Q. 6. How can public finance & planning functions be integrated &/or aligned to advance local municipal fiscal systems?

March 24, 2017

This discussion is now closed. Thank you for your participation.


  • Claudio Torres Slum Upgrading Consultant, Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch. UN-Habitat
  • Pireh Otieno Human Settlements Officer, Urban Basic Services Branch - UN-Habitat
  • Kulwant Singh Regional Advisor - UN-Habitat
  • Marcus Mayr Urban Planner, Climate Change Planning Unit, UN-Habitat
  • Edmundo Werna Head of Unit at Sectoral Policies Dept. ILO

Q. 6. How can public finance & planning functions be integrated &/or aligned to advance local municipal fiscal systems?

Enhancing Financing & other Means of Implementation

Question 6: Please share your examples of how public finance and planning functions can be integrated and/or aligned to advance local municipal fiscal systems; or your lessons learned and areas for policy reform, where there has been poor coordination between planning and public finance.

Please share your ideas and/or examples below.

Saripalli Suryanarayana writer Engineer, “Engineer-Writer,with 40 years of experience around world”
Sun, May 1, 2016 at 05.44 am

Primary is concept.[1]I want some one who can say i had visualized this/or any city will be like this in say 1965 and today after 50 and odd years i am seeing what i visualized as a young man[2]Let some planner architect engineer say in 1987 i visualized all options and the city has followed 80%of what i dreamed.[3]Let a social leader or politician say in 2000 i assumed the city to be like this i contributed my power and will and the city progressed 80% in the direction i visualized.

[A]Technology is no ones own[B]dreams need some thing more than specifics[C]land and migration patterns needs to be streamlined in development.

[1]finaces emerge and go ,some waste money in genrating employment for humans,some waste money on machines which become non workble after 5 years.

What we visualizes is small cities development to meet banking,e-commerce,e-trading,job,education and sfae tram transport systems,or 2/3 tier transport systems.

But what we are also missing is the life of structures,multi storyed and yet 60 years only,we need materials for 100 years or more.

It is the human seet for future generations and space and land planning goes with lives of residential buildings and their systems that create climate changes for living persons.

-we are near,and we will definitely make buildings to last 100 years ,but limit stories to 6-10.

Saripalli Suryanarayana “I am an Engineer,writer of two novels, technical books covering development &Public health”
Sun, May 1, 2016 at 07.53 am

My own missing impressions are here,there were very understanding persons who built cities which are now standing more than 400-500 years.But we also have to take care of nature,soil/rock stress and so the Carbon,Metane and their effects on buildings and humans.

We are having technologies which we can use and say we are economical.

Alessandra Fidanza Environmental Adviser from Italy
Fri, April 29, 2016 at 06.32 pm

Cities have to become always more resilient to climate change in order to guarantee a concrete future to the generations to come. Full sustainability means an integrated holistic approach to the urban development.

Cities have the opportunity, especially after the adoption of the Paris agreement (whose concrete actions are to be defined in the nearest future), of becoming the engine for tackling climate change.

It is often said that mitigation is global, while adaptation is local. After Paris, Countries are called to make efforts to combine both aspects into concrete actions. Cities are the major stage for the application of this new approach.

Actions on a local level have to be funded, though. It would therefore be very useful establishing a link between national CO2 emissions reductions targets and the local level, extending the trade of carbon offsets to non-ETS sectors on a local basis. Establishing urban CAP and TRADE systems, for instance, would entail a series of virtuous actions aimed, on one hand, to reduce GHG emissions locally, and on the other to account those emissions reductions at a national level, with direct positive effects for urban economies.

The trading of the CO2 offsets would help cities financing local actions for an effective resilience, pursuing at the same time concrete environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Edward J. Dodson Director from United States
Fri, April 29, 2016 at 09.06 pm

The creation of a secondary market for pollution “rights” via cap and trade is viewed by at least some environmentalists as counter-productive. Far better to impose direct taxation based on pollution created.

Tue, April 26, 2016 at 06.31 pm

 The finances of municipalities in India ‐ central to the process of urbanization are far from robust. Internally generated resources have stagnated at about 0.5 ‐ 0.6% of GDP and display no buoyancy.  Nor have initiatives to reform property taxation or user charges led to any improvement in the finances of municipalities. Transfers (48.4%) have bridged the fiscal gap but not on a scale that would equal the money value of the service level benchmarks.

The flagship programme of the previous Government of India titled Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) did not fully succeed in achieving its objectives mainly because of lack of capacities of urban local bodies for project planning. The present government has modified the institutional framework while launching the Mission for 100 smart cities as each city so chosen shall have a special purpose vehicle (SPV) which shall be responsible both for physical and financial planning and its implementation.

In the past also several initiatives were taken to bridge the municipal finance gap and generating more resources for: These included:

–          Reform of property tax system and user charges

–          Improve the functioning of the state finance commissions (SFCs).

–          Implementation of the performance‐linked grant protocol.

–          Financial intermediaries called Pooled Finance Development Fund such as the Tamil Nadu Urban Development Fund to assist smaller municipalities to tap capital markets and  raise  loans for taking up infrastructure projects;

–          Public – private partnerships in the delivery of urban services

However, integrating public finance and planning functions to advance local municipal fiscal systems shall remain a challenge so long as urban local bodies (ULBs) have limited capacities and limited devolution of powers. 

Edward J. Dodson Director from United States
Mon, April 25, 2016 at 08.08 pm

Here in the United States one of the major obstacles to sound land use and community planning is the failure to assess land regularly based on current market values. Assessment is normally the function of county governments, and they have historically failed to perform according to what is mandated under the state constitutions. I have argued that responsibility for property assessment would be better administered by a state agency staffed by trained professionals and protected from political interference. A separate issue is how the revenue thus raised is to be utilized. In the U.S. public schools are funded to a large extent by local property tax revenue. This obviously disadvantages children who live in school districts where property values are low. Consistent with the positions I have taken above, the assessment process would be far easier and less expensive to perform if all property improvements were exempt from taxation and assessments were performed to determine the potential rental value of land.