area) in 1824, with the Griekwas settling in the area in 1833 under Adam Kok and the Barolong around the same time at Taba Nchu. The Great Trek, with Boers from the Cape Colony, crossed the Orange River in 1836. The coming together of these different groups soon gave rise to various conflicts (ibid.: pp. 2–3). The different names that Schoeman chooses to structure his book into chapters give a very good sense of the kind of city that Bloemfontein has always been and explains why research on this overlooked city is not generally considered to be attractive or exciting: “This queer place” describes the years between 1854 and 1863; “a little dorpie” for the time from 1863 to 1870 uses the Afrikaans word for town; “half wood, half city” is used to describe the city toward the end of the 19th century; until “the centre city” makes its appearance from 1919 to 1939 and last, until the middle of the 20th century, it is considered as a “city of the veld”. There is nothing glamorous, dangerous, enticing or interesting about these descriptions. Bloemfontein/Mangaung is often directly described as a boring city. There is no significant tourist activity, apart from a few annual festivals that draw a local audience. The implication of festival tourism for South African cities (Visser, 2008) lies beyond the scope of this chapter. In the Union of South Africa Act of 1909, the cities of Bloemfontein and Pretoria were respectively designated as judicial and administrative capitals of the union. This is significant because, despite the shifts in regimes – first the apartheid government ascent to power in 1948, the independence from British dominion and creation of the Republic of South Africa in 1960 through a referendum in which only white people could participate, the 1983 constitution that created a tri-cameral parliament, the advent of democracy in 1994 through a general and inclusive election and the 1996 constitution – all maintained the status of these cities and the splitting of the capital cities between Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Cape Town. Technically, with the Constitutional Court in Braamfontein as the highest judicial authority in the country, and no longer the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, it can no longer be seen as the (primary) judicial capital. The implication of this shift in position of power of the city is beyond the scope of this chapter, but something that is investigated in order to look at the relation between legal functions and the spirit of place of a city. The 1910 Constitution of the Union of South Africa determined: 18. Save as in section twenty-three excepted, Pretoria shall be the seat of Government of the Union. 23. Cape Town shall be the seat of the Legislature of the Union. 109. The Appellate Division shall sit in Bloemfontein, but may from time to time for the convenience of suitors hold its sittings at other places within the Union.
The marginalised centre 63 This was simply adopted in the 1983 Constitution: 29. Save as is otherwise provided in section 36, Pretoria shall be the seat of the Government of the Republic. 36. Cape Town shall be the seat of the Legislature of the Republic. 68. (1) The judicial authority of the Republic is vested in a Supreme Court to be known as the Supreme Court of South Africa and consisting of an Appellate Division and such provincial and local divisions as may be prescribed by law. (3) Save as otherwise provided in the Supreme Court Act, 1959, Bloemfontein shall be the seat of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of South Africa. The importance of these early constitutional divisions between the different cities in South Africa is to show how power relations produced space and how these power relations are being reproduced. This could seem like a very confining analysis of spatial injustice in South Africa and runs the risk of presenting a defeatist position with no way out. To this I propose a different scale of urban inquiry, one that shifts the attention to the ordinary, which, I suggest, is also a feminist endeavour.
Minor, everyday, ordinary, local, domestic, overlooked – a feminist vocabulary Lefebvre’s work has been criticised for being gender-blind, for taking a patriarchal approach to the household and for celebrating heterosexuality (Hubbard & Kitchin, 2004: p. 238). Doreen Massey’s (1994: p. 212) critique is based mainly on the manner in which Soja and Harvey draw on Lefebvre (Massey 1994: p. 212). The extent of her critique reaches from the back-blurb that Harvey wrote for Soja and Soja wrote for Harvey to the aesthetic examples they rely on and the way in which they theorise around these examples. Because of the initial shying away from the specificity of place, the desire to extrapolate and the result of a turn away from the local that marked geographical inquiry, the renewed focus on the local (as suggested by Massey and others) was initially met with aversion in academic geography circles. Massey however defends the focus on place that accompanies locality studies, and she shows convincingly how the distinctly differentiated politics and economic circumstances of different localities resulted in very distinctive issues (1994). Of course, she concedes, the attachment to place covered the whole spectrum of politics, of which the most concerning, at that stage, were those loyalties that were founded on the “aggressively exclusivist nationalism of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union” (ibid.). To this, one can add the nationalism and desperate place protection of the South African government during apartheid. A focus on place is therefore not a parochial or nationalist project but instead one that attempts
64 Isolde de Villiers to highlight the discontinuities by focusing on smaller and more specific narratives without always already wanting to frame individual experience within the broader grand global capital reference. It captures in a different way Massey’s claim that geography matters (Massey & Allen, 1984). It matters because of specificity, particularity and because of the difference that comes with place. Massey further suggests that spatial differentiation was geography’s interpretation of Derrida’s “difference”, and therefore the conversations on place became entangled in poststructuralism and postmodernism. She does not construe this as a positive confusion because the issues addressed by locality studies are separate from those tackled in postmodernism (ibid.). She explains that the negative connotation to “local struggles” or “local concerns” was borne out of a range of associations with this category: Exclusiveness, particularity even an essentialist association that was read as a selfish refusal to take into account the “greater good of some (implicitly or explicitly) supposed universal” (ibid.). Similar to Massey’s defence of locality studies, Valverde laments the disappearance of the domestic scale from feminist legal thought (2015). Two specific critiques disappeared from the feminist agenda because of this shift in scale. These are firstly the liberal feminist call for equalising marriage and secondly the value of domestic work. The first critique is based on an interrogation of the contractual underpinnings of human relationships, and the second, apart from work on affect and care, is no longer given attention for its role in capitalism. How does this translate into urban theory and more specifically, overlooked urban theory or theory from the overlooked urban? Valverde reminds us that, when it comes to scale, feminism has always had an interest in the smaller, more ordinary and everyday scale of life. It is for this reason that a feminist lens on urban theory is deemed useful. The importance of focusing on the equalising of marriage is that it exposes the hidden structures of oppression. Valverde suggests that the reason why marriage is not a focus of feminist thought anymore is because queer theory, where marriage is still a central issue, has (unfortunately) split off from feminism (ibid.). The value of the debates around the cost of unpaid domestic labour is that it relates directly to the issues of anti-urbanisation in apartheid South Africa. With reference to Meg Luxton, Valverde shows how unpaid and uncommodified domestic work, mainly performed by women, is essential for capitalism to succeed. Shifting the focus from cities that play a role, mainly, on the international scale (Johannesburg, because of the JSE and its prominence as world market player, Cape Town and Durban because of their historic roots as import and export nodes) to cities that are mainly important nationally (Pretoria/Tshwane and Bloemfontein/Mangaung for their local bureaucratic functions) follows this shift in scale from the global to the domestic. It asks a feminist question. Even though Marx considered the way in which capitalism reproduced labour power as something that is downloaded to working-class households on two scales: That of every working day and that of reproducing generations of the labour force; he
The marginalised centre 65 did not see the gendered nature of domestic labour as a significant issue for theory. The fact that “working-class male heads of households benefit as much as the capitalist from the patriarchal arrangements” escaped Marx and his followers, as is evident from Massey’s critique of Lefebvre, Harvey and Soja (ibid.: p. 106). A shift in scale has two components (ibid.) – firstly, an acknowledgement (or a fresh appreciation) of the domestic realm, which includes the household and everyday life, as well as the domestic national policy. Secondly, it also involves looking at people and their different consciousness, instead of following current theoretical trends of looking at “flows, networks, and governance assemblages that are only loosely tethered to people” (ibid.). This two-step scale shift is easily applied in the more town-like, ordinary, overlooked cities of Pretoria/Tshwane and Bloemfontein/Mangaung than in the big-player cities of flows and networks of Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Conclusion Spatial injustice continues in South Africa. This is the result of unequal spatial relations produced through the systems of colonisation and apartheid. This chapter illustrates how the unification of South Africa allocated a particular status to cities fulfilling government functions in the Union of South Africa. Historically, it was important for the cities of Pretoria and Bloemfontein (now part of the larger metropolitan areas of Tshwane and Mangaung respectively) to be overlooked because this meant that government power exerted here went largely unquestioned. There is a tension here between cities that are awarded prominence and yet are not given attention. The problem lies in the fact that spatial injustice will continue in South Africa unless these cities and the reproduction of power relations in them are also critically investigated and used to inform spatial justice theory in South Africa. The act of ignoring and overlooking is highly politicised. This is clear from the ostensibly diminished status of the apartheid cities of Pretoria/Tshwane and Bloemfontein/Mangaung. Even in their renaming in post-apartheid South Africa (Pretoria to Tshwane and Bloemfontein to Mangaung) there is a danger of erasure. While their new names are important in commemorating, acknowledging and respecting the indigenous peoples who were in these areas prior to settler colonialism and apartheid. The fact that cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town have not been renamed suggests a possible danger in forgetting and overlooking the central role that more marginalised cities played in producing spatial inequality and thereby missing an opportunity to redress the injustices of the past. Spatial justice theory in South Africa, with its heavy reliance on the work of Lefebvre and therefore dominance of theories that tend to look at cities where market forces and means of production (vis-à-vis governmental social engineering) produced the urban fabric, is lacking in its ability to address spatial inequality if it does not take into account other secondary
66 Isolde de Villiers and overlooked cities in the country and especially how these interact with rural South Africa. Shifting the scale of urban inquiry is a feminist project that has been overtaken by the dominant narrative of cities as flows and networks and global players. A different scale will draw the attention to local municipalities and their roles in fostering or foreclosing a sense of belonging in cities. Where economic opportunity is not the central driving force of the development of cities, the questions and theories required to address these questions look different. This chapter has taken a predominantly theoretical angle, but there is much possibility for looking at these cities through a more empirical lens given this shift in scale. In this respect the work of Landman and Marais is crucial. There are also a few other minor, overlooked academic voices in the cities of Pretoria/Tshwane and Bloemfontein/Mangaung that are important particularly because of their marginality. The hope is that this chapter, in expanded form and in the writing that flows from it, will give space to these voices in order to show this southern, overlooked, minor, domestic, local urban theory, which is concerned with the everyday and its gendered nature.
Note 1 Translated from Afrikaans by the author.
References Barthes, R. (1972) Mythologies (trans. Lavers, A.). New York, Hill and Wang. Dunston, L. (1975) Young Pretoria. Pretoria, Heer Printing Co (Pty) Ltd and Pretoria Bookbinders (Pty) Ltd. Hubbard, P. & Kitchin, R. (eds.) (2004) Key thinkers on space and place. London, Sage Publications. Lefebvre, H. (1991) The production of space. Cambridge, Blackwell. Mabin, A. (2005) Suburbanisation, segregation and government of territorial transformations. Transformation: Critical Perspectives on Southern Africa, 57, 41–63. Makhubu, N. (2012) Tale of Tshwane vs Pretoria. Pretoria News, 13th April. Available from: https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/tale-of-tshwane-vs-pretoria-1275441 [Accessed 12th August 2020]. Mamdani, M. (1998) When does a settler become a native? Reflections of the colonial roots of citizenship in equatorial and South Africa. Text of Inaugural Lecture as AC Jordan Professor of African Studies, University of Cape Town, Lecture Theatre 1, Education Building, Middle Campus. Marais, L., Nel, E. & Donaldson, R. (2016) Secondary cities and development. London and New York, Routledge. Marais, L., Nel, V. & Du Plessis, D. (2019) Secondary cities and spatial transformation in South Africa. Stellenbosch, Sun Press. Marais, L. & Visser, G. (2008) Spatialities of urban change. Stellenbosch, African Sun Media. Massey, D. (1994) Space, place, gender. Cambridge, Polity Press.
The marginalised centre 67 Massey, D. & Allen, J. (1984) Geography matters. Cambridge, Open University Press. Meiring, H. (1980) Pretoria 125. Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town, Human and Rousseau. Meldrum, A. (2005) Renaming drive will turn Pretoria into Tshwane. The Guardian, 27th May. Available from: http://www.guardian.co.uk; https://www.theguardian. com/world/2005/may/27/southafrica.andrewmeldrum [Accessed 12 August 2020]. Ndebele, N. S. (1994) South African literature and culture: Rediscovery of the ordinary. Manchester, Manchester University Press. Parnell, S. & Oldfield, S. (2014) The Routledge handbook on cities of the global South. Oxon, New York, Routledge. Pieterse, M. (2014) The right to the city and the urban environment: Re-imagining section 24 of the 1996 constitution. South African Public Law, 29, 175–193. Robinson, J. (2002) Global and world cities: A view from off the map. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 26 (3), 531−554. Robinson, J. (2003) Postcolonialising geography: Tactics and pitfalls. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 24 (3), 273−289. Roy, A. (2014) Worlding the South. In: Parnell, S. & Oldfield, S. (eds.) The Routledge handbook on cities of the global South. London and New York, Routledge, pp. 9–19. Said, E. (1983) Traveling theory. In: Said, E. (ed.) The world, the text, and the critic. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. Schoeman, K. (1980) Bloemfontein: die ontstaan van ’n stad 1846–1946. Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town, Human and Rousseau. Sidaway, J., Bunnell, T. & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2003) Geography and postcolonialism. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 24 (3), 269−272. Strauss, M. & Liebenberg, S. (2014) Contested spaces: Housing rights and evictions law in post-apartheid South Africa. Planning Theory, 13 (4), 428–448. Available from: doi:10.1177/1473095214525150. Switzer, L. & Adhikari, M. (eds.) (2000) South Africa’s resistance press: Alternative voices in the last generation under apartheid. Athens, OH, Ohio University Press. Valverde, M. (2015) Chronotopes of law: Jurisdiction, scale and governance. London, Glasshouse, Routledge. Van Marle, K. (2012) We exist, but who are we? Feminism and the power of sociological law. Feminist Legal Studies, 20, 149–159. Van Wyk, J. (2015) Can SPLUMA play a role in transforming spatial injustice to spatial justice in housing in South Africa. South African Public Law, 30, 26–41. Van Wyk, J. & Oranje, M. (2014) The post-1994 South African spatial planning system and bill of rights: A meaningful and mutually beneficial fit? Planning Theory, 13 (4), 349–369. Available from: doi:10.1177/1473095213511966. Visser, G. (2008) Urban tourism in Boemfontein: Current dynamics, immediate challenges and future prospects. In: Marais, L. & Visser, G. (eds.) Spatialities of urban change. Stellenbosch, Media, pp. 115–134. Watson, V. (2009) Seeing from the south: Refocusing urban planning on the globe’s central urban issues. Urban Studies, 46, 2259−2275.
4 Debt and developmental impasse in the secondary city Geographies of municipal finance in Zarqa, Jordan Martin Price Introduction In his resignation letter,1 Zarqa’s Mayor Ali Abu Sukkar apologised to the city’s inhabitants for any “unintentional neglect”, assuring the Zarqa people that he had worked tirelessly to “uphold the rights of this oppressed city”. While his resignation had been brought on by a deteriorating health condition, it was the municipal debt that had plagued his time in office: We inherited a debt of around 40 million dinars ($56 million). . . . Despite the lack of financial resources, winter has brought minimal damage to our city, we have maintained an appropriate level of cleanliness, and we have tried to beautify the entrances and landmarks of the city. In the summer before his resignation, Abu Sukkar called a temporary halt to municipality services in protest at the withholding of vital funds by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MoMA). Within a day of the protest, the prime minister had intervened and announced that 22 million dinars ($31 million) would be leant to the municipality, and that additional grants would be directed toward the city in the near future. The figure of 22 million dinars was by no means random; five months prior to the shutdown, the municipality had applied to the Cities and Villages Development Bank (CVDB) for a loan facility for this exact amount. It was the withholding of these funds by the MoMA that sparked the protest.2 This, coupled with the immediate intervention of the Jordanian government, suggested that the municipality’s debt burden may be more than just an instrument of public finance, but inherently political. While urban geography has produced important and timely work on the impact of financialisation on the city, focusing in part on the ways in which austerity policies and pressures to remain “creditworthy” are changing the course of urban development under neoliberalism (e.g. Kirkpatrick, 2016; Peck, 2012), the condition of municipal “indebtedness” remains critically under-researched. For Yiftachel (2016), the dominant theoretical paradigms within critical urban studies – poststructural, postcolonial,
Debt and developmental impasse 69 Marxian and liberal – have all failed to grasp the “dynamic structuralism” of cities, and it is this kind of approach that the subject of indebtedness requires. Yiftachel argues that urban studies must find a way of recognising the multiplicity of structural logics that are exerted on the city, informing specific practices, interests and narratives, producing particular urban spatialities and materialities. As this chapter will show, debt is an instrument of both finance and power. Within anthropology, history, development studies and economic geography, there has been a growing focus on the politics of debt, its social construction, and spatial, material and temporal qualities (Bear, 2015; Fridell, 2013; Harker, 2017; Hudson, 2015; Soederberg, 2013). Debt moves across spaces, scales and time, and has repercussions for the political, social and cultural life of cities (Davis, 1991). Urban geographies of public debt are both dynamic and structural, and they provide an important lens through which to understand contemporary urbanism. This chapter explores the dynamics of municipal indebtedness in Zarqa, a post-industrial, secondary city in Jordan. Before turning to the case study, the chapter proceeds to explore the political and spatial dimensions of municipal indebtedness in the context of secondary cities. It is argued that municipal finance is of paramount importance for understanding the political, economic and developmental logics within overlooked cities. Firstly, municipal finance reveals the ways in which municipalities are obligated to other institutions and constrained in their ability to deliver on their promises and on the expectations of city residents. Secondly, it helps us understand how the city is implicated in a broader politics and set of power relations, where finance becomes a means through which power is exercised. Thirdly, financial relations help to explain why certain forms of urban development take place and why alternative policies and possible trajectories for the city are sidelined. Finally, problematising the economic orthodoxy surrounding municipal finance provides us with a way of seeing beyond particular developmental struggles in the city and exposing the narratives that contribute to them. The material for this chapter derives from ethnographic research carried out in Zarqa between 2017 and 2018, and it includes follow-up conversations with interlocutors in 2019. The original research project explored urban politics and development in relation to the city’s Palestinian diaspora (Price, 2020), and it was through this line of enquiry that municipal debt emerged as a defining issue of urban life in Zarqa today. This chapter highlights the importance of ethnographic methodologies in examining abstract concepts such as debt and “secondariness” in an urban context, in order to reveal the ways in which they “register” (see Stewart, 2014) in relation to particular material forms present within the city. Through a grounded approach, we also gain a sense of how debt and the secondary city are experienced by urban residents and how they impact collectively-held views of the urban past, present and future.
70 Martin Price
Municipal indebtedness in the secondary city By definition, secondary cities are differently situated in the global economy than “mega-”, “major” or “global” cities and may therefore run the risk of chronic indebtedness if there are less attractive investment opportunities for creditors. While Roberts (2014) makes this claim with respect to secondary cities across Asia, he states that secondary cities more generally tend to suffer both from “a huge backlog in demand for infrastructure, housing and other essential urban services” (p. 147) and a lack of attention from policy-makers “compared to megacities and metropolitan regions” (p. 16). Secondariness therefore implies something more subtle; to be “second-rate” or of “secondary concern” requires a more expansive reading of urban hierarchies that takes into account the dynamics of neglect, disinterest and ignorance regarding local urban issues and political struggles. A focus on secondary cities in this sense leads us not to those medium-sized cities with high growth rates and favourable developmental outlooks but toward medium-sized and large cities experiencing a slow, chronic and politicallyas well as financially-induced form of developmental impasse or crisis. Secondary municipal governments may become indebted through no fault of their own as a result of unanticipated falls in central government funding or due to fiscal policy changes that limit their ability to raise revenue. An indebted nation is likely to pass on its financial struggles to municipalities regardless of how local governments are performing, illustrating how debt is a multi-scalar phenomenon (Montgomerie & Tepe-Belfrage, 2019). Once deficits and debt burdens build, the long-term financial health of municipalities will depend on the specific legal frameworks in place, the legislative mandates of central vs. subnational governments and the contractual rights of creditors (Canuto & Liu, 2013). In this sense, municipalities often bear the brunt of unequal power relations that favour central institutions, while central governments themselves may be constrained by the credit risk appetite of foreign governments and financial institutions. The economic rationale for secondary municipal governments to purposefully take on debt is that capital expenditures (e.g. infrastructure projects) require the immediate availability of sizable funds (Canuto & Liu, 2013). Municipalities may also turn to debt-financing in the context of decentralised governance, within which local governments theoretically have greater control over revenue-generation (ibid.). Debt is then structured in a way that allows for sustainable and affordable repayment over a long period of time, either from the revenue generated by the projects themselves or from other revenue sources. However, this rationale quickly unravels in the case of the secondary city, where the relationship between creditors and the debtor is unlikely to be of equal standing prior to the issuance of debt. Debt has long been viewed across the global South as a political instrument of domination and exploitation (Bresser Pereira, 2010; Rawal, 2014; Toussaint, 2019). Trade, aid and debt have been structured in ways that limit
Debt and developmental impasse 71 economic development in debtor nations, who bear the costs of externally imposed austerity as well as instability in the international banking system (Hardy, 1988; Prashad, 2012). For economies already in crisis, loans may be required for unproductive expenditures such as subsidising trade imbalances at the national level (Hudson, 2015) as well as – and this is true of Jordan – easing local crises in unemployment and public service provision that result from externally imposed “structural adjustment” (The World Bank, 2004). To date, analysis of the impact of structural adjustment on differently sized cities, and different urban political economies, has been lacking. But in many cases, indebtedness became chronic and required further aid packages and loan restructuring, neither of which seem to improve the long-term prospects of development across countries and within cities (Fridell, 2013). In this context, creditor-debtor relations “institutionalise and materialise a geography of debt” (Rawal 2014, p. 37). Despite these power imbalances and contrary to available evidence (see Braunstein, 2018), poor rates of development in the global South are often attributed by Western creditors and international development practitioners to “mismanagement and corruption [within] poor nations” (Fridell, 2013: p. 1493) – ignoring the role of debt-based international finance. In The World Bank (2017) publication titled Governance and the Law, the authors argue that power asymmetries across multiple levels of governance explain the failures of development in “developing” countries. Naturally, the power asymmetries of debt relations are not problematised but presented as a mere feature of globalised finance. This governance narrative also ignores the fact that urban development across the global South is dominated by “global aid discourses, which are translated into local policy frameworks through interest convergence between international and national actors” (Esser, 2012: p. 397). While Esser hints that capital cities are often required to reflect the priorities of national government, more regional/secondary cities may suffer from the imposition of specific policy frameworks without the transfer of resources necessary for implementation (ibid.). Ultimately, the donor economy in secondary cities and elsewhere limit the possibilities for development, ensuring municipalities remain indebted to foreign institutions (Harker, forthcoming). This is also true under decentralisation reforms, which are designed to increase the autonomy of secondary and other smaller cities relative to central government. Under these reforms, international organisations often assign themselves roles in financial management and consultancy services for municipalities, arguing that underdevelopment is primarily a problem of corruption and mismanagement within smaller, less-developed municipalities (see Klitgaard, Maclean-Abaroa & Parris, 2000). Indebtedness can often provide the rationale for international development intervention in secondary cities, but rarely does it politicise the issue of debt or similarly external conditions (Alvarez, 2009; Yacobi, 2007). This failure to disrupt the ideology of market liberalisation and debt-based finance are in a sense a
72 Martin Price part of the contemporary neoliberal infrastructure of secondary cities, deepening the impasse while claiming to be finding a way out (Donini, 2010). Indebtedness has a profound impact on both the development trajectories and the emotional experience of secondary cities, particularly when these cities are overlooked by forms of foreign and domestic investment that could be considered advantageous to the prospects of meaningful urban development. Without the inward surge of investment or more sustainable forms of credit, the consequences of a financially constrained municipality – with limited sources of revenue generation – are more acutely felt. The lack of funds available for both operational expenditures and speculative investments, for example, expands the geographies of neglect across urban space. For the neighbourhoods and urban groups that more heavily rely on municipal service provision, municipal contracts and public sector employment, the effects of a financially constrained municipality are that much more severe. Municipal finance and the dynamics of indebtedness are therefore central to the political, economic and social life of secondary cities. While the subject of municipal finance in secondary cities remains critically understudied, it is important to reflect on relevant urban concepts and theories in order to ascertain their potential to account for these dynamics. Given that this chapter revolves around the indebted city of Zarqa, Malkawi’s (2008) “New Arab Metropolis” thesis provides an interesting framework for this very exercise. Malkawi analyses cities in the Arab world according to their “degrees of metropolisation”; “the extent to which urban bodies would cope with the world economy” (p. 32), given the changes to “technological, economic and institutional form of coordinating . . . economic operations” (p. 34). According to this thesis, secondary cities in the Arab world are associated with a range of “lacks” – a lack of autonomy and self-sufficiency, a lack of adequate services and a lack of connection to the outside world (p. 30). Malkawi argues that the development gap between the region’s major cities and secondary cities is growing in the context of globalisation. Entirely absent from Malkawi’s thesis are geographies of debt and their consequences. Recently, Karen Young (2019) has warned of the “growing debt trap in the Middle East”, as debt remains as accessible as ever and “the preferred policy fix to enable continued spending”. Given the ways in which sovereign debt can permeate the financial operations of municipalities, cities can remain relatively detached from other processes of globalisation and metropolisation and yet still be affected by the contagion of debt. The temporal assumptions of Malkawi’s thesis must also be brought into question. The spectrality of debt – the potential instability that comes with increasing indebtedness – arguably says more about the long-term growth patterns of these cities than the degree to which the cities are otherwise becoming global. If municipalities begin grinding to a halt under the constraints of a debt-induced developmental impasse, for instance, this alters the dynamics of urban governance and affects people’s relationship with the city.
Debt and developmental impasse 73 Regardless of the degree of metropolisation or globalisation in any given city, it is essential that urban scholars remain attentive to the dynamics of municipal finance, the causes of urban change and their specific material and spatial consequences. This is particularly true when it comes to the study of debt; no single paradigm can explain the various logics, possibilities and manifestations of indebtedness. By attending to the “spatiality of debt” (Harker, forthcoming), it becomes possible to understand the role of debt in the development trajectories of particular cities. Paying attention to the spatiality of indebtedness ensures that research remains grounded in specific urban realities and avoids paradigmatic limitations.
