La Paz city boundary issues = more problems?

This article from La Razon, Aug 17, 2011, illustrates in the following chart the serious issue of land tenure… municipalities around the city have realized that territory comes with a budget, and budget means infrastructure which also means votes for elected or to-be elected municipal authorities.

The municipalities of Achocalla, Palca, Mecapaca, Batallas, Peñas, Caranavi, Coroico, Yanacachi, Pucarani and Guanay intend to “recover” from La Paz 158,000 hectares out of the 201,000 La Paz has; that means 78% of its territory.

You can see in this chart, the red area represents existing city neighborhoods, the white middle portion is the municipality per se, surrounded by the other municipalities.

The Autonomy Minister Claudia Peña, recalled yesterday that all boundary limits, whether they are municipal or between departments, are paralyzed, until the Legislative Assembly (formerly Bolivian Congress) approves the Territory Units’ Law. The Senate will resume work on August 22nd and after that this law could be approved, in the meantime, she suggested municipalities in dispute to amicably reach an understanding.

Today at 15:00 hours, La Paz will march in protest of those claims and to protect not only the neighborhoods but also a big chunk of their future municipal budget.

http://www.la-razon.com/version.php?ArticleId=135815&EditionId=2624

There is no assurance that the Law will help resolve the issue, chances are that this type of problem will also cause social unrest and damage to business units as over two-thirds of the existing municipalities nationwide have this type of problem.

One way of solving this issue would be to create a Metropolis; Lima is divided in several municipalities, Buenos Aires has similar structure. There are ways that public infrastructure should be used to help promote the bigger market that is the city inhabitants with smaller municipalities around it.

There has to be a win-win situation for the citizens of La Paz in general (The chart above does not mention that El Alto city also has boundary issues with La Paz.) If political parties start using the municipalities they control for their agendas, the citizens of all that greater area (see the map) will suffer economically and will have less infrastructure to benefit from.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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