Blog: New ACC paper argues for strengthening integrity within the planning profession to combat corruption in urban development

Working Paper: Leveraging the Role of the Urban Planning Profession for One of the Central Policy Challenges of Our Times

Cities of Integrity one-pager
Cities of Integrity one-pager

Corrupt planning decisions made today have long-term and often intractably negative impacts on a city’s future. Urban planners play a pivotal role in fostering integrity in urban development as their professional realm straddles the worlds of both public administration and private development.

Compromising the public good for personal, professional, or political gains – also known as corruption – is a global challenge. The New Urban Agenda calls on all countries to ‘promote capacity development programmes to help sub-national and local governments in financial planning and management, anchored in institutional coordination at all levels, including environmental sensitivity and anti-corruption measures.’

However, municipal officials, political decision makers, civil society advocates and built environment practitioners have very few practical tools that help them to better understand and effectively address urban planning corruption.

Urban planners are uniquely positioned to address corruption risks in urban development. Therefore the question of how we can ensure that urban planners act as a force for public good, is central to this research project.

Instead of testing standard anti-corruption measures we examine a rather under-explored, yet promising route, the activation and promotion of professional integrity and the professional structures that enable it. The insights generated through this research will be relevant for policy and practice across Africa and will inform broader integrity strategies that focus on professional communities and their professional bodies.

project diagram

Get in touch

To learn more about this project contact Principal Investigator Vanessa Watson at University of Cape Town, South Africa. Visit Cities of Integrity web page…


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