Urbanisation can drive development and improve lives, but it can also have a debilitating impact when corruption is involved. See what we're doing to safeguard urban planning from corruption.
What's at stake?
By 2050 four out of every five people in the world could be living in towns and cities. Urbanisation can drive development and improve lives, but it can also have a debilitating impact when corruption is involved.
When property developers flout building regulations to keep costs low and profits high, buildings can become unsafe. This threatens the lives of those who live and work in such buildings, and can lead to large-scale disaster as was seen in the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh.
When firms collude to rip off municipalities during big construction projects, public money that could have been channelled into sustainable urban development is lost.
Urban land can also be used as a resource for patronage, such as when officials sell public land to private developers in exchange for political support. Likewise, housing schemes earmarked for low-income tenants can fall into the hands of the politically connected, denying needy families of much-needed shelter.
What we're doing about it
Urban planners can unlock the potential of sustainable urban development – and contribute to safer cities – if they have the right tools to identify and address corruption risks in the areas they work in.
Recognising this, we have developed a course module for urban planners in sub-Saharan Africa to equip them with the latest knowledge, tactics and networks to tackle corruption in urban planning processes.