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Public Participation in Urban Transport Projects: Lessons from China


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By Shomik Mehndiratta. Presented at Day One of Transforming Transportation 2010. Washington, D.C. January 14, 2010.

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Public Participation in Urban Transport Projects: Lessons from China

  1. 2. Public Participation in Urban Transport Projects: Lessons from China Transforming Transportation 2010 January 14, 2010 Shomik Mehndiratta World Bank
  2. 3. Background <ul><li>World Bank Urban Transport Projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Liaoning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wuhan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Xian </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taiyuan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anhui </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Public participation has been an important component in all these projects </li></ul>
  3. 4. Obstacles for More Effective Public Participation in China (1) <ul><li>Public participation is not institutionalized in China </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the west, big infrastructure projects often depend fundamentally on getting through successfully the public hearing process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In China at present, the practice of incorporating public comments through structured and extensive public participation is not common, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of sustainable funding. Systematic public participation efforts require substantial resources (human and financial). </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. Obstacles for More Effective Public Participation in China (2) <ul><li>Information gaps for effective public participation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laobaixing have limited knowledge about projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The citizens don’t understand the urban transport project financed World Bank so well. Only 11.6% of the citizens choose “know well’ or “relatively know well” --<Analysis Report On the First Public Participation Survey of Taiyuan City Transport Project Financed By the World Bank Loans> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Laobaixing have little knowledge about related policy (eg. resettlement related policies) which might influenced their capacity in participation. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. Obstacles for More Effective Public Participation in China (3) <ul><li>The discretion in project design and implementation is closed guarded by certain public officials for technical for political reasons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Project design and implementation are considered as highly technical and beyond the comprehension of the members of the general public </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public participation may reduce discretionary power in project design and implementation enjoyed by the officials in control for political or economic gains. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. Overall Objectives of Public Participation in Urban Transport Projects <ul><li>Determine the public’s key concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritize problems </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporate public input into project design and implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Institutionalize public participation mechanism in policy making </li></ul>
  7. 8. The Process of Public Participation <ul><li>Four phases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phase I: Public participation during feasibility study stage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phase II: Public participation during project design & appraisal stage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phase III: Public participation during project implementation stage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phase IV: Public participation during project evaluation stage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most project cities have completed Phase I and II, and in Liaoning, Phase III is ongoing </li></ul>Effective public participation requires long-term commitment
  8. 9. Typical Methods Used <ul><li>Open meetings (all project cities) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus group discussions (all project cities) </li></ul><ul><li>In-depth Interviews (all project cities) </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys (all project cities) </li></ul><ul><li>Other methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion forum in the internet (Wuhan only) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hotlines (Wuhan only) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mass media (Wuhan only) </li></ul></ul>Scientific methods are the foundation for effective public participation
  9. 10. Number of Participants Involved in Project Cities Open Meeting (Person) Focus Group Discussion (Group/Persons) Individual Interview (Persons) Surveys (Persons) Participants in Phase I Benxi 26 12/90 10 703 Liaoyang 30 12/86 11 503 Jinzhou 30 12/89 12 711 Fushun 27 12/93 11 696 Panjin 28 12/85 11 497 Dengta 30 8/60 10 151 Participants in Phase II Benxi 90 12/120 10 502 Liaoyang 90 12/120 10 400 Jinzhou 90 12/120 10 500 Fushun 90 12/120 10 500 Panjin 100 12/120 10 408 Dengta 60 6/60 10 150
  10. 11. Types of Participants Involved in Project Cities Public participation should be inclusive, paying particular attention to the vulnerable. Types of participants Based on Modes of Transport Walk Bicycle Taxi bus Based on Vulnerability Female Disabled Poor people Seniors
