Urban governance and its global importance
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Urban governance and its global importance. Slide 1: Raising the issues . Urban governance gained importance from decentralization processes in majority of world’s countries

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Urban governance and its global importance

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Urban governance and its global importance

Urban governance and its global importance

Slide 1 raising the issues

Slide 1: Raising the issues

  • Urban governance gained importance from decentralization processes in majority of world’s countries

  • Urban local bodies have new mandates concerning economic development; previously limited to local infrastructure and social policies

  • Cities are less bound to government funding; actively competing with each other in obtaining investment, including FDI

  • Cities produce larger than proportionate share of their regions/provincial GDPs; important sources of tax revenues for regional and national governments

Slide 2 local and global interfaces

Slide 2: Local and global interfaces

  • Large-city governments have become more outward-looking: linking directly with international companies, professional associations, financial investors

  • Transnational companies look for attractive places to locate, have high requirements for quality infrastructure for business locations and staff living conditions

  • Large cities compete to become part of ‘global city networks’: better infrastructure, housing and services, new communication technology,

  • Cities have become less integrated with their regional and national economies

Slide 3 cities for citizens

Slide 3: Cities for citizens?

  • Cities are becoming fragmented spaces: gated areas for wealthy citizens, ‘abandoned’ spaces for the poor

  • Deprivations in well-being are becoming concentrated; lack of housing and basic services, access to education and employment cumulative (Delhi map)

  • Middle-class citizens organize for their own agenda, focusing on neighborhood improvements, excluding poor households and poor areas of the city

  • Increasing ‘urbanization of poverty’, although statistics do not recognize this; 1$/day understates urban poverty (Satterthwaite,IIED)

Urban governance and its global importance

Slide 4 –

‘Poverty hotspots’ map of Delhi: deprivations in well-being at electoral ward level

using Census 2001 data

Poverty index ranges from 0.15-0.52;

darker shade of red indicates multiple deprivations

Source: IDPAD project New Forms of Urban governance

Slide 5 mapping poverty hotspots in chennai at electoral ward level using census 2001 data

Slide 5 – Mapping Poverty hotspots in Chennai: at electoral ward level using Census 2001 data










Poverty index ranges

between 0.17-0.57; darker shade of red indicates multiple deprivations


Source: IDPAD project New Forms of Urban governance

Slide 6 can local government make a difference

Slide 6:Can local government make a difference?

  • Some researchers suggest that local governments have to follow neo-liberal agenda and cannot adopt localized social policies in the face of global economic forces (Sassen, Hall)

  • Others researchers contend that local government policies can make a difference through a range of measures: institutional development, accountability, representation, reducing corruption (Cavill, Devas, Hasan et al.; Douglass)

  • Local governments cannot go it alone: they have to work with other levels of government and international agencies to be effective – metropolitan governance (A. Scott)

Slide 7 institutional development

Slide 7: Institutional development

  • Local governments need to make their policies transparent and available to citizens (using e-governance and ‘right to information’ measures)

  • Local governments need to put their financial house in order:

    • collecting taxes and other revenues effectively

    • Building staff capacity

    • Using accountancy methods that show capital investment as well as cash flows

  • Local governments need to streamline their regulations and enforce them effectively (illegal building not confined to slums)

  • Local governments need to provide services effectively

  • Local governments need financing for investment in infrastructure

Slide 8 accountability and participatory governance

Slide 8: Accountability and Participatory governance

  • Local governments work with ward-level representatives within cities

  • Local governments have privatized basic services, but often lose effective control over them in doing so; they need to be able to make private providers accountable to themselves and to citizens

    • WDR 2004 describes long and short road of accountability and context for different models of accountability

  • Local governments work more in ‘partnerships’ with citizen groups; ranging from participatory budgeting, implementation of services, monitoring activities; context is influential in determining which ‘citizens’ voices’ are heard

    • middle-class citizens organize themselves strongly for their own agendas and confront government directly

    • Poor households have little voice, and work through political ‘leaders’ to gain more voice; leaders may have their own agendas

Slide 9 participatory governance developing local models

Slide 9: Participatory governance – developing local models

  • Local ward representatives within cities – political representation

  • Many municipalities in Brazil: Porto Alegre, Curitiba, and many others with political leadership of the PT

  • Aggregating local initiatives to national levels for greater effectiveness: Cities for Life Forum, Peru

  • Local-to-local initiatives with international networks behind them: Homeless International, working with National Slum Dwellers Federation in India, South Africa and local NGOs (SPARC)

Slide 10 lessons learned from the latin american experience in pb cabannes

Slide 10: Lessons learned from the Latin American experience in PB (Cabannes)

  • political context – tensions between executive and legislative wings of local bodies? Private sector influences in the background (Mumbai)?

  • Municipal finance and participatory budgeting; strong differences in budget allocated to PB, information available about progress, and in accounting systems

  • Effects of PB – less tax avoidance, avoided costs through contributions in kind by citizens

  • method of participation – 2-7% of total population in direct participation; representative participation through CBOs/CSOs ; area-based participation

Slide 11 cont d

Slide 11 - Cont,d.

  • Government as anchor for PB – political or executive?

  • ‘inversion of priorities’: investment moves to excluded areas

  • Role of professionals (researchers, NGOs, universities) – from ‘experts’ to ‘resource persons’

  • Spatial dimension – how far to decentralize? How to link different scale levels? Within city and outside?

  • Avoiding political cooptation, bureacratization?

  • Resources: www.pgualc.org Urban Management Program (UNDP/WB/UNCHS), Environment & Urbanization

Slide 12 government and private sector interests unexplored links

Slide 12: Government and private sector interests – unexplored links

  • Private sector providing collective goods – housing, infrastructure, collective services

  • How does private sector direct city policy priorities to high profit activities?

  • Does private sector prevent distributive policies?

  • Can private sector link with higher government levels to directinvestment allocation?

  • Can private sector set limits to contracts to reduce non-profitable poverty-reducing activities?

Slide 13 conclusions

Slide 13 - Conclusions

  • Cities and their governments more important as ‘new state space’

  • Urban poverty needs to be recognized as multi-dimensional deprivations

  • City governments need to strengthen their own capacity and link up with other scale levels of government – metropolitan governance and city-to-city networks, and trans-national urban governance networks

  • Diversity of citizens’ identities and interests made explicit, so that inequalities do not grow further

  • Participatory models can support redistributive urban policies

  • Urban regime research still very necessary to analyze government – private sector links

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