Improving urban management

Since the first Habitat Conference (Vancouver 1976), a good deal of progress has been made in understanding the characteristics of effective urban management, and in strengthening capacity at the municipal level to deliver transparent, accountable and efficient performance. However, the scale and complexity of the challenges facing urban management are often underestimated, particularly in the political arena, where conflicts of interest between different groups have proven exceptionally difficult to mange. Under-resourcing and poor resource mobilization, weak decentralization, lack of continuity in leadership ad administrations, and problems in NGO/government relations, have all hindered progress. Tackling these weaknesses has been essential to the success of urban reform in cities such as Curitiba.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.

One existing framework for strengthening urban management is the UN Development Programme/World Bank/UN Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) Urban Management Programme (UMP), a concerted global effort to assist developing countries in addressing urban management issues. Agenda 21 recommends that its coverage should be extended to all interested countries during the period 1993-2000. Countries would undertake appropriate activities at national, state/provincial, and local levels, in accordance with national plans, objectives and priorities and with the assistance of NGOs, of representatives of local authorities and of other relevant programmes and support agencies.

Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal