Cover Image
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

The Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) Operates at City, Country, Regional and Global Levels

The primary focus of the Sustainable Cities Programme is at the city level where, in its initial five years, the programme has applied more than 95% of its resources. The SCP provides a framework in which lessons learned in individual city demonstrations can help shape activities at the national, regional and global levels.


At the city level, the SCP brings together all the stakeholders whose cooperation is required:

· to clarify environmental issues;
· agree on joint strategies and coordinate action plans;
· implement technical support and capital investment programmes;
· institutionalise a continuing environmental planning and management routine.

SCP activities are conducted by municipal governments and their partners in the public, private and community sectors with technical assistance as necessary. The aim is to incorporate environmental management into urban development decision-making and to strengthen local environmental capacities through city demonstration projects. SCP operational activities respond to local issues and needs as perceived and expressed by local governments, the private sector and communities.


At the country level, SCP activities are conducted by national governments and their public and private partners, supported by local and international consultants. These activities are an essential complement to city-level demonstrations. The aim is to address national issues arising from city-level experience and to promote replication strategies for cities throughout the country. Chile, Egypt, Nigeria and Tanzania have reached this stage in the project cycle, with others soon to follow. In the near future, more SCP demonstrations will advance from city- to country-level activities. Global level support is being expanded accordingly to take full advantage of opportunities for capacity building and technology transfer.


At the regional level, SCP activities are based on city- and country-level SCP experiences and aim (a) to facilitate the systematic collection, assessment, sharing and dissemination of information, (b) to share operational lessons of experience in urban environmental management, (c) to promote the pooling of scientific and technical resources, and (d) to support the creation of joint agendas and coordinated programmes of action. Professionals from one city project help to start-up SCP projects in other cities; decision makers and stakeholders from SCP cities are increasingly invited to share their experiences at regional and global meetings.

At the global level, the SCP activities are driven by the needs and lessons of local demonstrations. The task of global level support is to catalyse capacities of the UN system for local, national, and regional capacity building in urban environmental management. Global-level SCP activities have steadily expanded from programme design and initial resource mobilisation, in 1991, to the considerable volume of work associated with coordinating, operationally supporting, and administering today's $30 million programme. The activities fall into five categories:

· operational support at city, national and regional levels;
· development of urban environmental management tools;
· networking among cities and international programmes;
· information and awareness building; and
· programme resource mobilization and management.