Governance Lecture Series 1: Governance for Urbanism


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This is the first of a series of lectures on Governance prepared by Roberto Rocco, assistant professor at the Chair Spatial Planning and Strategy of the Delft University of Technology.

The idea of the lecture series is to substantiate governance and put it in a historical and social context. The aim is to equip students in Urbanism, Spatial Planning, to understand the concept and apply it in research and design projects.

In order to do so, I work with contrasting pairs of concepts. In this lecture, I contrast PROPERTY and JUSTICE.

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Governance Lecture Series 1: Governance for Urbanism

  1. 1. THE GOVERNANCE LECTURE SERIES Prepared by Roberto Rocco Chair Spatial Planning and Strategy, TU Delft !"#$%#&&#((%() *!$+#$,)- !"#$$%&%()"%(*+)+,%Wednesday, 5October, 2011 1
  2. 2. GOVERNANCE This lecture was prepared for the GOVERNANCE lecture series of the Complex Cities Grad Studio (Department of Urbanism, TU Delft).Wednesday, 5October, 2011 2
  3. 3. GOVERNANCE LECTURE SERIES In this lecture series, several concepts are contrasted with each other in pairs. The objective is to define concepts in relationship to each other, so as to build up a comprehensive understanding of GOVERNANCE.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 3
  4. 4. GOVERNANCE LECTURE SERIES The first pair of concepts is PROPERTY and JUSTICEWednesday, 5October, 2011 4
  5. 5. WHAT WILL I DO IN THIS SESSION? Situate the concept of governance in a historical and philosophical context and give examples of practical applications in Urban Planning.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 5
  6. 6. WHAT’S GOVERNANCE AGAIN? Civil Private Society Sector Public SectorWednesday, 5October, 2011 6
  7. 7. WHAT’S GOVERNANCE AGAIN? Civil Civil Civil Private Society Sector Civil Public Public Sector Coalitions between Public sectors and within Sector sectorsWednesday, 5October, 2011 7
  8. 8. WHAT’S GOVERNANCE AGAIN? Civil Civil Civil Private Society Sector Civil Public Public Sector Public State (the rule of law) SectorWednesday, 5October, 2011 8
  9. 9. PROPERTYWednesday, 5October, 2011 9
  10. 10. THE RULE OF LAW Simply stated, the rule of law implies that everyone must follow the laws and no one (including the government and leaders themselves) is above the law that is agreed upon.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 10
  11. 11. THE LAW IS KING Lex Rex (the law is king) (Samuel Rutherford, 1644) versus Rex Lex (The king is the law) Not liking it! Louis XIV of France is supposed to have said the sentence “L’etat c’est moi” (The State is me!). Louis XIV was the prototype of the absolutist leader.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 11
  12. 12. THE RULE OF LAW The rule of law provides the framework for the Public sector, the Private sector and the Civil society to exist in certain forms and in certain relationships with each other.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 12
  13. 13. IMPORTANT MILESTONES for the development of the rule of law in the WEST The Magna Carta (1215) The American Revolution (1781) The French Revolution (1789) In reality, these are only milestones in a very long historical development towards the rule of lawWednesday, 5October, 2011 13
  14. 14. THE RULE OF LAW In fact, the emergence of the rule of LAW coincides with the emergence of the modern STATE (we are not talking about democracy YET)Wednesday, 5October, 2011 14
  15. 15. THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT (OR THE “AGE OF REASON”): C. 1650-1700 The Enlightenment had its epicentre in France and its objective was to mobilise the power of reason in order to reform society against absolutism and tyranny and advance knowledge. Source:, 5October, 2011 15
  16. 16. DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN (1789) “Men are born and remain free and equal in right” The natural condition of people’s freedom (by virtue of birth) is sufficient to determine a universal equality in RIGHTS People deemed equal (everyone), must have the same distribution of rights regardless of other differences See:, 5October, 2011 16
  17. 17. FOR THE DECLARATION OF 1789, RIGHTS ARE Liberty Property Security Resistance to oppressionWednesday, 5October, 2011 17