  11. 12. <ul><ul><li>Wuhan: Wuhan Office for Urban Construction Using Foreign Investment, Center for Involuntary Settlement Resettlement Wuhan University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taiyuan: Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences (LASS), the Taiyuan PMOs, the world Bank </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Xi`an: Shanxi Academy of Social Sciences, the Xian PMOs, the World Bank </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Liaoning (Benxi, Dengta, Fushun, Jinzhou, Liaoyang, Panjin): Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences (LASS), Liaoning Urban Construction & Renewal Project Office (LUCRPO), Bank Consultant, the World Bank </li></ul></ul>Implementation Organization Collaborated University Consult from World Bank Organization of Public Participation Activities PMO at the city level Quality Control Mechanisms Quality Control Mechanisms
  12. 13. Quality Control Mechanisms <ul><li>[For PMOs] Choose the implementing agency which is professional and has experience in carrying out similar projects (in the area of public participation) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shanxi Academy of Social Science was selected for its experience in carrying out similar public participation in the provincial level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most Staffs of LASS have been trained in handling the types of fieldwork (focus group discussion, and in-depth interview) for public participation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>[For Implementing Agency] Secure the cooperation of local PMOs and adapt to local conditions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Before implementation, LASS has had meetings with local PMOs to make the plan of public participation more adaptable at the city level </li></ul></ul><ul><li>[For Implementing Agency] clarifying tasks and responsibilities in carrying out public participation projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LASS has signed the contract with Liaoning Urban Construction & Renewal Project Office (LUCRPO) after they reached consensus about the tasks and objectives </li></ul></ul>Institutional support is the key for the success of public participation
  13. 14. Key Features of Public Participation across Project Cities Key Features Liaoning Wuhan Taiyuan Xian Financial support from local governments √ √ Public participation conducted in early stages in project cycle √ √ Extensiveness in geographic coverage of participants √ √ √ √ Representativeness of participants based on transport mode and vulnerability √ √ √ √ Sensitive to gender concerns √ √ √ √ Implemented by an independent organization √ √ √ √ Media coverage of public participation activities √ The use of Internet in data collection. √ High levels of satisfaction by PMOs √ √ √ √
  14. 15. Impacts of Public Participation: Determining the Public’s Concerns (1) <ul><li>Public participation shows a widespread perception that government has paid inadequate attention to the needs of pedestrians </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[Examples] Xueyuan Road Vicinity ( Jinzhou ), Jinzhou Urban Road, Panjin Urban Road, Fushun Secondary Road, Fushun Sidewalk, Dengta Secondary Road, Dengta Sidewalk. </li></ul></ul>Xueyuan Road Vicinity (Jinzhou) Fushun sidewalks
  15. 16. Impacts of Public Participation: The Public’s Concerns (2) <ul><li>Public participation shows that the condition of the local village roads and tertiary roads is very poor while the conditions of the trunk road system are better because of attention from city leadership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[Example] Jiancai Road, Beishao Zhongxin Interchange (Liaoyang), Xueyuan Road Vicinity (Jinzhou), Zhanqian Street (Dengta) </li></ul></ul>JIncai Road (Liaoyang) Zhanqian Street (Dengta)
  16. 17. Impacts of Public Participation: The Public’s Concerns (3) <ul><li>Participants involved public participation activities pointed to unsafe road crossings as a major concern </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[ Example ] Xiaojon Rail overpass 2 (Liaoyang) </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Impacts of Public Participation: The Public’s Concerns (4) <ul><li>Public participant led to the revelation of unsafe and inconvenient cycling conditions because of lack of MV/ NMV separation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[ Example ] Wuwangzi Street (Liaoyang), Liaoyang City Road, 6 Dao St (Liaoyang), Hankou Rail Overpass (Jinzhou), Guangzhou Rail Overpass (Jinzhou) </li></ul></ul>Hankou Rail Overpass (Jinzhou) Wuwangzi Street (Liaoyang)
  18. 19. Impacts of Public Participation: Determining the Public’s Concerns (5) <ul><li>Low quality of bus service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long wait at bus station </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Ms. Wang, 37 yr old: I used to take bus to work, which is not close. It turned out it’d take me longer to get to work than walking due to the long waits for bus to come…. I ended up walking to work now” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expensive bus fares </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Ms. Kong, work at home on handmade products: I do daily grocery shopping via bus… need to transfer to get to the destination, very long and expensive… ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bus service time needs to be extended </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Ms. Qi, 27 yr old: bus services are not available early at night (after 7 or latest 8:30), it’s very inconvenient for me to get back home.” </li></ul></ul>
