– CHHAY Rithisen, director of the Office of the Urban Affair of the Municipality of Phnom Penh
– Eric HUYBRECHTS, Adviser of the Governor
The Municipality of Phnom Penh elaborated the Master Plan of town planning of the capital on the horizon 2020 in support of the French cooperation. This work falls under the policy of the Government aiming to improve the Governorship and to reinforce the State of law by installing the legal and institutional tools intended to manage the Regional planning.
The preceding document of planning of the metropolis Phnom Penh was adopted in 1950. This directing master plan was the principal tool of orientation of the urban development of the period which extends from Independence to the war. Today, the institutional stability of Cambodia and the mobilization of the Cambodian and foreign technical skills make it possible to again consider the establishment of a planning strategic and the installation of tools legislature, institutional and financial for better controlling the development of the capital.
To put in coherence the sector-based policies
The principal stake of the master plan of town planning is to propose a territorial framework of coherence for the development. It aims to fix the orientations of the installation of Phnom Penh by 2020 and to create the conditions of a durable development for a gravitational, balanced and interdependent territory.
The context of the space development changed scale. The growth of the population and surfaces to be urbanized from here to 2020 implies the installation of great infrastructures and large equipment which structures space. The development in continuous agglomeration of the preceding diagrams is called into question by linear developments which are related to the new means of communication (motor bikes, cars, trucks) and with the scaling of the infrastructures which allowed an urban extension per piece on a vast territory.
Besides, the fast development of East Asia creates new concentrations of mobilizable wealth for the realization of big projects of urban planning, big infrastructures or the implementation of structures of management of the space in wide scales. Phnom Penh seeks the means of attracting these financings to put insure the projects most useful to its development.
The master plan of town planning is a document in strategic matter which translates in space the ambitions of the development of the State by 2020. This document is used as guide for the public and private investment. It fixes the localization of all the great infrastructures of roadway systems of more than 20 meters, the layouts of the railroad, of the principal channels, lakes, ports, railways stations, airport, parks and green connections. It proposes with the 1/25.000ème the principal structure of the network of the public domain. Moreover, the preferential vocation of spaces is specialized.
To carry out the document, it was necessary to produce about thirty reports of experts of international level and a score of intermediate reports in close cooperation with the municipal services. The recent studies carried out with the support of the international cooperation (mainly France , Japan , UNDP, UN-Habitat and the World Bank) were used. These documents are synthesized in the “White Paper of the urban development” and in the “Presentation report of the master plan of town planning on the horizon 2020”.
The main orientations of the document base themselves on the laws current and the orientations of the Government. The Kingdom made the choice of the market economy (Constitution of 1993). The systematic operation of recording of the grounds, forces to be interested in priority the delimitation of the public domain. It is thus on the infrastructures of exchanges, which constitute essential factors of economic competitiveness, that will concentrate the orientations of the master plan. The State is charged “to defend the environment and the balance of the natural resources and to plan management in particular grounds, water, air, wind, ecological system (…), energy, oil, gas, stones and sands (…), fish and aquatic resources ” (Article 57 of the Constitution). The State has moreover “the duty to safeguard and protect the old monuments, the ancient objects of art and to restore the historic sites” (Article 69 of the Constitution). These aspects are transcribed in the master plan.
Phnom Penh does not benefit from any document of orientation foreseen by the laws of creation of the sector-based ministries which nevertheless have to fix national and regional directives for the development. A document of strategic Orientations was produced for validation near the Government in order to mitigate these lacks.
Besides, the sector-based plans existing in the local level contain big gaps and have no coherence between them. The elements of forward-looking on which they are based do not still correspond to the economic and social reality. The master plan of town planning serves as reference executive to re-calibrate these sector-based documents.
Which economic and social development?
Phnom Penh is the only important city of a country which counts nearly a quarter the urban ones. The agglomeration of Phnom Penh represents 9,1 % of the population of the country. The forecasts of growth of the areas do not upset current balance. The area of the Plain would see its weight currently decreasing by 51% with 48% in 2020. The principal stake of the development of the country will be in the installation of the secondary cities which will see their population quadrupling while the population of Phnom Penh does nothing but double in twenty years.
Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia since 1862 without interruption. That gives him a place particular and recognized by the authorities which must give him the means of holding its row. The functions of political and economic capital enable him to have a GDP from approximately 1,4 billion dollar (2003), 28% of the national GDP, that is to say approximately 1.140 $ per capita, three times more than the average of the country. Phnom Penh is richer than the remainder of Cambodia , but still quite poor: the GDP per capita in Bangkok is ten times superior there. As well in the collective interest as to reinforce the attractively of the city, of the important investments is necessary. One thus should not oppose the development of Phnom Penh , with that of the remainder of the country, with which capital is, used it of window and economic engine (+9% of economic growth). Indeed, for a certain number of investors, the choice is not between Phnom Penh and the Province, but between Phnom Penh and the concurrent metropolises of the South-East Asia.
The effort of rebuilding of the infrastructures of Phnom Penh for ten years has represented more than 540 M USD that is to say approximately 9% of the national effort of rebuilding. It is equivalent to the weight of the population of the city in the whole of the country. The tripling of the GDP of Phnom Penh for ten years has shown the very strong profitability of the public investment: 1,5 M USD invested by the private sector, according to CDC’S (Cambodia Development Council), for which it is necessary to add the multitude of local investments lower than 1million USD which represent more of the double. A dollar invested in the infrastructures with Phnom Penh supports eight dollars of private investments.Phnom Penh offers the best output of the public investment for the total investment to Cambodia .
According to the investigations carried out by the National Institute of the Statistics near the households and the economic actors, Phnom Penh contributes, in 2003, with height of more than 115 M USD to the development of the provinces, that is to say 9% of its GDP by the transfers via the budget of the State and the transfers of money of the families, not included the transfers via the investment of Phnom Penh towards the Province. The economic development of Phnom Penh supports the development of the other provinces.
The function of capital of the Kingdom implies that the central functions of the State must be localized in Phnom Penh , which determines administrative offices, legislative, legal and executive on the most level of the country. These functions determine single highly strategic activities in the Kingdom which implies the reception of the representatives of the State. These functions require a high degree of representation, in particular as regards quality of space installation, urban management and safety.
Phnom Penh is the reflection of the quality of the national representation.
In addition, the administrative offices and the urban services of the capital mobilize a strong local institutional representation. The central functions which gather more than 46.000 civil servant, of which an affected quarter with the Municipality, allow the development of a broad economic activity from which profits the private sector and who allows to accommodate the national and foreign delegations for the behavior of international meetings.
The localization of the central power and the availability of the workforce more qualified than somewhere else leads the nearness of the central functions offices of the main private companies implanted in the country. It explains partially the preferential localization of the activities of transformation in Phnom Penh with near half of the industrial employments of the country.
The service sector is particularly mobilized by the presence of the public and private decision-making functions, so grouping include the third party of the employments of this sector in Cambodia, of which most of those who generate the strongest surplus.
Finally, the presence of the inhabitants to whom it is necessary to add the pendulum migrations about 250.000 persons establishes the widest, importing market of consumption of the country, which generates a consequent commercial activity, distributed between forty and one markets, a dozen shopping centers and supermarkets and dozens thousand businesses along streets
The decision of the government to direct the productive activities to the secondary cities, the development of the national territory of which mainly Sihanoukville and the border zones for the market of export, will allow to balance better. So, the industrial production, even heavy, will have to become established outside Phnom Penh when it is intended for the export. Also, seen the exiguity of the municipal territory it’s better to consider its urban agriculture as residual and especially turned to the market garden production and piscicole. On the other hand, activities intended for the supply of consumer goods for the metropolitan population will find completely their place in suburbs, since they are not polluting or nuisantes. The infrastructures of exchanges and storage take a particular importance in the device. To ensure a better rate of formal employment and to limit the formation of shantytowns, the diversification of the economic functions, including the reception of light industries and construction, must be led.
The function of capital, the integration of Cambodia in the ASEAN and WTO, lead an important activity of business tourism. With more than 50 % of hotel rooms, 30 % of guest houses rooms and 60 % of the travel agencies of the country, Phnom Penh have the most important tourist activity of the country, in front of Siem Reap but differently. Phnom Penh can become a stage between a cultural tourism to Angkor and tourism of relaxation and leisure activities in the seaside to develop these trump cards imply to lead a policy of development of the architectural and landscaped patrimony.
Phnom Penh has certain number of comparative advantages, in particular the cost of the land tax and the workforce, correct accessibility to the international level and its position on the axis Bangkok-Ho Chi Minh Ville. But certain number of weaknesses must be reduced, notably the weak confidence of the investors connected to the legislative frame, the high cost of the energy and the telecommunications, and the lack of qualified hand cover. The fall of the productive private investments of more than 1 Million USD in Phnom Penh since 1999 shows the urgency to consolidate these trump cards. The priority of the Government given to the electric production, the very fast increase in the subscribers of the companies of telephone and the fast improvement of the quality of the road network will appreciably reduce the costs in the very next years reinforcing quickly the competitiveness of Phnom Penh. The still fragile economic takeoff which we attend today will be strengthened by a better organization of the urban space and the optimization of the capacities of the existing infrastructures of transport.
