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close this bookThe Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) - Sustainable Cities and Local Governance (HABITAT - UNEP, 12 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentA Sustainable City...
View the documentSustainable Cities are Fundamental to Social and Economic Development
View the documentBroad-based Local Governance is Key to Sustainable Cities
View the documentThe Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) Offers a Practical Response to the Universal Search for Sustainable Development
View the documentThe Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) is a UN facility to Package and Apply Specialised Know-how in Urban Environmental Management
View the documentThe Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) is Driven by Local Needs and Opportunities
View the documentThe Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) Operates at City, Country, Regional and Global Levels
View the documentThe Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) is a Vehicle for Inter-Agency Cooperation
View the documentThe Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) is a Joint UNCHS/UNEP Facility
View the documentThe Sustainable Cities Programme Supports a Learning-Based Process to Advance Collective Know-how Among the Partner Cities
View the documentThe Sustainable Cities Programme and the Urban Environment Forum
View the documentSCP's International Partners

Sustainable Cities are Fundamental to Social and Economic Development

It is now widely recognised that cities make an important contribution to social and economic development at national and local levels.

· cities are important engines of economic growth
· cities absorb two-thirds of the population growth in developing countries
· cities offer significant economies of scale in the provision of jobs, housing and services
· cities are important centres of productivity and social advancement

Full realisation of cities' potential contribution to development is often obstructed by severe environmental degradation in and around rapidly growing urban centres. For example, development on land prone to environmental hazards such as flooding not only wastes resources but leads to further environmental degradation. This impacts most cruelly on the urban poor. Environmental degradation threatens:

· economic efficiency in the use of scarce development resources
· social equity in the distribution of development benefits and costs
· sustainability of hard-won development achievements
· productivity in the urban economy in provision of goods and services