  19. 20. Impacts of Public Participation: The Public’s Concerns (6) <ul><li>Poor traffic management resulting in cars parked illegally either on sidewalks or bicycle paths as well as encroachment by small business onto sidewalks. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A senior female: “ I walk to daily grocery, it’s sometime scary enough for me to hold the breath when I cross the road… the traffic is heavy and fast, especially some motorists are speeding.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A resident who commute by motorcycle: “ there’re often no traffic lights. intersections are chaotic, traffics are in every directions…” </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Better Understanding and Addressing the Needs of the Vulnerable <ul><li>The ability to understand and address the needs of the vulnerable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some issues particular to women: the long wait at the bus stop (Panjin); Lack of Street light (Liaoyang);low quality of the pavement (Benxi);The off-peak time bus service (Jinzhou); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some issues particular to the disabled: the footrest on the bus is inconvenient (Taiyuan, Panjin);vehicles parking on pedestrian (Xi`an); the poor condition of the road (Benxi) </li></ul></ul>
  21. 22. Impacts of Public Participation: Improving the Project Design (1) <ul><li>The project design in Liaoning has been more responsive to the needs of the “Laobaixing” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[ Before public participation ] The original project proposals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>facilitate new urban developments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>road expansions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[ After public participation ] Emphases shift to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Secondary road improvements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Traffic management, especially the separation of MV/NMV traffic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stronger attention to sidewalks and pedestrian’s needs </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 23. Impacts of Public Participation: Improving the Project Design (2) <ul><li>In Jinzhou, as respond to the public opinions in the phase II participation, the government increased public welfare with low-cost measures: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Invest in the new public toilet; require the administrative agencies to open the toilet to the public </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include benches, trash bins, and trees as part of the street infrastructure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Isolate MV from NMV to guarantee driving safety </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasize the design and construction of drainage system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strictly restrict passing of overloaded vehicles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing investment on urban greening </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Widening of Central North St </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up street lights in some street section </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up traffic signal lights in some intersect of the street </li></ul></ul>
  23. 24. <ul><li>Involvement of the disabled community during implementation mainstreamed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[Example] 3 cities conducted workshop and pilot with disabled community during project implementation. In Benxi, Panjin, and Jinzhou, the government invited members of the disabled community to test newly constructed road facilities and provide input on their accessibility and functionality. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[Example] Jinzhou has institutionalized this as an annual practice . The Jinzhou Municipal Urban Transportation Project Management Office (PMO) and Jinzhou Municipal Federation of Disabled Persons (FDP) jointly convened a meeting in August of 2007 and 2008 to solicit opinions from disabled residents about the new and rehabilitated road facilities. </li></ul></ul>Impacts of Public Participation: Improving Monitoring Implementation
  24. 25. <ul><li>Participatory monitoring effort in Liaoning to monitor resettlement </li></ul><ul><li>Key concerns and opinions raised include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to establish resettlement board to listen to the public’s concerns and opinions (Jinzhou, Liaoyang); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the compensation policy should be transparent to the public (Benxi, Liaoyang); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the government should involve to regulate the price of the houses (Benxi); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To ensure the quality of the new resettlement apartment. </li></ul></ul>Impacts of Public Participation: Improving Monitoring the Implementation (2) Involve the project-affected population Focus on resettlement, RAP and EA mitigation Decide who participates Establish Goals Develop Indicators Gather Information Analyse Results Share Results Take Action Participatory Monitoring
  25. 26. Summary <ul><li>Public participation in urban transport projects has increasingly gained acceptance in project cities </li></ul><ul><li>Structured public participation process ensures: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Infrastructure development benefits all, including the disadvantaged </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provides platform for addressing particular vulnerable groups at low incremental effort </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disabled community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Government buy-in from the ability to increase public welfare with low-cost measures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Toilets, trees and benches go a long way </li></ul></ul>