  18. 18. TREATING THE UNEQUAL EQUALITY* People are equal, but they do not have equal access to property. (In fact, they do not have equal access to rights) Different currents agree that those considered EQUAL deserve the same “just share”, but disagree on the criteria by which should be considered deserving. HOLSTON, J. 2007. Insurgent Citizenship: Disjunctions of Democracy and Modernity in Brazil, Princeton, Princeton University Press.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 18
  19. 19. A “JUST SHARE” DEMOCRATS say it is FREE BIRTH OLIGARCHS say it is WEALTH or NOBLE BIRTH ARISTOCRATS say it is EXCELLENCE HOLSTON, J. 2007. Insurgent Citizenship: Disjunctions of Democracy and Modernity in Brazil, Princeton, Princeton University Press.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 19
  20. 20. ALL ARE EQUAL The State law binds all its subjects equally because all equally belong to the State (natural and juridical persons).Wednesday, 5October, 2011 20
  21. 21. THIS IS REVOLUTIONARY BECAUSE It represents a new type of polity (societal organisation) that counters the ancient and then dominant concept that political power derives from the inherently, hierarchical inequality of people. HOLSTON, J. 2007. Insurgent Citizenship: Disjunctions of Democracy and Modernity in Brazil, Princeton, Princeton University Press.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 21
  22. 22. THE ENLIGHTENMENT WAS A LIBERAL MOVEMENT THAT PROMOTED THE FREEDOM TO OWN IN A PARTICULAR WAY (AMONG OTHER FREEDOMS) Former forms of property include th e religious formulations(God has prima ry ow nership of all things a nd h e decides wh o gets what o n Earth, generally the priests and th e rul ing class) or the Feuda l ide a that all land belongs t o the king wh o makes con cession s to his vassals. Oxford Dictionary of PoliticsWednesday, 5October, 2011 22
  23. 23. A BOURGEOIS IDEA? In the French enlightenment, a new formula is proposed, where property stems NOT from the king or god, but from the LAW.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 23
  24. 24. BUT WHAT TO DO WITH THE POOR? The inclusion of the right to OWN property generally went hand in hand with the construction of citizenship during the building of nation states. In early or partial forms of democracy, only the virtuous (the ones who “owned”) were considered worthy of democracy.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 24
  25. 25. Although the French Enlightenment recognises that every one has fundamental RIGHTS, not everybody is entitled to PROPERTY. In fact, only those who HAVE property (active citizens) can had a political voice (a good part of all males were excluded from a political life and women were not included). How is this different from now?Wednesday, 5October, 2011 25
  26. 26. DIFFERENT POLITICAL BELIEFS UNDERSTAND PRIVATE PROPERTY DIFFERENTLY In Liberalism, property is one of the cornerstones of democracy, because it generates wealth and ultimately increase public good. Critics say the benefits are limited to a small group of property holders and ultimately the great majority of people are excluded. In Socialism there is a critique of the concept: it is too expensive to defend public property from those who have none. Private property encourages wealth generation, but this is too concentrated and not with enough benefits for society as whole In some modalities of socialism, property must have a social function. A person must make more or less continuous use of the property and show that it is productive (to avoid speculation) Communism says that only collective ownership of the means of production will assure the minimization of unequal or unjust outcomes and maximization of benefits for all. Critics say this erases entrepreneurship. Communism ultimately proclaims that private ownership is illegitimate. Several sources. Main source:, 5October, 2011 26
  27. 27. DIFFERENCE IN OWNERSHIP Private ownership of capital (land, factories, resources) X Private property (homes, personal objects)Wednesday, 5October, 2011 27
  28. 28. AN UNBALANCED RELATIONSHIP This formulation (same rights, unequal access to property) highlights an unbalanced relationship. Because in liberal societies all men (and women!) are the owners of their own bodies, they are also the rightful owners of their own work, which they can sell freely in the market.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 28
  29. 29. AN UNBALANCED RELATIONSHIP However, the owners of the means of production (land, factories, etc) have an unfair advantage over the owners of work. They can deny work to workers because there is structurally more people than worthy work and the value of work is more often than not very little. SANDEL, M. J. 1996. Democracys discontent : America in search of a public philosophy, Cambridge, Mass., Belknap Press of Harvard University PressWednesday, 5October, 2011 29
