Tackling ‘Wicked Problems’ in Informal Settlements: A Case Study of Institutional Response to an Environmental and Health Emergency in Trinidad. David F. Brown McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy Seminar Series Presentation March 31st 2010 Outline Nature of planning problems. Overview of informal settlements in Trinidad. The Demerara Road Incident. Lessons. Garden City Movement Source: see Howard, “To-morrow: a Peaceful Path to Real Reform”, 1898 Nature of Planning Problems • Tame Problems – Sewers, paved roads, hospitals, clean drinking water… – Natural Science • • • • Definable Separable Possible to demonstrate Solution verifiable • Wicked Problems – Crime, housing – Social Science • Ill defined, definition depends on solution • Every problem unique, new combinations always possible • Solutions not true or false but good or bad • Questions of equity cloud tests of efficiency • Any discrepancy can be explained in many ways: crime – police, poverty, culture, guns… Source: based on Rittel and Webber , “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning”, Policy Sciences, 1973 Overview of informal settlements in Trinidad Macro Economic Performance 1966-94 Trinidad & Tobago 25000 180 GDP 1985 Prices Consumer Prices (1985) 120 100 80 10000 60 40 5000 20 0 Year 1994 1992 1990 1988 1986 1984 1982 1980 1978 1976 1974 1972 1970 1968 0 Consumer Prices (1985) 140 15000 1966 $TT Millions (1985) 20000 160 Year 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 91 90 89 88 87 86 85 84 83 82 81 80 79 78 77 76 75 74 73 Employment / Population (1979=100) Employment Index 105 100 95 90 85 80 75 Selected Indicators 1983-92 Trinidad & Tobago 3500 45000 Building Approvals 35000 2500 30000 2000 25000 1500 20000 15000 1000 10000 500 5000 0 0 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 Year Approved New Building Plans Crimes Reported 1992 Number of Crimes Reported 40000 3000 Estimated Number of Dwellings in Informal Settlements 300000 250000 200000 150000 100000 50000 0 1964 1978 1979 1985 1988 1990 1991 1993 1993 Agency Responsibility for Planning in Trinidad Formal < - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - > Informal Bureaucratic Practice Planning Allocative Planning Innovative Planning TCPD WASA T&TEC PEU Radical Planning & Practice Revolutionary Practice SRU Sou Sou Squatting Adapted from Friedmann, 1987: Planning in the Public Domain Community Development Processes in Formal and Informal Settlements Formal Informal Balanced State of the Environment 1.homogenous 2.normative standards 1.heterogeneous 2.variable standards 1.topological 2.performance standards Development Process 1.formal, top-down 2.centralized 3.phased 4.professional 5.regulated 6.institutional 1.informal, bottom-up 2.decentralized 3.iterative 4.lay initiated 5.responsive 6.individual, family centered 1.mixed 2.community based 3.strategic 4.partnership 5.progressive 6.individual, community Citizen Involvement 1.verbal 2.procedure oriented 1.verbal and action 2.product oriented 1.verbal and action 2.process oriented Role of State 1.responsible 2.regulatory 1.laissez-faire 1.enabling Source: Brown, David and Peter Jacobs, “Adapting Environmental Impact Assessment to Sustain the Community Development Process” Habitat International, vol 20, no. 3 pp 493-507, 1996 The Demerara Road Incident. The Story On April 29 1993 a 9 year old child living in a squatter settlement known as Demerara Road in Trinidad, was diagnosed with lead poisoning. Over the next month, another 50 children, all from the same squatter settlement, were admitted to hospital. The direct cause of the problem was easy to discern. The squatters, who had appropriated a low-lying, poorly drained site on the outskirts of Arima, had for some time been encouraging truck drivers removing toxic waste from a nearby industrial estate to dump ‘fill’ along their access road. Over the years, hundreds of tons of toxic waste had been dumped up to 6 feet in depth. Soil samples indicated that the lead concentration in this waste ranged from 0.1 to 42%, far above the standard of 0.025% set by the United States. Beyond the immediate health problems were concerns that the waste would contaminate the ground water system and threaten a nearby water treatment plant that produces some 40% of Trinidad’s drinking water. Chronology of Events • Development of the Demerara Road Settlement: 1983- • Crisis: April-June 1993 • Emergency Planning, Preliminary Resettlement Plan, July-August, 1993 • Preparing Submission for Financial Resources and Approvals, September-December, 1993 • Awaiting Word, December 1993-March, 1994 • Negotiations for Approvals, March-October, 1994 • Political Revision, November, 1994 • General Confusion, December 1994-May, 1995 Government Agencies * 1993 1994 1995 A MJ J A S O N D J F MA MJ J A S O N D J F MA M Attorney General & Legal Affairs Attorney General’s Dept Community Development National Commission for Self Help Finance Health Chemistry, Food & Drugs Division County Medical Officers of Health Hospitals Housing & Settlements National Housing Authority Squatter Regularisation Unit Squatter Containment Unit Local Government Tunapuna / Piarco Corporation National Security Fire Service Immigration National Emergency Management Police Service Parliament Cabinet Finance & General Purposes Planning & Development Town and Country Planning Division Environment Division Lands & Surveys Division Public Utilities Trinidad & Tobago Electricity Water & Sewerage Authority Trade & Industry Industrial Development Corporation Works & Transport Drainage Division Mechanical Services Division Traffic Management Branch Other University of the West Indies Chemical Engineering Chemistry PetroTrin Solid Waste Management Company Source: Brown, David and Timothy Mooleedhar, “The response of public authorities to a local emergency: the Demerara Road incident”, Human Systems Management 17 (1998) 49-62 Institutional Issues • Interrelationship between public health, environment and settlement issues. • Administrative structures and operational mentalities – Central vs local governing structures (vertical relationships) – Collaboration between sectorial agencies (horizontal relationships) – Conflicting perspectives of professionals trained in different disciplines. Issue Perception Issue Strategies Responsible Agency Basic health of residents at risk. Residents are unaware of risks posed by presence