Debt and developmental impasse in Zarqa Throughout his tenure, Abu Sukkar had complained repeatedly about the debt burden to the press, and how insufficient municipal funds were depriving Zarqa Municipality any agency in shaping the city’s developmental agenda or reversing its downward trajectory (Abu Alwan, 2017; Abu Irtimeh, 2018). In fact, this latest round of municipal indebtedness began in 2007 (Abu Zeinah, 2013), coinciding with a spike in Jordan’s national debt and a subsequent fall in fiscal transfers from central government to municipalities across Jordan, from JD 74 million ($104 million) in 2007 to JD 68.5 million ($97 million) in 2010 (Ababsa, 2013). Abu Sukkar’s predecessor, Imad Momani, was similarly constrained by the debt problem, and had sold municipal land to help pay for its large social security bill. Less than a month after resuming the mayor’s office from an ill Abu Sukkar, Momani went public with more financial woes: When I assumed the Presidency of Zarqa City Council I was encouraged by the assurance that there were JD 4 million available in the municipal savings fund for road surfacing projects. . . . I have discovered that there is precisely nothing. (cited by Al-Deeb, 2019) The Minister of Municipal Affairs had rejected a request from the municipality for such projects, citing non-compliance with tender regulations (ibid.). The ministry would instead commit JD 2 million, and the role of the municipality was reduced to choosing which roads would receive the allocation (ibid.). This exchange is indicative of the tense and strained relationship between central government and Zarqa Municipality. With tenders being paid for centrally, and social security payments requiring intervention from the CVDB, indebtedness has significantly reduced the developmental role of the municipality. Since Momani’s reappointment, there is a renewed political effort to improve revenue generation through the politically difficult task of tax collection. “We are all helping him”, MP Tariq Khoury explained, and “thinking of ways to do something good for the people of Zarqa, and
74 Martin Price especially for investments. I guess it can’t be like Amman, . . . it’s not easy. We’ll do our best”.3 The debt problem is not easily solved through political will, even when exercised across multiple levels of government. It is also the result of developmental legacies that have enduring spatial and material consequences for the city. Until 2006, Zarqa Municipality manufactured and sold its own public waste bins (Abu Zeinah, 2013) – a useful source of income and an example of cost-effective, self-sufficient urban service provision. Following a debt-induced period of privatisation, the municipality could no longer afford the bins at market rates in the quantities needed (ibid.). For many residents in Jana’a – one of Zarqa’s oldest and most dense neighbourhoods – waste collection is a major concern. The bins that line the major streets in Jana’a are without covers, are old, rusting and barely fit-for-purpose. Piles of waste spill over into the streets, posing a danger to public health, attracting animals and creating an unwanted smell all year round. Similarly visible signs of urban decay are also at the forefront of local developmental concerns; road surfaces are breaking up, municipal waste is being dumped on the outskirts of neighbourhoods and old residential buildings are crumbling before people’s eyes. Nabih Bulos (2018), journalist for the Los Angeles Times, alludes to the developmental impasse in Zarqa through these types of urban materialities, namely the potholed roads in the centre of Zarqa and the pools of industrial waste and sewage on its outskirts. It was not always like this, people say. Recently the level of neglect across the city had been rising, and the municipality no longer acted as if it was accountable to city residents. Ma fi al-baladiya [“There is no municipality”] has in many respects become a stock phrase among city dwellers, when discussing the neglect of municipal government over local development issues and concerns. The indebted city has quickly become an inactive city; the quality of municipal services has been declining in line with the reduced visibility of municipal service providers. Blame for the city’s developmental impasse is often directed at the municipality, due not only to its perceived absence but also due to related stories of corruption and self-interest among decision-makers. The municipality spends 80–90 percent of its total income4 on staff salaries, while a further JD 22–25 million is transferred by the CVDB to the municipality in order to cover the costs of its social security bill. There is a perception among residents that any additional funds are rarely put to productive use – instead they are absorbed by municipal officials, or spent in areas of the city that benefit them most. Critics of Momani during his first term as mayor, for instance, argue that development project selection was motivated by politics rather than developmental need; a marketing tool to secure as much public support for the municipality as possible. Usually, this took the form of beautification on large roundabouts, or improvements to the road network in politically significant districts.5 A further criticism laid at the door of the municipality concerns the lack of expertise among decision-makers; officials
Debt and developmental impasse 75 are often elected based on tribal affiliations and social standing rather than on their potential ability to govern. Mohammad al-Zawahreh has struggled with this problem for years. Until recently, Mohammad had run the Local Development Unit within the municipality – the main local government stakeholder in international development projects in the city. Intelligent, hard-working and with a vision for how the city should be run, Mohammad’s office has often been frustrated by a lack of decision-making within the Municipal Council – their lack of future planning, occasional rejections of viable projects without adequate explanation and their lack of transparency over expenditures. While Mohammad’s frustrations and those of the wider population are genuine and substantiated, the municipality’s shortcomings must be contextualised according to the structural dynamics affecting local government. Often absent from discussions around the municipality’s salary and social security bill are the conditions under which these costs became unsustainable in the first place. Bulos (2018) explains that Zarqa’s debt burden and the resulting impasse are consequences of externally imposed austerity measures. As a result of these “reforms”, Jordan experienced an unemployment crisis. Rather than adhering to the requirements of the external loan agreements, local governments throughout Jordan vastly expanded their payroll to limit the social impact of structural reform (The World Bank, 2004; Harrigan, El-Said & Wang, 2006). The narratives of municipal corruption and mismanagement overlook the reasons behind the origins of a bloated municipal payroll and also the “political suicide” of reversing this form of welfare at a time when unemployment and high living costs continue to affect the city (Yom, 2015: p. 298). It is also important to state that municipalities in Jordan have been stripped of responsibility for the provision of a vast number of urban services (Abescat, 2019). The consolidation of state power in Jordan has led to a serious underfunding of municipalities in general, but particularly in the case of Zarqa, where the majority of residents are of Palestinian origin, and where the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood enjoy considerable support (ibid.). Abescat (2019) explains the political motivation for discriminating against cities like Zarqa, where opposition movements are likely to be stronger: As municipalities appear unable to cater to the needs of residents, the latter turn away from the local institutions. The resultant lack of trust in local institutions can partly explain difficulties in tax collection, as well as low turnout in local elections. Debt relations are worsened not only through inadequate fiscal transfers and a reduction of municipal powers, but also through political decisions that impact municipal revenues. These dynamics point to “secondariness” as a highly political and disadvantaged urban condition.
76 Martin Price Externally imposed austerity measures have exacerbated the municipality’s fiscal problems. The neoliberal logics that underpin these reforms require countries to create business environments attractive to foreign investment. This has taken the form of the Zarqa Free Economic Zone as well as a series of smaller industrial parks – all of which are located outside of municipal boundaries, limiting the potentially positive impact on municipal revenues. These “states of exception” (Gottdiener, Hitchison & King, 2019) are particularly popular growth strategies in the context of “problem cities”; better to start afresh, so the logic goes, than to address the serious impediments to development and risks to investments within the boundaries of a postindustrial city. Dr. Ahmed al-Terawi,6 an urban planning consultant in Zarqa, recounted that financial liberalisation and recent developments have led to the closure of factories across the city and blames the ease at which capital gravitated toward more attractive regulatory and taxation-friendly environments – both in Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East. For the city itself, that means too little job creation, a decline in municipal service provision and ever-increasing municipal debt. Zarqa’s secondary city status has also worked against it during the Syrian refugee crisis, as many families migrated to the city in search of work. In fact, the number of refugees in Zarqa is assumed to be much higher than official statistics, as many refugees registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees further north before making the journey southward.7 In the developmental imaginaries related to the refugee crisis, the vast majority of aid went to the most visible and striking refugee geographies: the humanitarian camps (Hasselbarth, 2014). While various international organisations have supported Zarqa Municipality with the burden of hosting large refugee populations, these project-based interventions have done little to improve the municipal finances or curb the development impasse. Zarqa’s Local Development Unit were forever chasing potential donations and grants, in competition with refugee camps and other cities in Jordan and across the region. Donor organisations unfairly attribute project delays to municipal mismanagement, failing to realise that the authorities were having to work with different levels of government and different organisations, all of whom operated under different procedures and required a different set of conditions to be met as part of aid delivery. This highly inefficient development model, coupled with the extreme under-delivery of aid pledged by the donor community (Ghazal, 2018), ensured no improvement to municipal finances over the course of the crisis. Preceding the Syrian refugee crisis but still under the constraints of municipal indebtedness, large-scale development projects in Zarqa were being drawn up for military-owned land on the periphery of the city. On Zarqa’s immediate eastern boundary is the site of what was proclaimed to be “the largest planned urban project in the history of Jordan”, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz City (Mawared, 2010). This model city promised to create “a vibrant urban and commercial centre with the aim of . . . reinvigorating
Debt and developmental impasse 77 investment by the private sector and creating a place where people can live, work and entertain” (ibid.). By 2011, however, a $14 million debt was owed by developers to local contractors carrying out the city’s infrastructure work (Davids, 2011), and by 2013 the project had seemingly been abandoned, leading some of the few residents to have moved in to their new homes without local schools and hospitals, feeling isolated from any form of cultural, social of civic life (Fact International, 2013). Critically, municipal boundaries have since been redrawn, making Zarqa Municipality responsible for service provision and maintenance despite the fact that it received little to none of the investment revenue that went in to its planning and construction.8 Across the globe, governments rely too heavily on income and sales taxes to pay for large capital expenditures, such as new and improved public transport or the expansion of urban infrastructure and services to newly settled areas of the city. Despite the fact that these expenditures invariably raise the price of land and real estate, a windfall gains tax on landowners is often considered out of the question. During a period of rapid urbanisation across the country in the 1970s, landowners in Jordan exerted pressure on municipalities to provide expensive infrastructure and services, but a corresponding “valorisation tax” was legislated for but never implemented (Razzaz, 1991). In addition, municipalities are also obliged to extend services to newly settled informal areas, which have significantly impacted Zarqa and tend to increase during periods of austerity and economic slowdowns. As a result of the Syrian refugee crisis, rental prices soared across the city, and some landlords evicted Jordanian families in favour of more affluent Syrian families, driving up the demand for housing in and around informal neighbourhoods. Dealing with this was considered a top priority for the government in 2018, which was actively looking at ways in which municipalities could fulfil their duty to provide key services and infrastructure without encouraging further informal construction, due to the severe financial constraints of municipalities like Zarqa. As informal markets tend not to generate tax revenue, municipalities struggle to deliver the necessary services and balance the budget under existing financial practices. Finally, we must consider the politics of decentralisation and its implications for municipal finance. Jordan’s debt crisis in the 1980s led to a period of significant centralisation that has yet to be meaningfully reversed, despite the introduction of the Decentralisation Law in 2015. In a bid to avoid municipal bankruptcies in 1987, the Jordanian government relieved local governments of their debt burdens for a period of ten years and took charge of spending on infrastructure, education, health and services, leaving little political or financial resources for local investment (The World Bank, 1998). The rationale behind the 2015 Decentralisation Law is that municipalities require greater autonomy over policy-making in order to meet the specific needs of individual cities, improving efficiency and removing a level of bureaucracy. In reality, the law in Jordan has changed nothing for
78 Martin Price secondary cities – deepening the impasse and indebtedness rather than helping to alleviate their financial situation. Power has not transferred to local decision makers, while the changes that have been implemented were poorly planned.9 In addition, the limited institutional changes that have been implemented have not been met with improved fiscal transfers, required for an increase in decentralised spending. In this sense, liberal political reforms have not proved capable of improving the financial health of municipalities. Rather, the blame for the developmental impasse is transferred away from central government to local governments, which supposedly now have the decision-making abilities necessary to alter the fate of their struggling cities.
Conclusion Debt is both “a relation of power and a social construction” (Soederberg, 2013: p. 536), and debt relations must therefore be understood within their given contexts. Constrained mobility, a lack of power and agency in the negotiation of debt relations, and the spatiality of debt all reinforce one another in the secondary city to deepen the problems that debt-based finance is supposed to help alleviate. A development impasse has been reached in Zarqa, confounded not only by the debt burden but by a broader politics that constrains local governance over issues of land, investment and other forms of revenue generation. High levels of indebtedness contribute to a significant decline in living standards and future prospects within the secondary city, which only deepens as the scope for policy innovation remains restrictive and debilitating. This far from exhaustive account of Zarqa’s developmental impasse provides a window into the multi-faceted nature of debt-induced developmental paralysis. By focusing on the geographies of indebtedness, it is possible to locate the centres of power that impact urban development processes in our globalised and financialised world. In Zarqa, blame for the impasse is directed toward the municipal government without identifying the ways in which local government is constrained by its international and domestic creditors, and by legal processes relating to tax, land and political authority. International development organisations dominate the work of Zarqa’s Local Development Unit, proposing their own project-based interventions on their own terms, ignoring the financial realities that make their presence necessary. Debt-relief movements (see Fridell, 2013) across the global North and South reject the economic orthodoxy that governs indebted cities like Zarqa and point to otherwise overlooked aspects of economic and financial history as evidence that debt relations need not be this way. While it has not been possible to explore the politics and developmental consequences of historical debt repudiations here (see Lienau, 2014; Toussaint, 2019), these histories have important implications for understanding municipal and sovereign indebtedness as political rather than financial instruments of power. While
Debt and developmental impasse 79 international creditors are using debt relief as part of debt restructures, the terms often remain favourable to the creditors and fail to fundamentally change the financial logics that lead to debt crises in the first place (Omotola & Saliu, 2009). By politicising and de-mystifying debt, it is possible to challenge the economic orthodoxy that reinforces indebtedness and stifles development. Urban geography must respond to the realities of many overlooked cities in the global South by engaging with the concept of indebtedness and other aspects of municipal finance. Instead of relying on any one theoretical paradigm, a spatial analysis that accounts for the “dynamic structuralism” of cities is a necessary starting point. It is through these interventions that the study of indebtedness can contribute to an expanded geography of urban knowledge production and a radical form of urban and economic geography both relevant and necessary to Southern contexts.
Notes Posted to his Facebook page, 30 March 2019. 1 2 Sections of this work have been submitted (Price, 2020) in partial fulfilment of the requirements for Doctor of Philosophy at Durham University. 3 Comments 27 April 2019. 4 2016: salary expenditure = JD 19.2 million / income = JD 24.8 million. 2017: JD 20.6 million / JD 23 million (Financial Statements of Zarqa Municipality for 2016 and 2017). 5 Anonymous source within Zarqa Municipality, 19 July 2017. 6 Name has been altered. Interview in Dr. Ahmed’s consultancy practice, Zarqa, 16 July 2018. 7 Interview with Mohammad al-Zawahreh, Local Development Unit, 19 July 2017. 8 Ibid. 9 Comments from Tariq Khoury, MP, 27 April 2019.
References Ababsa, M. (2013) Municipalities and issue of local governance. In: Ababsa, M. (ed.) Atlas of Jordan: History, territories and society. Beirut, Ifpo Press, pp. 374–383. Abescat, C. (2019) Municipal debt and financial dependence in Jordan: The case of Zarqa. Available from: https://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/40084 [Accessed 4th December 2019]. Abu Alwan, M. (2017) Abu Sukkar: Zarqa’s municipal debt is 31 million dinars. Roya News, Arabic language. Available from: royanews.tv/index.php/news/ 138596 [Accessed 19th November 2019]. Abu Irtimeh, M. (2018) Abu Sukkar demands 35 million dinars. Khaberni, Arabic language. Available from: khaberni.com/news/241525-دينار- مليون-35 -بـ- البلديات-وزير يطالب-السكر-[ أبوAccessed 19th November 2019]. Abu Zeinah, I. (2013) Municipal corruption turns Zarqa into open dump site. Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism. Available from: https://en.arij.net/ investigation/municipal-corruption-turns-zarqa-into-open-dump-site/ [Accessed 27th October 2018].
80 Martin Price Al-Deeb, A. (2019) Minister of municipal affairs rejects asphalt mix for Zarqa municipality due to law violations . . . al-Momani furious. Saraya News, Arabic language. Available from: https://www.sarayanews.com/article/544436 [Accessed 25th April 2019]. Alvarez, S. E. (2009) Beyond NGO-ization? Reflections from Latin America. Development, 52 (2), 175–184. Available from: doi:10.1057/dev.2009.23. Bear, L. (2015) Navigating austerity: Currents of debt along a South Asian river. Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press. Braunstein, E. (2018) Financial crises among emerging and developing economies in the modern era: A brief history and some stylized themes. In: Epstein, G. A. (ed.) The political economy of international finance in an age of inequality: Soft currencies, hard landings. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, pp. 14–29. Bresser Pereira, L. C. (2010) Globalization and competition: Why some emergent countries succeed while others fall behind. New York, Cambridge University Press. Bulos, N. (2018) ‘We are trapped,’ one Jordanian says as the country weighs tough choices from the IMF. Los Angeles Times. Available from: latimes.com/world/ middleeast/la-fg-jordan-survival-2018-story.html [Accessed 9th January 2019]. Canuto, O. & Liu, L. (2013) Subnational debt, insolvency, and market development. Poverty Reduction & Economic Management (PREM) Network, 112. Available from: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTPREMNET/Resources/ EP112.pdf [Accessed 19th June 2018]. Davids, G. (2011) Jordanian contractors owed $282m for megaprojects. Construction Week Online. Available from: constructionweekonline.com/article-13865jordanian-contractors-owerd-282m-for-megaprojects [Accessed 17th February 2017]. Davis, D. E. (1991) Urban fiscal crisis and political change in Mexico city: From global origins to local effects. Journal of Urban Affairs, 13 (2), 175–199. Available from: doi:10.1111/j.1467-9906.1991.tb00247.x. Donini, A. (2010) The far side: The meta functions of humanitarianism in a globalised world. Disasters, 34 (2), 220–237. Available from: doi:10.1111/ j.1467-7717.2010.01155.x. Esser, D. (2012) ‘When we launched the government’s agenda. . .’: Aid agencies and local politics in urban Africa. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 50 (3), 397–420. Available from: doi:10.1017/S0022278X12000171. Fact International (2013) Zarqa: Housing in King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz city, residents suffer and government promises fail to materialise. Arabic Language. Available from: factjo.com/pages/newsdetails.aspx?id=37343 [Accessed 17th February 2017]. Fridell, G. (2013) Introduction - politicising debt and development: Activist voices on social justice in the new millennium. Third World Quarterly, 34 (8), 1492– 1496. Available from: doi:10.1080/01436597.2013.841389. Ghazal, M. (2018) Support for refugee response plan stands at disappointing 7 percent this year. Jordan Times. Available from: jordantimes.com/news/local/supportrefugee-response-plan-stands-disappointing-7-year [Accessed 7th August 2018]. Gottdiener, M., Hitchison, R. & King, C. (2019) The new urban sociology. London, Routledge.
Debt and developmental impasse 81 Hardy, C. (1988) Panel on strategies for African economic revitalization. C-SPAN. Available from: https://www.c-span.org/video/?2750-1/panel-strategies-africaneconomic-revitalization [Accessed 4th June 2018]. Harker, C. (2017) Debt space: Topologies, ecologies and Ramallah, Palestine. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 35 (4), 600–619. Available from: doi:10.1177/0263775816686973. Harker, C. (forthcoming) Spacing debt: Obligations, violence and endurance in Ramallah, Palestine. Durham, NC, Duke University Press. Harrigan, J., El-Said, H. & Wang, C. (2006) The IMF and the world bank in Jordan: A case of over optimism and elusive growth. Review of International Organizations, 1 (3), 263–292. Available from: doi:10.1007/s11558-006-9490-8. Hasselbarth, S. (2014) Islamic charities in the Syrian context in Jordan and Lebanon. Beirut, Friedrich-Ebert-Stifung. Hudson, M. (2015) Killing the host: How financial parasites and debt bondage destory the global economy. Petrolia, CA, CounterPunch Books. Kirkpatrick, L. O. (2016) The new urban fiscal crisis: Finance, democracy, and municipal debt. Politics and Society, 44 (1), 45–80. Available from: doi:10.1177/0032329215617464. Klitgaard, R., Maclean-Abaroa, R. & Parris, H. L. (2000) Corrupt cities: A practical guide to cure and prevention. Oakland, CA, ICS Press. Lienau, O. (2014) Rethinking sovereign debt: Politics, reputation, and legitimacy in modern finance. London, Harvard University Press. Malkawi, F. K. (2008) The new Arab metropolis: A new research agenda. In: Elsheshtawy, Y. (ed.) The evolving Arab city: Tradition, modernity & urban development. Abingdon, Routledge, pp. 27–36. Mawared (2010) King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz city. Available from: http://www. mawared.jo/madinat_alsharq3.shtm [Accessed 18th February 2017]. Montgomerie, J. & Tepe-Belfrage, D. (2019) Spaces of debt resistance and the contemporary politics of financialised capitalism. Geoforum, 98, 309–317. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.05.012. Omotola, J. S. & Saliu, H. (2009) Foreign aid, debt relief and Africa’s development: Problems and prospects. South African Journal of International Affairs, 16 (1), 87–102. Available from: doi:10.1080/10220460902986180. Peck, J. (2012) Austerity urbanism: American cities under extreme economy. City, 16 (6), 626–655. Available from: doi:10.1080/13604813.2012.734071. Prashad, V. (2012) The poorer nations: A possible history of the global South. London, Verso. Price, M. (2020) Diasporic urbanism: Place, politics and development in a JordanianPalestinian neighbourhood. PhD Thesis, Durham, Durham University. Available from: etheses.dur.ac.uk/13550/. Rawal, T. (2014) Geographies of debt: The prison industrial complex and the global South. The Global South, 8 (2), 34–48. Available from: doi:10.2979/ globalsouth.8.2.34. Razzaz, O. M. (1991) Law, urban land tenure, and property disputes in contested settlements: The case of Jordan. PhD Thesis, Cambridge, Harvard University. Roberts, B. H. (2014) Managing systems of secondary cities: Policy responses in international development. Brussels, Cities Alliance.
82 Martin Price Soederberg, S. (2013) The politics of debt and development in the new millennium: An introduction. Third World Quarterly, 34 (4), 535–546. Available from: doi:10.1080/01436597.2013.786281 Stewart, K. (2014) Road registers. Cultural Geographies, 21 (4), 549–563. Available from: doi:10.1177/1474474014525053. Toussaint, E. (2019) The debt system: A history of sovereign debts and their repudiation. Chicago, IL, Haymarket Books. The World Bank (1998) Second cities and villages development bank project: Performance audit report (Jordan). Report No. 17424. Available from: documents.banquemondiale.org/curated/fr/home [Accessed 3rd March 2016]. The World Bank (2004) Project information document (PID): JO-regional & municipal development. Report No. AB930. Available from: documents.banquemondiale.org/curated/fr/home [Accessed 3rd March 2016]. The World Bank (2017) World development report 2017: Governance and the law. Available from: worldbank.org/en/publication/wdr2017 [Accessed 3 June 2018]. Yacobi, H. (2007) The NGOization of space: Dilemmas of social change, planning policy, and the Israeli public sphere. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 25 (4), 745–758. Available from: doi:10.1068/d459t. Yifatchel, O. (2016) The Aleph - Jerusalem as critical learning. City, 20 (3), 483– 494. Available from: doi:10.1080/13604813.2016.1166702. Yom, S. L. (2015) The new landscape of Jordanian politics: Social opposition, fiscal crisis, and the Arab Spring. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 42 (3), 284–300. Available from: doi:10.1080/13530194.2014.932271. Young, K. (2019) Is debt the answer to Middle East economic troubles? Al-Monitor. Available from: al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/04/imf-world-bank-springmeetings-debt-middle-east.html [Accessed 11st April 2019].
Production and negotiation of knowledge in overlooked cities
5 Intermediate cities as urban innovators An analysis of disaster risk management in Santa Fe, Argentina, and Manizales, Colombia Julia Wesely, María Evangelina Filippi and Cassidy Johnson Introduction Santa Fe in Argentina and Manizales in Colombia are two Latin American cities that have been widely recognised as champions in the policy domain of disaster risk management (DRM). Innovative DRM practices – the mechanisms, tools and policies that aim to reduce and avoid risk and manage disasters – in these cities have been researched and communicated by many to stimulate learning from these cases. In Santa Fe, defining DRM as a state policy for local development has been at the core of the process since the early adoption of a new approach to manage urban flood risk (Aguirre Madariaga, 2015). In Manizales, examples include the renown Guardians of the Slope programme, where female heads of households are employed to maintain slope-stabilising infrastructure while building a range of capacities (Mejía Prieto, Giraldo Valencia & Trujillo Galvez, 2006). In a sense, DRM in Santa Fe and Manizales has generated academic and policy interest from local to international levels and has been overly looked at. However, the significance and contributions of these two consolidated and innovative cities to the discourse of medium-sized and intermediate cities remain overlooked. For example, although the elements of population numbers, size of the urban area and institutional configurations are fundamental to understanding Santa Fe and Manizales and have initially inspired, in us, the possibility of “comparing” the two cities, these elements fall short in two main regards. In the first place, they remain insufficient to explain their relative success in disaster risk management as compared to other policy domains such as mobility, health or housing. Secondly, they are unable to account for the differential results as compared to DRM policies and practices in similar-sized cities within the same countries. Beyond an understanding of the two cities, we argue that addressing these blind spots conceptually and methodologically is relevant to enable situated learning
86 Wesely, Filippi and Johnson from cities that seem to host capacities that are absent in dominant narratives around the vulnerabilities and growing development challenges in many intermediate cities. Conceptually, we draw on literature from intermediate cities rather than secondary, medium-sized or medium cities due to the wide use of this concept in Latin American scholarship (see, for example, Bolay & Rabinovich, 2004; Salazar, Irarrázaval & Fonck, 2017a). Moreover, the term intermediate characterises these cities as outward-looking, as an interface to the outside world, which is closely linked to the notion of innovation (Bolay & Rabinovich, 2004). Table 5.1 presents the key “intermediate” characteristics of Santa Fe and Manizales, which highlight, amongst others, their socio-spatial configuration and position along urban-rural boundaries that provide them with unique features for urban governance. Empirically, this chapter is based on field research conducted for PhD theses by two of the authors in Manizales (2015) and Santa Fe (2017), respectively (Filippi, 2020; Wesely, 2019a). Both researchers employed an array of qualitative research methods for generating primary data, including semi-structured interviews, focus groups, surveys and transect walks. In an attempt to draw lessons from both cities, the three authors of this chapter follow Robinson’s (2011) comparative approach, which states that: The very fact that cities exist in a world of other cities means that any attempt at a general or theoretical statement about cities either depends upon or invites comparative reflection. . . . The budding theorist finds herself asking of the many studies she reads from different parts of the world: are these processes the same in the city I know? Are they perhaps similar but for different reasons? (p. 1) In order to better understand the potential of intermediate cities for policy innovation and diffusion in disaster risk management (DRM), we use three guiding questions to structure our comparative-relational conversation in the next section: a How has DRM historically taken hold in Santa Fe and Manizales? b How has DRM been institutionalised, and how has the national governance context influenced the proliferation of DRM? c How has DRM been sustained and diffused? These questions are answered, in turn, offering a perspective from each city. Following that, the third section highlights common aspects characterising policy innovation and diffusion in the intermediate cities of Santa Fe and Manizales, while the final section embeds the analysis into the wider conversation of this volume on “overlooked” cities.
Santa Fe 391,231 inhabitants and over half a million at metropolitan level (INDEC, 2010) Eighth biggest city in Argentina
Almost 450 years of history, being founded in 1573 by the Spanish colonisers for military and transportation purposes Confined between the flood plains of the Paraná and Salado rivers; 70 percent of the total area of the municipal jurisdiction is represented by rivers and swamplands, thus only 80.4 km2 are susceptible to be urbanised Average population density: 5,277 inhabitants/km2 (Municipalidad de la Ciudad de Santa Fe and Bolsa de Comercio de Santa Fe, 2018) Most departments of the executive concentrated in the main building of the municipality
Level of consolidation Importance of historical trajectory (Vapñarsky, 1995) Compactness Physical compactness, population density as well as social bonds (Bellet Sanfeliu & Llop Torné, 2013)
Table 5.1 Characteristics of the intermediate cities of Santa Fe and Manizales
First expansion on the plateau of a mountain ridge from the west to the east, followed by increasing growth downward on steep meandering slopes toward the south and north; compact in physical expansion, but steep topography means that mobility is difficult particularly for disabled and elderly population, posing challenges for social cohesion within neighbourhoods Population density varies strongly between districts: from 2,901 inhabitants/km2 (Tesorito) to 28,623 inhabitants/km2 (San José) (Cardona, Suarez & Perez, 2016)
370,000 inhabitants (Manizales Cómo Vamos, 2017); classified by the National Statistical Institute DANE as a mediumsized city of regional level (100,000– 500,000 inhabitants), which includes about 51 percent of all Colombian cities (Pinzón Botero, 2015) Foundation in 1848 in strategic location for trade
Intermediate cities as urban innovators 87
Source: Authors’ elaboration
Knowledge hub, attracting national and international scholars to its five major and two smaller universities Capital city of the municipality of Manizales as well as the Department of Caldas
Cable car and train connection installed in the early 20th century (Poveda, 2003) Economic relevance characterised by its location in the productive and touristically attractive coffee region (Eje Cafetero), which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001; commerce and manufacturing industry are the main employment sectors (Manizales Cómo Vamos, 2017)
Port city, with harbour and railway infrastructures delineated in one of the first urban plans in the country in 1927 (Fedele, 2011) Main economic activities: commerce and political-administrative functions (with public employment accounting for 25 percent of the economically active population) (Municipalidad de la Ciudad de Santa Fe and Bolsa de Comercio de Santa Fe, 2018) Knowledge hub of the Littoral region since the turn of the 20th century; currently three universities (two of them public and free) and multiple scientific and technological research centres Provincial capital, hosting municipal and provincial governments Sanctioned the first prototype of a provincial constitution (1818) and congregated the national constitutional assembly for sanctioning the Magna Carta (1853) and subsequent amendments
Connectivity Strategic location and economic functionality within urban-rural linkages and in city hierarchies (Hardoy & Satterthwaite, 1988; Berdegué et al., 2015)
Educational and institutional relevance University-cities and technological hubs; regional/provincial capitals (Salazar, Irarrázaval & Fonck, 2017b)
88 Wesely, Filippi and Johnson
Intermediate cities as urban innovators 89
A comparative-relational conversation How has disaster risk management historically taken hold in Santa Fe and Manizales? Santa Fe Tightly connected to its location (see Figure 5.1), the main hazards in Santa Fe have been hydro-meteorological events ranging from rising river levels to heavy rains to the combination of both. Thus, Santa Fe has been historically exposed to extensive and intensive fluvial and pluvial flood risk (Celis & Herzer, 2009). Figure 5.2 portrays an illustration of the historical exposure of the city to peak levels of the Paraná and Salado rivers, represented in the “Watermarks” installations, which have been placed in strategic locations across the city as an exercise to build a collective memory of the interactions of the city with its surrounding riverine ecosystem. Traditionally, the most extraordinary river levels in the region have been associated with the Paraná river system, though the two most disastrous events in the city in terms of damages and losses would be linked to the overflow of the Salado River and exceptional heavy rains. In April 2003, the Salado flooded more than one-third of the city, affecting about 130,000 people, killing 22 inhabitants1 and causing over a billion US dollars in damages (Arrillaga, Grand & Busso, 2009; CEPAL, 2003). In March 2007, heavy rains cut off access to the city and displaced 30,000 people from their homes during a period of two months (Grand & Arrillaga, 2009). Noteworthy, rising levels of infrastructural, socio-economic and political vulnerability combined with the hazards and exposure of the city and resulted in these two large-scale disasters (Calvo & Viand, 2015). These two major disastrous events represented a breaking point and, in turn, opened up an opportunity for developing a different way of dealing with floods. Specifically, these large-scale disasters catalysed the organisation and mobilisation of social collectives claiming for compensation and justice and prompted the advent of flood management as a critical topic in the electoral debate of the upcoming municipal and provincial elections in 2007 (Cello, Frade & Haidar, 2013; Guala, 2009; Ramírez, 2009). Three elements combined to create a “policy window” (Kingdon, 2003) for the emergence of gestión de riesgo (disaster risk management) in the agenda of the municipal government: large floods, organised and mobilised collectives, and the potential political rewards of addressing the issue in an electoral year. Pressure from collectives on the municipal government and rewards in votes were intrinsically connected to a federal government system that puts a high degree of autonomy as well as responsibilities on municipal government administrations in the country.