  30. 30. Workers are not “free” to work, because they must rely on work being given to them by the owners, who will do their best to keep the value of work down (sometimes by forbidding workers from associating, other times by association with oppressive states. Workers are never able to get what they justly deserve.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 30
  31. 31. A FUNDAMENTAL OPPOSITION Labour X CapitalWednesday, 5October, 2011 31
  32. 32. In developed societies like the Netherlands, work is valued, but other societies have to do with irrational developments, heritage (e.g. slavery, bad educational systems, oppression), and most specially UNEQUAL ACCESS TO SPATIAL OPPORTUNITIES!Wednesday, 5October, 2011 32
  33. 33. WORLD VIEWS Different world views entail different attitudes towards property and work. These different attitudes are based on moral, ethical and cultural differences. For example: the Catholic Church used condemn usury (the lending of money for interest) as a capital sin., 5October, 2011 33
  34. 34. MONEY AND SIN Deriving profit from money lending is one of the cornerstones of Modern Capitalism. How could a good catholic be a good capitalist?Wednesday, 5October, 2011 34
  35. 35. MAX WEBER The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905)Wednesday, 5October, 2011 35
  36. 36. WEBER’S THESIS For Weber, capitalism in northern Europe evolved when the Protestant (particularly Calvinist) ethic influenced large numbers of people to engage in work in the secular world, developing their own enterprises and engaging in trade and the accumulation of wealth for investment. In other words, the Protestant work ethic was an important force behind the unplanned and uncoordinated mass action that influenced the development of capitalism.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 36
  37. 37. ALTERNATIVE WORLD VIEWS China: Confucianism and Taoism India: Hinduism (caste system) and Buddhism Ancient Judaism Animist societies of Africa, Americas, and OceaniaWednesday, 5October, 2011 37
  38. 38. PROTESTANTISM Dignifies work Does not vilify profit. On the contrary, profit is equated with hard work and hard work is equated with virtue and the love of God Therefore, Earthly possessions show that the individual is blessed by God, and is a member of the ‘chosen ones Eventually, there is a divorce between work ethics and church.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 38
  39. 39. THE SPIRIT OF CAPITALISM For us (Urbanists), what matters is that CAPITALISM seems to be the prevalent form of societal organisation (whereas DEMOCRACY is not). Each nation deals with capitalism on its own terms and with different results to the distribution of the fruits of property and enterprise.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 39
  40. 40. SYSTEMS OF GOVERNANCE A map of the world, highlighted on a scale from light blue to black, based on the score each country received according to The Economists Democracy Index survey for 2010, from a scale of 10 to 0, with 10 being the most democratic, and 0 being the least democratic. Hong Kong (score 5.85) and Palestine (score 5.44) were also included in the survey but are not visible on this map. Key: Full Democracy 10-9 9-7.95 Flawed Democracy 7.95-7 7-6 Hybrid Regime 6-4.5 4.5-3.95 Authoritarian Regime 3.95-3 3-0 Insufficient information, no rating The Economist Intelligence Units Democracy Index as published in December 2010. The palest blue countries get a score above 9 out of 10 (with Norway being the most democratic country at 9.80), while the black countries score below 3 (with North Korea being the least democratic at 1.08). Source> Wikipedia (yes, I also use Wikipedia!)Wednesday, 5October, 2011 40
  41. 41. DEMOCRACY ON THE RISE This graph shows Freedom Houses evaluation of the number of nations in the different categories given above for the period for which there are surveys, 1972–2005. Souce: Freedomhouse.orgWednesday, 5October, 2011 41
  42. 42. NEW PARTICIPATORY TOOLS?Wednesday, 5October, 2011 42
  43. 43. “THE ARAB SPRING” Available at:, 5October, 2011 43
  44. 44. “OCCUPY WALL STREET”, 5October, 2011 44
  45. 45. UNEQUAL ACCESS PERSISTS (BUT WE ARE GETTING THERE)Wednesday, 5October, 2011 45
