A story without an end

The construction of illegal buildings never ends. Non-existent and corrupt control mechanisms, tolerance by local communities and their leaders and, naturally, the absence of any consistent policy on the part of the government fosters illegal construction and creates inhuman cities, without planning and basic infrastructure. The incorporation of areas into the town plan does not provide a solution but in fact transfers the problem elsewhere. At best, confronted with the magnitude of the problem and its own responsibilities, the state is helpless. At worst, its own mechanisms encourage the creation of small local «dealers» who sell illegal property and legalization. To curb illegal building, local communities have recommended that town plans be extended. In the 20 years since the first law on the legalization of property was enforced, more than 60,000 hectares have been incorporated into the town plans. Illegal construction has not been stopped by any means. The government now intends to address the issue by means of the National Land Registry and general changes in land use. However, the existence of a land registry alone is not necessarily good urban planning and, unfortunately, the cause of the problem – urban planning legislation riddled with loopholes – looks as if it is here to stay.

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