| Monograph on the inter-regional exchange and transfer of effective practices on urban management |
The United Nations will convene Habitat II in Istanbul? Turkey in June 1996, to address problems of rapid urbanization and initiate worldwide action to improve shelter and living environments. Twenty years ago, the First UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat I) focussed on the issues of urban and rural settlements. The Habitat II Conference will provide government representatives, political and social leaders, experts on housing and construction, and community development organizations from all member states of the United Nations with an opportunity to develop new approaches to the current critical issues of the living environment.
The primary goal of UNDP for HABITAT II is to establish a thematic connection between human settlements and sustainable human development. This includes support for poverty elimination, the creation of sustainable livelihoods, regeneration and the improvement of the environment, job creation, the reduction of gender imbalances, and the promotion of sound governance.
One of UNDP's important specific objectives in preparation for Habitat II is to facilitate the first-hand sharing of ideas and experiences of known effective human settlement practices among those closely involved with such issues - local community representatives, local NGOs, the private sector, as well as central and municipal urban/rural authorities so as to provide countries with a rich selection of approaches to guide their actions. In this connection, the UNDP Special Unit for TCDC commissioned this Monograph so as to document urban approaches which have worked and have achieved impact, and which may be replicable in other countries. Furthermore, the Special Unit for TCDC is supporting the convening of regional workshops in Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and the Arab regions focussed on the regional priority themes identified by the countries in those regions. UNDP is also supporting, together with the UN Department for Development Support and Management Services (UN/DDSMS) and the UN Center for Human Settlements (UNCHS), a regional workshop covering Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). These regional workshops which are planned to take place between November 1995 and April 1996 are being organized in collaboration with selected municipalities, local communities and NGOs and other stakeholders at the country level, as well as with the UN Center for Human Settlements (UNCHS), United Nations Regional Economic Commissions and interested bilateral aid agencies. This Monograph will also serve as an important background document to these workshops to facilitate the transfer of innovative solutions dealing with a variety of critical urban and rural issues facing developing countries.