  46. 46. TIME FOR INCREASED PARTICIPATION IN CITY MAKING? Do you know examples of participatory planning in your country or elsewhere? How do they do it? This lecture is not about participatory planning, but we will discuss it elsewhere!!!Wednesday, 5October, 2011 46
  47. 47. TOOLS FOR A MEANS Planning is one of the main tools to strengthen democracy, in order to: Increase public goods Solve conflicts Balance the powers in governance processes Achieve SOCIAL JUSTICEWednesday, 5October, 2011 47
  48. 48. JUSTICEWednesday, 5October, 2011 48
  49. 49. BUT WHAT IS SOCAIL JUSTICE? It is all about creating a society or tools for the achievement of the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. Source:, 5October, 2011 49
  50. 50. SOCIAL JUSTICE KEY CONCEPTS Human rights Equality Greater degree of economic egalitarianism through progressive taxation, income redistribution, and other democratic tools of redistribution. AIM: more equality of opportunity than may currently exist in some societies equality of outcome in democratic societies.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 50
  51. 51. WHAT IS JUSTICE IN URBAN DEVELOPMENT? How does the concept of PROPERTY affect what is JUST in urban development? If the inhabitants of the POLIS are the true CITIZENS, how do we distribute the benefits of the POLIS equally? How do we make the spatial benefits of the Polis accessible to all citizens? “To take no part in the running of the communitys affairs is to be either a beast or a god!” Aristotle Hansen, Mogens Herman. Polis: An Introduction to the Ancient Greek City-State. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006Wednesday, 5October, 2011 51
  52. 52. WHERE DOES JUSTICE COME FROM? Ethics (moral philosophy) Rationality Law Natural law ReligionWednesday, 5October, 2011 52
  53. 53. SOCIAL JUSTICE Social Justice stems from the democratic principle that all are born equal and deserve EQUAL ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITYWednesday, 5October, 2011 53
  54. 54. OPPORTUNITY AND SPACE Because opportunity (AKA ‘life chances’) is specifically bound to space (location, accessibility, mobility) and because ‘who owns what’/ ‘who finances what’ is a big part of urban development, we need to democratically deal with redistribution of resources and spatial advantages in creative ways.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 54
  55. 55. A4 near DelftWednesday, 5October, 2011 55
  57. 57. www.grosvenorlondon.comWednesday, 5October, 2011 57
  58. 58. TRADITIONAL NOTIONS OF PROPERTY INCLUDE: Control and use of the property The right to obtain benefits from the property (to derive profit from it) The right to transfer or sell the property The right to exclude others from the use or the premisses of the propertyWednesday, 5October, 2011 58
  59. 59. SOME LIMITATIONS TO PROPERTY Uses that unreasonable interfere with the property rights of others Uses that unreasonably interfere with public property rights, including externalities that jeopardise the property of others and reduce PUBLIC GOODS in an unreasonable way (health, safety, peace, convenience)Wednesday, 5October, 2011 59
  60. 60. DO YOU... Know examples of properties that effectively reduce public goods?Wednesday, 5October, 2011 60
  61. 61. THE CLASSIC EXAMPLE Drax Power Station near Selby, Yorkshire. Photograph: John Giles/PA Source:, 5October, 2011 61
  63. 63. SCHIPHOL NOISE MAP, 5October, 2011 63
  64. 64. PRIVATE PROPERTY Directly affects the production of PUBLIC GOODS Is directly affected by PUBLIC GOODSWednesday, 5October, 2011 64
  65. 65. My plot!Wednesday, 5October, 2011 65
  66. 66. My plot! DinoVabec NYC to LAWednesday, 5October, 2011 66
  67. 67. EXAGGERATED? MOI?Wednesday, 5October, 2011 67
  68. 68. PUBLIC GOODS Public goods are not only created by government action. Public goods are created by the action of all the actors present in a governance system.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 68
  69. 69. HOWEVER The State is the MAIN ARTICULATOR and WARRANTOR of Public Goods (remember the function of the State as protector of property? It can limit it too and direct uses for societal gains). Public goods are maximised thanks to co-ordinated collective action (in other words: PLANNING) Therefore, the State could act as a re-distributor of GAINS to SOCIETY through democratic mechanisms of transfer and equalisation.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 69
  70. 70. PUTTING PROPERTY IN CONTEXT In some cases this can mean limiting, delimitating or circumscribing property rights. Or putting property rights and profit in CONTEXT.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 70