90 Wesely, Filippi and Johnson
Figure 5.1 Administrative boundaries and location of the municipality of Santa Fe, neighbouring municipalities and communes and main rivers Source: Filippi, 2020, based on Instituto Geográfico Nacional, 2019. Image sources: Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, USDA, USGS, AeroGRID, IGN, and the GIS User Community, 2019.
Intermediate cities as urban innovators 91
Figure 5.2 “Watermarks” installation with extraordinary records of Salado (left) and Paraná (right) rivers in Alto Verde neighbourhood, Santa Fe Photo credit: María Evangelina Filippi, 2017
92 Wesely, Filippi and Johnson Manizales In contrast to the recent experience of Santa Fe, DRM has been an intrinsic part of Manizales’s urban governance since the city’s early years of growth and consolidation. The city, which is strategically located in the Colombian Andes in the Department of Caldas (see Figure 5.3), has been confronted with multiple earthquakes in the late 19th century. In this context, urban dwellers, engineers and architects adapted their building design to Manizales’s hazardous conditions. For example, the socalled estilo temblorero (shaking style) became an early manifestation of a building code for residential buildings in the city. The use of the local bamboo species guadua for walls, floors and roofs was appropriated to support buildings in consideration of the city’s steep topography, leading to a local artisanal construction technique called bahareque (Giraldo Mejía, 1991). A series of fires in the 1920s demanded further adaptation of buildings and land uses, recognising the multiple, interacting hazard conditions that threatened the housing stock as well as cultural buildings like the cathedral. From 1945 to 1964, Manizales’s urbanised area grew by 4.6 percent annually due to increasing levels of industrial development as well as conflictinduced rural-urban migration. Urban expansion, which previously focused on growth along the relatively flat plateau from west to east, started to coincide with the occupation of hazardous areas on the northern and southern slopes, most of them prone to landslides due to combinations of steep topography, periods of heavy rainfall and loose volcanic soil. The combination
Figure 5.3 Administrative boundaries and location of the municipality of Manizales and neighbouring urban centres Source: Wesely, 2019a, based on Municipality of Manizales, 2015.
Intermediate cities as urban innovators 93 of insufficient housing policies, a lack of land use planning and inadequate land uses, and low interest of national and municipal authorities to support vulnerable populations with low economic and political power meant that levels of small-scale, localised risk started to severely increase at this time, disproportionately affecting vulnerable low-income dwellers (Chardon, 1999). There was a growing recognition of the way in which dwelling itself created risk, for example, through accumulating the weight of housing units on slopes. While vulnerabilities became more stratified along with socioeconomic criteria, there has been increasing awareness among a wide range of institutional actors that hazard mitigation was fundamental and nonnegotiable to create acceptable living conditions in large parts of Manizales’s terrain. The response to the need for improved hazard management and the demand for an institutionalisation of disaster risk management in municipal and departmental governance structures was accelerated since 1973, through the creation and consolidation of the regional environmental authority CORPOCALDAS (Corporación Autónoma Regional de Caldas) (CAPRADE, 2005). This technical entity, which has been one of the key institutions for DRM until today, specifically aimed to address the structural mitigation of landslide events (see Figure 5.4), while other regional environmental authorities of Colombia did not have this explicit focus on hazard management.
Figure 5.4 Slope stabilisation infrastructure and housing in the Chipre sector Photo credit: Julia Wesely, 2019
94 Wesely, Filippi and Johnson How has DRM been institutionalised, and how has the national governance context influenced the proliferation of DRM? Santa Fe The local social movements, which emerged after the flooding of the Salado River in April 2003, blamed and penalised the so-called inundadores (“the ones who flooded us”) and the political party they represented at municipal and provincial government levels for the disaster. As a result, an alternative political coalition took office in December 2007 to administer the city and province over the next three politico-administrative cycles. Early on, the new municipal government defined disaster risk management as a state policy in the new urban development plan (Gobierno de la Ciudad de Santa Fe, 2008) and sanctioned a municipal ordinance that created a municipal DRM system (Honorable Concejo Municipal de la Ciudad de Santa Fe, 2008). This was the first formalised experience of a municipal disaster risk management system in Argentina (Viand & Briones, 2015), in the context of a provincial civil defence structure and at a time when national authorities were still hesitating about how to introduce the new international Hyogo Framework for Action 2005–2015 (UNISDR, 2005). Despite the relatively incipient experience of Santa Fe, the institutionalisation of disaster risk management evolved quite fast, especially across the municipal government organisation (Valsagna & Filippi, 2019). This process was facilitated by a few elements, mainly the academia-policy interfaces and the cross-cutting approach adopted by the local government from the very beginning. The linkages between the university (particularly the Universidad Nacional del Litoral, UNL) and the municipal administration had been central in the conceptual emergence of gestión de riesgo as the new approach for addressing flood risk within the municipal government. This new approach entailed a transversal understanding of the management of flood risk, which translated into the incorporation of DRM in the everyday work of sectoral bureaus in the municipal administration. The latter has been the result of various elements, the most relevant ones being the redesign of organisational structures, definition and revision of standard operating procedures for contingency and emergency planning, internal training and the progressive incorporation of DRM in the annual sectoral planning of managerial departments (e.g. Public Works, Water Resources and Solid Waste Management). This example is illustrative of the vast possibilities that federalism might provide in terms of localised experimentation, notwithstanding that there might be equally high deficiencies in terms of fiscal federalism. These possibilities were further boosted by the decentralisation momentum that characterised the reform of the national state in Argentina in the 1990s (Ardanaz, Leiras & Tommasi, 2014; Gervasoni, 2010; Oszlak, 2003). Succinctly, Santa Fe shows that there is room for manoeuvre to innovate at the
Intermediate cities as urban innovators 95 city scale, but that this requires the capacity of political leaders to “read the cracks” under a particular government system (Levy, 2007). Manizales Manizales’s flagship role in DRM today is often attributed to the multiplicity of institutions engaged in DRM and their strong coordination in an inter-institutional alliance where CORPOCALDAS, the municipal government, public service providers and academia are central actors (Hardoy & Velasquez Barrero, 2014). On the one hand, this alliance has been enabled and forged in anticipation of, and response to, a series of hazard events. On the other hand, it was enabled by the creation of laws and strategic frameworks, particularly since the late 1980s, at municipal, departmental and national levels (Wesely, 2019a). The prior included intense phases of hazard events such as multiple earthquakes in the 1990s, the volcanic eruption of Nevado del Ruiz in 1985 and seasons of heavy rainfall in the 2000s. These posed continuous and diverse challenges to DRM in Manizales and maintained risk management on the political, institutional and academic agenda. The cultural, regulative and normative impacts of these critical phases manifest, amongst many other capacities, in detailed monitoring and evaluation networks, innovative maintenance programmes for high numbers of slope stabilisation infrastructure and comprehensive emergency and contingency plans (CAPRADE, 2005). These strategic documents have been fundamental for firmly establishing DRM as an integral part of municipal development and land use planning and for the alignment of the local DRM agenda with issues such as housing, environmental protection and finance. This combination of constantly challenging hazard events and changing risk conditions, inter-institutional capacities and an emerging discourse of “excellence” has created a selfreinforcing enabling environment for strategic innovation in DRM, which assured its proliferation and diffusion (Wesely, 2019b). The national governance context has shaped Manizales’s DRM in two closely interlinked regards: Firstly, in terms of its economic, financial and human resources and assets over decades of varying levels of urbanisation and consolidation of the city; secondly, in decentralising roles and responsibilities and giving certain autonomy to municipal bodies in a context where innovation and excellence have been fostered (Ortiz, 2018). The channelling of resources from the national government started with early investments in trade infrastructure, such as a train and cable car, and industrial development. These have influenced Manizales’s economic attractiveness to a bourgeoisie class, which has contributed on the one hand to comparatively high levels of wealth in the city; on the other, they later evolved into an economic and cultural elite, which reinforced technocratic approaches to DRM that placed a strong emphasis on specialised expert knowledge for institutional decision-making processes.
96 Wesely, Filippi and Johnson Decentralisation efforts accelerated since the 1990s. Particularly relevant documents for DRM were Colombia’s Constitution (1991); the National Urban Policy (1995), which emphasised social programmes and strategies and recognised cities beyond physical constructs; and the Land Use Planning Law (1997), which made DRM a mandatory component for strategic planning. Colombia follows a decentralisation model where over 80 percent of taxes are still accrued by the national level, but about 40 percent is allocated and spent at regional and municipal levels (Bousquet, Daude & de la Maisonneuve, 2015). For DRM, the collection of the municipal property tax has been particularly relevant, as it enabled, amongst others, the establishment of a voluntary collective seismic risk insurance scheme, where property owners in higher socio-economic strata can cross-finance lower strata ones (Salgado-Gálvez et al., 2017). How has DRM been sustained and diffused? Santa Fe While DRM got ingrained in the municipal government of Santa Fe, its diffusion toward neighbouring municipalities or within the country did not follow immediately. Conversely, the experience of Santa Fe has received further attention and recognition abroad – at least, during the first years of implementation of this new policy approach. Thus, as an early adopter, Santa Fe had more influence regionally and internationally than nationally or in relation to its neighbours. Particularly, transnational city-to-city networks have been central in the leadership of the municipal government in the DRM field. The municipal government of Santa Fe subscribed to the UNDRR Making Cities Resilient campaign in 2010, the same year the initiative was launched. Soon after, it was designated a “role model” city, received the United Nations Sasakawa Award (2011) and its incumbent mayor was nominated champion of the campaign (2014) (UNDRR, 2019). At the end of 2014, the city was selected in the second wave of cities to join The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities programme, which made it the first one in the country and one of few participants in South America (The Rockefeller Foundation, 2016). Mercociudades, the network of cities of the MERCOSUR,2 provided a regional platform for the municipal government of Santa Fe to advance DRM at the urban scale. Specifically, Santa Fe promoted the incorporation of disaster risk management as one of the key working areas of the network, a role that was further catalysed when the city assumed its presidency for the period of 2016–2017. Membership in these networks did not only translate into access to financial resources and technical support. It has also facilitated an exchange of good practices and experiences with other municipalities in the field and served as a continuous encouragement to keep “trying out” new things.
Intermediate cities as urban innovators 97 However, being an outlier in managing flood risk in the country was not an option in the long run. Thus, the experience of Santa Fe in transnational city-to-city networks has more recently been emulated at the metropolitan scale. An opportunity for this arose with the creation of the Ente Coordinador Área Metropolitana (Metropolitan Coordination Bureau, ECAM), the formal entity for leading and implementing a metropolitan approach in Greater Santa Fe since 2017. Being the provincial capital and largest city in the area, Santa Fe heads the ECAM, a position from where it has sought to advance a collective discussion over shared policy issues such as flood risk management. Finally, the strengthening of linkages with the national government since a new administration took office in December 2015 resulted in the direct allocation of financial resources to pilot new national initiatives such as upgrading programmes in low-income settlements and relocation projects due to flood risk (Municipalidad de la Ciudad de Santa Fe and Bolsa de Comercio de Santa Fe, 2017; Secretariat of Strategic Development and Communication, 2017). The direct national-municipal linkages would trespass the provincial government, giving further autonomy to the city. Manizales The sustenance of DRM on Manizales’s municipal agenda has been particularly critical, firstly, in reaffirming political commitment and the support from a wide range of actors across government periods and, secondly, in being opportunistic in securing politically “unattractive” investments like monitoring and evaluation networks. The first point becomes relevant in relation to Manizales’s growing importance as a pilot and flagship example for national DRM, which implied that municipal institutions increasingly appropriated national resources in an anticipatory, strategic manner. For example, an inter-institutional consortium of Manizales won funding from the National Adaptation Fund, which was created in 2010 to deal with the consequences of severe winter rains attributed to the La Niña phenomenon. Before the establishment of the fund, several municipal actors in Manizales agreed on the need for a collective, comprehensive and long-term project on integrated disaster risk management and identified sources of funding, such as earmarking part of its municipal environmental surcharge to pay back a credit from the Colombian Development Bank (Wesely, 2019b). The preparation of the content and co-financing structure supported Manizales in quickly launching and winning its bid to the Adaptation Fund (Proyecto Gestión Integral del Riesgo en Manizales); the resulting project outcomes in terms of increased knowledge and data, infrastructural investments, education and communication, amongst others, enabled the city to further consolidate and reaffirm its role as forerunner in municipal DRM (Salgado-Gálvez et al., 2017). The second point can be illustrated through the establishment of hydrological stations. During the rainy season in 2003, 150 landslides were
98 Wesely, Filippi and Johnson triggered in the city, in which 41 people died, 45 neighbourhoods were affected, 100 people were injured, 1,400 families were preventatively evacuated, 200 housing units were destroyed and 220 slopes were affected (Cardona, Suarez & Perez, 2016). The events were unprecedented in their quantity, the enduring period of emergencies they triggered, as well as their location in neighbourhoods that previously have not been considered to be high-risk areas. Manizales had only one hydrological station at that time, which was built in 1996, although several more have been requested already in the 1990s, which were declined by the mayor’s office. The rainy season, then, provided momentum to reaffirm the necessity of more stations and a monitoring network was established in collaboration between the municipal waste management company Emas, the National University and an engineering firm with funding from the mayor’s office. The network gave evidence that annual amounts of rainfall show high spatial variations by 50 percent within the city. The real-time data became of immediate use for early warning; it provides the basis for further analysis at the National University and supports CORPOCALDAS in planning its mitigation infrastructure. Hence, the collaboration between multiple institutions in a postcrisis phase has enabled the opportunistic claim for more stations, while the benefits resulting from this data also accrue to, and strengthen, multiple local institutions in their risk management efforts (Wesely, 2019a).
Salient elements enabling policy innovation and diffusion in DRM in intermediate cities Looking across the two cases of Santa Fe and Manizales, we found three common elements that have enabled innovation and diffusion in disaster risk management, and which relate to aspects of their “intermediate-ness”, based on the attributes presented earlier in Table 5.1. The first common element is the presence and contributions of the universities to the innovation and diffusion of DRM, relating to one of the intermediate attributes of these cities as knowledge hubs. The diffusion of knowledge from academia into the practices of the city is apparent across both cities, albeit in slightly different ways. In Santa Fe, personnel from Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL) was instrumental in shaping the early stages of conceptual definition for the municipality’s new DRM strategy. The new mayor, who took office in December 2007 and had formerly been provost of the UNL, and two leaders of the communications strategy for the municipality, a department that was instrumental in diffusing knowledge about DRM, were former university staff. The way of learning in the municipality was infused with the thinking of some faculties of the university, not so much from an academic or purely theoretical perspective but rather grounded in the reality of flood risk. Furthermore, the university was a consultant for the creation of the municipal DRM system. These interfaces proved to be of key importance to advance a shared understanding around
Intermediate cities as urban innovators 99 the concept of disaster risk management. In Manizales, the National University of Colombia and particularly the Institute of Environmental Studies (IDEA) have been instrumental for the development of risk management practices. They supported the municipal DRM approach, amongst others, through baseline and methodological studies about risk, vulnerability and the environment, through being a key mediator in the municipality’s networks for risk management and through continued training of professionals from Manizales and other Colombian regions as well as across Latin America and the Caribbean. Key individuals from the university have also been contributing significantly to the development of national and international policies about disaster risk management, either in their function as academics, through providing consultancies or through assuming roles in government bodies. All in all, it could also be argued that the closeness between the university community and the municipality that is apparent in both of these cases is a feature of the social and institutional compactness of the intermediate city, while larger cities with their bigger bureaucracies would have been less influenced by universities. The second shared element is that these cities have both been successful in diffusing the concepts and practices of DRM across multiple municipal departments. This finding is not surprising in that one of the key elements of integrating disaster risk management, or any other cross-cutting policy approach, is that the ideas and practices need to be mainstreamed across all government departments. However, perhaps part of the reason that these two cities have been so successful in DRM is that they have actually been able to mainstream the approach into many departments or that it has been institutionalised across the public sector and academia and – to varying degrees – civil society organisations and private companies. It is, perhaps, debatable whether this is an attribute of the intermediate city. However, it could be argued that the institutional compactness of city governments (smaller departments), the consolidated nature of relatively old cities with distinctive economic and political functions (vis-à-vis new and fastgrowing cities) and the density of regional and local government and nongovernmental organisations have enabled DRM to permeate in ways that we would not see in larger or smaller cities. The third element that is common across these two cities is that both suffered from a succession of large-scale disaster events that erupted alongside more recurrent and small-scale hazardous episodes. These disaster events challenged, mobilised and incentivised a wide range of actors, including communities, activists and professionals to make changes to address disaster risk. This element may not be related to intermediate cities only, and we know that recurrent disasters are usually a triggering condition for governments to commit adequate resources to tackle disasters. However, we would argue that perhaps the differential access to economic, technical and political resources that these intermediate cities have, has enabled them to turn the adversity of disasters into an opportunity for policy innovation.
100 Wesely, Filippi and Johnson
Final reflections and contributions to the book This chapter has contributed to the theme of the book in several ways. To begin with, it has analysed two already-consolidated cities with rather low levels of urban growth, firmly institutionalised municipal government procedures and relatively higher availability of financial, human and environmental resources. Hence, the case study selection and focus on the enabling conditions for urban innovation contributed a critical interrogation of these cities’ position as outliers in the narratives of rapidly growing and relatively young, resource-scarce, medium-sized cities. Turning a critical eye to the notion of “overlooked” cities, the premise of this chapter has been that a limited discourse on the rapid urbanisation of medium-sized cities renders invisible the potential, which many, particularly consolidated cities of Latin America, host. Argentina and Colombia are amongst several countries that seek a decentralisation of roles and responsibilities from the national government level, thereby making municipal and provincial governments central actors in shaping urban policies and developments. This decentralisation wave has severe repercussions on factors such as institutional density, municipal budgets and local autonomy in decision-making, especially for those cities which are provincial or regional capitals. We argue that an exploration of the concept of “intermediate cities” provides a useful entry point for “seeing” the attributes that allow for policy innovation and diffusion at the urban scale. Another relevant consideration is that both cities are outward-looking intermediaries, meaning that their reference points and aspirations are not policies of national capitals or larger cities, but other flagship cities and frontrunners that excel in the DRM field, which can be found in regional, international or global networks. The concept of “intermediate” cities opens up an intrinsically comparative interrogation whereby innovation from, and diffusion across, these cities can contest implicit hierarchical relations throughout government levels and transcend the rigidity of classifications of medium-sized cities in Latin America. The comparative analysis has shown that the utilisation of networks for policy diffusion, though, has taken different shapes in the two cities. In the incipient case of Santa Fe, strategic positions and leadership roles have been actively sought first within international and then regional and national platforms. Manizales’s wellconsolidated DRM approach seems to ensure its sustenance much more from within, meaning that inter-organisational networks at municipal and departmental scales are activated for anticipating strategic moments, such as openings of funding opportunities to strengthen political commitment and accrue financial resources. To conclude, through analysing DRM in the cities of Santa Fe and Manizales, this chapter has shown that comparatively looking at the intermediate attributes in their historically emerging relations and across cities contributes to a better understanding of policy innovation and diffusion at the urban scale.
Intermediate cities as urban innovators 101
Acknowledgements This work has been part of PhD research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council [Julia Wesely, ES/J500185/1] as well as the Economic and Social Research Council and the IJURR Foundation writing-up grant [María Evangelina Filippi, Grant 1622598]. The authors are grateful to all research participants as well as to the book editors and their colleagues at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL for feedback on earlier drafts.
Notes 1 This was the officially registered number of deaths within five days of the disaster. Unofficially claimed deaths by human rights organisations, accounting for indirect losses within four months of the disaster, reached 130 victims (Calvo & Viand, 2015). 2 The Mercado Común del Sur (Southern Common Market) is a regional integration process originally founded by Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil, and later joined by Venezuela (suspended since 2017) and Bolivia (currently in the process of accession).
References Aguirre Madariaga, E. (2015) La gestión de riesgo como política de desarrollo local. El caso del municipio de Santa Fe. In: Viand, J. & Briones, F. (eds.) Riesgos al Sur: Diversidad de riesgos de desastres en Argentina. Buenos Aires, Argentina, Imago Mundi, pp. 73–90. Available from: http://www.desenredando.org/public/2015/ riesgosalsurArgentina.pdf [Accessed 10th May 2020]. Ardanaz, M., Leiras, M. & Tommasi, M. (2014) The politics of federalism in Argentina and its implications for governance and accountability. World Development, 53, pp. 26–45. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.01.004. Arrillaga, H., Grand, M. L. & Busso, G. (2009) Vulnerabilidad, riesgo y desastres: Sus relaciones de causalidad con la exclusión social en el territorio urbano santafesino. In: Herzer, H. & Arrillaga, H. (eds.) La construcción social del riesgo y el desastre en el aglomerado Santa Fe. Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ediciones UNL, pp. 59–104. Bellet Sanfeliu, C. & Llop Torné, J. M. (2013) Miradas a otros espacios urbanos: las ciudades intermedias. Geo Crítica/Scripta Nova: Revista Electrónica de Geografía y Ciencias Sociales, 165, 1–22. Berdegué, J. A., Carriazo, F., Jara, B., Modrego, F. & Soloaga, I. (2015) Cities, territories, and inclusive growth: Unraveling urban-rural linkages in Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. World Development, 73, 56–71. Available from: doi:10.1016/j. worlddev.2014.12.013. Bolay, J. & Rabinovich, A. (2004) Intermediate cities in Latin America: Risk and opportunities of coherent urban development. Cities, 21 (5), 407–421. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.cities.2004.07.007. Bousquet, G., Daude, C. & de la Maisonneuve, C. (2015) Fiscal decentralisation in Colombia. OECD Economics Department Working Papers No: 1202. Available from: https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/fiscal-decentralisation-in-colombia_ 5js30tzp18kj-en
102 Wesely, Filippi and Johnson Calvo, A. & Viand, J. (2015) Vulnerabilidad social e institucional: La inundación del 2003 en la ciudad de Santa Fe. In: Natenzon, C. E. & Ríos, D. (eds.) Riesgos, catástrofes y vulnerabilidades: Aportes desde la geografía y otras ciencias sociales para casos argentinos. Buenos Aires, Argentina, Imago Mundi, pp. 115–137. CAPRADE (2005) La gestión local del riesgo en una ciudad andina: Manizales, un caso integral, ilustrativo y evaluado. Bogotá, Secretaría General de la Comunidad Andina, Experiencias Significativas de Desarrollo Local Frente a los Riesgos de Desastres. No: Colombia 2. Cardona, O. D., Suarez, D. C. & Perez, M. del P. (2016) Anexos documento base. In: Plan Municipal de Gestión del Riesgo de Desastres del Municipio de Manizales. Manizales, Alcaldía de Manizales. Celis, A. & Herzer, H. (2009) El riesgo de inundación y sus pérdidas asociadas a lo largo del tiempo. In: Herzer, H. & Arrillaga, H. (eds.) La construcción social del riesgo y el desastre en el aglomerado Santa Fe. Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ediciones UNL, pp. 29–58. Cello, M., Frade, C. del & Haidar, J. (2013) Lo que el Salado sigue gritando: 10 años después. Buenos Aires, Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, UBA. CEPAL (2003) Evaluación del impacto de las inundaciones y el desbordamiento del río Salado en la provincia de Santa Fe, República Argentina, 2003. Buenos Aires. Available from: https://www.cepal.org/es/publicaciones/28461-evaluacion-impactoinundaciones-desbordamiento-rio-salado-la-provincia-santa-fe [Accessed 10th May 2020]. Chardon, A. C. (1999) A geographic approach of the global vulnerability in urban area: Case of Manizales, Colombian Andes. GeoJournal, 49 (2), 197–212. Available from: doi:10.1023/A:1007184911934. Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, USDA, USGS, AeroGRID, IGN, and the GIS User Community. (2019) World imagery. Basemaps. Redlands, CA, ESRI. Fedele, J. (2011) El río en la ciudad del Plan. Santa Fe, Ediciones UNL. Filippi, M. E. (2020) Understanding disaster risk management as an everyday concept and practice in municipal government policy, planning and management: Learning from the experience of Santa Fe, Argentina, with urban flood risk. PhD Thesis, London, University College London. Available from: https://discovery.ucl. ac.uk/id/eprint/10101357/ [Accessed 26th July 2020]. Gervasoni, C. (2010) A rentier theory of subnational regimes: Fiscal federalism, democracy, and authoritarianism in the Argentine provinces. World Politics, 62 (2), 302–340. Available from: doi:10.1017/S0043887110000067. Giraldo Mejía, H. (1991) Aproximación de Manizales en la Arquitectura Nacional Colombiana 1848–1925 (Una Estrategia Hoy Incomprensible). Manizales, Centro de Publicaciones de la Universidad Nacional Seccional Manizales. Gobierno de la Ciudad de Santa Fe (2008) Plan de Desarrollo Santa Fe Ciudad. Santa Fe. Available from: http://santafeciudad.gov.ar/blogs/gobiernoabierto/ wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Plan_de_Desarrollo_-2008-2012.pdf [Accessed 10th May 2020]. Grand, M. L. & Arrillaga, H. (2009) La construcción y reconstrucción de un territorio vulnerable: ¿Una lección aprendida? In: Herzer, H. & Arrillaga, H. (eds.) La Construcción Social del Riesgo y el Desastre en el Aglomerado Santa Fe. Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ediciones UNL, pp. 217–244.
Intermediate cities as urban innovators 103 Guala, M. del P. (2009) Inundación 2003, Santa Fe, Argentina. La construcción de una nueva identidad colectiva: la Marcha de las Antorchas: In: Herzer, H. & Arrillaga, H. (eds.) La Construcción Social del Riesgo y el Desastre en el Aglomerado Santa Fe. Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ediciones UNL, pp. 153–175. Hardoy, J. E. & Satterthwaite, D. (1988) Small and intermediate urban centres in the third world: What role for government? Third World Planning Review, 10 (1), 5–26. Available from: doi:10.3828/twpr.10.1.6827m470608rv71n. Hardoy, J. & Velasquez Barrero, L. S. (2014) Re-thinking ‘Biomanizales’: Addressing climate change adaptation in Manizales, Colombia. Environment and Urbanization, 26 (1), 1–16. Available from: doi:10.1177/0956247813518687. Honorable Concejo Municipal de la Ciudad de Santa Fe (2008) Ordenanza 11512. Santa Fe, Honorable Concejo Municipal de la Ciudad de Santa Fe. Available from: http://santafeciudad.gov.ar/blogs/gestionderiesgos/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/ ORDE_11512.pdf [Accessed 10th May 2020]. INDEC (2010) Censo Nacional de Población, Hogares y Vivienda. Buenos Aires, Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censos. Available from: https://www.indec. gob.ar/nivel4_default.asp?id_tema_1=2&id_tema_2=41&id_tema_3=135 [Accessed 10th May 2020]. Instituto Geográfico Nacional (2019) Capas SIG. Available from: https://www.ign. gob.ar/NuestrasActividades/InformacionGeoespacial/CapasSIG [Accessed 28th August 2020]. Kingdon, J. W. (2003) Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies, 2nd edition. New York, Longman. Levy, C. (2007) Defining collective strategic action led by civil society organizations: The case of CLIFF, India. London, pp. 1–29. Available from: https://www.seman ticscholar.org/paper/Defining-Strategic-Action-Planning-led-by-Civil-%3A-%2CLévy-Dpu/5eefb74bbbdc7ba4ba3f67a367f7a7b924f53813 [Accessed 10th May 2020]. Manizales Cómo Vamos (2017) Informe calidad de vida Manizales. Programa Cómo Vamos Manizales. Report Year 6. Available from: http://manizalescomovamos. org/6343-2/ [Accessed 10th May 2020]. Mejía Prieto, B., Giraldo Valencia, G. I. & Trujillo Galvez, L. M. (2006) Guardianas de la ladera: Un programa de cultura ciudadana en la prevención del riesgo. In: Universidad Nacional de Colombia, USAID & Alcaldía de Manizales (eds.) Taller Internacional Sobre Gestión del Riesgo a Nivel Local, 26–28th September 2006. Manizales, Colombia, Universidad Nacional de Colombia – Sede Manizales, pp. 1–15. Municipalidad de la Ciudad de Santa Fe & Bolsa de Comercio de Santa Fe (2017) Santa Fe Como Vamos 2016. Santa Fe, Municipalidad de la Ciudad de Santa Fe. Municipalidad de la Ciudad de Santa Fe & Bolsa de Comercio de Santa Fe (2018) Santa Fe Como Vamos 2017. Santa Fe, Municipalidad de la Ciudad de Santa Fe. Municipality of Manizales (2015) Plano delimitación territorial rural tamaño carta, con base en el Acuerdo Municipal 589 de agosto 31 de 2004. Available from: https://geodata-manizales-sigalcmzl.opendata.arcgis.com/datasets/plano-ruralmunicipio-de-manizales-tamaño-carta [Accessed 24th September 2020]. Ortiz, C. (2018) Colombia. disP – The Planning Review, 54 (1), 35–37. Available from: doi:10.1080/02513625.2018.1454689. Oszlak, O. (2003) El mito del estado mínimo: una década de reforma estatal en la Argentina. Desarrollo Economico, 42 (168), 519–543. Available from: doi:10.2307/ 3455903.
