Open Public Space and the Private Sector – A toolkit for overcoming barriers and best practices (novembre 2020)

Aaron VANSINTJAN et Danielle LABBE

This report accompanies and complements a pilot study titled “The Private Sector’s Role in the Production of Open Public Spaces in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.” This pilot study interrogates the role and impact of an important policy reorientation in Vietnam regarding the production of open public spaces in cities such as parks, public gardens and playgrounds. Beginning in the late 1990s, this policy shift transferred a significant part of the responsibility to invest in the design, construction and management of these spaces from the public to the private sector.

One of the objectives of the pilot study was to critically assess the policy tools and mechanisms currently used in Vietnam to involve the private sector in the production of open public spaces in cities. Building on the study, this report helps to put this critical assessment in international perspective. It does so by reviewing the experiences of a variety of cities around the world with privately-produced open public spaces. It synthesizes recommendations formulated by international organizations to overcome barriers related to the financing, planning, management, governance and quality of open public spaces by the private sector. It further identifies and discusses best practices identified by these same organizations to produce high-quality, accessible and genuinely public green and open spaces in cities.

The production of this report was funded by two research units of the University de Montréal, Canada: the Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Urbanization in the Global South, and the Observatory Ivanhoé-Cambridge on Urban and Real Estate Development. This report was reviewed by Danielle Labbé (Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Urbanization in the Global South) and Clément Musil (Urban Development Research and Consulting).