Make your work easier and more efficient installing the rrojasdatabank  toolbar ( you can customize it ) in your browser. 
Counter visits from more than 160  countries and 1400 universities (details)

The political economy of development
This academic site promotes excellence in teaching and researching economics and development, and the advancing of describing, understanding, explaining and theorizing.
About us- Castellano- Français - Dedication
Home- Themes- Reports- Statistics/Search- Lecture notes/News- People's Century- Puro Chile- Mapuche

World indicators on the environmentWorld Energy Statistics - Time SeriesEconomic inequality
World Resources 1996-97
(A joint publication by The World Resource Institute, The United
 Nations Environment Programme, The United Nations Development
 Programme, and the World Bank)
(Data edited by Dr. Róbinson Rojas)

6. City and Community: Toward Environmental Sustainability

Box 6.6 International Urban Environment Programs

There is growing recognition among agencies that their role should be one of institutional strengthening--helping cities identify their worst problems and develop local means to address them. To this end, many of the multilateral and bilateral programs dealing with the urban environment are focusing on research, capacity building, and information exchange, as well as trying to find new ways to foster participation by local communities and political leaders in the process of assessing environmental problems and developing priorities for action.

One of these programs is the Urban Management Programme (UMP), which is funded jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)and a number of bilateral agencies. The UMP is executed by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) with the World Bank as an associate agency. The program focuses on five areas: urban land management, the provision and maintenance of urban infrastructure, municipal finance, the alleviation of urban poverty, and the protection of the urban environment.

Since 1990, the UMP has helped cities define broad environmental strategies and build the capacity to manage urban problems (1). The program is operationally decentralized (with four regional offices in Accra, Ghana; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Quito, Ecuador; and Cairo, Egypt) and attempts to bring together the creative expertise of the international assistance community.

The Metropolitan Environmental Improvement Program (MEIP), a UNDP-funded effort managed by the World Bank, focuses on environmental improvements in Asian cities. MEIP works in cities such as Beijing, China; Bombay, India; Colombo, Sri Lanka; and Kathmandu, Nepal (2). MEIP assists member cities in the development of environmental management strategies and action plans, the strengthening of the institutional and legislative framework for environmental planning and enforcement, the identification and mobilization of resources for high-priority investment projects, the promotion of community-led efforts to improve the environment, and the sharing of information among member cities.

UNDP's Public-Private Partnerships Programme promotes the collaboration between the government and private companies, with the participation of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)and the scientific-academic community, in the provision of city services such as water and sanitation and waste management. The objective of the program is to help foster communication between local authorities and the private sector at various levels, creating concrete opportunities for technology dissemination and investments that can produce social, economic, and environmental benefits.

UNDP also has created the Local Initiative Facility for Urban Environment (LIFE) program, which is an attempt by the international community to provide direct support to local groups working to improve the urban environment. A committee composed of a diverse group of local people looks for proposed projects that involve collaborative action among NGOs, community-based organizations, local authorities, and, potentially, the private sector (3).

The Sustainable Cities Programme, which was launched by Habitat and the United Nations Environment Programme in 1990, focuses on capacity building at city, country, regional, and global levels. In individual cities, the program uses broad-based consultation processes to mobilize local resources for the development of environmental strategies and the implementation of priority projects. More broadly, the program promotes the sharing of infor- mation among cities in different regions of the world and also marshals technical and financial resources from bilateral and multilateral sources. Demonstration activities are under way in cities in 20 countries, including Chile, China, Egypt, Ghana, Mozambique, Poland, and Tunisia (4).

In 1986, the World Health Organization devised the Healthy Cities Project to serve as a forum for city officials, NGOs, and others to exchange ideas about a wide range of issues, including traffic, housing, tobacco use, AIDS, and mental health (5). Initially limited to Europe, the project has since become an international movement involving hundreds of cities around the world. There are 3 international and 17 national networks, including programs in Australia, Canada, and the United States (6).

The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, which is formally affiliated with the International Union of Local Authorities is the international environmental agency for local authorities, working directly with municipalities to develop tools and management approaches for environmental protection and to implement local versions of the Agenda 21, the plan of action developed at the United Nations Conference on Environmental Development (the Earth Summit) (7).

Numerous NGOs are also forming information exchange networks. The Habitat International Coalition, for example, is a coalition formed by over 200 NGOs from 56 countries working on housing or related issues (8). Other networks include the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, the Arab NGO Network, and the Center for African Settlement Studies and Development.

References and Notes

1. Carl Bartone et al., "Toward Environmental Strategies for Cities: Policy Considerations for Urban Environmental Management in Developing Countries," Urban Management Programme Paper No. 18 (The World Bank, Washington, D.C., 1994), p. 83.

2. The Metropolitan Environmental Improvement Program (MEIP), MEIP Progress Report 1993 (The World Bank, Washington, D.C., 1993), p. 1.

3. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), "Local Initiative Facility for Urban Environment (LIFE): Report on the Global Advisory Committee and Donor Workshop: First Year Review and Strategic Planning" (UNDP, New York, 1994), pp. i, 3.

4. United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), Sustainable Human Settlements Development: Implementing Agenda 21 (Habitat, Nairobi, Kenya, 1994), p. 9.

5. Joan M. Twiss, "California Healthy Cities Project: Piloting Community-Based Health Promotion Statewide," National Civic Review (Spring/Summer 1992), pp. 105-106.

6. Ibid., p. 105.

7. Op. cit. 1, p. 84.

8. "Habitat International Coalition," Environment and Urbanization, Vol. 2, No. 1 (April 1990), pp. 105-112.

Table of Contents
Back to Section 3