104 Wesely, Filippi and Johnson Pinzón Botero, M. V. (2015) La ‘Práctica Aplicación’ de la Sostenibilidad Ambiental en el Ordenamiento Territorial Urbano: Propuesta Conceptual y Metodológica para Ciudades Medias-Intermedias de Colombia. El Caso de: Palmira, Tulúa y Buga. Colombia. PhD Thesis, Barcelona, Spain, Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya. Available from: https://upcommons.upc.edu/handle/2117/96383?localeattribute=es [Accessed 10th May 2020]. Poveda, G. (2003) El antiguo ferrocarril de Caldas. Dyna, 70 (139), 1–10. Ramírez, N. (2009) Hacia la construcción de una memoria colectiva. In: Herzer, H. & Arrillaga, H. (eds.) La construcción social del riesgo y el desastre en el aglomerado Santa Fe. Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ediciones UNL, pp. 177–198. Robinson, J. (2011) Cities in a world of cities: The comparative gesture. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35 (1), 1–23. Available from: doi:10.1111/j.1468-2427.2010.00982.x. The Rockefeller Foundation (2016) Santa Fe’s resilience challenge, 100 resilient cities. Available from: http://www.100resilientcities.org/cities/entry/santa-fe-AR#/-_/ [Accessed 10th May 2020]. Salazar, G., Irarrázaval, F. & Fonck, M. (2017a) Ciudades intermedias y gobiernos locales: Desfases escalares en la región de la araucanía, Chile. Eure, 43 (130), 161–184. Available from: doi:10.4067/s0250-71612017000300161. Salazar, G., Irarrázaval, F. & Fonck, M. (2017b) Exploring intermediate cities in Latin America: Mixed mobile methods for mobility assessment in Villarrica, Chile. Geographical Journal, 183 (3), 247–260. Available from: doi:10.1111/geoj.12210. Salgado-Gálvez, M. A., Bernal, G. A., Zuloaga, D., Marulanda, M. C., Cardona, O. D. & Henao, S. (2017) Probabilistic seismic risk assessment in Manizales, Colombia: Quantifying losses for insurance purposes. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 8 (3), 1–12. Available from: doi:10.1007/s13753-017-0137-6. Secretariat of Strategic Development and Communication (2017) Santa Fe resilience strategy. Santa Fe. Available from: http://santafeciudad.gov.ar/blogs/ciudad-resil iente/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Eng_SFC_ResilienceStrategy_VF.pdf [Accessed 10th May 2020]. UNDRR (2019) City profile: Santa Fe (Argentina), making cities resilient: My city is getting ready. Available from: https://www.unisdr.org/campaign/resilientcities/ cities/argentina/santa-fe/santa-fe [Accessed 10th May 2020]. UNISDR (2005) Hyogo framework for action 2005–2015: Building the resilience of nations and communities to disaster. Geneva. Available from: https://www. preventionweb.net/publications/view/3800 [Accessed 10th May 2020]. Valsagna, A. & Filippi, M. E. (2019) Case study 8: Santa Fe (Argentina). Reflections on a 10-year urban DRM process. In: Hardoy, J. & Filippi, M. E. (eds.) Words into action guideline: Implementation guide for local disaster risk reduction and resilience strategies. Geneva, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, pp. 91–95. Available from: https://www.unisdr.org/we/inform/publications/57399 [Accessed 10th May 2020]. Vapñarsky, C. A. (1995) Primacía y macrocefalia en la Argentina: La transformación del sistema de asentamiento humano desde 1950. Desarrollo Económico, 35 (138), 227–254. Available from: 10.2307/3467304. Viand, J. & Briones, F. (eds.) (2015) Riesgos al Sur. Diversidad de riesgos de desastres en Argentina. Buenos Aires, Argentina, Imago Mundi. Available from: http:// www.desenredando.org/public/2015/riesgosalsurArgentina.pdf [Accessed 10th May 2020].
Intermediate cities as urban innovators 105 Wesely, J. (2019a) Towards an enabling environment for integrated risk management: A case study of the city of Manizales in Colombia. PhD Thesis, London, University College London. Available from: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/ eprint/10075823/ [Accessed 10th May 2020]. Wesely, J. (2019b) Critical junctures in land use planning for disaster risk management: The case of Manizales, Colombia. In: Burayidi, M. A., Allen, A., Twigg, J. & Wamsler, C. (eds.) The Routledge handbook of urban resilience. London, Routledge, pp. 458–475. Available from: doi:10.4324/9780429506666.
6 Comparing secondary cities Holistic evaluation of urban development in Arequipa and Trujillo, Peru Christian Rosen Introduction Secondary cities in the global South often receive significantly less attention in research than other larger cities. While comparably few urban centres are extensively researched within the framework of mega-cities research and global cities research and beyond in smaller case studies (Zeiderman, 2008), the work on secondary cities as an independent city type is still at a very early stage. Here, differences and similarities between these cities are sought, as well as suitable research methods for approaching them. Often, the description of urban development paths is based on findings from the global North and thus assumes a uniform or at least similar development in North and South (Robinson, 2002, 2016; Roy, 2011; Watson, 2009), although the cases are often quite different (Sheppard, Leitner & Maringanti, 2013). This chapter would like to make a contribution to systematising and further developing the analysis of the development of secondary cities against this background. The secondary cities in the global South have in common a large number of challenges they face in their urban development processes. These include the fields of economic growth, risk management, sustainability, migration, poverty reduction and governability but also decentralisation processes and competition from the primary and capital cities. Existing research on secondary cities has so far mostly focused on individual sectors of urban development (such as planning processes, political decision-making processes, individual economic measures, decentralisation processes, etc.) or on specific groups of actors and their specific view of cities (such as migrants, ethnic groups, occupational groups, political decision-makers, etc.). This chapter presents the approach of a holistic analysis of urban development based on the perspective of relevant actors from different sectors. The aim of this perspective is to make the expert knowledge of local actors visible to the reader and at the same time to avoid the thematic restriction by the researcher’s definition of supposedly relevant developments. This chapter thus makes a contribution to the methodical framing of comparative studies of secondary cities. At the same time, it triggers a discussion on
Comparing secondary cities 107 which categories the development of these cities can be compared holistically, without losing sight of the local peculiarities of each city. In this chapter, two secondary cities are presented as examples from a study comprising a total of seven cases of cities, Arequipa and Trujillo in Perú. In the following section, the status of the discussion on secondary cities is presented in a shortened form, and a working definition of the term secondary city is defined for this chapter before the concept of holistic evaluation and the two city cases are presented in more detail. Subsequently, exemplary statements from expert interviews in both cities will be analysed. Firstly, the local challenges in the secondary cities will be identified. In the second empirical part of this chapter, individual processes of urban development in Arequipa and Trujillo are presented and related to each other. The final conclusion summarises the empirical findings. In addition, it discusses to what extent the conceptual comparative approach presented can be helpful for further engagement with secondary cities and a systematising categorisation of their development.
Secondary cities and the diversity of their development Secondary cities represent a special case in research. Although there are far more people living in large metropolises today than there were 20 years ago, a larger proportion of the population lives in the so-called secondary cities (World Bank, 2009). Overall, the proportion of the population in “rural” regions with less than 500,000 inhabitants worldwide is still 75 percent today (Roberts & Hohmann, 2014); at the same time it can be assumed that a large proportion of the population lives directly or in the vicinity of smaller agglomerations. Drakatis-Smith notes that two-thirds of the urban population in developing countries live in cities but with less than 1 million inhabitants (2000: p. 62). In the scientific debate, however, the focus is still on the largest cities; smaller agglomerations are considered less frequently. The reason for this one-sided focus of research is the economic and political importance of capital cities, global or world cities and mega-cities. A direct transferability of the findings gained here to secondary cities is not automatically given. Nevertheless, the relevance of a better knowledge of the peculiarities of small and medium-sized cities is increasingly emphasised in more recent articles (De Boeck, Cassiman & Van Wolputte, 2009). Thus, research into this type of city is also an integral part of holistic development strategies, especially since a large part of the population lives here and a potentially not-to-be-underestimated part of the economic power of a state can be found or developed (Bolay & Rabinovich, 2004). First attempts to elaborate the peculiarities of secondary cities in the global South can be traced back to the late 1970s. At that time, Rondinelli (1983) observed the important economic and social role that this type of city plays in the development of a country by accumulating central functions in trade,
108 Christian Rosen private and public services and rural development. In addition, secondary cities today increasingly have supra-regional or international links with the global economy, as more recent contributions show (Bolay & Rabinovich, 2004; Rodríguez-Pose & Dahl Fitjar, 2013). A second much-noticed early approach to research followed the classics of social science urban research and defined the criteria population, size, function and location in order to define a secondary city (Hardoy & Satterthwaite, 1986). In general, it can also be said that the multifunctionality of the economy is an important characteristic for the definition of a secondary city (Van der Merwe, 1992), and thus there is a positive correlation between city size and complexity of the urban economy (Rondinelli, 1983: p. 127). More recent approaches continue to attempt to specify these general definitions. Roberts and Hohmann (2014) distinguish between three types according to geographical conditions: Sub-national cities, which assume functions as local government centres for industry and agriculture, tourism and mining; cluster cities, which settle in the vicinity of large metropolitan regions; and economic trade corridors, which form between the large agglomerations. The authors also classify the secondary cities into three further types based on their economic development: Lead-secondary cities with strong growth and dynamic economies, secondary cities that represent moderate or booming economies and those that are under strong pressure and show a high percentage of urban poverty. They introduce the term laggards to this last type of city and find that increasing urbanisation in these cities often encounters rising poverty, little investment and few new jobs. Other authors also point to the diversity of secondary cities. They can fulfil important functions for markets, education, pensions, tourism, agricultural production and processing, mining and military or border protection and have a specialisation in one of these areas (Satterthwaite, 2006; Bolay & Rabinovich, 2004). Marais, Nel and Donaldson (2016) see failed decentralisation as the main reason for the insufficient development of many secondary cities. Especially in the context of globalisation, these cities face enormous challenges such as firstly less capacity for planning in a global context, secondly their status as newcomers as well as problems with adaptation and thirdly often only one link to international markets via a single branch of industry (Marais et al., 2016: p. 39). In addition, secondary cities always compete to a certain extent with the large urban centres of the respective state. This can also be explained by the problem of “urban bias”. National elites have an increased interest in the development of the cities in which they live, often the capitals; smaller cities and rural areas are at a disadvantage here (Kaplan, Wheeler & Holloway, 2004: p. 414). Armstrong and McGee (1985) first documented this phenomenon in the case of Ecuador. Therefore, little is known about the specifics of secondary cities in terms of economy, land use, finance, infrastructure or governance (Roberts & Hohmann, 2014: p. 11). This seems all the more surprising since secondary
Comparing secondary cities 109 cities are regarded as laboratories for testing sustainable, more environmentally friendly models of urban development. They enable “alternative management approaches” (Otiso, 2005) on a smaller scale to improve existing structures and test innovative new ways (De Boeck et al., 2009). This brief summary of the state of research on secondary cities shows that it is difficult to narrow down or even precisely define this type of city. Within the framework of this chapter, the following criteria are proposed for a working definition of secondary city according to the literature presented on the topic: (1) quantitative data (population size and density), (2) geographical data (geographical location within the urban system), (3) functional data (importance of the city in the local, supra-regional, national and international context) and (4) potential data (economic growth, labour market, health, education, political participation, etc.). The proposed holistic evaluation approach is particularly helpful in the collection of qualitative data, which are extremely helpful for the analysis of criteria 3 and 4.
Holistic evaluation of development and the actor-centred perspective The empirical part of this contribution consists of two case studies from a larger study of a total of seven cases in five countries within the framework of SEGE – Holistic Evaluation of Urban Development, funded by the KFW Development Bank (KFW, 2019). Central actors in urban development were interviewed about potentials and challenges for successful urban policy action. The analysis focused on local peculiarities and the resulting individual development paths and possibilities. The research approach is based on a multidimensional, holistic design that illuminates political, economic, social, planning and cultural aspects of urban development and tries to uncover their interrelations. The portrait of the respective secondary city is always presented from the perspective of individual actors, who bring their own private, professional and workplace-specific perspectives. Therefore direct quotes are used to explain those individual positions. The design is predestined to show connections between different policy fields but also between individual actors and networks and beyond the consideration of individual projects. The approach presented meets the frequent criticism of a too strong orientation toward statistical values of urban development (Nijman, 2013) with a decidedly qualitative design. Instead, it provides an opportunity to better understand different perspectives and opinions of different actors and population groups on urban development. Within the framework of this chapter, two cities were selected that are characterised by many similarities but also a great diversity. Trujillo and Arequipa are both located in Peru, have almost one million inhabitants and were chosen as cases because they represent two of the most important regional centres with a developed agricultural and service sector as well as partly strong production and tourism sectors within Peru. At the same time,
110 Christian Rosen there are major differences in the level of urban infrastructure development and, above all, the satisfaction of local experts with the measures taken in various policy areas relevant to urban development. A total of 49 interviews were conducted, the methodology of which was flexibly adapted to the individual interview situation and ranged from narrative to topic-centred and guideline-based interviews to participant observations with various discussion blocks and group interviews. Field research therefore follows an ethnographic tradition (Denzin, 1989; Hammersley & Atkinson, 1983; Lofland & Lofland, 1995). The analysis of the collected material was systematically carried out using the MaxQDA analysis program. The evaluation was based on a grid of analysis developed at the beginning of the research process, which includes potentially relevant aspects of urban development. The interview partners were specifically recruited from various areas relevant to urban development. These include the political and administrative spheres, in particular business development and urban planning, as well as actors from science, culture, civil society initiatives and the private sector. These were selected according to the position approach and later also according to the reputation approach (Hoffmann-Lange, 2017). The aim of our work was to ask for the specific view from a private, professional and workplace perspective and to work with the experts on individual portraits of the urban development of the secondary city.
Challenges for the development of secondary cities Arequipa and Trujillo are attractive places within Peru, both for economic investments and for people to live. They are regional centres where economic power grows faster and where steady immigration from the surrounding areas and beyond leads to increased population growth. This leads to a high pressure to adapt and develop, which is typical for secondary cities and poses great challenges for all urban actors. The tasks are manifold: New residents must be integrated into the local labour market; the infrastructure, both in the area of services and in the various network services, must be adapted; new housing must be created and the environment must be protected as construction activity increases. In particular, urban administrations will be confronted with a multitude of new or growing tasks. The biggest problem is the scarcity of very different resources. One of these resources is qualified personnel and their expertise. In Trujillo, an employee of a German organisation for development cooperation, who has been active in Peru for many years, states that this is the case: Another topic is rotation, where there have been many setbacks because people have changed from one day to the next. [I: Because the knowhow is also lost?] Yes, of course. Both the know-how, i.e. you train the people, the people get to it and get a different function. . . . And finally
Comparing secondary cities 111 you have to say, they are stupid if they stay in the city administration. And then somehow stay in their 30’s or 40’s, then you can say something went wrong, because they earn more in the private sector. They get 1500 Sols a month (in public administration). (Official, GIZ) The municipal administrations in both cities are poorly staffed and, in many parts, also poorly organised. A high degree of staff discontinuity exacerbates these fundamental problems, which are caused by low financial resources and, as a result, insufficient staffing levels. This means that knowledge is institutionally anchored only to a limited extent on the ground but remains bound to individuals. Employment relationships in public administration and local politics are often regarded by employees as a good starting point for building a career, but they are no longer financially lucrative after reaching a certain level or accumulating a wealth of professional experience. As a result, qualified personnel often move to the private sector or central government administration. Personal expertise is lost through discontinuity of personnel for the local administrations of secondary cities. The local actors feel worse off than the primary cities. A similar discontinuity and thus also a challenge for the development of the cities can also be found when looking at the city council. Here, a planning scientist and former employee of a municipal authority describes the situation in Arequipa: The political parties that have survived until now are two: APRA and Acción Popular, the others have died. And since a new independent movement emerges at every election, nothing is really built, beginnings are made, but nothing is built. (Planning scientist and former staff member of the local administration) In Peru, a strongly person-centred policy with little long-term orientation can be observed with regard to urban development. Parties are newly founded and often disappear from the local parliaments when their top candidates move to higher (national) offices. The local political agenda is affected by this development. The situation is exacerbated by rampant corruption and a lack of transparency. Another problem for the interviewees is the inefficient distribution of competences between the various levels of government. In Peru, important decisions are made at the central government level, but some decisions are also made at the district or municipal level. So to centralism, there is a slight decentralization, but one has not managed to apply it in its entirety. There is a lot of information, but the information is in Lima. Sometimes we also send information to Lima
112 Christian Rosen that is requested by different sectors: “We want information about mining, information about culture, information about production, fishing”, and everything goes there. Consequently, we are in the area of information systems . . . yes, we do not have any mapping here, for example. If you want to have a physiographic map, a map of forest areas, a map of land use, we are still a little. . ., aren’t we? Lima, on the other hand, has such a map because they have the equipment, the computers. (Official, Gerencia de Planeamiento La Libertad) Both in Arequipa and especially in Trujillo, the experts wish for new and long-term efforts to continue the decentralisation processes that have begun. The strong dependence on resources and decisions in the capital is often perceived as an obstacle to the development of the secondary cities. Although actors in the selected cities report on fiscal decentralisation programmes, these programmes are rated as inadequate. In Trujillo, for example, the “Buena Gobernanza” project supported by the GIZ concentrates on increasing administrative efficiency by reducing unnecessary bureaucratic structures. However, the results achieved here are considered insufficient to compensate for the prevailing structural problems. In the case cities surveyed, there are also projects aimed at increasing the proportion of locally generated income. However, there are some structural hurdles in this context. One example of this is the lack of a digital cadastral system, which means that an important local source of income, such as property tax, cannot be collected. Another possibility to increase local autonomy and at the same time promote local potentials can also lie in civil society interventions, the current role of which, however, is estimated to be minor. For example, actors from Trujillo complain about the lack of financial support for political education programmes or the promotion of women in the political arena. However, where civic engagement nevertheless succeeds, it is assessed positively. An activist reports on this: Our flagship project in the field of politics is the Political Training Centre for Women, which promotes a higher participation of women in elections. Now, in 2018, regional and municipal elections will take place and what we want is for women not only to appear as farcical last places on the electoral list, but also as qualified candidates in the first places. If they win, they should be able to work according to their qualifications. (Member, local youth organisation) Civil society involvement in the secondary cities studied is linked to the prerequisite of having the time and, in most cases, the money to get involved in this area. A certain amount of specialist knowledge about political processes and general urban policy is also a prerequisite, which is why especially
Comparing secondary cities 113 population groups with a lower degree of education are easily excluded from civil society processes. Participation processes, if implemented by the public sector, also cost money, as does support for institutionalised groups. This money is lacking in the secondary cities, so the influence remains small. One of the most important policy areas in the secondary cities is urban expansion. The investigated cities have a strong population growth in common, especially due to internal migration. New residents move to the cities primarily in search of work and usually bring with them a lower average level of education and training. In Arequipa and Trujillo, the influx leads to new tasks such as the distribution of infrastructure and, above all, housing. Here there is a high degree of informality and a low degree of regulation by the administration. Vulnerability to extreme natural events is one of the last important factors for the development of secondary cities. Trujillo (coastal storms/floods) and Arequipa (volcano) are affected by such events. Trujillo was hit by a coastal storm and heavy rainfall and flooding in 2017. All experts on the ground criticised the fact that urban policy, in particular urban planning policy before and after the disaster, had completely failed to draw up prevention concepts and emergency plans in order to be able to act quickly and effectively in an emergency. Aspects such as the increasing ground sealing by the further horizontal construction of the city, especially in the informal sector, are also given little or no attention by urban planning despite the unforeseeable consequences for nature. Many informal settlements take place in acute danger areas. An employee of the planning authority of La Libertad (Trujillo) states: This was as a result of the El Niño phenomenon, which had washed away a large part. At that time it was just a hill, in 2000 it was a hill. Then, when the people were suddenly defenceless, . . . they had to repopulate it. And it was a national event. The injured had nothing, were defenceless, without possessions, so they started with mats. Then politicians and rulers turned their attention to Alto Trujillo. (Official, Gerencia de Planeamento La Libertad) In summary, stagnating decentralisation processes, resource management with a shortage of personnel and funds, problems with the institutionalisation of knowledge, policies at the local level that are not geared to the longterm, difficult conditions for civil society participation and massive problems with the social inclusion of new residents in particular are among the central framework conditions and, above all, challenges for the development of secondary cities. All these problems, taken individually, do not only apply to this type of city. However, the overall picture shows that they are particularly effective in secondary cities. On the one hand, the cities are affected by strong population growth. This is due to their economic attractiveness and the existing infrastructure. As a consequence, this above-average growth
114 Christian Rosen leads to less predictability of urban development and less scope for future planning. This is mainly due to the described bottlenecks in locally available resources and knowledge management. In the case of Peru, local actors would subsequently like more support from the central state and see both secondary cities at a disadvantage compared to the primary city and capital Lima. In short, although they fulfil centre functions for large regions of Peru, at the same time they are not promoted by the state according to their importance and can therefore only perform their tasks to a limited extent. This situation is dealt with in different ways in the secondary cities studied. In the next section, examples of urban development in Arequipa and Trujillo are presented in order to examine local dynamics more closely with the help of the holistic evaluation of urban development approach.
Examples of findings from the holistic evaluation of urban development Arequipa In Arequipa, the plans for a comprehensive integrated local transport system have been in the drawer for many years but have often been redesigned with new political power relations in the town hall and have not yet been implemented. There are ideas for rail-bound traffic, monorails and bus systems, each with different routes and different network sizes. The corresponding plans were mostly financed with funds from development cooperation or the private sector. At the time of field research, a fast bus system was to be implemented in 2018, which would significantly shorten travel times throughout the city and, in particular, to peripheral areas. The local experts have found that the provision of infrastructure, especially for poorer population groups, has a major impact on the quality of life and can contribute to reducing poverty in the case cities. The head of the office for an integrated transport system explains the state of affairs: The integrated transport system has had various participations from the central government. They were very interested in larger formats of a transport system. Private initiatives wanted to bring us a monorail. Of course, the proposal did not get far – because of the rails and because it is the historic old town. Such a huge structure in the air does not serve the harmonious interaction of the infrastructure. So that was off the table, but there is still interest in introducing trams. At the moment a French cooperation is doing the analysis. There was also an initiative from Germany. (Official, Office for an Integrated Transport System, SIT) Over the years, Arequipa has been able to draw up various plans for the implementation of a passenger transport system through the involvement
Comparing secondary cities 115 of a wide range of stakeholders. In this way, they were able to avoid the scarcity of funds described earlier. At the same time, the issue of expanding local public transport is bundled in a separate urban office, which deals with visions as well as urban planning realities in the city. The realisation of the project poses a particular problem, despite the many different plans. Elsewhere, the head of the transport office describes the development of recent years: This project was developed under a different city government with a different mayor. But it was slowed down when the new mayor said, “that’s not possible, that’s of no use”. However, when he analysed and examined the project with the help of our data, he noticed that it was the most feasible for the city and that he also had the technical support to at least continue the project for the time being. (Official, Integrated Transport System Office, SIT) The example of the planned new system for bus transport illustrates how political changes and unsustainable and non-concrete urban development plans minimise the chances of realising large projects. At the same time, the institutionalisation of know-how in municipal offices and a greater continuity of personnel mean that such large projects have a greater chance of at least not being completely abandoned, even in the event of a change of government. A special feature of Arequipa, especially in contrast to Trujillo, is the status of the Old Town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the office for the preservation of the Centro Historico, all efforts are converging to make the old town more attractive and experienceable for the next decades: Thus, the municipal administration as an institution has a plan for the management of the old town and it is aimed at reviving and preserving the old town as well as winning back some places. In the last few years, there has also been a consolidation, as far as the law permits. (Officials, group interview, Regulatory Authority of the Old Town) The planned measures are also subject to the good will of politicians. At this point, too, the actors cite the discontinuity of political objectives, which makes it more difficult to work toward a goal: The plan we conceived has already expired. The mayor was asked to draw up a new plan, but he refused and made it simple by saying: “No, there is no money”. But he was put under so much pressure that he promised a new plan. So the planning process continued and it is still going on. An office was set up for it that didn’t exist before. The office for the Old Town Inspectorate has now become part of the municipality. (Planning scientist and former local government employee)
116 Christian Rosen The tourism sector is of immense importance for the economy of Arequipas. This is another reason why political pressure was put on the new mayor to protect and further develop the old town. At the same time, such a focus leads to problems in other areas when financial resources are scarce: As far as cultural heritage is concerned, great attention is paid to the old town centre, but the traditional villages are gradually disintegrating. But they also have a cultural value. So why is the old town protected? Otherwise we will be punished by UNESCO! This is how we work. But otherwise, on our own initiative, it would not happen. (Planning scientist and former employee in local government) In Arequipa, an important network has also been established in connection with the two projects described earlier. At the end of the 1990s there was an exchange project financed by the Netherlands, which enabled some young scientists from the field of planning in the city to study in the Netherlands and obtain a master’s degree. After returning to Arequipa, the graduates filled positions in various city authorities over time: In 1998 we launched the local Agenda 21. At that time, many people were just back from an exchange programme in Holland. There were new ideas and we wanted to implement a lot of them, didn’t we? But at that time, me and all of us were still at the beginning of our careers. (Professor at UTP) The international exchange and studies in the Netherlands led to the establishment of a stable network of experts in Arequipa, which is still active at the time of the study, 20 years later. The local actors attach great importance to the network as well as decisive impulses for the development of the city: But we also knew that through the influence of PEGUP – PEGUP was the Dutch government‘s urban planning training programme for Peru, in the course of which we completed a master’s degree there at the UNSA University – through the influence of this master’s programme . . . a strategic urban development plan was chosen. (Planning scientist and former local government employee) The establishment of the municipal planning office in its present form is the result of an initiative by these actors. The Old Town Inspectorate and the Municipal Public Transport Development Office are also largely the result of this group’s joint commitment and are now being defended in part against political headwinds. Today, the experts are active in leading positions in all areas relevant to urban development and thus influence the development dynamics and implementation processes in many places.