A municipal exiguous territory
The municipal territory of 375 km2 is particularly exiguous in comparison with that of the metropolises of the region, creating artificially Phnom Penh as a town, and stressing the effect of the distances from wealth with the rest of the territory.
Today, 150.000 inhabitants of the town live outside the limits of the Municipality, in the province of Kandal , notably in Takhmao and along main national roads 1, 4, 5 and 6A. The population making alternantes migrations towards Phnom Penh is of the order of 250.000 persons. The “day population” of Phnom Penh exceeds 1.500.000 persons. The setting-up of the activities extends beyond so widely administrative limits, mainly to Takhmao and along the national road 4 which welcomes about fifty factories on twenty kilometres.
The National Institute of the Statistics estimates that the Municipality of Phnom Penh will accommodate nearly 2.000.000 inhabitants by 2020. The Office of the Urban Affairs planned estimation to 2.250.000 inhabitants in the conglomeration of the people in Phnom Penh , including the population of urban districts agglomerated on Kandal, and a population of 2.500.000 persons living in the metropolis. So, a third of the population of Kandal will be bound by an employment in the agglomeration of Phnom Penh . On the horizon of the master plan, with the widening of the metropolitan surface, the problems of coherence of installation and urban management thus will strongly increase if the territorial limits of the Municipality are not widened.
Improvement of the great infrastructures, keys of the development
Phnom Penh reached a level of equipment higher than that of the year Seventies. The efforts must be continued to give to the capital services of international level. The main part of the infrastructures will have to be carried out in suburbs whose population is already more important than that of the four Khans central. The growth of the population from here to 2020 will be about 100.000 inhabitants in the four Khans central against 600.000 in the three Khans peripheral.
Phnom Penh profits from a privileged river situation to the crossing of Mekong , Sap and Bassac and a localization to the crossing of two terrestrial axes: the axis Bangkok-Ho Chi Minh City and the corridor of development Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville, international maritime outlet of Cambodia.
Heavy transport is made by the road with in complement the boat on Mekong and Sap, and the railroad since Sihanoukville. The terminal points and their mode of management constitute the principal stakes for the external exchanges of Phnom Penh.
The platforms of exchanges, of which some will be multimode, are the principal points on which it is necessary to improve the effectiveness of transport for the distribution downtown. It is proposed that a big route of distortion of Phnom Penh, which exists already partially today with the road Asian Pan which joins the South of Takhmao, and the beltway which joins the dike of Kop Srov. With the bridge on Bassac to foresee in the South of Takhmao, allows putting in relation all the national networks which converge on Phnom Penh . The limited character of the air market domesticates and the absence of Airline Company based of scale, limits the airport to a function of extremity of international network served via the regional hubs. Its current equipment allows welcoming traffic of an importance much superior to the long-term forecasts. The proximity of the center is an appreciable regional asset. The elongation of the runway is intended to develop the traffic cargo boat and to allow the takeoff to the full big temporary carriers (A-380 or B-747). It is necessary to improve its road sideboard and to supervise the evolution of the urban environment in the axis of tracks.
The creation of the Publicly-owned establishment of the Port authority of Phnom Penh allows a faster development of the harbor activity downtown. The localization of the port downtown is a comparative advantage compared to the road. The idea to move the port downstream on the Mekong is definitively abandoned, except for transport presenting environmental risks (hydrocarbons, chemicals). It is necessary to supplement the device by optimizing the current harbor installations, by developing new sites as that of the km 6 which makes it possible to connect the river with the road and the train.
The creation of a new railway station in the convergence of networks existing in the western entry of the town is foreseen. The preservation of the railway station in the town center, besides its function of terminus travelers, allows the carriage of goods furnishing the businesses of the town center. The transfer of the maintenance functions and sorting will be moved towards the western suburb to release necessary spaces for the redeployment of the town center activities: a part of the grounds of the railroad situated along Boeng Kak must be reorganized to spread the center in a landscaped quality frame.
