Land Pooling in South Asia: Lessons Learned for Equitable, Participatory, and Inclusive Urban Expansion
Ballaney, Shirley; Faust, Amy; Swarankar, Ramesh C.; Belliappa, Saswati Ghosh | January 2022
South Asian cities are rapidly urbanizing and projected to grow by more than 300 million new residents between 2020 and 2040. If the current development trend of low-density urban sprawl continues, significantly more land will be required to accommodate this population growth at a time when securing land through eminent domain tends to be expensive, contentious, and displaces landowners. Thus, South Asian cities need efficient, forward-looking tools for infrastructure and land development that can accommodate an optimum and livable density for sustainable urban development, including housing, commercial, industrial, and mixed-use development. One such tool is land pooling, which could be used as an alternative to eminent domain to secure land for urban expansion that is less costly and has positive social outcomes since it is voluntary in nature. This working paper asks if land pooling can be scaled up in South Asia for sustainable urban development that increases social welfare, is financially sustainable, and results in equitable and inclusive outcomes. If so, it also examines what needs to be done to scale up and strengthen policies and processes in both existing and potential land pooling systems across the region. A framework was developed based on a virtuous cycle of building trust between project stakeholders to draw lessons from four case studies that demonstrate varying degrees of implementation experiences (two state examples from India, and national case studies from Nepal and Bhutan). The case study exercise found that land pooling is a promising tool to rein in urban sprawl and reach equitable and inclusive outcomes for sustainable urban development, but trust between stakeholders is a prerequisite to enable the governments to scale it up for land development and urban expansion. Land pooling projects and even the system as a whole were shown to suffer when trust broke down. Recommendations on policy frameworks, implementation of land pooling processes, and entry points for those donors that are active in the urban space are provided to strengthen land pooling systems both in country governments with more mature land pooling systems, as well as those considering land pooling as a tool for sustainable urban development.
CitationBallaney, Shirley; Faust, Amy; Swarankar, Ramesh C.; Belliappa, Saswati Ghosh. 2022. Land Pooling in South Asia: Lessons Learned for Equitable, Participatory, and Inclusive Urban Expansion. © Asian Development Bank. http://hdl.handle.net/11540/14746. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
Asian Development Bank
Urban Economic Development
Urban Development Finance
Aid And Development
Asian Development Bank
Comprehensive Development Framework
Development In East Asia
Rural Urban Migration
Urban impact analysis
Real estate development
Land poolingShow allCollapse