Comparing secondary cities 117 Trujillo Like Arequipa, Trujillo is also at risk for natural hazards. In particular, floods in the context of the climate phenomenon known as Niño Costero devastate parts of the city at regular intervals, most recently in 2000 and 2016. The regulation of informal settlement structures in risk areas therefore plays a particularly important role in urban planning, as an employee of the local planning authority exemplifies: “We have a goal to reduce the number of people from vulnerable population groups [in these areas]” (Official, CEPLAN). In Trujillo, there is a weakly developed system of institutions for a functioning formal urban planning and just as there is no actually coordinated urban development. “And the institutions are relatively weak when it comes to supporting applications for state subsidies. Just like the NGOs in the field of environmental protection, these are practically non-existent (Official, Biological Institute, Trujillo). In Trujillo, the low level of institutionalisation in the field of disaster prevention leads to significant negative impacts on urban development. The informal settlement of new population groups often takes place in high-risk locations because these are the only way to live close to the centre. The rest of the city is already built up, new settlement areas are mostly far outside and poorly developed. Local administrations are often unable to cope with the scale of the influx and often blame the sluggish decentralisation for this. Although CEPLAN (Centro Nacional de Planeamiento Estratégico) in Trujillo is a state-funded regional planning authority, it is chronically underfunded and, according to many local experts, overburdened with its work: “And so it’s very slow. CEPLAN would have to act more aggressively. But that’s a matter for politics at the state level and a question of the money made available, isn’t it?” (Officials, group interview, GIZ). COFOPRI (Organismo de Formalización de la Propiedad Informal) is a response to the lack of financial resources and the insufficient institutionalisation. COFOPRI makes it possible to subsequently legalise the settlement of land. To this end, the new residents are requested to register with the municipal planning offices of their districts and, in consultation with their neighbours, to register the right to a piece of land. The neighbours appoint a neighbourhood representative. The representative then contacts us and reports who has settled where. Through him we have contact to the neighbourhoods and of course we check everything on site. (Officials, group interview, El Porvenir District, Planning Office) This method of subsequent documentation of urban development is strongly oriented toward the actual needs of the inhabitants and also results in greater involvement of civil society through the involvement of neighbourhood
118 Christian Rosen representatives. At the same time, however, there are also problems with land speculation: I am surprised at how quickly it is urbanised. We do not have the capacity to keep up with this speed. Clearly, it is true that in such cases, all this growth is not real. It seems to us that we have houses for two million and we are only one million. Because in reality a lot of people here own more than one property and occupy (illegally) more than one parcel of land. The land, once connected to the urban infrastructure, gives more money. Now it is very favourable for them and they know that. This is a business. (Professor at USMP) For speculation with real estate, the newly arrived inhabitants of the cities are often exploited to assert land claims. However, these plots of land are not subsequently built on, but used as speculative properties and sold at a profit as the urbanisation of the respective district increases. The lack of a digital cadastre as well as the general lack of resources of the municipal authorities facilitate this criminal procedure. The tourism sector in Trujillo is also a source of hope for economic development. There are many complaints in Trujillo about the inadequate development of this sector, although with unique archaeological sites, beaches and a historic old town there is great potential for tourism development. The head of a local state social project explains: We in Trujillo have started an attempt to include the historic centre of the city in the World Heritage List, but the commission that evaluates it said, “No, there are still many things missing”. They gave us a long list of recommendations so that the historic centre of Trujillo can be recognised as a World Heritage Site. (Official, CEDEPAS) The wish to have Trujillo’s old town recognised as a World Heritage Site has not yet been fulfilled, mainly due to a lack of infrastructure and efforts to preserve the buildings. At the time of the study, the city was working harder to attract domestic tourists to the city and to contain the perceived superiority of the tourist centre in southern Peru. People often say that there are similarly spectacular attractions in the north as Machu Picchu in the south, but no one outside Peru knows them. In this context, they also explain that the central government is excessively promoting the tourism sector in the south and that the potentials in the north remain untapped at the same time. We would like to develop the tourism sector further, similar to Arequipa. But all the money for tourism promotion goes to the South,
Comparing secondary cities 119 because there is already infrastructure there. That is still missing here. But it cannot be created without support. (Official, industrial authority La Libertad) Many actors in Trujillo are dissatisfied with the central government’s management and distribution of funds in the tourism sector. They want a fairer and more transparent administration and more scope to develop this particularly promising sector. More sustainable promotion would require measures in many areas, including to achieve recognition by UNESCO. The experts, especially in Trujillo, are also mostly dissatisfied with government action at various levels. There is dissatisfaction not only with the involvement of competencies, but also with the work of individual institutions and individuals at the local level. The Odebrecht corruption scandal was raging on all political stages at the time of the study. At the same time and independently of this, Trujillo is also very dissatisfied with the work of the mayor: I can’t put you in touch with someone from the Trujillo city council, because there are problems with the mayor. There is a problem with the garbage disposal. In some places the garbage is not collected – due to the inefficient actions of the mayor. So I don’t know whether it’s so much good to approach the administration at the moment. They have completely closed themselves off and no longer speak to anyone from outside. (Official, CEDEPAS) The government actions of the mayor and the city council dominated by him were criticised by many of the experts at the time of the study. The mayor has refused to negotiate with the local waste disposal company and has almost completely stopped communicating with the city’s public. The reactions are unpleasant and incomprehensible: In my opinion, the current mayor is now someone who has no idea. He has been here for a long time and will soon stop and has no idea. All he has done is renew the pavement on the Plaza de Armas. (Official, Proética La Libertad) The extremely poor assessment of the current mayor is also reflected in a perceived slowdown in the implementation of municipal projects and a lack of prospects for long-term visions for the development of the city. This becomes particularly clear when the language comes to the predecessors in office: But these are all leaders who come, do what they want and there is no general dialogue. Until now, there has not been a mayor in Trujillo who
120 Christian Rosen has put together entrepreneurs, universities and social actors and said “We’re redesigning this now” or “We’ll take a look at the city in 20 or 30 years”. (Official, Municipalidad La Esperanza) In Trujillo there is a great general dissatisfaction with the role and behaviour of the mayors in the city. As already mentioned in other contexts, local actors accuse them of focusing on their own careers and short-term successes. However, this is a major disadvantage for the sustainable development of the city.
Conclusion In this chapter, the research approach of the holistic evaluation of urban development was presented using examples from two secondary cities. The empirical material was first used to identify key challenges for the Peruvian cities of Arequipa and Trujillo. The aim was then to illustrate the development of these cities on the basis of exemplary observations of the interviewed experts with the help of the presented approach of holistic evaluation. At the empirical level, it was first shown how stagnating decentralisation processes, resource management under personnel and financial shortages, problems with the institutionalisation of knowledge, policies at the local level that are not oriented toward the long term, difficult conditions for civil society participation and massive problems with the social inclusion of new residents in particular challenge the success of urban development. These preconditions apply to both Arequipa and Trujillo and proved to be true in the context of the larger international study as well as for all the cities examined. In the second part of the analysis of the empirical findings, it was shown how these preconditions are dealt with in the cities. The example of Arequipa showed how the professionalisation and institutionalisation of relevant planning tasks has led to progress in urban development. This could be shown using the example of local public transport and in particular the work on maintaining and marketing the old town. The international exchange for the training of new managers, which led to the establishment of these specific institutions, also provided visions for successful development strategies. Here, specific networks with a large stock of specialist knowledge led to the institutionalisation of task areas, which are of outstanding importance for planning. This had a decisive impact on the development of concrete, important projects for urban development. Using Trujillo as an example, this chapter shows that there is a high pressure to act in urban development policy, which is not always addressed by the relevant actors, especially due to political grievances. Many experts consider the role of the mayor of the city to be unhelpful, as he does not use his networks in the administration to solve local problems. Also, so far little funding has been raised to make the underdeveloped tourism sector more
Comparing secondary cities 121 attractive. In order to improve the development prospects of the city, many hopes are pinned on financial decentralisation and the associated generation of new funds. Confidence in the political capacity and will to act has meanwhile been shaken. The unsustainable planning policy in particular has left its mark. On the other hand, arrangements such as the national institution COFOPRI are helping to keep pace with the pressure on urban planning. This also shows how civil society involvement in the form of elected neighbourhood representatives can also be used productively to support at least some of the less developed institutions on the ground. At the conceptual level, it was possible to show how the holistic evaluation approach can be used to link structural challenges with current urban development projects, specific local resources and, above all, local actors in order to better understand trends in urban development. The approach presented is thus suitable for examining the role of individual actors or specific resources and projects at the micro level, as is possible within the framework of this short chapter. But at the same time it also offers to a greater extent the possibility of identifying holistic development trends and investigating their emergence. This can make an important contribution to a better understanding of the development of secondary cities and to complement the working definition for this type of city given earlier. Especially when it goes beyond an evaluation of quantitative and geographical data as presented in the short literature review and functional and potential data are of greater importance in order to investigate a city, the holistic evaluation approach can be applied meaningfully in order to first determine the locally relevant categories. This draws attention to the perspective of local experts and the local projects, resources and actors that are important for them. A scientific comparison of secondary cities should also include these categories if the aim is to characterise development paths and point out future perspectives.
References Armstrong, W. & McGee, T. G. (1985) Theatres of accumulation: Studies in Asian and Latin American Urbanization. London, Methuen. Bolay, J. & Rabinovich, A. (2004) Intermediate cities in Latin America: Risk and opportunities of coherent urban development. Cities, 21 (5), 407–421. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.cities.2004.07.007. De Boeck, F., Cassiman, A. & Van Wolputte, S. (2009) Recentering the city: An anthropology of secondary cities in Africa. In: Bakker, K. (ed.) African perspectives 2009: The African city: (Re)sourced. Pretoria, University Press of Pretoria, pp. 33–41. Denzin, N. K. (1989) Interpretive interactionism. Newbury Park, Sage. Drakatis-Smith, D. W. (2000) Third world cities. London and New York, Routledge. Hammersley, M. & Atkinson, P. (1983) Ethnography: Principles in practice. London and New York, Tavistock.
122 Christian Rosen Hardoy, J. E. & Satterthwaite, D. (1986) Urban change in the third world: Are recent trends a useful pointer to the urban future? Habitat International, 10 (3), 33–52. Available from: doi:10.1016/0197-3975(86)90037-8. Hoffmann-Lange, U. (2017) Methods of elite identification. In: Best, H. & Higley, J. (eds.) The Palgrave handbook of political elites. London, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 79–92. Kaplan, D. H., Wheeler, J. O. & Holloway, S. R. (2004) Urban geography. Hoboken, NJ, Wiley. KFW (2019) 15 Evaluierungsbericht 2017–2018: Zu größerer Wirkung in kleineren Städten. Available from: https://www.kfw-entwicklungsbank.de/PDF/DownloadCenter/Dokumente-Evaluierung/15_Deutsch.pdf [Accessed 23rd April 2020]. Lofland, J. & Lofland, L. H. (1995) Analysing social settings: A guide to qualitative observation and analysis. Belmont, Wadsworth. Marais, L., Nel, E. & Donaldson, R. (eds.) (2016) Secondary cities and development. London, Routledge. Nijman, J. (2013) Introduction – comparative urbanism. Urban Geography, 28 (1), 1–6. Available from: doi:10.2747/0272-36220.127.116.11. Otiso, K. (2005) Kenya´s secondary cities growth strategy at a crossroads: Which way forward? GeoJournal, 62, 117–128. Available from: doi:10.1007/ s10708-005-8180-z. Roberts, B. & Hohmann, R. (2014) The system of secondary cities: The neglected drivers of urbanising economies. Brussels, Cities Alliance. Robinson, J. (2002) Global and world cities: A view off the map. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 26 (3), 531–554. Available from: doi:10.1111/1468-2427.00397. Robinson, J. (2016) Thinking cities through elsewhere: Comparative tactics for a more global urban studies. Progress in Human Geography, 40 (1), 3–29. Available from: doi:10.1177/0309132515598025. Rodríguez-Pose, A. & Dahl Fitjar, R. (2013) Buzz, archipelago economies and the future of intermediate and peripheral areas in a spiky world. European Planning Studies, 21 (3), 355–372. Available from: doi:10.1080/09654313.2012.716246. Rondinelli, D. (1983) Secondary cities in developing countries: Policies for diffusing urbanization. Beverly Hills, Sage. Roy, A. (2011) Slumdog cities: Rethinking subaltern urbanism. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35 (2), 223–238. Available from: doi:10.1111/j.1468-2427.2011.01051.x. Satterthwaite, D. (2006) Outside the large cities: The demographic importance of small urban centers and large villages in Africa, Asia and Latin America. United Nations Centre for Human Settlements: Human Settlements Discussion Paper – Urban Change 3. Available from: https://pubs.iied.org/10537IIED/. Sheppard, E., Leitner, H. & Maringanti, A. (2013) Provincializing global urbanism: A manifesto. Urban Geography, 34 (7), 893–900. Available from: doi:10.1080/0 2723638.2013.807977. Van der Merwe, I. (1992) In search of an urbanization policy for South Africa: Towards a secondary city strategy. Geographical Research Forum, 12, 102–127. Watson, V. (2009) ‘The planned city sweeps the poor away. . .’: Urban planning and 21st century urbanization. Progress in Planning, 72, 151–193. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.progress.2009.06.002.
Comparing secondary cities 123 World Bank (2009) World development report 2009: Reshaping economic geography. Washington, DC, World Bank. Zeiderman, A. (2008) Cities of the future? Megacities and the space/time of urban modernity. Critical Planning, 23–39, Summer.
7 Post-conflict Dili An overlooked urbanscape reaching out for development Joana de Mesquita Lima and João Pedro Costa Introduction In October 2019, a number of people were evicted from recently occupied areas of Dili, renowned for its environmental value and tourism potential (Freitas, 2019a, 2019b, 2019c, 2019d, 2019e, 2019f, 2019g). News articles reported that families had made payments to the xefi suku and held documents that would allow them to occupy the areas, at least until the state needed the land. Earlier in the year, concerns about the lack of urban planning had begun to emerge. The local newspaper, Timor Post, published articles where Timorese academia and Members of Parliament pressed the government to take urgent action in Dili, implementing urban planning processes and addressing the incomplete regulatory framework (Timor Post, 2019a, 2019b, 2019c, 2019d). Amidst this scenario, those who moved to the city from rural areas, since the reestablishment of independence, have found themselves vulnerable in unclear power-sharing and decision-making arrangements in a city that still bears the marks of layers of conflict from 1999 and 2006. Research across post-conflict contexts demonstrate how they are wrought with underlying pressures that often lead to further outbreaks of violence (Beall, Goodfellow & Rodgers, 2010) amid ever-pressing needs to provide basic support to those living in the urban disorder that results from conflict. Research notes that in these contexts it is fundamental for the immediate needs of populations, such as housing and living conditions, to be addressed as a priority, providing stability and allowing for progression toward a development-focused agenda (Beall, Goodfellow & Rodgers, 2010, 2013; Brown et al., 2015; Carapic & Jütersonke, 2012; Moser & Rodgers, 2012). With half of the world’s urban population now living in Asia, it is imperative to address concerns of the developing Asian city (Roy, 2014). In particular, it is urgent to address overlooked cities that are growing in size and importance, notably those that have undergone drastic changes in structure, such as those in a post-conflict context, with additional vulnerabilities associated to the frailty of governance structures and frameworks.
Post-conflict Dili 125
Methodological notes This chapter is a reflection on existing legislation and regulation, programmes and support provided to Timor-Leste, as well as existing plans for Dili, the capital. These are further supported by 26 interviews conducted in 2019, with different national and international actors, on Dili and urban processes. These interviews were conducted in a semi-structured format with a number of actors, including national NGOs involved in socio-political and economic policy analysis and land issues. Others interviewed include members of national academia linked to planning, engineering and architecture, and international academia focused on development issues and governance, national and international architecture and planning experts. Central and local government staff and advisors were also interviewed. The authors note that the analysis here carried out stems from their perspective, actors who have worked on the Dili urbanscape, from a Europeanbased education, attempting to contextualise work. Moreover, it is thus important to reflect on Kusno’s note: “To what extent have studies centred on European imperialism themselves ‘colonized’ ways of thinking about colonial and postcolonial space . . . the standpoint or focus from which these works are written still tends to be that of Europe” (2000: p. 6). In recognising this point, it is also important to recognise the authors’ positionality, namely that of the first author who conducted the interviews, whereby it is relevant to consider that they were conducted by a white female from the previous colonial power, someone who had previously lived and worked in Dili. While these may have restricted some responses, given the perception of interviewees of the interviewer, to ease communication and facilitate greater rapport, interviews were conducted in Tetun, Portuguese or English. Thus, while striving to be independent and clear, the level of involvement of the researcher on the field, and the awareness of some of those interviewed on her past experiences, provided a dual position of both being a malae (foreigner), while also being an insider. Furthermore, in line with Myat Thu’s note (2017: p. 188): “engagement with research participants entails an ethical responsibility to use the information gathered in a manner that will not pose risks to individuals and groups, especially in conflict-prone or post-conflict settings”. The authors hereby recognise that in such a context, critical comments may generate impact in a professional setting and, on the other hand, lack of anonymity in responses to interviews may lead to an undesired reservation in responses; thus interviewees are here treated anonymously.
From swamps to “tin city” Dili was established as the capital of Portuguese Timor in 1769, having moved its capital from Lifau, in the Oé-Cusse enclave. The climatic conditions, abundance of water, good port, flat coastal plain and mountainous
126 de Mesquita Lima and Costa backdrop – good for defence – were key factors in choosing this site. In 1834, the city truly began to emerge through a port development plan; the Eastern part of the city began to develop, with housing for Portuguese officers and administration moving to slightly higher ground, away from the warm and wet coastal plain that attracted mosquitoes and, consequently, from disease focus points. These hills also provided distance from the swamps of Dili, where water accumulated, particularly in the monsoon season. The Second World War saw the Japanese army invade Timor-Leste, leaving most of Dili’s buildings destroyed. Post-World War II, different urban plans were developed, looking at the design of the city with the interests and protection of the colonial community, settling the Church in important areas and leaving the local population in areas of greater vulnerability. The 1974 Carnation Revolution in Portugal saw the end of Portuguese rule over the Timorese territory. As the Timorese began asserting their new political freedom, internal violence ensued in the struggle for power, leading to instability. Arguing that they were responding to requests for support, Indonesia occupied Timor-Leste from 1975 to 1999 (Scambary, 2019), transforming the nation through conflict and force, and leading to the movement of people from all over the country. This movement was so great that a survey carried out in 1979 estimated that of the 680,000 Timorese living in pre-Indonesia Timor-Leste, circa 300,000 were in resettlement camps; others had been transferred to villages far away from their ancestral land (away from areas of the resistance movements) and mostly along areas controlled by the military and local militia (Taylor, 1999). As in any occupied territory, the capital city was key to the strategy that Indonesia was imposing on Dili, namely its form of repression of the population and imposition of restrictions of movement and actions and development. The focus was mostly on construction, transport and jobs in civil service, though these jobs were mostly directed at Indonesian migrants or Timorese nationals who sympathised with the Indonesian regime (Moxham & Carapic, 2013). Through forced population movement, such as those of transmigrasi,1 people were moved into the city for control, as well as other voluntary movements typical of rural-urban migration, seeking out better lives and better access to education that was only available in Dili. This was seen as a way to weaken local structure and organisation, reducing the power of the clans and traditional hierarchy, as well as generating great frailty among the population through inadequate construction of housing and the inappropriate location. In 1999, through an UN-sponsored referendum, the Timorese population voted for independence and rejected the proposal to become an autonomous region of the Republic of Indonesia. Almost immediately, large-scale destruction of the city took place, leaving a terrorised population behind, fleeing to the mountains or Indonesian Western Timor. The country was destroyed, with two-thirds of the population displaced and 40 percent of the housing stock destroyed at the national level; in Dili, over 50 percent of the
Post-conflict Dili 127 capital city buildings were destroyed, and there was also significant destruction of the infrastructure, such as the port, airport and major government buildings (UN-Habitat, 2006). Once the UN Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET) was established, large-scale movement into Dili began, with population coming from districts and refugees returning to Timor-Leste, leading population figures to rise from 100,715 to 173, 541 between 1999 and 2004 (Scambary, 2019); in 2015 the population of the district of Dili was 277,279. Houses left empty by those who had fled post-referendum were taken by others, and additional family members soon occupied surrounding land with makeshift tin-roof and palapa housing. In 2006, a new wave of conflict hit the city of Dili, reconfiguring the city with camps of internally displaced people (IDP) and movement of population, as well as new destruction of buildings and homes through communal violence. The city has since continued to receive new rural-urban migratory movement in the search for better living conditions, forcing the expansion of the city toward its natural borders, namely toward the protected area to the west of the city and onto its steep mountain slopes. Dili is now widely referred to as a city of tin roofs that emerge alongside tarmac roads and dust roads, populated by street sellers and street-corner markets. The roads themselves are packed with taxis, mikrolets,2 motorbikes, new cars zooming past old collapsing cars and a constant sound of hooting vehicles. Large warehouses line the roads, selling goods that range from food to household items, construction materials or office material. Behind these, more tin roofs emerge in a density suggesting overcrowding.
Urbanscape overlooked For a post-conflict country aiming to develop and to affirm its independence, state-building remains a constant effort. State-building is a long-term process, requiring history and political grounding from governance structures (Chopra, 2002; Hohe, 2002); yet where such structures do not exist, the territory continues to be transformed, regardless of governance status: Communities find ways to address their needs even if informally, while formal territorial organisation arises as a result of economic power. The importance of the territory and of what produces it must therefore not be ignored, whereby the production of space, as we see it in the post-conflict context, is one that has references to the conflict endured, and Dili has indelible marks of conflict and occupation.
Disengaged urban governance Moxham and Carapic (2013) refer to a phrase used by a civil society leader to describe Timor-Leste in 1999, “a governance ground zero”, given the lack of national actors and institutions to govern the nation. In this context,
128 de Mesquita Lima and Costa the UNTAET and subsequent national governments worked to build the nation from the ground. Although much has been achieved, urban governance efforts have been disengaged from needs, and implementation has been riddled with a range of issues. The Base Law for Land Management (República Democrática de TimorLeste, 2017) makes reference to land management as a responsibility of all public authorities. It stipulates that their actions and strategies should be integrated within the planning process so that it can promote an adequate organisation and use of the national territory in the perspective of its valuation and of sustainable development. As the first key piece of legislation specifically targeting land management, it is worth noting that it took 15 years (post-restoration of independence) for territorial planning to be recognised by law. This, in fact, has been lacking since the early days of the reestablishment of independence as even during UNTAET times, no budget was allocated to urban planning. Critiquing the UN administration in Timor-Leste, Hohe (2002) notes that community needs were overlooked, as well as expectations and local knowledge. In line with this, Cheryl McEwan (2019) suggests that although external actors may act with the best of intentions, they often bring knowledge and context that are irrelevant and overlook the value of the knowledge held by those living there. Discussing this in interviews conducted in Dili, it was noted that different countries and development partners have developed and implemented different programmes and strategies, without necessarily considering their adequateness to the needs and capacities of the institutions. In terms of governance, there is always a huge issue with donors – bilateral and multi-lateral – because they all come with a vision of what should happen and frame their programme designs around that and negotiate with the government. Often there is a lot of inconsistency between these programmes. . . . What you see happening is that particular programmes come with a set of arrangements and IT systems and policy directions and they place templates onto particular ministries and that don’t necessarily sit comfortably with other ministries . . . for example, some programmes were designed for a Westminster system of governance and other programmes were more structured around a Civil Code system of governance. Institutionally they are both very different and I guess that something that did often concern me was seeing that advisors didn’t necessarily start with the Constitution and the legal framework of Timor-Leste, and work from that . . . I guess it’s a familiar model and you bring that in. The familiar is transposed to the development setting when it doesn’t necessarily cohere very well with the institutions on the ground. (Interview with international governance academic, July 2019)
Post-conflict Dili 129 Reflecting on Timor-Leste’s governance processes, Hohe (2002) refers to the fact that although some consultation and involvement from the local population did exist, those who were more actively engaged had lived and trained abroad bringing different references, possibly also charged with post-colonial expectation. However, participation from these elites did not necessarily represent the structure of the communities in the districts, with often a sense that those who embraced “modernity” had to reject “tradition”. Bexley (2017) also refers to the fact that at the time of establishing the basis for state-making, the youth were not invited in, even by the local leaders. The post-independence discourse of youth as “young patriots” was set aside and they were culturally, socially and politically excluded by governments, international development and academic discourses. As the population needs to truly participate in the state and must therefore understand the idea of a state (as opposed to a new power élite running a country based on the ignorance of the local population), social changes have to occur as transformations from within society, from the epicentre of the system. International actors can only support changes but not inflict them. (Hohe, 2002: p. 587) Questioned about the setup and capacity for local governance, an international academic also involved with UNTAET noted that: My own sense is that a better model of district administration, particularly in the early days, would have been to have a deconcentrated approach leaving policy and budgets to be allocated at the national level, but allowing district administrators to effectively administer the budgets and implement the policy at sub-national level. . . . I think that if you invest in a quality administration at the sub-national level, you can get an effective relationship between government and local population and that also means having strong subnational councils of local people. (Interview with international governance academic, July 2019) Under the approved decentralisation programme, legislation has been developed to award authority to the local level so that development plans may be elaborated. Integrated district development plans were envisioned as part of the process to develop projects of the state at the district and subdistrict level; these should be harmonised with the Suco development Plan and local development plans, to be developed and jointly coordinated with the national development agency. However, although established in policy and referred to in Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL) and partner programmes, they have not been implemented. Thus, although municipal level
130 de Mesquita Lima and Costa governance is being put in place with support from development partners, it is yet to engage at a more local scale. There is a strong sense of dependence on the central government, even in Dili, as well as a gap in communication between the different actors involved in interventions across the city. The lack of interaction between different governmental offices demonstrates fragility in the enforcement of existing legislation, considered fundamental for the sustainable development of the city and nation. Many of the interviews and discussions held with advisors, central and local government, and development partners all referred to the multiplicity and overlap of duties and responsibilities, concluding that the coordination between different entities and governance levels are a big challenge for urban governance. Although inter-ministerial coordination has existed in this sector, a lack of strength for effective and efficient management of the body, and the inability to talk freely, have undermined the coordination efforts. Some of those interviewed award these failures to a number of factors, including a lack of courage to act as some measures may be unpopular or a lack of desire to openly discuss issues for fear that these would lead to a loss of budget (and power). Others reflected on the fact that politics is present in managerial and technical roles, and thus discussions could be interpreted as political statements. This has led to a reliance on the development of personal networks between technical officers and advisors in different ministries for the development and implementation of coordinated actions. Interviews with those in technical roles in the government referred to the fact that changing political colours in the ministries too often led to changes in counterparts, undermining coordination efforts and attempts to advance inter-ministerial interventions. To enforce existing legislation, there are still regulatory tools that need to be approved, signalling a need for urgent work in establishing frameworks and adequate structures and devolution of power, for a clearer and more accountable management of the city. In parallel, those in the municipal authority reclaim the need for greater budget availability and independence in implementation, claiming that it is the basic needs of the communities that need to be addressed and that the local level is where these can be suitably addressed. Amidst the nebulous vision of governance, networks in Dili are inadequate in responding to the needs of the populations. Services are broken and unmaintained given limited resources, often with an impact on the environment, generating pressure beyond sustainability, e.g. unmanaged use of water supplies through private wells and inadequate and a poor sanitation network. Figures 7.1 and 7.2 demonstrate central areas of the city of Dili, next to governmental buildings and the UN headquarters (Figure 7.1) and along the coastal road near embassies, hotels and restaurants (Figure 7.2), where the lack of capacity to manage and maintain drainage channels often means that dirty water accumulates near housing, where adequate forms of sanitation are also lacking.
