Urban Planning Processes Review: bringing efficiency, development and transparency to the cities

                                                              

Urban Planning Processes Review: bringing efficiency, development and transparency to the cities

Comunitas
Solution proposed by: 
Comunitas, Campinas City Hall and Falconi Consultores de Resultados
In a Nutshell: 
In January 2015, the median approval time of new constructions in Campinas were 107 days. One year later, after a widerange of solutions implemented, it reduced 73%. Along with the use of technology, bureaucratic processes and and review of current laws were reviewed,possible to improveing transparency and reliability, besides combating fraud and corruptions
Where and When: 
In Campinas City, in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, from August 2014 to December 2015.
Challenges: 
The median approval time to new constructions in Campinas were 107 days in January 2015, there was 317 process stucked waiting for more than 30 days to be approved. At that time, to approve a new construction, any citizen and construction company should go through the same internal bureaucratic process to receive the license to construct, which involved 11 secretaries and more than 80 people. There were also contradictory rules and signs of corruption involving City Hall and construction companies. The main purpose of this work front was to guarantee efficiency and transparency.
Innovation: 
The diagnosis identified that 80% of the requests for permits were to build small constructions. To reduce the median approval time of new constructions and to eliminate the stucked process waiting for approval, the solution was the development of a new law that changed the paradigm of the public sector. Known as ARI (Immediate Responsible Approval), the new law determined that any small size construction of these types should be immediately approved, transferring to the proponent the responsibility to present its projects accordingly to the norms and rules of the municipality, which can apply the agreed penalties if any irregularity were identified.
Concept: 
The basis of this work front is Juntos Program, a public-private partnership that aims to improve management in order to deliver better public services to the population, improving competitiveness of cities and quality of life to the citizens. In order to contribute to development of policies and regulation of the business environment and to strength public institutions, Juntos created the “real estate development” work front as pilot project in Campinas City, in São Paulo State, as a way to improve transparency and reliability of the public sector, combating fraud and corruption. The Immediate Responsible Approval (ARI) is an unprecedented and innovative law that represented a milestone to Campinas and Brazil as a new paradigm to the relationship between civil society, private sector and public administration, strengthening trust and collaboration. The main concept, traduced on the reached results, is to assure transparency, through technological and innovative tools that allow social control, participation of civil society in the decision-making process and improve efficiency in the management of public resources, promoting the sustainable and resilient development of cities.
Description: 
Comunitas, through Juntos Program, created the “real estate development” work front as pilot project in Campinas City, in São Paulo State. In 2014, Comunitas contract Falconi Consultores de Resultado, a specialized consultant, to do a diagnosis and identify the main challenges that Campinas City Hall should address in order to guarantee efficiency and transparency in the process to approve new real states. The consultant identified that the existing laws were out of date; it also identified that there was a lack of integration among different sectors involved in the approval process (at least 11 secretaries and 80 public servants) and that internal procedures were still largely manual. It was necessary to review the law and to introduce technology and digital tools, such as revise the steps to new approvals, eliminating unnecessary stages. Since the central issues were identified, in a collaborative process with public administrations, 161 actions were planned with 724 stages to implement the suggested improvements. The highlights were the review of the urban legislation, the implementation of an online system for approval of the environmental license, the creation of computerized and unified entries and procedures to integrate different organs and secretaries, among others. However, the greater impact were result of the creation of the Immediate Responsible Approval (ARI), an unprecedented and innovative law that immediately approve single-family enterprises up to 500m2 and small business constructions (churches, clubs, schools, stores, etc) up to 1.000m2. The diagnosis identified that 80% of the requests for permits were to build small constructions. The law represent a milestone to Campinas and Brazil strengthening trust and collaboration between public and private sector, once it transfers to the proponent the responsibility to present its projects accordingly to the norms and rules of the municipality, which can apply the agreed penalties if any irregularity were identified.
Impacts: 
In the beginning of 2015, the median approval time of new constructions in Campinas were 107 days. In December of the same year, the median approval time of new constructions were 28 days, what represents a reduction of 73%. In the same period, the number of processes waiting for approval decreased from 317 to 60. These measures have made the approval of new real estate developments more transparent, agile and modern, by standardizing processes to construction permits, defining clear rules and eliminating unnecessary procedures., contributing to the development of the business environment and to improve Campinas competitiveness

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Credit: Luiz Granzotto
Credit: Luiz Granzotto