The creation of a logistic platform is necessary to treat under good conditions flows of essential goods for the provisioning of the city and the export of the industrial production. In the current world economy, the organization of the logistic functions makes the difference in economic terms of performances. A logistic platform makes it possible to gather means (various customs, safety, services…) and to offer a high level of services and competences to the companies. The selected localization is in direct bond with the new railway station proposed in Samraong and directly connected with the western ring road. This site allows a good inter-modal articulation road-iron, also present the advantage to be close to the airport and to be able to be connected by railway with harbor facilities.
The line of historically missing connection between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh Ville proves to be essential like vector of development between the two metropolises for the passenger traffic and goods. The shod line at the present time envisaged does not offer interest for the economic engine of the country. Indeed, the bend via Loc Ninh until Ho Chi Minh Ville is 480 km, instead of 230 km by the road, which is more double returning the not competitive train. It will quickly turn out necessary to create a new additional ground link in the overloaded National Road 1 and only the railroad will be able of answering the scale of the demand. The master plan reserves the plan of a direct railroad towards Ho Chi Minh Ville with a bridge on the Mekong on the right of Phnom Penh.
The treated on a hierarchical basis network of main public road network in three levels is registered on the master plan. It is structured by bypasses. The first level corresponds to influences of the order of 60m, the second in influences furthermore of 30m and the third of the order of 20m.
The problem of the increasing congestion of the traffic inside the town, where the car park doubled in ten years obliges to set up a system of public transports. The use of the existing railroads is envisaged to make intra-urban shuttles circulate. This system will create a skeleton of sideboard for the West and the North of the town. It should be completed by a system of public transport in bus lane (bus or tramway) towards Takhmao in the south and by a buckle of sideboard inside the central districts.
A network of big canals and boengs is also registered to allow a satisfactory functioning of the hydraulic system and prevent the risks of flood, notably by allowing the temporary stocking of waters of thunderstorm before pumping.
This Bleu network is accompanied by Farming networks which is made up in part of the zones of expansion of the Boengs in period of rain, and which are used as public parks in dry season. Other public parks no easily flooded are created on various dominical grounds (old discharge, accesses of boeng put out of water…). A part makes up of conceded equipment. The zones of villages also take part in this farming network. Installations in these zones are limited to operations of low density. The Farming network is supplemented by connections between the principal parks and with the river.
New centralities for the development
It is envisaged to arrange eight secondary centers on the scale of the agglomeration. It is about the new railway station of Samraong with industrial vocation and about transport; the north entrance of the town with the residential service vocation and leisure activities in a high-quality landscaped framework; the South of the site of Chaktomuk, with a dike of protection in the entrance of Bassac offering the occasion to create a future pole of service which can welcome the biggest towers of the city; Takmao, secondary center to be strengthened around the leisure activities and service for a quality urbanization; the crow’s-foot of the Chom Chao road/Monireth boulevard/Cheung Ek road, on grounds at present occupied by the offices for a center of support to the activity of industrial production; the place of the antenna of Toul Kok and the neighboring grounds, where converge the big boulevards of Toul Kok and the north suburb with a building high-quality symbol accompanied with towers of average height; near the future international station travelers of the ASEAN, in the South of Boeng Kak, to welcome the offices and businesses of international level there which are lacking to the town center; in the district of the forehead of Bassac intended to receive towers which bring to the town center the surfaces of offices and necessary additional businesses.
The urban quality as comparative advantage
Phnom Penh will set up a tourist policy which is based on the development of the archaeological, architectural and landscape heritage. The Green and Blue Plan of Phnom Penh is an important component of the master plan.
The site of Chaktomuk is taken into account as a whole. The point of Chrouy Changvar will preserve an important surface of public space not built. Between the bridge of the khmer-Japanese Friendship and the point of Chrouy Changvar cannot have of high constructions there. On the bow of the point of Chouy Changvar, a symbolic building(ship) of the culture of Cambodia and of the environment of the Valley of the Mekong is envisaged. The point of Chbar Ampoeuv can, by its scale and its relative estrangement of the historic centre and its nearness of the town centre, receive in the medium term a very big operation of symbolic organization of Cambodia of tomorrow. The ambition and the scale of this operation will make it possible to deal with the important technical problems that the installation of this site exposed to the power of the river poses. Araykhsat will preserve its village and agricultural character during the twenty next years. This space constitutes a reserve of urbanization to be defined within the framework of the next revision of the Master plan. Its urbanization will depend on the realization or not of the bridge on Mekong . A strong symbolic object or a visible monument in the axis of the gardens of Samdech Hun Sen will be implanted on the bank is from the river.
