| Monograph on the inter-regional exchange and transfer of effective practices on urban management |
The 30 case studies analyzed in this Monograph demonstrate, first of all. that regardless of national origin and economic or social level in society, when given the opportunity, people can be creative in the way they resolve their urban problems. Indeed, this is the basic rationale for sharing ideas, experiences and practices among people in different countries. This process of exchange and learning from each other enriches the choice of urban development approaches available to all.
The lessons learned from these case studies underscore some important generic elements that have contributed to the effectiveness of the different approaches utilized. They also serve to guide those who may wish to replicate and adapt them on the basis of their particular local conditions.
Examples of such generic elements include a broad participatory approach involving all stakeholders (i.e., the local community, local Government, development NGOs, academic/research institutions, where appropriate, and the private sector) in the identification and management of innovative urban solutions; the need to adopt an integrated approach to urban issues, rather than isolated piece-meal solutions; the importance of building flexibility in designing urban strategies and of being constantly conscious of opportunities for positive change in keeping with evolving urban conditions; the need to pay attention to realistic cost recovery systems; the advantage of having brokering networks to facilitate cross-cultural transfers of innovative urban ideas and practices; and, finally, the critical importance of having a conducive and enabling political environment within which to introduce innovative urban solutions. While this list may not be exhaustive, it includes some of the crucial factors that contribute to a sustainable urban life. The case studies also show that these generic elements cover the broad areas of urban issues, from access to credit to waste disposal.
As the Monograph has noted, the different case studies presented were evaluated on the basis of conditions which prevailed at the time which may have been conducive to the practices introduced. It is, therefore, important to take note of such conditions in the particular local context when considering; the replication of these practices. In this regard. the last section of each case study on "Scaling up the Impact" offers some useful guidance.