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The Need for Better Urban Management

Urbanization is an irreversible global trend involving a multitude of social, economic, environmental and spatial aspects. While urbanization is widely accepted as an indicator of economic development, its pace and impact on social and spatial conditions pose unprecedented challenges to both politicians and professionals.

The experience of the past decades has shown that conventional concepts of urban planning and development based on control and investment in key infrastructure have not been adequate to cope with the rapid changes, financial constraints, high population growth, increasing urban poverty, informal land development and the adverse environmental impacts of urbanization.

In recent years local and national governments in collaboration with development agencies have made progress in developing flexible and action-oriented strategies. These strategies emphasize the inter-connectivity of sectors, without denying the importance of sectoral measures. Such strategies integrate a wide range of players that usually work in isolation from or even in competition with each other (e.g. the private sector, NGOs, CBOs and local governments). These concepts are based on an approach that borrows from management and governance theories and takes into account the resources available for implementation.



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