  71. 71. THE CLASSIC EXAMPLE: ZONING, 5October, 2011 71
  72. 72. ROSCOMMON COUNTY, REP. OF IRELANDWednesday, 5October, 2011 72
  73. 73. SAO PAULOWednesday, 5October, 2011 73
  74. 74. BORDER OF THE SAO PAULO HAGUEWednesday, 5October, 2011 74
  75. 75. BORDER OF THE HAGUEWednesday, 5October, 2011 75
  76. 76. EXPROPRIATION (ONTEIGENING) Eminent domain (United States), Compulsory purchase (United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ireland), Resumption/compulsory acquisition (Australia), Expropriation (South Africa and Canada) An action of the state to seize a citizens private property, expropriate property, or seize a citizens rights in property with due monetary compensation, but without the owners consent.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 76
  77. 77. PUBLIC UTILITY De Jure Belli et Pacis, Hugo Grotius in 1625 "... The property of subjects is under the eminent domain of the state, so that the state or he who acts for it may use and even alienate and destroy such property, not only in the case of extreme necessity, in which even private persons have a right over the property of others, but for ends of public utility, to which ends those who founded civil society must be supposed to have intended that private ends should give way. But it is to be added that when this is done the state is bound to make good the loss to those who lose their property."Wednesday, 5October, 2011 77
  78. 78. EXAMPLE OF PUBLIC UTILITY: SELECTIVE FLOODING STRATEGIES (NL) Source: de Volkskrant, 2004Wednesday, 5October, 2011 78
  79. 79. TRANSFER OF DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS Some physical rights include the rights to build, exploit natural resources, restrict access and farm. Other legally enforceable rights include the right to sell the land, subdivide it, rent it out or grant easements across it. These rights can be suspended or limited. TDR programs allow landowners to sever the building (aka development) rights from a particular piece of property and sell them. Purchasers are usually other landowners who want to increase the density of their developments. Local governments may also buy development rights in order to control price, design details or restrict growth. Source:, 5October, 2011 79
  80. 80. TDR Source: %20Programs.htm#DefinitionWednesday, 5October, 2011 80
  81. 81. TDR You can build public policies based on TDRs!Wednesday, 5October, 2011 81
  82. 82. ADDITIONAL BUILDING RIGHTS The separation between the right to own and the right to build that is implicit in tolls like zoning, give us the opportunity to build on tools like TDRs and additional building rights. As an example: Brazil has a tradition on this tool with the CEPAC (Additional Building Potential)Wednesday, 5October, 2011 82
  83. 83. ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS ADRs are useful in combination with other legislation (like ZONING) and specially in LARGE URBAN PROJECTS, where local governments have big stakes and where public money is used to improve infrastructure and public goods massively and where massive land valuation is expected as a result of the intervention. Investors in areas touched by LUPs must conform to existing ZONING regulations, which most of the times determine how much they can build in relation to the size of the plot they own (floor area index). For an example, look at, 5October, 2011 83
  84. 84. ADDITIONAL BUILDING RIGHTS But if investors are willing to build BEYOND the existing zoning limitations, within the capacity to be created by large public works, they can buy a TITLE negotiable in the stock market or sealable as pubic titles. Each title will give the investor the ability to build X sq meters beyond existing regulations (within limits imposed by the planning authority). Because these titles are negotiable, their value depends on how much the market is willing to pay for them for a specific LUP at a specific time.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 84
  85. 85. INCENTIVES FOR BUILDING RENEWALWednesday, 5October, 2011 85
  86. 86. FURTHER REFERENCES Habermas, the Public Sphere, and Democracy: A Critical Intervention, available at LANGLOIS, J. 2009. Normative and Theoretical Foundations of Human Rights. In: GOODHART, M. (ed.) Human Rights: Politics and Practice. Oxforf: OUP.Wednesday, 5October, 2011 86
  87. 87. !"#$%#&&#((%() *!$+#$,)- THANKS FOR WATCHING & LISTENING! Should you have any doubts, please contact And visit our BLOG !"#$$%&%()"%(*+)+,%Wednesday, 5October, 2011 87