Agenda 21 recommends that developing countries should, with appropriate international assistance, focus on training and developing a cadre of urban managers, technicians, administrators and other relevant stakeholders needed to successfully manage environmentally sound urban development and growth and equipped with the skills necessary to analyse and adapt innovative experiences of other cities. For this purpose, the full range of training methods - from formal education to the use of the mass media - should be utilized, as well as the "learning by doing" option.
The International Roundtable on Learning for Better Cities (Rotterdam, October 1995) made strong recommendations for institutions of higher learning to focus more on the changing demands of modern urban management. Specialized training is needed on on modern management instruments like: guiding private sector investments to meet public interests, adequate public sector intervention through land-use control and taxation, effective planning instruments to curb environmental stress and waste of natural resources, public-private partnerships and joint ventures for housing and infrastructure development, and ensuring the civic engagement of consumer and community groups. The Roundtable also saw an important role for local and national government institutions to organize specialized in-service training and skills development for their staff members, at regular intervals. A portion of their operative budget should be set aside for this development of human resources, which many public sector institutions are still failing to do. The Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies was considered a particularly competent institution for upgrading the knowledge of local government officials and members of non-governmental organizations from developing countries.