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. Agenda 21 recommends institutionalization of a participatory approach to sustainable urban development, based on a continuous dialogue between the actors involved - public sector, private sector and communities - especially women and indigenous people.
Learning processes are of fundamental importance to sustainable development on the local level. It is necessary to identify key factors of success on how to involve citizens and local organizations in the process of sustainable development. Dialogues have to be started, and have to result in concrete actions.
The [Habitat Agenda], adopted by the world's governments in Istanbul in 1996, also affirmed that policies and programmes for the development of human settlements require strong, open and accountable local government institutions working in partnership with all interested parties. The benefits of good urban governance can include economic efficiency, increased social equity, overall sustainability and improved living conditions.
2. Urban managers are relying less on top-down processes based on blueprints and masterplans and more on interactive, dynamic processes built on partnership. It is only through such processes that cities of the future can truly become cities for all.
3. The political and economic potentials of urban authorities and citizen's groups remain untapped because their systems of governance are still highly centralized or because national politicians see cities as a threat.