Synthèse Journée d’Étude AdP
du vendredi 8 septembre 1995
Traitant des divers aspects et des problèmes associés au financement de l’urbanisation dans les pays du Sud, cette journée a été organisée en trois tables rondes successives qui ont eu pour thèmes respectifs les voies possibles de recouvrement des coûts d’investissement et de fonctionnement collectifs, la légitimité et les capacités des collectivités locales, épargne et transferts au profit de l’urbanisation. Deux exposés sont venus la conclure, le premier proposant une forme de synthèse des trois tables rondes en relevant et commentant les points importants des interventions, et le second rendant compte de la préparation française à la Conférence Habitat II d’Istanbul.
La première table ronde, animée par Michel Gérard d’AdP, a réuni Pierre Auréjac de la la Direction du développement de la Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, Joseph Comby, secrétaire général de l’ADEF, et Claude Jamati de la Lyonnaise des Eaux.
Pierre Auréjac, en faisant référence à plusieurs expériences de développement local communautaire latino-américaines (au Brésil, au Mexique et au Chili) et asiatiques (au Bangladesh et aux Philippines), met en évidence leurs points communs : ancrage sur une auto-organisation des demandeurs, programme consensuel d’investissement négocié collectivement, constitution d’une épargne préalable, démultiplication de l’épargne par une aide publique ou des prêts garantis par la communauté, et recherche de synergies économiques et sociales. Il expose ensuite les enseignements tirés de ces expériences en termes de potentiel d’épargne mobilisable même chez les plus pauvres, de validation institutionnelle de l’intermédiation communautaire, d’importance primordiale des droits fonciers, d’efficacité économique du développement d’initiative populaire. Il souligne en conclusion l’importance d’un équilibre du contrat dans ces opérations, tant sur le plan économique que politique.
Claude Jamati traite du problème de la délégation des services urbains au secteur privé dans les pays du Sud, de ses possibilités et de ses limites, en particulier dans le secteur de l’eau où la Lyonnaise des Eaux dispose d’une large expérience internationale. En indiquant quelques exemples, il distingue la délégation à un secteur privé industriel et celle à un secteur privé associatif. Il montre que faire payer l’usager, lorsque c’est possible, est non seulement la façon la plus sûre de recouvrer les coûts du service, mais aussi la meilleure : pour lui, l’appel au contribuable est générateur de rareté, donc de dégradation du service public.
Jospeh Comby identifie et l’évolution historique des logiques associées à l’exploitation des quatre sources possibles de financement de l’urbanisation : faire payer les constructeurs (les nouveaux arrivants), faire payer les contribuables, faire payer les propriétaires, faire payer les usagers des services urbains assurés par les équipements. Il montre que les formes de prélèvement sont en fait multiples et peuvent se décliner différemment selon les situations économiques et sociopolitiques. Il s’interroge sur la validité de la proposition de certains systèmes fonciers du Nord, tant cadastraux que fiscaux, aux pays pauvres alors qu’il peut exister d’autres approches pour la gestion administrative et fiscale des terrains.
La deuxième table ronde, consacrée à la légitimité et aux capacités des collectivités locales, animée par François Noisette, a réuni Marie-Alice Lallemand, directrice de Crédit Local Conseil qui fournit des services financiers aux collectivités locales, Jean-Pierre Brunet, professeur d’histoire contemporaine à l’Ecole Normale Supérieure, et Jean-Guy Le Carpentier, premier adjoint à la mairie d’Hérouville Saint Clair.
Study day - 8 september 1995 "Synthesis"
This discussion day dealt with various aspects and issues to do with the financing of urbanization in the countries of the South and took the form of three successive round tables whose respective themes were; possible ways of recovering community investment and operating costs; the legitimacy and capacities of local authorities; and savings and transfers to assist urbanization. Two papers served as a conclusion, the first providing a summary of the three round tables, highlighting and commenting on the important points made, and the second describing French preparation for the Habitat II Conference in Istanbul.
The first round table, moderated by Michel Gérard from the AdP, brought together Pierre Auréjac from the Consignments and Loans Fund (Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations), Joseph Comby, Secretary General of ADEF, and Claude Jamati from the Lyonnaise des Eaux.
Pierre Auréjac, referring to a number of local community development experiments in Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and Chile) and Asia (Bangladesh and the Philippines), highlighted their common points: they are founded on community self-help, collectively negotiated consensual investment programmes, a savings fund is set up beforehand, the savings are increased by public assistance or loans that are guaranteed by the community, and the attempt is made to achieve economic and social synergy. He next outlined the lessons that had been learnt from this experience in terms of the mobilizable savings potential that exists even among the poorest groups, the institutional validation of community money broking, the fundamental importance of land rights, and the economic effectiveness of popular development initiatives. He concluded by highlighting the importance of contractual equilibrium in these operations, from both the economic and political standpoints.
Claude Jamati dealt with the limits and potential of the delegation of urban services to the private sector in the countries of the South, particularly in the water sector where the Lyonnaise des Eaux has considerable international experience. By giving some examples, he made a distinction between delegation to the industrial private sector and delegation to the associative private sector. He showed that making the user pay, when this is possible, is not only the most certain way of recovering service costs, but also the best: in his view, using taxation generates scarcity, and hence a deterioration in public services.
Jospeh Comby described the historical changes that have taken place in attitudes towards the four possible sources of funding for urbanization: making those who build (new arrivals) pay, making tax-payers pay, making property owners pay, making the users of the urban services provided by the infrastructure pay. He showed that many types of levy are possible and that they may be varied according to the economic and sociopolitical situation. He questioned the validity of the proposal to apply certain northern land systems, whether cadastral or tax-based, to poor countries when other approaches may exist for the administrative and fiscal management of land.
The second round table, dealing with the legitimacy and capacities of local authorities, and led by François Noisette, brought together Marie-Alice Lallemand, director of Crédit Local Conseil which provides financial services to local authorities, Jean-Pierre Brunet, a senior lecturer in contemporary history at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, and Jean-Guy Le Carpentier, first deputy mayor of Hérouville Saint Clair.
Jean-Pierre Brunet briefly described the historical changes that have affected the French model (legitimacy of the power of mayors, financing of local authorities) since the Revolution when the municipality was created.
Marie-Alice Lallemand set out to show the approach taken by project leaders attempting to strengthen local legitimacy in transition countries. Making occasional reference to the situations in Central and Eastern Europe or in Africa, she began by describing the failures, stating the prerequisites for local authority financial independence (a firm and strong Central Government to prevent tax evasion, respect on the part of Central Government for local taxation, correct evaluation of the recurring charges arising from transferred responsibilities) while giving some explanations for the inability of local authorities to be independent (a failure on the part of Central Government to clarify the roles, a failure on the part of elected officials to understand clearly their financial management role, uncontrolled borrowing). She then went on to sketch out some solutions based on the use of consultants, the development of tools that match local needs and technical expertise.
Jean-Guy Le Carpentier stated that the commitment of citizens is tending to increase and they are starting to create international links, particularly in the framework of decentralization. He then went on to emphasize how important it is to set up direct long-term links, and also how difficult it is to accomplish “democratic transfer”.
The third round table, on savings and transfers to assist urbanization, led by Jean-Louis Vénard, brought together Jean-Marie Cour of the OECD Sahel Club, Michel Arnaud, Jean-Baptiste Maillard, manager of the export office at the Delegation for European and International Affairs (DAEI), and Myriam Bakhoum, a consultant.
Jean-Marie Cour, referring to an in-depth study of West Africa, analyzed the various aspects of investment to meet immediate needs associated with housing the population and providing locations for activities in a situation of urban growth and particularly rapid urbanization. Having emphasized the economic role of these cities, whose numbers and populations are increasing all the time, and where urbanization is leading to an enormous accumulation of capital, he pointed out the high level of building and civil engineering activity sustained by private investment, which contrasts with the poverty of the residents, the municipalities and the services (as a result of a lack of investment). He then described the different ways of financing investment in local operations, and evaluated the level of such investments in comparison to the city’s GDP, and described the two possibilities available: finance by levies on future generations (in which connection he mentioned the financing of Haussmann’s works in Paris) or on the rest of the planet (a comparison between the financing of American cities by foreign capital and the financing of African cities). In the last part of his paper, Jean-Marie Cour outlined the perspectives with regard to the long-term management of the dynamic phenomenon of urbanization.
Michel Arnaud described the substance of a meeting with M. Taillefer (from the association Epargne sans Frontières) on the mobilization of popular savings and showed that such savings exist and that they frequently take non-monetary forms (which must be considered in order to create a home mortgage market), that savers must have free choice as regards mobilizing and using their savings, and that savers have a tendency, when given the choice, to prefer uses which they feel are in phase with development in their country, for example on urban and industrial investment.
Jean-Baptiste Maillard spoke about the problem of funding the infrastructure for urban services and the possible role of private firms in this. He described state development aid for infrastructure and the activities of building and civil engineering firms in developing countries, and gave some quantitative information about this. He then examined the role of foreign private operators, distinguishing between traditional aspects (engineering, management, finding finance) and new aspects characterized by the increase in private financial transfers for direct investment (through the privatization of urban services companies, through the build-operate-transfer system with the application of a variety of delegation measures).
Myriam Bakhoum highlighted the overlap between the financing of infrastructure and the financing of urbanization, taking the view that all methods (concessions, BOT, bounds, etc.) must be considered. She commented that, in order to win a contract, firms must also provide finance, and that investment funds, in particular those specialized in infrastructure, are playing an increasing role. It is nevertheless necessary for the government of a country to have a degree of credibility. There remains the problem of debt.
In his closing speech, Georges Cavallier spoke about the decision to hold the Habitat II Conference, devoted to the trend towards urbanization, in Istanbul. Two topics should be tackled there : how to provide decent housing for everyone (particularly in the countries of the South) and how to ensure that cities develop in a way that is more balanced, less extravagant and more egalitarian, and in a way that is viable in the long term (first of all in the countries of the North). The author talked about the preparatory conferences, the planned organization for the Istanbul conference, then described what can be expected from it: public opinion will be mobilized and sensitized, people from various origins will meet each other and engage in discussions, the activities of international bodies will be re-oriented. He then mentioned the involvement of various countries and bodies in organizing the conference and their contributions.