Post-conflict Dili 131
Figure 7.1 Poor maintenance of drainage channel in central Dili – July 2019 Source: © Joana de Mesquita Lima
132 de Mesquita Lima and Costa
Figure 7.2 River and drainage channel in central, seafront Dili – August 2019 Source: © Joana de Mesquita Lima
Post-conflict Dili 133
Disconnected urban growth The Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste led to a forceful movement of people from rural to urban areas, meaning that the city grew without a natural relationship and connection between capital and labour. This was to be the course of action over the 24 years the country was ruled through the hand of forceful occupation. After the vote for independence in 1999, the District of Dili began to receive many internal migrants coming from all districts, not just from neighbouring ones, leading to a higher growth rate in Dili than the national average, e.g. 2004–2010 average of 4.6 percent in Dili, and 2.4 percent on a national level (Government of Timor-Leste & UNFPA, 2012). While many did find jobs working for international and national organisations based in Dili, many of those migrating to the city have been unable to enter the formal labour market. The Government of Timor-Leste (2017a) states that 50,643 new jobs were created between 2010 and 2013, yet only 8,323 were in the formal economy. The growth of the city has occurred with a capital-labour disconnect continued with wealth being generated internally and concentrated on the elite, with a strong presence of the informal markets across a wide number of sectors, without much capacity by the state to address such an issue, as often occurs in urban spaces of the South (Schindler, 2017). The shape and form of Dili have undergone a transformation; the urbanscape now holds large buildings with space being created for administrative and diplomatic buildings, while other areas are being primed for tourism development or for the development of larger business investments. Other areas of potential development have been occupied by increasing population and building densities amidst uncontrolled development, pushing the margins of the city further out toward areas of great environmental value and vulnerability, such as wetlands, mangroves, river margins and on the steep hills that surround the city. The vulnerability of the population remains and worsens given inadequate infrastructure, unclear tenure status and subsequent underlying tensions related to political affiliations and allegiances of the past (Scambary, 2019). Associated to these, local governance structures lack clarity of action and resources to act, alongside inadequate capacity at the national level to develop, implement and oversee planning projects (Government of TimorLeste, 2017b). Establishment of order and political stability post-2006 crisis continued to draw people to Dili and attracted further economic investment. As a consequence, capital began to be a big driver in the development of the city with visible large property investments and the beginning of a real estate market, driven by private investors looking for a quick return on investment offering high-value rental housing to the international community and local elite. Such investments, alongside the construction of commercial and business centres, have led to the displacement of people who have settled there (both newcomers and others more established), some of whom have
134 de Mesquita Lima and Costa received compensation through complex processes amidst a still nebulous and incomplete legal framework. Interviews with members of Timorese civil society illustrate their concerns on how political connections influence the compensation of those being moved and how those without access to titles in Dili are constantly forced out into further places of environmental vulnerability without the possibility for compensation. This lack of clarity of land ownership allows the government to hold a great space for interventions, often reflecting power imbalances while the needs of the most vulnerable are left to respond. As this continues to evolve and to assert its mark on the territory, the vision for the city emerging from the study on the Dili Urban Master Plan (JICA, Nippon Koei Co. Ltd. & Pacet Corp., 2016) includes industrial parks on the outskirts of the city, while the city centre is looked upon as an administrative and tourism centre. Figure 7.3 illustrates part of the area where evictions took place in late 2019. This area was defined as a protected area during UNTAET times, given the environmental value of the wetlands; it is also recognised as an area of religious, cultural and historical value and of tourism. As the occupation of land in the city has become increasingly difficult, the new waves of migration have sought new areas for occupation, including this area. At a local university where the authors were conducting an interview, students
Figure 7.3 Informal occupation in the Tasi Tolu Protected Area (west of the city of Dili) – August 2019 Source: © Joana de Mesquita Lima
Post-conflict Dili 135 commented that they had been pushed to find accommodation in this area, having come from outside Dili and that their living conditions here were inadequate. They referred to their great vulnerability to floods, lack of access to water and increasing contamination of water sources but said that they had no other alternative. Environmental concerns were also raised by national academics of the National University of Timor-Leste who indicated that water testing in this area showed high levels of pollution. Flooding in the monsoons has also led to increasingly poor conditions in these areas. Similarly, Figure 7.4 illustrates the occupation of land along the river margins, where informal housing grows despite warnings by central and local government; however, without access to land, people feel they are left without alternatives. As large investments are approved across the city, there is a sense that land prices are rising. Although access to data has not been possible, members of civil society working on land issues suggest that there has been an eight- to ten-fold increase in prices, particularly since 2007, with foreign investors looking at buying land along the coastal road at increasingly higher prices. Under the latest study for urban development in Dili, these areas have been earmarked as new development areas (JICA, Nippon Koei Co. Ltd. & Pacet Corp., 2016). The newspaper reports on the evictions in Tasi Tolu in October 2019 (Figure 7.3) also support interviews held with different government staff and
Figure 7.4 Informal housing on riverbank – August 2019 Source: © Joana de Mesquita Lima
136 de Mesquita Lima and Costa members of civil society, denoting how the role of the xefi suku is unclear and how communities with lack of knowledge and access to information give way for local power-holders to misuse their power. This, however, is having a strong hand in shaping the city, as access to land is being awarded in exchange for payment, under no plan and regardless of regulations or technical evaluation.
Disjointed interventions Interventions in a scenario of disengaged and disconnected growth are fragmented. A city in constant change without a clear direction is a city where interventions are disjointed, lacking the ability to enforce or respond to established policies and strategies. Interviews conducted with political actors and national and international experts describe a city in constant change, expanding in the midst of an empty legal framework and with limited capacity to implement existing legislation and to enforce directives established by the government. Indeed, the recent occupation in areas of vulnerability and their displacement brings forth the reality of an overlooked territory. While capital has contributed to the form of the city through actions implemented by the local and central authorities, the city has been mediated through objects (as suggested by Schindler, 2017), i.e. that it is through objects that human relations interact, addressing their connectivity, circulation and processes. Schindler (2017) proposes that what is important in Southern cities is how the object (for example, the infrastructure) will affect the political economy, that is the layout of the vulnerable and non-vulnerable populations, the understanding of areas that have access to the formal networks instead of those that have a greater exposure to environmental pressures and that are thus more vulnerable. In Dili, this refers us to Figure 7.3, i.e. those living in environmental vulnerability, by the power imbalances with local authorities and by uncontrolled real estate pressures. It is in their seeking to engage with the object, infrastructure, city structure and the formal sector, that they look to position themselves and produce the city through this process, in the midst of missing direction and guidelines. Until a plan is approved and comes into fruition, the territory of the city will continue to be transformed, produced by communities and their everyday needs and by economic actors exerting their power. Authorities, across different scales, are not intervening in the production of the city but are, instead, transforming the city and its cityscape, investing in changing the city and the use and occupation of the land beyond the needs of the population. In 2007, with support from UN-Habitat, a national housing policy was passed. The document itself highlights the need to carry out housing plans and projects that should be integrated with other policies and strategies. The policy also addresses the need to adopt a strategy to avoid rural exodus and the need to have an integrated approach to minimise the effects of rehousing and social tensions and looking to offer options for the physical improvement
Post-conflict Dili 137 of houses and provision of associated services. It has been referred to by different governments, but with little to no implementation given limited buy-in and inter-ministerial coordination (Bugalski, 2010). Although recent governments have established a goal to update and improve on this policy, with an emphasis on providing housing to the most vulnerable population, the evictions carried out in the last quarter of 2019 and initial discussions on movement of communities to government housing have left members of civil society and communities feeling weary. Dili . . . is a bit contradictory. The government intends to make houses, but to implement this is very difficult because there is not yet an urban plan . . . if the day after tomorrow there was some clear urban plan, they would destroy these houses again. It is the government that loses. (Interview to the xefi de suku of Fatuhada published in local newspaper Suara Timor Lorosae, 2001, cited in Tusinski, 2019: p. 154) Nonetheless, the right to housing is enshrined in the National Constitution: “Everyone has the right to a house, both for himself or herself and for his or her family, of adequate size that meets satisfactory standards of hygiene and comfort and preserves personal intimacy and family privacy”, and government programmes make reference to it. The application of this right and of the housing policy would contribute to stabilising some of the existing power imbalances, allowing for greater connectivity and linkage to the formal as desired by those pushed into the vulnerable locations, away from their objects. Yet, housing initiatives promoted by the government have ultimately been criticised. In the resettlement programme of the 2006 crisis, a cash-in-hand solution was the preferred option for IDPs who wanted control over location and elements that make up the significance of the home. None chose the basic house model option the government offered, as these were associated with memories of forced rehousing during the Indonesian occupation. In 2008, a final settlement was reached that homes could be renewed through a cash-in-hand process. However, money was used on immediate goods, for cultural events or investing in village life, building cement block homes to be passed on to the next generation; others used the money to buy taxis or invested in other forms of income-generation activities (Bugalski, 2010; Tusinski, 2019). The Millennium Development Challenge intervention to build modular homes was also heavily criticised by those interviewed. Although the objective was to bring people in vulnerable circumstances to places where they could be better integrated and have better access to the services they require, these are mainly empty (Tusinski, 2019). Interviewed representatives of civil society, national academia and technical experts (national and international) critiqued the programme, stating that the houses did not respond to
138 de Mesquita Lima and Costa the needs of communities in terms of location and design, ignoring elements of what culturally constitutes a home. In tandem, overarching strategies present the need to move forward in bringing government and services closer to the population for greater efficiency, calling for participation and for a greater movement from the bottom up; yet these are effectively absent when discussing overarching strategic planning. Thus, planning processes are not only disjointed in terms of their sectoral approaches, particularly in what concerns the city of Dili, but they also do not reflect the emerging needs of the urban population to respond to the growth of the city in an effective manner. Although money is awarded to local communities to carry out work through the Suco development plan, overall effectiveness is called to question when the regulatory framework, the strategic planning and overarching programmes do not note the need for integrated planning. Analysis of government documents and development partner strategies illustrates a focus on the district/municipal level, yet there is a disconnect in bringing interventions to the local level and the specificity and implementation of actions to grant space for grassroots involvement. Although there is a programme that promotes the development and implementation of actions at the local level – the PNDS (National Programme for Suco Development) – and it does see the implementation of infrastructure projects for communities by communities, the transparency in the choice of actions, as well as their true impact and sustainability, are widely questioned. Yet, on the macro level, interviews held with development partners noted how cross-sectoral planning is essential and that the provision of services and infrastructure to the communities, without having to wait for plans, is fundamental. Projects focused on infrastructures now appear to be looking to consolidate different initiatives, initially focusing on consolidated areas while updating infrastructure in areas that are still predominantly informal and disorganised. Although noting that these should not be seen as incentives for densification of these areas, the idea that in some way access to infrastructure and services is being provided will shape the city. Generating networks and reducing the imbalance in access to the city and what it has to provide, while creating links between areas produced by communities, will draw them closer to the areas also produced with the hand of the government. Looking at actions implemented in the city, it is thus necessary to look at those that are operating in the city and consider what kind of city is desired by all, addressing “the kind of social ties, relationship to nature, lifestyles, technologies and aesthetic values” that communities hold (Harvey, 2008: p. 23). Kusno (2000) suggests that urban design should be specific to local knowledge and political culture, yet in cities of the South it is often the result of a colonial past. The way the city is structured and what people recognise as an urban setting is often the reflection of the urban colonial
Post-conflict Dili 139 evidence, whereby the cultural space and representation of the milieu must also be a representation of the culture. Furthermore, this is further reflected through the training of those who are technically and politically responsible for shaping the city through the hand of the government – you might find that those trained in Indonesia might not see the current state of the city as chaotic as those who have been trained in Europe (as reflected in some of the responses in interviews conducted at architecture offices with academia and local technical officers). Points of reference of those intervening influence perceptions, and thus urban Dili, are also the product of disjointed perceptions of the urban realm.
Conclusion In a global scenario of conflict entering urban areas, tearing physical, structural and governmental structures apart, the relevance of reflecting upon the post-conflict recovery of an overlooked urban fabric is timely. The case of Dili highlights that in a development-focused context it is crucial to recognise southern thinking, as suggested by Roy (2014), focused on contextual specificity and recognising that planning a city is planning a space for people, where they remain and exist, while the urban territory is formed and produced by the communities themselves in response to their immediate needs and identity. Where these specificities are not considered, the planning exercise is likely to fail, particularly in the context of overlooked, post-conflict cities, where there is a yearning for organisation and reconstruction amidst a fragility of regulatory frameworks and enforcement obstacles that often generates territorial injustices in spatial forms (Malas, 2013). The experience in Dili demonstrates the limitations of governance structures without clear mandates and effective empowerment and resources, disengaged with the needs of the growing population. It highlights the need to find a balance between formal government structures and traditional structures and finding mechanisms to best communicate knowledge between the formal government and grassroots structures. Urban governance thus requires local authorities to hold effective tools to intervene in a territory they know and for a community with whom they have greater proximity while connecting more effectively for better living conditions. Dili is important; it is the centre of national development and where population expectations lie. It is a product of consensus and conflict, discussion and imposition, acceptance and rejection, where living conditions and opportunities for its population continue to be overlooked. The right of individuals to access the city and its networks need for those in power to generate an impact on the urban environment, changing and reshaping the process of urbanisation so that territory may be produced through access, rather than through a lack of it.
140 de Mesquita Lima and Costa
Acknowledgements The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support provided by the Portuguese Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), Universidade de Lisboa and the Research Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Design (CIAUD) in the development of this research project.
Notes 1 Strategy of the Indonesian state to move population as a way of alleviating population pressure and to unify different ethnic communities, implemented in an authoritarian manner (Taylor, 1999). 2 Mikrolets are small buses that act as the public transport of Dili.
References Beall, J., Goodfellow, T. & Rodgers, D. (2010) Cities and conflict. Available from: www.crisisstates.com [Accessed 18th July 2018]. Beall, J., Goodfellow, T. & Rodgers, D. (2013) Cities and conflict in fragile states in the developing world. Urban Studies, 50 (15), 3065–3083. Available from: doi:10.1177/0042098013487775. Bexley, A. (2017) The Geração Foun and Indonesia: Exclusion, belonging and the nation-state. In: Nygaard-Christensen, M. & Bexley, A. (eds.) Fieldwork in TimorLeste: Understanding social change through practice. Copenhagen, NIAS Press, pp. 99–124. Brown, D., Boano, C., Johnson, C., Vivekananda, J. & Walker, J. (2015) Urban crises and humanitarian responses: A literature review. Available from: https://www. bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/dpu/publications/dpu- report-1 [Accessed 15th April 2016]. Bugalski, N. (2010) Post conflict housing reconstruction and the right to adequate housing in Timor-Leste: An analysis of the response to the crisis of 2006 and 2007. Available from: http://www.inclusivedevelopment.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/ 1 2 / P O S T- C O N F L I C T- H O U S I N G - R E C O N S T R U C T I O N - A N D - T H E RIGHT-TO-ADEQUATE-HOUSING-IN-TIMOR-LESTE.pdf [Accessed 5th January 2020]. Carapic, J. & Jütersonke, O. (2012) Understanding the tipping point of urban conflict: The case of Dili, Timor-Leste. Available from: https://assets.publishing. service.gov.uk/media/57a08a92e5274a27b2000673/60712_Carapic_understand. pdf [Accessed 17th March 2015]. Chopra, J. (2002) Building state failure in East Timor. Development and Change, 33 (5), 979–1000. Available from: doi:10.1111/1467-7660.t01-1-00257. Freitas, D. P. (2019a) Governu la presiza notifika okupante lagoa tasi tolu. Tatoli. Available from: http://www.tatoli.tl/2019/10/21/governu-la-presiza-notifikaokupante-lagoa-tasi-tolu/ [Accessed 5th November 2019]. Freitas, D. P. (2019b) Governu sei hasai tan okupante besik estátua João Paulo II. Tatoli. Available from: http://www.tatoli.tl/2019/10/21/governu-sei-hasai-tanokupante-besik-estatua-joao-paulo-ii/ [Accessed 5th November 2019]. Freitas, D. P. (2019c) Hasai okupante tasi tolu, la viola direitu umanu. Tatoli. Available from: http://www.tatoli.tl/2019/10/21/hasai-okupante-tasi-tolu-la-viola-direituumanu/ [Accessed 5th November 2019].
Post-conflict Dili 141 Freitas, D. P. (2019d) Lei la autoriza xefe suku halo atribuisaun rai estadu ba komunidade. Tatoli. Available from: http://www.tatoli.tl/2019/10/21/lei-laautoriza-xefe-suku-halo-atribuisaun-rai-estadu-ba-komunidade/ [Accessed 5th November 2019]. Freitas, D. P. (2019e) Muda okupante iha tasi tolu, koordenadór Jestaun Munisípiu Dili hetan sona. Tatoli. Available from: http://www.tatoli.tl/2019/10/18/mudaokupante-iha-tasi-tolu-koordenador-jestaun-munisipiu-dili-hetan-sona/ [Accessed 5th November 2019]. Freitas, D. P. (2019f) Okupante tasi tolu hetan karta deklarasaun hosi xefe suku. Tatoli. Available from: http://www.tatoli.tl/2019/10/18/okupante-tasi-tolu-hetankarta-deklarasaun-hosi-xefe-suku/ [Accessed 5th November 2019]. Freitas, D. P. (2019g) SETP sobu uma 36 iha tasi tolu. Tatoli. Available from: http:// www.tatoli.tl/2019/10/18/sept-sobu-uma-36-iha-tasi-tolu/ [Accessed 5th November 2019]. Government of Timor-Leste (2017a) National employment strategy – 2017–2030. Available from: http://timor-leste.gov.tl/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/NationalEmployment-Strategy-2017-20301.pdf [Accessed 9th May 2020]. Government of Timor-Leste (2017b) Strategic results and transformation plan. Timor-Leste, Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications of Timor-Leste. Government of Timor-Leste & UNFPA (2012) Timor-Leste population and housing census 2010: Analytical report on migration and urbanization (volume 7). Available from: http://www.statistics.gov.tl/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Migration_ Monograph.pdf [Accessed 9th May 2020]. Harvey, D. (2008) The right to the city. New Left Review, 53 (September–October), 23–40. Available from: https://newleftreview.org/issues/II53/articles/david-harveythe-right-to-the-city [Accessed 11th October 2016]. Hohe, T. (2002) The clash of paradigms: International administration and local political legitimacy in East Timor. Contemporary Southeast Asia, 24 (3), 569– 589. Available from: doi:10.1355/CS24-3G. JICA, Nippon Koei Co. Ltd. & Pacet Corp (2016) The project for study on Dili urban master plan in the democratic republic of Timor-Leste. Timor-Leste, Ministry of Planning and Strategic Investment, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, October. Kusno, A. (2000) Colonial replica: Urban design and political cultures. In: Behind the postcolonial: Architecture, urban space and political cultures in Indonesia. London, Routledge. Malas, M. (2013) Post-war Mostar: The reconstruction of a city without reconciliation, pp. 1–11. Available from: https://www.academia.edu/3812056/Post-war_ Mostar_The_reconstruction_of_a_city_without_reconciliation [Accessed 18th March 2015]. McEwan, C. (2019) Critiquing development knowledge and power. In: Postcolonialism, decoloniality and development, 2nd edition. Oxon, Routledge, pp. 208–265. Moser, C. & Rodgers, D. (2012) Understanding the tipping point of urban conflict: Global policy report. Available from: http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/70082/ [Accessed 17th March 2015]. Moxham, B. & Carapic, J. (2013) Unravelling Dili: The crisis of city and state in Timor-Leste. Urban Studies, 50 (November), 3116–3133. Available from: doi:10.1177/0042098013487774.
142 de Mesquita Lima and Costa Myat Thu, P. (2017) Rocks don’t recognize Malae! Doing ethnographic research on land conflict in Timor-Leste. In: Nygaard-Christensen, M. & Bexley, A. (eds.) Fieldwork in Timor-Leste: Understanding social change through practice. Copenhagen, NIAS Press, pp. 169–190. República Democrática de Timor-Leste (2017) Lei No. 6/2017 bases do ordenamento do território, pp. 621–628. Available from: http://www.mj.gov.tl/jornal/ public/docs/2017/serie_1/SERIE_I_NO_15.pdf [Accessed 28th May 2019]. Roy, A. (2014) Worlding the South: Toward a post-colonial urban theory. In: Parnell, S. & Oldfield, S. (eds.) The Routledge handbook on cities of the global South. London and New York, Routledge, pp. 9–20. Available from: doi:10.4324/9780203387832.ch3. Scambary, J. (2019) Conflict, identity, and state formation in East Timor, 2000– 2017. Leiden, Brill. Schindler, S. (2017) Towards a paradigm of Southern urbanism. City, 21 (1), 1–18. Available from: doi:10.1080/13604813.2016.1263494. Taylor, J. G. (1999) East Timor: Forced resettlement. Forced Migration Review, 5 (August), 31–33. Available from: https://www.fmreview.org/sites/fmr/files/ FMRdownloads/en/kosovo/taylor.pdf [Accessed 28th August 2019]. Timor Post (2019a) Governu tenke halo planejamentu urbanu. Timor Post, 29th June, 15. Timor Post (2019b) Kalohan governu labele prolonga ordenamentu kapital dili. Timor Post, 2nd July, 23. Timor Post (2019c) Kapitál dili hetok desordenadu. Timor Post, 27th June, 23. Timor Post (2019d) Kapitál dili presiza lei ordenamentu urbanu. Timor Post, 28th June, 23. Tusinski, G. (2019) House-life, oikopolitics, and the failures of social housing in Timor-Leste. In: Mcwilliam, A. & Leach, M. (eds.) Routledge handbook of contemporary Timor-Leste, 1st edition. Oxon, Routledge, pp. 149–161. UN-Habitat (2006) Dili city upgrading strategy. Available from: https://fukuoka. unhabitat.org/projects/timor_leste/detail02_en.html [Accessed 16th October 2015].
8 Middle cities The politics of intermediary of Bandar Lampung, Semarang and Bontang city in Indonesia under climate crisis Erwin Nugraha Introduction Twenty-two mayors and vice mayors from all over Indonesia were convening in Bogor City Hall to discuss the collective futures of their cities. They gathered as part of the first-ever Mayor Caucus organised by the Indonesian Association of Urban and Regional Planners (IAP Indonesia) with support from the Association of Indonesian Municipalities (APEKSI) on the morning of 9 September 2019. The caucus was held to discuss an imminent concern that “there are no government’s integrative actions on Indonesia’s urban agenda”, said Bernardus Djonoputro, the chair of IAP Indonesia (IAP Indonesia, 2019: p. 1). It was organised to discuss the future of Indonesian cities in order to achieve the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals, known as SDGs, with a specific focus on Goal 11 to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (Mayor Communiqué, 2019). The caucus itself preceded the 55th ISOCARP World Congress, which is an international forum for urban planners to discuss the latest issues on metropolitan cities. It was two weeks earlier that the President Joko Widodo, who was just re-elected for the second term, announced the plan to move the current overcrowded capital of Jakarta to a new area in East Kalimantan (CNBC Indonesia, 2019). In this emerging discourse of over-urbanisation and diminished carrying capacity of Jakarta, secondary cities in Indonesia continue to be left out in the periphery of capital and mega-cities. Later, by the end of 2019, urban designers were invited to compete for the best design of the new capital, and the winner was selected, which surfaced the concept of Nagara Rimba Nusa, a mixed combination of state (Nagara), jungle (Rimba) and islands (Nusa). With this new symbolic moment, the president said this was part of the postcolonial gesture when he said, “as a big country that announced its independence 74 years ago, we have never designed nor decided our own capital” (Okezone, 2019: no pagination). The key agenda of the Mayor Caucus was in Goal 11 of the SDGs (United Nations, 2015); however, the atmosphere was more about the new capital. This discourse
144 Erwin Nugraha of the marginal, peripheral and on-the-edges of the new capital seems to, again, dominate secondary cities. Secondary cities, or also known as small and intermediate cities, are mostly underrepresented in the wider literature of urban and climate change studies. In the context of climate literature, where this chapter will be situated, several scholars have invited more attention toward small and intermediate cities, which are currently underrepresented and understudied (Birkman et al., 2016; Lamb et al., 2019). In his assessment of approximately more than 4,000 case studies, William Lamb and his colleagues (2019: p. 280) compared numbers of studies between mega-cities and small cities, stating that “12 percent of the world’s urban population lives in mega-cities, compared to 43 percent in small cities . . . studied respectively in 23 percent and 19 percent of cases”. They calculated that the majority of research focused on larger cities with specific attention to mega-cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, New York, London and Tianjin (ibid.). William Lamb and his colleagues also argued that “although mega-cities are growing rapidly in most region[s], so are small and medium-sized cities” (ibid.: p. 280). And yet, despite that the urban majority lives in these cities, small- and mediumsized cities are disproportionately under-represented, especially African and Latin American cities (ibid.). By attending to this overlooked space, this chapter will analyse and examine the potentialities of these neglected “middle cities” in the context of Indonesia. The author rejects the pre-emptive knowledge that these cities are less important and invites broader attention to the complex interplay under the politics and production of urban knowledge. Middle cities are envisioned as a pervasive embodiment of cities in between complex interplay with other, mostly dominant, cities. There are three different politics interplaying within middle cities, including a politics of navigating between circuits of dominance, a politics of negotiating with urban knowledge and a politics of resisting against marginal attendance. The focus of the study is small and on intermediate cities in the urban South, where people have experimented with urban climate resilience, namely Bandar Lampung, Semarang and Bontang in Indonesia. The author argues that middle cities are not a fixture of sites, place and identity but a mode to be in between, where the finitude of spectacles has to be negotiated and rescaled, and strategies for counter-overlooking have to be defended. This chapter was developed from a series of research undertaken by the author’s involvement in small and intermediate cities in the context of Southeast Asia. Research was undertaken since 2013 and also as part of the author’s reflections as a development practitioner between 2009 and 2013. During research, data collection was taken as part of qualitative research using semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs), as well as reports and policy-documents collection. Using urban comparativism as an analytical tool, this study is not only bringing into account the similarity and difference across different case studies but also examining
Middle cities 145 the patterns of reality for understanding connection and causality between middle cities and urban knowledge production (McFarlane & Robinson, 2012). Later sections will be divided into the following order: Understanding of relational scale in urban climate experiments to discuss network as a relational scale; discussion over climate crisis and urban knowledge representation to expand discussion of why and how small and intermediate cities are underrepresented in academic and practitioner realm; and then a section on middle cities and different kinds of politics of intermediary taking place in small and intermediate cities in Indonesia. The last section will summarise this chapter and discuss a potential future critical agenda toward the topic.
Climate crisis and urban knowledge representation In the context of the climate crisis, urban areas have received a mixture of aggregation and disaggregation. On one hand, urban areas are one of the core sites where the accumulation of risks and vulnerabilities of climate change impacts are located. But on the other hand, urban areas are frequently conceived only as a spatial container of those problems. Climate policies in Indonesia have always been caught up between climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Indonesian government has committed to achieving mitigation targets by reducing emissions with an unconditional target of 29 percent and a conditional target of 41 percent by 2030, while at the same time reducing impacts from climate change in the vulnerable coastal zones where 42 million people are currently living. However, the urban development in Indonesia, which has developed since the colonial era, was focusing on the concentration of population and economic activities in coastal areas (McGranahan, Balk & Anderson, 2007). As a result, the most populous and rapidly growing cities or towns in the early 20th century are located in coastal areas, including Jakarta, Semarang, Surabaya and Cirebon (Karsten, 1958). These cities or towns are mostly located on Java Island. Thomas Karsten (1958: pp. 10–11), a Dutch engineer who was influencing town planning in Indonesia during Dutch colonial rule, characterised Jakarta, Semarang and Surabaya as “towns with a very rapid, ‘American’ rate of growth, doubling their population in twenty years or less, even down to ten (rapidly growing)” and Cirebon as “those growing at rate which significantly higher than of Java as a whole”. International trade has also contributed significantly to human migration to the coastal urban areas (McGranahan et al., 2007). These conditions continue in the 21st century as Indonesia is among the most populous countries, after China, India, Bangladesh and Vietnam, with 41 million of its population living in the Low Elevation Coastal Zone (LECZ) (ibid.). In 2010, rapid urbanisation resulted in 50 percent of the Indonesian population living in urban areas, which are mostly located in low-lying coastal zones (The Republic of Indonesia, 2016).
146 Erwin Nugraha Furthermore, under broader climate policies, urban areas are perceived as a spatial container of various national targets, rather than having the full function to become an active actor to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. State agencies played a key role in setting up agenda and actions toward resilience, especially in urban Indonesia. In the National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation published by the National Development Planning Agency (Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional [BAPPENAS], 2013), resilience is part of an integral process for undertaking climate change adaptation in order to reduce (urban) vulnerabilities. It is part of an integral action to secure national development goals by undertaking resilience actions in different sectors (e.g. economic, social and environment) and territories (i.e. small islands, coastal and urban areas) (ibid.). The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has also adopted the term resilience into its regulation, which encompasses a new policy strategy to maintain and increase essential function, identity and structure of a particular region or system, e.g. urban areas, in order to cope with climate change (Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan [Ministry of Environment and Forestry], 2016). Lastly, the Ministry of Public Works and Housing developed resilience strategies to set up new standards for urban infrastructure to accommodate climate change risks (Kementerian Pekerjaan Umum dan Perumahan Rakyat [Ministry of Public Works and Housing], 2016). More specifically, urban areas are considered in more detail in the 2013 National Action Plan of Climate Change Adaptation, known as RAN-API, by BAPPENAS. The RAN-API Plan has a specific sub-sector for urban areas that emphasises strategies for spatial planning adjustment to climate change risks, sustainable urban environmental management, resilience infrastructures, capacity-building and research. This RAN-API Plan sets out priority regions for pilot activities, including in some small and intermediate cities. This national commitment comes along with emerging international commitments to support Indonesian cities to prepare for climate change, shock and stresses, such as the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) and 100 Resilient Cities (100RC). However, while these policies and programmes have contributed to advance actions toward resilience in urban areas, so far, urban areas only posit as a spatial container. The urban is known here as a scaled territorial entity where social groups and actors should act together in order to avoid climate change impacts (Herod, 2011). As a spatial container, the urban embodied as a unifying identity of social, economic, environmental and political spaces rather than explained as the divergence between socio-spatial relations between climate and local domains. The Rockefeller Foundation, with their ACCCRN programme and focus on secondary cities, challenges this very concern. It influenced the ways in which secondary cities are being recognised and represent secondary cities at the central node of urban climate experimentation. It comes with a critique that urban areas are not unified in practice, and by understanding the
Middle cities 147 varying processes in heterogenous urban sites, it could only arrive in a more nuanced understanding of the problems. When The Rockefeller Foundation initiated the ACCCRN programme, it responded to the overwhelming concern of urbanisation and increasing climate-change impacts in “second-tier cities” (Brown, Dayal & Del Rio, 2012). Anna Brown and her colleagues from ACCCRN at The Rockefeller Foundation identified that “more than 60 percent of the projected increase in urban population between now and 2050 will take place in Asia, and half of that growth will occur in cities that have fewer than 500,000 inhabitants today” (ibid.: pp. 531–532). The Rockefeller Foundation focus on secondary cities is a pioneer at the time when globally, Birkman and his colleagues (2016) identify that small and intermediate cities are growing faster with 32 percent compared to large and mega-cities with 26 percent between 2015 and 2030; yet these small and intermediate cities are widely underrepresented in climate change literature (Lamb et al., 2019). As a network, secondary cities in ACCCRN form new strategic relations to reconfigure urban scale where network developed as spaces of flows or rhizome of heterogeneous socio-material entities. Some cities in Indonesia that have joined ACCCRN under The Rockefeller Foundation later consolidated to be part of the Adaptation Working Group under the APEKSI. The initiative also engaged and interacted within the intersection of endogenous and exogenous forces as the origin of urban experimentation where local actors engage with national and international actors to involve in experimenting with climate change adaptation (Anguelovski and Carmin, 2011; Carmin, Anguelovski & Roberts, 2012; Carmin, Dodman & Chu, 2013). The ACCCRN initiative in urban climate experimentation in nature involves organic ways to organise planning through shared learning dialogues, conducting vulnerability assessment and city resilience strategy, local actions via climate change adaptation and resilience initiatives as well as learning and networking among secondary cities to achieve a collective urban climate resilience (Lassa & Nugraha, 2014; Nugraha & Lassa, 2018).
