| Monograph on the inter-regional exchange and transfer of effective practices on urban management |
It has been estimated that by the year 2000, half of humanity will live in urban areas. Given current trends, by the year 2030, urban populations will be approximately twice the size of rural populations in global terms. This has important implications for those charged with the management of urban areas, but more importantly, for the countless millions of urban dwellers.
Ample evidence exists in many parts of the world of the consequences for cities and their inhabitants when urban problems are not properly addressed in a sustainable manner. The development strategies pursued by many developing countries in the new post-cold war global economic environment will no doubt contribute to the further concentration of economic activities in urban areas, thus exacerbating existing social problems, such as poverty' homelessness, unemployment, crime and disease. It is against this background that the United Nations General Assembly at its forty-seventh session in 1992, decided to convene a second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (HABITAT II) scheduled to take place in Istanbul, Turkey in June 1996. At the same time, in different parts of the world, human creativity has been developing new and innovative ways of dealing with some of the most pressing urban problems.
The purpose of this Monograph is to document, in the form of case studies drawn from the experiences of countries in different regions of the world, some of the practices which have proved to be effective in addressing critical urban problems. These represent examples of actions which might serve as models for others to replicate and adapt to their own situations. An analysis of the lessons learned from these case studies is provided in Chapter IX of the Monograph, while the Case Studies themselves are contained in the Annex to the Monograph. The need for such a Monograph was identified at the International Colloquium of Mayors on Social Development which was organized by UNDP in August 1994 preparatory to the World Summit for Social
Development in Copenhagen in March 1995. in cooperation with the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS) and the Group of Four Cities' Association.
The Monograph will serve as an important background document for the regional workshops in the Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and Caribbean, Africa and Arab regions which are supported by the UNDP Special Unit for TCDC, in collaboration with municipal and central government authorities, NGOs and the private sector of the participating countries in the various regions, the UNDP Urban Development Unit, the UNCHS and the global Urban Management Programme. UNDP is also supporting a regional workshop covering Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on the basis of similar arrangements. These regional workshops will be in preparation for HABITAT II, which is expected to formulate a global programme of action for the sustainable development of the living environment.
The Monograph will also be used as a basis for facilitating an exchange of ideas, experiences, policies and practices on sustainable urban development to provide participants with a wider choice of options in addressing urban problems. It is also hoped that the inter-action engendered in such exchanges would result in the establishment of lasting institutional and personal contacts among the various participants of the regional workshops, in keeping with the spirit of technical co-operation among developing countries (TCDC).
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the important contributions of a number of individuals and institutions which have been associated with the development of this Monograph. I should thank, first of all, the Mega-Cities Project, Inc. for its outstanding work in researching the various case studies and in preparing the first draft on which the Monograph is based. I should like to express our gratitude to Dr. Shabbir Cheema, Director of the Management Development and Governance Division of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support in
UNDP. as well as the staff of that Division, for their technical guidance in the preparation of the Monograph. Lastly, I would also like to thank Mr. Bernabe Garcia of the Special Unit for TCDC for his suggestions on improving both the content and presentation of the Monograph, as well as Mrs. Josie Catuncan for typing the drafts and final version of the Monograph.
Director Special Unit for Technical Co-operation among Developing Countries (SU/TCDC)