“World is rapidly becoming predominantly urban. Cities offer opportunities for unleashing economic potential, increasing energy efficiency, reducing inequities, and creating sustainable livelihoods for all. History has shown that urbanization leads to development. It is also clear that urbanization is a source rather than simply a by-product of development. While Africa and Asia are among the least urbanized continents, they also have the fastest rates of urbanization in the world.
Growing cities and towns in developing countries face additional challenges, such as high percentages of people living in slums; expansion and dominance of the informal sector; inadequate urban basic services, especially water, sanitation and energy; unplanned peri-urban expansion; social and political conflict over land resources; high levels of vulnerability to natural disasters; and poor mobility systems. If cities are to play their role as drivers of economic and social development, these challenges have to be addressed through effective planning and governance.
Unfortunately, many developing countries lack strategies for urban planning and design. Urban planning, where it happens, tends to be inadequate for addressing the many challenges which are endemic to rapid expansion. Appropriate urban planning for developing economies can be simple, enforceable, flexible, and responsive to shifting local needs. With sufficient capacity and more appropriate urban planning, countries can tap the opportunity for development which urbanization represents.
This Guide by the UN-HABITAT and Siemens has been designed to fill the gap between the technical and the policy dimensions of urban planning and to help local leaders to better communicate with their planning departments.”
(188 pp, 6.24 MB)