Middle cities and their intermediary politics Middle cities are a unique site in the urban South, often being overlooked as “a second” in a wider imaginary of other cities. The author argues that “middle cities” embody a distinctive site where the politics of small and intermediate cities are cultivated around the possibilities of what it means to be in-between varying spectacles and eventualities of southern urbanism. There are specific ways in which these small and intermediate cities operate as middle cities that are situated on the conditions that they should navigate, negotiate and resist for and against their collective urban futures. There is politics in the making of the middle cities. The making of middle cities defines as a mediating norm of different agenda, policies, actions and interventions of small and intermediate cities.
148 Erwin Nugraha It is also moderated through the reproduction of new social relations and formations between small and intermediate cities within broader urban practices. The making of middle cities involves different actions toward assembling knowledge, actors, institutions and networks that make small and intermediate cities visible. It is a counter-overlooking in the making. More specifically, the making of middle cities in Indonesia is performed around three conjunctures of reshaping the politics of urban knowledge and reconfiguring network around small and intermediate cities. These secondary cities also challenge the global circuit of ideas and practices that flow internationally and nationally but, more importantly, are deeply rooted in non-capital and global cities networks (see also Weseley, Filippi & Johnson, this volume). This means the politics of making middle cities embody a place in-between, where specific urban practices modulate around the possibilities for creating and negotiating with spectacles surrounding their collective futures. The roles of urban agencies and actors are critically important in these spaces. They involve different arrays of thinking, acting and governing secondary cities in a world of cities that might not be otherwise possible. While small and intermediate cities often receive less attention compared to larger and capital cities, they are in the nucleus of local development and hold significant roles as a hub or connection between urban and rural areas. As middle cities, small and intermediate cities represent the politics of intermediary as a practice of politics. This section concerns how geographical scale could inform us about how urban climate experiments across small and intermediate cities in Indonesia have been rescaled, the socio-spatial relations between cities and what that constitutes. It will focus on the scalar geographies of experimentation toward urban climate resilience where the scale is understood as fields of operation (Herod, 2011; Herod & Wright, 2002; Jessop, Brenner & Jones, 2008). The following discussion turns to three different politics that interplay in middle cities, including a politics of navigating in between circuits of dominance, a politics of negotiating with urban knowledge and a politics of resisting against marginal attendance. The author will use three different cities to illustrate different logics of intermediary: Bandar Lampung, Semarang and Bontang city in Indonesia. Scale-making as navigation in Bandar Lampung The first politics of intermediary in small and intermediate cities is a politics of navigating in between circuits of dominance. This scale-making process embodies a specific way of navigation by these secondary cities. More specifically, in ACCCRN, navigation politics in these secondary cities are best described as an intermediary organisation (Hodson & Marvin, 2014). The scale-making and remaking processes that they exemplify challenge the scalar structurisation of how the urban world has been imagined
Middle cities 149 and the possibilities of future encounters (Herod, 2011). As part of this, Bandar Lampung, as one of the small and intermediate cities in ACCCRN, has become an agent of change that contributes to the process to achieve successful socio-technical transitions for responding to environmental risks. The two forces, endogenous and exogenous force, interactively work in conjunction with each other and shape the dynamics, progress and narratives around governing climate change in the city (Anguelovski & Carmin, 2011; Carmin, Anguelovski & Roberts, 2012; Carmin, Dodman & Chu, 2013). Bandar Lampung is located on the southern tip of Sumatera Island. With a population of 960,695 and annual growth rate 1.5 percent as of 2014 (Statistic Bureau of Bandar Lampung, 2015), its topography comprises plains, seashores and hilly and mountainous areas. It was reported (Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network, 2010a) that only 32 percent of the population has access to a public water supply. The city is susceptible to the impacts of climate change, including flooding, droughts and landslides. Based on the Vulnerability Assessment (ibid.) conducted by ACCCRN, Bandar Lampung realises that building urban resilience will require not only government actions but also involving local communities and city stakeholders to actively reduce climate change risks and undertake local adaptation to the impacts of climate change (Mukhlis, Putri & Purnamawaty, 2010). Moreover, in the City Resilience Strategy, it is realised that the most vulnerable groups to climate change impacts are poor people, women who are the head of family, children and elderly people (ibid.). In order to build urban climate resilience, Bandar Lampung as an intermediary organisation has focused on networking for initiating adaptation planning. The city was involved in building a network of initiative engaging with city stakeholders, ministerial governments and national university and international private consultants, thus creating a web of a community of practitioners in urban climate resilience. More broadly, secondary cities that were part of ACCCRN in Indonesia, such as Bandar Lampung and Semarang, have engaged with multi-actor and multi-level governance at the international, national and sub-national levels of government. As a web of a community of practitioners, Bandar Lampung recalibrated the dominance of capital and mega-cities as an exemplary node of urban climate experimentation where it was commonly recognised as the common example at national and international levels. Bandar Lampung challenges this singular and topdown process of innovation and learning, and therefore acts in a plural process of navigation politics in urban climate experimentation by engaging with a web of a community of practitioners at multi-level governance. At the city level, Bandar Lampung established the Urban Climate Change Resilience Network Team (known as City Team). City Team then became part of the APEKSI, in the working group in climate change adaptation, and actively advocated climate change policies to national governments. The Bandar Lampung Local Government integrated their City Resilience Strategies into the Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMD), which is a
150 Erwin Nugraha five-year plan produced by the elected mayor to ensure the implementation and funding for adaptation actions. At the national level, Bandar Lampung engaged with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and the APEKSI, and further, at the international level engaged with international consultancies and academics from Arup, the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition International (ISET International) and the Institute for Housing Studies (IHS). More broadly, with ACCCRN as the initiator and catalyst, Bandar Lampung became an exemplar of urban climate experiments at secondary cities that were rescaled and remade to the wider regional area across South Asia and Southeast Asia, including more than 40 other cities in Bangladesh and the Philippines. As a web of practitioners in urban climate change resilience, a network of secondary cities in Indonesia can also be understood as a set of relations between multiple actors, agencies and activities that is resulted, emerged and stimulated from various distributions of powers (Dean, 2010). As part of a network of secondary cities, Bandar Lampung has acted to navigate around the circuits of ideas and practices and challenge the dominance of urban knowledge production that is mostly exemplified by global and capital cities. The city showed that a secondary city could become an exemplary node of urban climate experiments in a world of “ordinary” cities. Scale-making as negotiation in Semarang The second politics of intermediary in small and intermediate cities is a politics of negotiating with urban knowledge production. This scale-making process embodies a different way of negotiation to the production of urban knowledge that privileges a specific nucleus such as mega-, global and capital cities. With the absence of models in urban adaptation, secondary cities in Indonesia have tested new ideas and approaches in adaptation planning (Anguelovski & Carmin, 2011). Semarang is located on the northern part of Java Island. Its population, as reported in 2014, is 1,584,906 with an annual growth rate of 0.97 percent (Statistic Bureau of Semarang, 2014). As an economic engine, Semarang is strategically located in the “development corridor” of Central Java Province. However, the city is also increasingly susceptible to the impacts of climate change including a combination of climatic hazards and urban vulnerabilities: Tidal flooding, coastal abrasion, sea-level rise, land subsidence and dengue fever. It was reported (ACCCRN, 2010b; TAHTA & CWG Semarang, 2010) that low-elevation coastal districts in Semarang subsided by up to 8–9 cm per year, and sea-level rise has increased each year by 7.43 cm. As part also of another Rockefeller Foundation initiative, known as 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), the city built an aspiring urban resilience vision to become a “more resilient city with enhanced security, efficient mobility and excellent capacity, and will embrace practising resilience as part of our culture” (Semarang City Government, 2016: p. 34).
Middle cities 151 In 2009, amid a lack of adaptation protocols and guidance, ACCCRN focused on secondary cities in Indonesia, including Semarang, and commenced an initiative to experiment with adaptation planning and actions. These processes involved undertaking a test and trial, implementing small projects, partnering with different organisations and institutionalising into urban governance. They have conducted an iterative, cyclical and organic process to build urban climate change resilience. This process was engaged in an “adaptive model” or “an experimentation” as an act of making urban climate change resilience become visible and manageable. In Semarang, the city has engaged in establishing an online health information system that recalibrates how preventive and responsive actions toward reducing the incidence of vector-borne diseases are being re-organised at local neighbourhoods as well as initiating a flood early warning system that invested in a community-based preparedness approach. On a wider scale, these secondary cities of ACCCRN in Indonesia, especially Semarang, which has engaged since the beginning of the project, engage in wider knowledge production as advocates of climate resilience planning. More particularly, the Semarang city municipality has promoted and shared its experiences in building resilience at a national level as part of the Adaptation Working Group under the APEKSI. This clearly exemplifies the potentialities of secondary cities to reshape and negotiate the current (dominant) urban knowledge production. Similar observations also discuss the spatial relations between the size of the cities and spatialisation of innovation and diffusion in the context of disaster risk management (Wesely, Filippi & Johnson, this volume). Semarang, as a secondary city, has facilitated knowledge-policy interaction throughout its urban resilience-building. The process for co-production of knowledge (Callon, 1999) is exemplified here as locating knowledge in “dynamic, collective learning those for whom an issue is of particular concern”, more broadly and beyond the privilege of mega- and capital cities (Lane et al., 2010: p. 18). Urban climate experiments in Semarang function for testing knowledge production, building new partnerships and creating collective urban futures (Evans, 2011). This pioneering action led by the Semarang city government in partnership with other ACCCRN cities forms a newly emerging mode for governing climate change. It is argued that these secondary cities, especially Semarang in Indonesia, have challenged the “horizontal flows of urban governance ideas and practices among secondary cities” (Chen & Kanna, 2012: p. 250). More over, a secondary city such as Semarang has demonstrated urban climate experiments as an apparatus of the intersection of knowledge network, policy-makers, techniques and programmes where the process is non-linear and non-constant in a space-time continuum (Donovan, 2017). Therefore, a mode of practice should be built upon the heterogeneous and varying potentialities of ordinary cities (Robinson, 2006) beyond global and capital cities.
152 Erwin Nugraha Scale-making as resistance in Bontang The third politics of intermediary is of resistance. I argue that the politics of urban climate resilience is never neutral in its silence, and they are already counter conduct and resistance in the aspiration of resilience-building to engage in the will to improve the rubrics of urban lives. Most commonly, silent resistance is embodied by secondary cities, such as Bontang city in Indonesia, in order to challenge the depolitisation of small and intermediate cities as the less insignificant site of urban climate experimentation. Let us return to the setting of the Mayor Caucus at the beginning of this chapter. All mayors and vice mayors who were attending the caucus recognised the role of cities as a key factor in achieving the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals. However, the practice of climate urbanism is mostly shadowed with the development of the new capital. With a large investment fund totalling 466 trillion Indonesian rupiah, equal to 25 billion pounds sterling (Detik, 2019), or one-fifth of the Indonesian annual budget (Ministry of Finance, 2020), and a speedy agenda to move the current capital to East Kalimantan by 2024, the caucus discussion was overshadowed by the capital relocation. Apart from discussing the broader agenda for achieving Goal 11 of the SDGs – including disaster risk reduction, capacity building, strengthening collaboration, inclusivity and leadership for spatial planning and disaster risk reduction – one of the key discussions was about the new capital. In fact, in the Mayor Communiqué (2019), the first commitment was to understand and consider capital relocation as a real challenge to a new urban development in Indonesia. More critically, the surrounding cities where the new capital would be located had not been engaged meaningfully in the future development of this new capital or in considering how its development might affect the regions. While the spectacle surrounding the new capital, which is not yet named, was postcolonial identity, however, it has not been decolonialised from the dominant figure of a capital city. President Joko Widodo has shared widely that one of the purposes of the relocation is to re-align national development to the centre of the national geographic location, which is East Kalimantan on Borneo Island, away from Java-centric development. The former Minister of National Development Planning also mentioned, “If well planned and managed, urbanisation could be an effective tool to achieve sustainable development” (Brodjonegoro, 2019: p. 6). However, urban problems are more than the problem of the capital. The massive flooding during New Year’s 2020 in Jakarta again shares this pervasive view of thinking from the capital. A sense of urgency increasingly developed when the current capital of Jakarta was inundated in 41 locations during extreme rainfall of 377 mm (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana [BNPB], 2020). This is the highest weather event recorded since 1866 (150 years ago) in Jakarta (Tempo. co, 2020). However, the new normal of flooding under climate crisis is not only the “privilege” of Jakarta.
Middle cities 153 During her visit to the Department of Governance and Technology for Sustainability (CSTM) in late 2019 to develop a new partnership on flood mitigation and knowledge exchange at the University of Twente, the mayor of Bontang shared her concern that the flooding pattern has changed in her city, becoming more extreme in a short period of time. Bontang is a small city located in East Kalimantan, near the location of the new capital, with less than 200,000 inhabitants. The mayor expressed concern over the new pattern of extreme weather that results in extreme flooding in her city, an increasingly short but intense rainfall (Mayor of Bontang, 2019). She mentioned that the combination of city topography – from run-off upstream, high rainfall downstream and high tide in the coastal zone – and extreme weather might lead to this increasing concern. Despite a clear programme to overcome this problem by constructing flood control upstream as well as revitalisation of lake, polder, river and drainage systems at the downstream level, the biggest barrier is funding. The mayor said the city would need at least 27 million euros, a budget largely beyond the city’s capacity, to accommodate those climate change and resilience actions to prepare for climate change effects. The political of an intermediary is never neutral in its silence, and there are already counter conduct and resistance in the aspirations of middle cities to engage in “the will to improve” of the lives of the urban majority. Secondary cities such as Bontang in Indonesia often had to mobilise and negotiate their silent resistance against the dominance of global and capital cities. This example from Bontang shows us that they have made an exemplary commitment to decolonialise urban thoughts from the dominant urban sites. However, what is the wider possibility of counter overlooking?
Conclusion: a possibility for counter overlooking? This chapter evaluates and examines the potentialities of “middle cities” in the context of Indonesia. Middle cities, widely known as secondary or small and intermediate cities, have been mostly neglected and underrepresented in urban and climate literature. Using the example from urban climate change experiments in Indonesian cities that joined a transnational network of climate change adaptation and urban climate change resilience, this chapter exemplifies the politics of intermediary middle cities. There are three different politics that interplay as part of the politics of intermediary in these cities, including a politics of navigating in between circuits of dominance, a politics of negotiating with urban knowledge and a politics of resisting marginal attendance. The chapter contributes to expanding our understanding of asymmetric relationships of influence and control, and socio-political reconfiguration of urban climate experiments in small and intermediate cities. This chapter would argue that the politics of intermediary are not only the politics of the margins (McFarlane, 2018) in isolation but also politics in the making by small and intermediate cities. Their practice of politics is
154 Erwin Nugraha often shadowed by overgeneralisation and overemphasis of the importance of global and capital cities, and yet they are actively reshaping and reimagining the scale of the urban practices. The potentialities of counter overlooking will depend on the counter inquiry to avoid scale traps to attend to a modality of intermediary politics of small and intermediate cities. Hence, counter overlooking is a political and intellectual commitment toward the underrepresented urban space of small and intermediate cities. This means to attend to a different kind of seeing and thinking what these “middle cities” are and what they are capable of in order to map out the ordinariness of small and intermediate cities.
Acknowledgements The author gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the Christopher Moyes Memorial Foundation, Norman Richardson Postgraduate Research Fund, and Van Mildert College Postgraduate Awards.
References Anguelovski, I. & Carmin, J. (2011) Something borrowed, everything new: Innovation and institutionalization in urban climate governance. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 3, 169–175. Available from: doi:10.1016/j. cosust.2010.12.017. Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) (2010a) Final report: vulnerability and adaptation assessment to climate change in Bandar Lampung city. Bandar Lampung, ACCCRN. Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) (2010b) Final report: vulnerability and adaptation assessment to climate change in Semarang city. Semarang, ACCCRN. Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) (2020) Infografis banjir di Jakarta (Infographic of flooding in Jakarta). Available from: https://bnpb.go.id/ infografis-1 [Accessed 1st January 2020]. Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional (National Development Planning Agency/BAPPENAS). (2013) National action plan for climate change adaptation (RAN-API) synthesis report. Jakarta, Indonesia, BAPPENAS. Birkmann, J., Welle, T., Soleki, W., Lwasa, S. & Garschagen, M. (2016) Boost resilience of small and mid-sized cities. Nature, 537, 605–608. Available from: doi:10.1038/537605a. Brodjonegoro, B. P. S. (2019) Perkotaan dan metropolitan berkah pembangunan (Urban areas and metropolitan, a bless of development). Kompas, 7th September 2019. Brown, A., Dayal, A. & Del Rio, C. R. (2012) From practice to theory: Emerging lessons from Asia for building urban climate resilience. Environment and Urbanization, 24 (2), 531–556. Available from: doi:10.1177/0956247812456490. Callon, M. (1999) The role of lay people in the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge. Science, Technology & Society, 4 (1), 81–94. Available from: doi:10.1177/097172189900400106.
Middle cities 155 Carmin, J., Anguelovski, I. & Roberts, D. (2012) Urban climate adaptation in the global South: Planning in an emerging policy domain. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 32 (1), 18–32. Available from: doi:10.1177/0739456X11430951. Carmin, J., Dodman, D. & Chu, E. (2013) Urban climate adaptation and leadership: From conceptual understanding to practical action. OECD Regional Development Working Papers No. 2013/26. Paris, OECD Publishing. Available from: doi:10.1787/5k3ttg88w8hh-en [Accessed 8th August 2020]. Chen, X. & Kanna, A. (eds.) (2012) Rethinking global urbanism: Comparative insights from secondary cities. New York, Routledge. CNBC Indonesia (2019) Sah! Jokowi putuskan Ibu Kota RI pindah ke Kaltim (Official! Jokowi decided the capital of Republic of Indonesia would move to East Kalimantan). Available from: https://www.cnbcindonesia.com/news/20190826121608-494621/sah-jokowi-putuskan-ibu-kota-ri-pindah-ke-kaltim [Accessed 26th August 2019]. Dean, M. (2010) Governmentality: Power and rule in modern society. London, Sage. Detik (2019) Biaya pindah Ibu Kota Rp 466 T, kira-kira dari mana sumbernya? (Total costs to relocate capital is Rp 466 T, where the money will come from?). Available from: https://finance.detik.com/properti/d-4684285/biaya-pindah-ibukota-rp-466-t-kira-kira-dari-mana-sumbernya [Accessed 28th August 2019]. Donovan, A. (2017) Geontopower: Reflections on the critical geography of disasters. Progress in Human Geography, 41 (1), 44–60. Available from: doi:10.1177/0309132513518834. Evans, J. P. (2011) Resilience, ecology and adaptation in the experimental city. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 36 (2), 223–237. Available from: doi:10.1111/j.1475-5661.2010.00420.x. Herod, A. (2011) Scale. Abingdon, Oxon, Routledge. Herod, A. & Wright, M. W. (2002) Placing scale: An introduction. In: Herod, A. & Wright, M. W. (eds.) Geographies of power: Placing scale. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing. Hodson, M. & Marvin, S. (2014) After sustainable cities? Abingdon, Oxon, Routledge. Ikatan Ahli Perencanaan Indonesia (Indonesian Association of Urban and Regional Planners/IAP Indonesia) (2019) Press release – Walikota se-Indonesia berdiskusi untuk mewujudkan kota aman dan tangguh (Press Release – Mayors from all over Indonesia discuss their future to become safe and resilient). Bogor, IAP Indonesia, 9th September 2019. Jessop, B., Brenner, N. & Jones, M. (2008) Theorizing sociospatial relations. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 26, 389–401. Available from: doi:10.1068/d9107. Karsten, T. (1958) Town development in the Indies. In: Wertheim, W. F., Kraal, J. F., Berg, C. C., Bergman, R. A. M., van der Kolff, G. H., van Milaan, P. W., van Naerssen, F. H., Offerhaus, H., Verhoeven, F. R. & van Marle, A. (eds.) The Indonesian town: Studies in urban sociology. The Hague, W Van Hoeve Ltd. Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan (Ministry of Environment and Forestry) (2016) Peraturan Menteri Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan Republik Indonesia Nomor P.33/Menlhk/Setjen/Kum.1/3/2016 tentang Pedoman Penyusunan Aksi Adaptasi Perubahan Iklim (Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Republic of Indonesia Number P.33/Menlhk/Setjen/Kum.1/3/2016 about
156 Erwin Nugraha guidelines for climate change adaptation planning). Jakarta, Indonesia, Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan (Ministry of Environment and Forestry). Kementerian Pekerjaan Umum dan Perumahan Rakyat (Ministry of Public Works and Housing) (2016) Laporan Akhir dari Penyusunan Strategi Kota Berketahanan dalam Menghadapi Perubahan Iklim (The final report of development of city resilience strategy to cope with climate change). Jakarta, Indonesia, Kementerian Pekerjaan Umum dan Perumahan Rakyat. Lamb, W. F., Creutzig, F., Callaghan, M. W. & Minz, J. C. (2019) Learning about urban climate solutions from case studies. Nature Climate Change, 9, 279–287. Available from: doi:10.1038/s41558-019-0440-x. Lane, S., Odoni, N., Landstrom, C., Whatmore, S., Ward, N. & Bradley, S. (2010) Doing flood risk science differently: An experiment in radical scientific method. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 36, 15–36. Available from: doi:10.1111/j.1475-5661.2010.00410.x. Lassa, J. A. & Nugraha, E. (2014) From shared learning to shared action in building resilience in the city of Bandar Lampung, Indonesia. Environment and Urbanization, 27 (1), 161–180. Available from: doi:10.1177/0956247814552233. Mayor Communiqué (2019) Komunike Bersama Walikota se-Indonesia “Menuju Kota dan Permukiman yang Inklusif, Aman, Tangguh, dan Berkelanjutan” (Mayor communiqué towards inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and human settlements). Bogor, IAP Indonesia. Mayor of Bontang (2019) Flooding mitigation and adaptation in Bontang. Presentation at the Department of Governance and Technology for Sustainability, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands, 9th December 2019. McFarlane, C. (2018) Fragment urbanism: Politics at the margins of the city. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 1–19. Available from: doi:10.1177/ 0263775818777496. McFarlane, C. & Robinson, J. (2012) Introduction – experiments in comparative urbanism. Urban Geography, 33 (6), 765–773. Available from: doi:10.2747/ 0272-3618.104.22.1685. McGranahan, G., Balk, D. & Anderson, B. (2007) The rising tide: Assessing the risks of climate change and human settlements in low elevation coastal zones. Environment and Urbanization, 19 (1), 17–37. Available from: doi:10.1177/ 0956247807076960. Ministry of Finance (2020) Budget 2020. Available from: https://www.kemenkeu. go.id/single-page/apbn-2020/ [Accessed 21st January 2020]. Mukhlis, M., Putri, D. M. & Purnamawaty, D. (2010) Strategi Ketahanan Kota Bandar Lampung terhadap Perubahan Iklim 2011–2030 (City Resilience Strategy of Bandar Lampung City from Climate Change 2011–2030). Bandar Lampung, Indonesia, Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN). Nugraha, E. & Lassa, J. A. (2018) Towards endogenous disasters and climate adaptation policy making in Indonesia. Disaster Prevention and Management, 27 (2), 228–242. Available from: doi:10.1108/DPM-04-2017-0084. Okezone (2019) 74 tahun merdeka, Jokowi: Indonesia belum pernah merancang sendiri ibu kota (74 years after our independence, Jokowi: We have never designed our own capital). Available from: https://economy.okezone.com/read/2019/ 08/26/470/2096692/74-tahun-merdeka-jokowi-indonesia-belum-pernahmerancang-sendiri-ibu-kota [Accessed 26th August 2019].
Middle cities 157 The Republic of Indonesia (2016) First nationally determined contribution republic of Indonesia. Jakarta, Indonesia, Republic of Indonesia. Robinson, J. (2006) Ordinary cities: Between modernity and development. London and New York, Routledge. Semarang City Government (2016) Resilient Semarang: Moving together towards resilient Semarang. Semarang, Indonesia, Semarang City Government. Statistic Bureau of Bandar Lampung (2015) Bandar Lampung dalam Angka 2015 (2015 Bandar Lampung in figures). Bandar Lampung, Statistic Bureau of Bandar Lampung. Statistic Bureau of Semarang (2014) Semarang dalam Angka 2014 (2014 Bandar Lampung in figures). Bandar Lampung, Statistic Bureau of Semarang. TAHTA & City Working Group (CWG) of Semarang (2010) City resilience strategy: Semarang’s adaptation plan in responding to climate change. Semarang, Indonesia, ACCCRN. Tempo.co. (2020) Hujan ekstrem dan 5 penyebab tambahan banjir Jakarta 2020 (Extreme rainfall and 5 additional sources of flooding in Jakarta 2020). Available from: https://grafis.tempo.co/read/1950/hujan-ekstrem-dan-5penyebab-tambahan-banjir-jakarta-2020 [Accessed 9th January 2020]. United Nations (2015) Transforming our world: The 2030 agenda for sustainable development. New York, United Nations.
Conclusion Erwin Nugraha, Isolde de Villiers, Hanna A Ruszczyk, João Pedro Costa, Joana de Mesquita Lima, María Evangelina Filippi, Yi Jin, Cassidy Johnson, Martin Price, Christian Rosen, Julia Wesely and Yimin Zhao As urbanisation is steadily increasing, from redrawing urban borders to stretching the very definition of the “urban”, Overlooked Cities takes a detailed look at a range of cities and those who inhabit them. The preceding chapters, which represent overlooked cities of the global South, predominantly draw attention to the lack of engagement with certain kinds of cities. This collection of essays covering 13 overlooked cities therefore leaves much room for further expansion and exploration of not only overlooked cities as such, but the notion of “overlooked-ness” as a concept and an object of inquiry in urban theory. Overlooked Cities emerges in the spirit of collective conversations among our contributors. Most of the book contributors participated in a two-day writing workshop held at Durham University on 2–3 September 2019. This writing workshop was co-financed by Durham University, and each of the participants showcased his or her chapters and their importance to all involved. It was invaluable and enriching to come together, and not only did we hear about the challenges facing the overlooked cities we investigated and how each chapter was created, but as importantly, we collectively discussed the cumulative insights emerging from the book. The book editors and chapter contributors brainstormed the foundation for the conclusion during these two days. This led to the building of a coherent conversation and connection between the chapters. In the process of writing the conclusion, what is still striking, though, are the radical differences between the chapters, the cities and the inhabitants they look at. In re-evaluating the aims of this book, the end result categorically should not be to draw up a finite closed list of overlooked cities and overlooked attributes, which will only create a new sub-category in urban discourse. Rather, the result should be to challenge this form of closure and open up new ways of looking at cities. We are also acutely aware of and wary of the danger of looking when the gaze is not returned (Cossman, 1997), which is often the case with overlooked cities in relation to the gaze of the dominance of capital, mega- or global cities. The chapters open up issues around voice, temporality, relations, representation and solidarities between these cities and their inhabitants, the role
Conclusion 159 of grassroot organisations, the question whether overlooking is active and intentional or incidental, the role of universities and other sources of knowledge in these cities and several other lines of thinking. The coming and bringing together of this collection was in itself a process of forging a new language, finding a shared vocabulary and creating a collective of scholars who are investigating similarly overlooked spaces. As a collective effort, Overlooked Cities is nearing its closure; however, we do not want to consider this conclusion and the book project as “the end” of this intellectual journey, but rather as an invitation to critically deepen our engagement to understand overlooked cities. We begin by moving away from asking “Why do these cities matter?” to asking the question of “Why does it matter to look at these cities?” in order to ask, question, challenge, evaluate, investigate and rediscover the heterogeneous processes and dynamics upon which overlooked cities have been overlooked. We would like to summarise the accumulative knowledge we gained in Overlooked Cities in the following sections.