The improvement of the urban services and the infrastructures takes part in the improvement of the Habitat. In the same way, the denomination of the land and real market meets more and more the requirements in residences thus decreasing the pressure for the formation for abstract districts. However, the accessible production of little expensive formal flats or building lands for the deprived population is the problem the most difficult to resolve. It concerns several thousand families every year. Five orientations are defined to solve the question of housing:
• To flux the land and real market to develop the offer of the sector deprived for all the categories of population. An observatory of land and real estate with regular meetings which gather the actors concerned will be set up to share information, to facilitate the activity of the investors and to structure the profession of the property developers. This device is completed by the implementation of the loans at incentive rates intended to solvency a bigger part of the population.
• To develop the land offer by giving the priority to the realization of the basic infrastructures (roads, drinking water, electricity, drainage, public transport) in the suburbs whose grounds are less expensive.
• To develop a reserved land offer with the populations stripped on private grounds of the State (social concessions, grounds bought by a Land agency to create) in suburbs, arranged with small pieces and slightly equipped.
• To develop the private social rental market of centre town by operators deprived thanks to a measured thickening of the buildings downtown, an inciting policy for the rehabilitation of the old apartment buildings of the historical center and thanks to inciting measurements (reduction of tax on the social locative, loans long term at preferential rates, reduction of the costs of connection…),
• To better integrate the informal districts which can be maintained on the spot, while delocalizing the illegal occupations of the public domain.
The application of the master plan
The application of the master plan is based on six orientations:
• The intensification of the capacities of the local administrations. The coordination between the municipal internal services must be completed by coordination with the autonomous public establishments and with the economic and social actors. It supposes an accompanying by the international cooperation on the tools of the application of the urban economic planning: definition of the multi-annual programming, project managers’ training, the management of inter-services coordination, implementation of the Look-out post of the land markets and the real-estates, the implementation of the Committee of follow-up of the urban Agriculture. Three annual meetings must be organized between all the actors concerned to define the annual and multi annual programming. The adoption of the next Organic law on the distribution of the competence of the local administrations aims at strengthening the decision-making and financial means of the decentralized and decentralized levels. The dimension of this evolution will determine the capacities of local application.
• The intensification of the local financial autonomy. The economic analyses show that the production of wealth in Phnom Penh establishes a potential which would allow mobilizing largely the necessary financial means to realize infrastructures and equipments necessary for the urban development. Three local taxes are envisaged: a local tax of equipment, based on the value of the operations presented during the license to build, intended to finance infrastructures and equipments; an annual local tax on the rental value of the real-estate hard, intended to finance equipments due to the densification of the city; an annual local tax on the value of the used and not used land tax intended to finance the running costs of the local administrations. Each of these taxes has to be the object of a distribution between the various administrative levels.
• The definition of urbanity rule on the scale of sangkats . The State has to define main rules for the adaptations along the main networks and near generative equipments of risks (airport, port, railway, cemetery, polluting factories). Other rules are on the scale of the neighborhood and of the project of district and must be fixed on the basis of a local participation. The leaders of sangkat elected members have to get involved widely of the Municipality to make adopt rules included well by the population.
• The safeguarding of the great influences: adoption by the municipal Land register of the delimitation of the influences of the public domain for the passage of the great infrastructures of roadway system, channels, the reserves of storm, the rivers and the large structuring equipment of the metropolis (airport, ports, railroads, logistic platform, university, stages, great parks, ecological zones).
• The installation of a Bank of the Habitat and a Land agency intended to reserve the grounds and with the population solvency within the framework of the new policy of the Habitat.
• The application of the emergency actions, in particular to remove the floods in the city, to carry out the large channels and the great roadway systems, as well as the structures which are dependent there.
Lawful and operational tools for better managing the city
The Municipality of Phnom Penh crosses an important stage of its development by adopting a document of strategic economic planning for its economic, social and spatial development on the horizon 2020.
It is able to propose actions of development within a framework of territorial coherence which was missing since decades. Coordination between the sectors and the scales of development constitutes a difficult stake that must assume the Municipality.
The application of the master plan establishes a new phase of development which will be determining for the adoption of the tools of at the same moment sector-based and localized management. This phase should see being set up of new tools of management of the city which answer better the objectives of fight against the poverty by the solidarity and the economic development, durable development by a landscaped policy and purification, and intensification of the good governance by a bigger local autonomy.
The debates in progress on the adoption of the new organic law and the support of the international co-operation to help the Municipality to set up its management tools urban (regulations, operational projects) will be determining in the control of the development.