of lead Unlawful occupation of land Diagnose individual residents Treatment Distribute pamphlets door to door Community information meeting Ministry of Health Forced Eviction Surveillance to ensure site is not reoccupied Enact legislation governing the disposal of toxic waste. This legislation should include provision for: fines against company producing waste, fines against truck drivers depositing waste, and remedial costs Removal of waste to an acceptable site In-situ remedial measures Provision of temporary relocation facility Subsidies Resettlement Re-mediation of site Ministry of National Security SRU Demolition unit Inappropriate dumping of toxic waste Decontamination of site Residents are exposed to an unhealthy environment and cannot afford to move Community workers attached to SRU Health Officials Environmental Management Agency Town and Country Planning Division Solid Waste Management Company Environmental Management Authority Ministry of Works and Transport Solid Waste Management Company SRU TCPD Min of Health Min of National Security Source: Brown, David and Timothy Mooleedhar, “The response of public authorities to a local emergency: the Demerara Road incident”, Human Systems Management 17 (1998) 49-62 Name National Housing Authority / Squatter Regularisation Unit Mandate To Methodologies provide all T&T residents with housing accommodation through Research Development of housing policy Direct Action in site selection, planning and development, construction and operation of housing units Special attention to be given to lower income groups To ensure that new development meets prescribed standards pertaining to location environment urban form servicing social acceptability Special attention is given to the need to project T&T as a well developed country and an attractive place to live, work and play. Consistency in following all legal requirements Analysis To provide potable water and sewerage treatment the residential, commercial and industrial clients. To monitor water quality and take corrective action as need be. To ensure that new projects meet prescribed standards pertaining to: engineering principles health considerations financial feasibility compatibility with existing infrastructure and services. Maintenance of census data and other indicators of housing conditions Social surveys Engineering analysis Planning analysis Community Meetings Resources Engineer Legal Advisor Planning consultant Community workers Technical support Strategies Build and operate public Values Lower income households need help securing accommodation. They are not served by the private market. Individuals and community groups can act to make a material difference in their residential environment if appropriately supported Housing and community development is a process. Standards improve over time. Alternative Perspectives on Settlement Policies Town and Country Planning Division Water And Sewerage Authority Analysis of development potential of land Analysis of population and household trends Projection of requirements for all land use activities and monitoring of overall system. Billing. Analysis of service requirement of proposed development projects. Projection of overall future requirements and consideration of the feasibility of alternative sources of water and treatment facilities. staff Microcomputer facilities Regular annual budget from government Revenue from properties Planners Legal Advisors Analysts Technical support staff Micro and minicomputer facilities including GIS capability Regular annual budget from government Engineers Legal Advisors Technical support staff Microcomputer facilities with some GIS capability Revenue from direct billings. Subsidies from government. housing Regularise existing squatter settlements Develop sites and service projects. Promote incremental approach to development with the full participation of the community Mobilise and assist communities in accessing aid from government agencies Administer development control to ensure that all new projects are in a suitable location and meet the standards set by approving agencies Prepare master plans for new development areas. Prepare re-development plans for existing areas Identify water sources. Explore new technologies Maintain existing system. Ensure all technical standards are followed. Offer different levels of service to ensure the widest possible access Source: Brown, David and Timothy Mooleedhar, “The response of public authorities to a local emergency: the Demerara Road incident”, Human Systems Management 17 (1998) 49-62 Public is best serviced by ensuring development standards are met A well planned image is essential to support private investment and economic growth. Lower income groups will be accommodated by public housing projects that meet development guidelines or filter down A plan is a product. It should anticipate events that may occur in the foreseeable future Development in contravention with plans should be denied. Planning is a technical exercise. Scientific analysis and the application of established engineering principles provides the only reliable base for decisions. Access to potable water should be as wide as possible. This means that different levels of service should be provided with appropriate billing. Incremental development creates uncertainty. It may prove to be incompatible with the existing system at some point in the future. It is nonetheless needed and is provided by the Water Supply Division. The only way to ensure proper service is to require all projects to meet specific standards before approval. Public Opinion • General population • Demerara Road Residents – Concern with health issues, trust in government agencies – Distrust due to government inaction and lack of evidence of health problems – Protests and demonstrations – Political interventions – Open hostility Lessons for Trinidad • Need for Environmental Management Act • Proposals for new Planning and Development of Land Bill – National Physical Planning Commission – Delegation of planning authority to local level and elsewhere ... • Goverance: – Central vs local authorities – Comprehensive vs specialized agencies – Strategic collaboration to find the right balance between topdown and bottom-up planning and implementation. • Examples: – – – – – – New Orleans Turcot Interchange Highway 25 Extension Super hospitals Climate Change ... Questions, Comments, Debate?