Diverse meanings and significance of overlooked cities One of the significant contributions that a focus on overlooked cities makes is to subvert existing ideas and framings away from dominant theory and reference points. If anything, this collection of essays illustrates a move away from the attention that cities draw and highlights the importance and impact of an absence of a certain kind of attention. The aim is therefore not to “sell” the cities explored here as something special, while acknowledging that of course the inhabitants are definitely important and not to be forgotten. These overlooked cities are below the radar of much scholarship. While Overlooked Cities is not proclaiming that we are actually doing the only important work and is not trying to create a new grand narrative, we do want to draw attention to these more middle cities. Urban theory will change once we look at different spaces. Overlooked Cities is not just case studies from different places; instead these overlooked cities force us to look at urban theory differently. In this sense, Overlooked Cities is not a slicethrough-time static description of these overlooked cities, but rather it is a contribution to the dynamic and ever-changing defining and redefining of cities, cityness and urban life. Overlooked Cities shows a gap in existing research and, as such, it challenges the urban agenda. The mere act of looking changes the object. We acknowledge the power of the gaze as well as the power of its absence. Looking matters. These cities are special due to their ordinariness. The sheer number of such cities in the world matters in order to inform different practices of ordinariness in a heterogeneity of place and context. Most people do not live in global cities, but do in fact live in these ordinary, and continuously overlooked, cities. They are not the deviation, nor the exception. Their ordinariness and commonness make them simultaneously situated in
160 Erwin Nugraha et al. an ambiguous situation of important and unimportant. There is something different about them, but also something conventional. We would like to emphasise that Overlooked Cities is a political project and a critical project. What this means is that it actively challenges and questions power structure and relations, not only in the production of cities, but also in the production and negotiation of urban theory. It is a complex and contested urban space. As a political project, it is double-handed in its approach. This collection of essays captures the tension between the ordinary and the extraordinary. There is something significant in the silence and omissions where we find these cities. Throughout the chapters, our contributors try to not overemphasise their differences, but to rather highlight that they are not so different. As an intellectual and critical project, we consider overlooked-ness as an opportunity to critically engage with existing urban theory and to find new names and terms that can form the foundation of a new agenda for theoretical engagements with cities and the urban throughout the world. Here we make explicit some of the trends and concepts emerging from this book. In this edited collection, we value a comparative analysis of overlooked cities that focuses on analysis of similar and different dynamics and processes through which overlooked cities emerge, but also commonalities and connections between case studies. We invite more comparative urban research, such as Robinson’s global urbanism, in order to understand the varying processes and dynamics that occur in different spaces of ordinary cities around the global South. However, we recognise the absence of data, lack of experience and lack of documentation, which hinder a comparative analysis across mid-sized, middle cities. In embarking on comparative research, it is important to recognise and honour the differences between cities, while searching for common ground. Overlooked Cities aims to place a wider range of cities in relation to one another without setting up a hierarchy. The comparative methodology differs between the chapters. In some instances the comparison happens within the chapter itself, with comparisons to other cities or with comparisons between different aspects of the same city. Whatever the comparative method used, the following section covers some of the trends and themes that can be discerned from these different places as a result of this comparison.
Emerging themes and trends The edited collection is organised into two main themes: Firstly, power and politics in overlooked cities and secondly, the production and negotiation of knowledge in overlooked cities. The chapters grouped under these respective themes raise issues that are central to the cities concerned, and as such this edited volume moves beyond a mere collection of case studies and contributes to the emerging vocabulary of urban theory. Here, we briefly reflect on the chapters in their themes and the concepts and ideas they respectively
Conclusion 161 contribute. In the first theme, power and politics in overlooked cities, we find the politics of “tier cities” (Jin & Zhao, this volume), the power imbalances in regional cities where the relationships between city management and elites play a significant role (Ruszczyk, this volume), the political nature of administrative power (de Villiers as well as Ruszczyk, this volume), “secondariness” and also “indebtedness” (Price, this volume). These chapters expose how processes, planning, rankings, loans, administrative functions and cityness are often depoliticised. In this sense, this theme also shows that the politics and power relations in cities are overlooked. In the second theme, Overlooked Cities rediscovers the production and negotiation of knowledge in varying sites of urbanity in the global South. Chapters in this theme engage in a critical inquiry on how urban knowledge is continuously produced, negotiated and resisted around the circuit of innovation and learning (Wesely, Filippi & Johnson, this volume), urban actors and expertise (Rosen, this volume), agency and irregular urban development (de Mesquita Lima & Costa, this volume) and asymmetric relations of influence and control (Nugraha, this volume). This collective debate and discussion reminds us of the contested space of urban knowledge in overlooked cities. Apart from these two main themes, there are other emerging trends that can be identified in these overlooked cities. They present the possibility of another methodology, and they all address relationality and challenge preconceived temporalities and set trajectories of cities. Overlooked cities require and open up another kind of methodology. The different chapters follow different methods and are located in different methodological approaches, in some instances combining different approaches in one chapter. In the interest of continued research on overlooked cities, we want to single out relationality and critical trajectories as core themes illustrated by the unique features of these cities. They are key analytical components to understand cities generally and specifically as an object of inquiry and analysis. We argue that these two components are important to interrogate and examine how we understand overlooked cities and how they have emerged from a non-singular and pre-emptive point of view. These cities are important because they table a different urban trajectory. Overlooked Cities challenges the existing narratives about these cities and their developmental potential, which focuses on relational and temporality analysis. Overlooked Cities can be seen as a relational analysis in order to define the process and emergence of urbanisms in a way that challenges and questions the hierarchical relationships between and within cities by exploring different terms to describe different cities. Moreover, as discussed in all chapters in Overlooked Cities, there are different terms when addressing overlooked cities that involve a multiple and plural understanding of sociospatial relations. These relations include social constructions, ways of seeing and relational understandings of how overlooked cities are perceived in urban worlds. Some of the terms used in the chapters include tier, secondary, intermediate, medium-sized, regional and boring/not boring.
162 Erwin Nugraha et al. It is critically important to analyse the conditions and mechanisms, including political, administrative, government and governance, that produce and facilitate these different terms. What is more important to understand is how these concepts can uncover or produce a different and dynamic framing of how these (but also other) cities are being produced. For example tier is closely related with a territory or geopolitics understanding (Jin & Zhao, this volume); secondary is related to a place or core-periphery relation (Rosen, this volume); intermediate is related to scale and nodal function of cities (Nugraha, this volume); medium-sized is related to scale and size of cities; and boring/not boring is related to a political and cultural apprehension. We argue that it is important to evaluate and examine what is the reference point for the “not-good-enough city”. The insights of different contributors in Overlooked Cities have revealed that making cities visible or invisible involves a dynamic process with different logics and political consequences behind it that define social relations and formations that take place in these cities. To label is to look. Therefore, we argue that it is critically important to uncover the multiple rationales and ontological conditions that underlie the reference points in order to uncover the hegemonic power relations within overlooked cities. Jin and Zhao’s chapter (this volume) exemplifies this “relational turn” in their analysis, by describing hierarchisation or categorisation in China as more than a vertical or horizontal differentiation between cities, but critically as a social construction and experimental project. We support different relations between and within cities, i.e. the decentring of cities from the global economic power of capital cities (Chen & Kanna, 2012). However, we do ask what the impact would be if we relook and re-centre these relations. How do we, for example, overcome the dichotomy between marginalised centres and re-centred margins of cities in the global South? We invite future research to uncover what kinds of social constructions, including power, social, cultural, economic and ecological, are created as part of a new order and hierarchy between cities. The role of decentralisation and autonomous processes in overlooked cities require further investigation. These “ways of seeing” (Dean, 2010; Miller & Rose, 2008) will involve ways of rendering specific relations visible and thinkable. Looking at these cities can redefine the relations between cities on a local, national and international scale. What are we looking at, who is looking and for whom are specific relations designed and reconfigured? In Overlooked Cities, we start to initiate this kind of analytical inquiry, for example Nugraha’s chapter (this volume) with “geographical scale as network power” in Indonesia and Price’s chapter (this volume) with “debt ecologies” in Jordan. Overlooked Cities can also be seen as a temporality analysis and a challenge to established trajectories for cities. We view temporality as a nonlinear way of understanding how cities emerge and evolve that is defined by its relation between space and time. Overlooked Cities encompasses
Conclusion 163 multiple understandings of the non-singular process of how cities develop, such as circularity and momentary emergence. We suggest there are new endpoints based on the needs of heterogeneous residents and different social formations that occur in overlooked cities. There is a new trajectory of aspirations rather than conventional understandings of development discourse that are linear, singular and pre-emptive. In these overlooked cities, there is a trajectory from stagnation to innovation, negotiated in what AbdouMaliq Simone (2019) called “a rhythm of endurance”, that will always be contested as part of urbanism, local power and social construction, and as a politics of urban knowledge. There is a “temporality of change” that occurs in overlooked cities, for example de Villiers’s chapter (this volume) on how historical urban change affects the social-spatial structures of people with different statuses in South Africa, and Ruszczyk’s chapter (this volume) on the conflict between incremental versus informal urbanism in Nepal. There are strong historical urban changes, social materialities and political reconfiguration affecting the socio-spatial status, cultural practices and temporal trajectory of the current urban development in many cities in Nepal and South Africa as exemplified in this edited collection. Historical urban change is important to understand how overlooked cities emerge and evolve. These cities are important because they table a different urban trajectory. Overlooked Cities challenges the existing narratives about cities and their developmental potential. Many attempts have been made to problematise colonial aspirations; however, our concern is that the discourse continues to be related to dominant cities. How could we move away from these “dominant” cities, such as a global city, a capital city and a mega-city? We argue that if it (still) comes from the “new dominant aspirational location” such as Cape Town in South Africa, it lends itself to a specific (and limited) discourse. In Overlooked Cities, we broaden the sites of analysis that include places that are not conventionally seen as worthwhile of critical examination, including medium-sized, regional and secondary cities. We consider temporality as a critical theme to challenge the dominant discourse and as a political project to re-direct and re-centre our attention, analysis and academic commitment to overlooked cities. In Overlooked Cities, we re-discover what it means to be simultaneously urban and ordinary and that these are not mutually exclusive conditions. We explore the tension or interface between urban, city and rural. Ruszczyk (this volume) and Jin and Zhao (this volume) show how the urban and the rural co-exist in the same place at the same time. This deepens our understanding of the relations between urbanness – cityness – and ruralness. Instead of seeing these terms as contradictory or exclusive, Overlooked Cities points out that they can be simultaneous. We challenge the advancement of the city and turn our analysis and examination toward aspirational sites of cities that reveal the past and present of these cities and how they are negotiated as part of local urbanisms.
164 Erwin Nugraha et al. Although some chapters illustrate certain aspects more clearly than others, all of the contributions in this volume speak to politics, power, as well as the production and negotiation of knowledge in overlooked cities, the relations within and between cities and preconceived trajectories of cities. It is around these aspects that we hope further investigations will follow.
Next steps and future research agenda Overlooked Cities is being sent to the publisher in 2020, amidst the COVID19 pandemic. The United Nations has declared that the COVID-19 pandemic is more than a health emergency. The unfolding economic and social consequences of the pandemic are exposing high vulnerabilities and inequalities around the world. As economies shrink, employment and livelihood opportunities are expected to decline, diminishing global poverty reduction gains of the last 30 years and forcing many families to suffer from livelihood and food insecurity (UNDP, 2020). The pandemic is also an evolving urban crisis, which will have lasting, cascading consequences on cities and their residents for decades to come. There are so many imaginaries of postCOVID urban futures circulating – with different tones from hope to fear and (re)enacting utopian and dystopian forms and conventions focusing on the role of promises and imaginaries in (re)making urban space in the midst of crisis. And yet overlooked cities are continuously the ones left in this periphery and the margin of urban arena. To create socially inclusive, economically equitable and environmentally sustainable development requires a closer, comprehensive look at where people live in the world – small, urbanising cities where residents and local authorities are struggling, trying to make do of their own accord. There is a need for careful attention and care to be given to international, regional, national and local strategies to support people while they rebuild their lives and to create or support safety nets appropriate for urban households, communities and smaller cities. Once again, we would like to emphasise that this is not the end of this intellectual journey; rather, it is the beginning of the journey. Even though we wish that another book about “overlooked-ness” will not be needed in the decades to come, Overlooked Cities is an invitation for more attention from scholars, academics and practitioners to analyse and examine regional, middle, secondary and overlooked cities beyond questions of economic development or urbanisation analysis, but more critically to evaluate the conditions of people living in these cities. We suggest that future research projects need to engage with several topics, such as grassroots-level organisations, the environment, livelihoods and deep ethnographies to uncover the social processes and dynamics in overlooked cities. We would like to invite future research to engage in various creative and engaging projects to analyse overlooked cities that include mixed quantitative-qualitative methods, comparative analysis and visual methods. We think these different analytical inquiries would develop an understanding and analysis that would not only
Conclusion 165 uncover similarities and differences in dynamics and processes from which overlooked cities emerge, but also commonalities between case studies and causalities of different processes. We consider Overlooked Cities an intellectual and political project in order to question, ask, evaluate and investigate the heterogeneous processes and dynamics upon which overlooked cities have been overlooked. Our book challenges this overlooking. We would like to bring these cities to the attention of academics and practitioners in order to re-address our attention and resources to underrepresented cities in global literature and development practice. Moreover, as part of this collective project, we acknowledge and value our collaboration of early career researchers during the writing process. We have come from different disciplines, but our collective process has brought us to new ties of collaboration, forging of new languages, networks and academic connections. In going ahead, urban scholars, activists and practitioners must engage more broadly to further the attention to overlooked cities, for the sake of our collective urban future.
References Chen, X. & Kanna, A. (eds.) (2012) Rethinking global urbanism: Comparative insights from secondary cities. New York, Routledge. Cossman, B. (1997) Turning the gaze back on itself: Comparative law, feminist legal studies, and the postcolonial project. Utah Law Review, 2, 525–544. Dean, M. (2010) Governmentality: Power and rule in modern society. London, Sage. Miller, P. & Rose, N. (2008) Governing the present: Administering economic, social and personal life. Cambridge, Polity Press. Simone, A. M. (2019) Improvised lives: Rhythms of endurance in an urban South. Cambridge, Polity Press. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2020) COVID-19 and human development: Assessing the crisis, envisioning the recovery. New York, UNDP. Available from: http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/covid-19_and_human_ development_0.pdf [Accessed 12th August 2020].
academia 94 – 99, 124 – 125, 137 – 139, 141 Ali, K. A. 2 Anguelovski, I. 147 – 149, 150, 154 – 155 apartheid 55 – 59, 61 – 65, 67 Appadurai, A. 2, 44, 52 Arab 11, 72, 79 – 82 Arequipa 11, 106 – 107, 109, 110 – 117, 120 Argentina 9, 14, 85, 87, 94, 100 – 104 austerity 68, 71, 75 – 77, 80 Baitsch, T. S. 43 – 44, 52 Bandar Lampung 8, 11, 143 – 144, 148 – 150, 154 – 157 bar-block (tiao-kuai) power structure see power Beall, J. 140 Bhan, G. 50 – 53 Bharatpur xiv, 7, 10, 13, 39 – 51 Birkmann, J. 7, 17, 154 Bloemfontein/Mangaung 55, 59 Bontang xiv, 8, 11, 143 – 144, 148, 152 – 153, 156 boundaries xvi, 16, 47, 52, 58, 76 – 77, 86, 90, 92 Brenner, N. 3 Brown, A. 147, 154 Brown, D. 124, 140 capitalism 58 – 59, 64, 81 Carapic, J. 124 Carmin, J. 147, 149 – 150, 154 – 155 champions 11, 15, 85 Chen, X. 7, 8, 17, 24, 26, 35, 37, 151, 155, 162, 165 Chile xv, 101, 104 China 9, 10, 12, 21 –2 7, 30 –3 8, 40, 145, 162 Chopra, J. 127, 140 climate change xv, 2, 15 – 17, 103, 144 – 157; adaptation xvi, 2, 16,
17, 103, 146 – 147, 154, 156; experimentation 145 – 149, 150 – 153 climate policies 145 collective urban futures see urban Colombia 14, 85, 93, 96, 99 – 105 colonial 1, 6, 212, 214, 232, 244, 277; -ism 61, 65, 102, 107 comparative urbanism 10, 12, 34, 122, 156 consolidated cities 14, 100 COVID-19 xvi, 164, 165 cross-sectoral 138 debt 13, 68 – 82, 162; public- 13, 69; - relief 78; see also indebtedness; spectrality of debt development xi, xv, 2, 5, 6, 11 – 18, 24, 28 – 45, 51, 54, 59, 66 – 69, 71 – 86, 92, 94 – 95, 99, 101, 106 – 130, 133, 135, 138 – 141, 144 – 148, 150, 152, 154 – 158, 161 – 166 dialectics 24 diffusion 86, 95, 98, 100, 151 Dili xiv, 7, 11, 15, 124 – 142 disaster 2, 11, 14, 53, 85 – 86, 89, 93 – 99, 101 – 105, 113, 117, 151 – 152 domestic 8, 56, 63 – 66, 72, 78, 118 DRM (disaster risk management) 11, 14 – 15, 85, 86, 89, 92 – 99, 100, 102, 104, 151 economic 1, 2, 9, 12, 21 – 26, 30, 34 – 37, 40, 63, 66, 69, 70 – 82, 88 – 89, 93, 95 – 96, 99, 106 – 113, 118, 123, 125, 127, 133, 136, 146, 150, 162, 164 – 165 elites 13, 39, 48, 108, 122, 129, 161 enabling conditions 100 environment 11, 31, 37, 44, 58, 60, 67, 95, 99, 105, 110, 139, 146, 164
Index 167 ethnographic research 69, 142 experience 2, 10, 11, 13 – 14, 17, 28, 51, 64, 72, 92 – 97, 102, 111, 139, 160 factory 26 – 29 feminism/feminist 7, 8, 10, 13, 56–58, 63–66 Feng, K. 27, 36 financialisation 68 First-tier City 21, 22 floods 89, 113, 117, 135 frontrunners 11, 15, 100 global North 5, 39, 50, 78, 106 global South 1, 6, 9, 15, 17, 18, 39, 42 – 44, 52 – 54, 58 – 71, 79, 81, 106 – 107, 142, 155, 158, 160 – 162 Goodfellow, T. 140 government 13 – 14, 22, 24, 28 – 29, 30, 33, 39, 40 – 48, 51 – 52, 56, 58 – 63, 65 – 68, 70 – 80, 88 – 89, 94 – 103, 111, 114 – 119, 124, 127 – 130, 134 – 139, 143, 145, 149, 151, 162 Herod, A. 146 – 149, 155 Hohe, T. 127 – 129, 141 housing 42, 46, 52, 67, 70, 77, 85, 92 – 93, 98, 110, 113, 124, 126, 127, 130, 133, 135 – 137, 140 – 142 ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) xv IIED (International Institute for Environment and Development) xv immigration 110 implementation capacity 40 indebtedness 6, 68 – 73, 76 – 79, 158, 161 India 8, 17, 40, 49, 52 – 53, 103, 145 Indonesia 8, 9, 11, 15 – 16, 18, 126, 139, 140 – 141, 143 – 157, 162 informal 39, 42 – 44, 48, 51 – 52, 77, 113, 117, 133, 135, 138, 163 innovation 5, 14, 78, 86, 95, 98 – 100, 149, 151, 158, 161, 163 inter-city competition 33, 34 inter-institutional 95, 97 intermediate xiv – xvi, 5 – 8, 14 – 17, 85 – 87, 98 – 104, 122, 144 – 154, 162 Jessop, B. 148, 155 Jordan 8, 9, 12, 13, 66, 68 – 69, 71, 73, 75 – 77, 79 – 82, 162 Jütersonke, O. 124
knowledge 1, 2, 5 – 7, 10, 12 – 14, 16, 44, 46, 50, 52, 83, 95, 97 – 98, 106, 107, 111 – 114, 120, 128, 136 – 139, 141, 144 – 145, 148, 150 – 151, 153 – 154, 159 – 160, 163 – 164 Lamb, W. F. 11, 17, 144, 147, 156 Landman, K. 56 – 57, 66 landslides 92, 97, 149 Latin America 8, 85 – 86, 121, 144 law 6, 39, 48, 55 – 58, 63, 67, 71, 77, 80 – 82, 96, 115, 128 Lawhon, M. 8, 17 learning 10, 13, 14, 42, 44, 48, 51 – 52, 53, 82, 85, 98, 147, 149, 151, 156, 158, 161 Lefebvre, H. 57 – 59, 63, 65, 66 legal instruments 59 local 3, 8, 9, 11 – 15, 24, 28 – 37, 40 – 52, 56, 62 – 66, 70 – 71, 74 – 75, 77 – 80, 85, 92, 94 – 95, 98 – 104, 106 – 126, 128 – 130, 133 – 139, 141, 146 – 149, 151, 162 – 164; authorities 12, 13, 40 – 41, 44, 47, 50, 52, 136, 139, 164; government xv, xvi, 9, 29 – 33, 40 – 42, 44 – 52, 70, 75, 77, 78, 94, 99, 108, 115 – 116, 125, 129, 130 – 135 Luzhou 7, 8, 10, 21, 27 – 37 Malkawi, F. K. 72, 81 Manizales xvi, 8, 11, 14 – 15, 85 – 89, 92, 95, 97 – 105 Mao: (ist) era 26; (ist) utopia 26 map 3, 21, 33, 112, 154; off the map 18, 21, 23, 24, 27, 33, 57, 67, 122 Marais, L. 56 – 67, 108, 122 marginalised 3, 8, 34, 55, 57, 59 – 61, 63, 65, 67, 162 market liberalisation 71 Massey, D. 63 – 67 McFarlane, C. 44, 53, 145, 153, 156 Middle East 9, 11, 13, 52, 53, 72, 76, 82 migration 23, 92, 106, 113, 126, 134, 141, 145 Miraftab, F. 6, 17 Moatasim, F. 43, 48, 51, 53 municipal 13 – 15, 28 – 33, 41, 43, 45 – 46, 60, 68 – 82, 87 – 89, 93 – 100, 102 – 103, 111 – 112, 115 – 119, 129 – 130, 138, -ity 11, 44 – 45, 47, 68, 72, 73, 74, 75, 80, 87 – 88, 90, 92, 98 – 99, 115, 151
168 Index Naughton, B. 24, 25, 26, 35, 36 navigation 148 – 149 negotiation 12, 14, 78, 83, 150, 158, 160 – 161, 164 Nepal xiv, 9, 10, 12 – 13, 39 – 54, 163 ordinary 3, 5, 6, 8, 13, 17 – 18, 21, 23, 24, 27, 33, 34, 35, 37, 51 – 53, 55, 56, 58, 63, 64, 65, 150, 151, 157 outward-looking 9, 15, 86, 100 overlook: -ed 2, 3, 5, 7, 55, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165; -edness 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 12, 158, 160, 164; -ing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, 21, 24, 65, 144, 148, 153, 154, 159, 165 Peru 8, 9, 11, 106, 109, 110, 111, 114, 116, 118 policy-makers xv – xvi, 1, 70, 151 politicians 44, 45, 113, 115 politics 6, 7, 8, 12 – 14, 16, 30, 36, 40, 44, 47, 52 – 53, 58, 63, 66, 69, 74, 77, 78, 80 – 82, 101, 111 – 112, 117, 130, 143 – 154, 158, 160, 161, 163, 164; of intermediary 8, 14, 143, 145, 148, 150 – 153 postcolonial 1, 10, 42, 54, 68, 125, 129, 141 – 142, 143, 152, 165 post-conflict 11, 14, 15, 124 – 125, 127, 139 post-industrial 69 power xv, 2, 5, 7, 12 – 16, 19, 29, 34, 40, 42, 45 – 48, 51 – 52, 55 – 56, 59 – 71, 75, 78, 93, 107, 110, 114, 124 – 130, 134, 136 – 137, 139, 141, 155, 158, 159 – 164; “bar-block” (tiao-kuai) power structure 29 Pretoria/Tshwane 60, 61 production of space 10, 66, 127 provincialisation 6 provincial level cities 34 ranking 22, 23, 27, 30, 33, 34, 37 – 38, 44 regional xv, 1, 2, 5, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 26, 31, 34 – 40, 47 – 51, 57, 71, 82, 87 – 88, 93, 96, 99 – 101, 108 – 110, 112, 117, 150, 158, 161 – 164 relation 3, 14, 43 – 46, 59, 62, 69, 78, 96, 97, 158, 160, 161, 163; -nal 11, 13 – 16, 50, 86, 89, 145, 162, -nal scale 145; -ship 3, 24, 39, 46 – 50, 56, 70, 72 – 73, 129, 133, 138 representation: under-representation 3, 5; urban knowledge representation see urban
residents 5, 11, 28, 31, 40 – 51, 69, 74, 75, 77, 80, 110, 113, 117, 120, 163 – 164 resilience 15, 16, 39, 53, 104 – 105, 144, 146 – 156, 157 resistance 55, 67, 81, 126, 152 – 153 Rieker, M. 2 right to the city 58, 67, 141 Roberts, D. 9, 18, 53, 70, 81, 107, 108, 122, 147, 149, 155 Robinson, J. 5, 6, 8, 18, 34, 37, 53, 57, 67, 86, 104, 106, 122, 145, 151, 156 –1 57, 160 Rodgers, D. 140 Roy, A. 6, 8, 18, 42 – 43, 52, 53, 57 – 58, 67, 106, 122, 124, 139, 142 rural xv, 13, 40 – 42, 46, 47, 48, 51, 53, 55, 59, 66, 86, 88, 92, 101, 103, 107, 108, 124, 126, 127, 133, 136, 148, 163 Santa Fe xvi, 8, 11, 14, 15, 85 – 104 sanxian 10, 12, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 33 – 35 Satterthwaite, D. 5, 7, 17, 18, 53, 88, 103, 108, 122 scale 2, 13, 15 – 17, 24, 26, 27 – 28, 33, 36, 43, 48, 56, 63 – 67, 76, 89, 93, 95 – 97, 99, 100, 109, 117, 126 – 127, 130, 145, 147 – 148, 150 – 151, 154 – 155, 162 Scambary, J. 126, 127, 133, 142 Schindler, S. 133, 136, 142 Schmid, C. 3 secondary xiv, 6 – 11, 13 – 18, 59, 65, 68 – 72, 76, 78, 81, 86, 106 – 123, 143 – 155, 161 – 165 Second-tier City 21, 34 Semarang 8, 143, 144 – 145, 148 – 151, 154, 157 settler 61, 65 – 66 Sheppard, E. 2, 18, 106, 122 smaller cities xv, xvi, 2, 5, 47, 71, 99, 108, 164 South Africa xiv, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 53, 55 – 67, 81, 122, 163 Southern 1, 5, 17, 52, 57 – 58, 66, 79, 101, 136, 142 space: production of 59; spatial injustice 65; spatial justice 13, 55 – 57, 65 – 67 spectrality of debt 72 strategic planning 96, 138 Syrian 76, 77, 81 temporality 158, 161, 162–163 Third Front 24 – 36; construction 24 – 27, 30 – 31, 34 – 38 Third-tier City 21, 27, 30, 33, 37, 38
Index 169 Timor-Leste xiv, 9, 15, 125 – 129, 133, 135, 140 – 142 Trujillo 11, 85, 103, 106 – 120 UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) xvi under-representation see representation UNISDR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction) xvi, 94, 104 United Nations xiv, 42, 50, 54, 76, 104, 122, 143, 157, 164, 165 urban: climate experiments see climate change; collective urban futures 147, 151; growth 9, 14, 100, 133; -isation 8, 30; knowledge 1, 2, 5, 7, 14, 79,
144 – 153, 158, 161, 163; knowledge representation 145; -ness 28, 33 – 34; planning 2, 13, 39, 41 – 53, 61, 67, 76, 110, 113, 115 – 117, 121, 124, 128; studies xiv, 1, 2, 5, 9, 11, 13, 17, 18, 68, 69, 122 Valverde, M. 57, 64, 67 vulnerability assessment 147 Wright, M. W. 148, 155 Yicai 21 – 24, 27, 30, 33 – 35, 37 – 38 Zarqa 8, 11, 13, 68 – 69, 72 – 80