Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Southern Africa \ Cities and urbanisation

In 2014, 54% of the global population was living in urban areas and this is predicted to rise to 66% by 2050. The characteristics of cities differ greatly across countries and regions of the Commonwealth and some issues facing large and megacities will differ from those faced by secondary cities and towns and across the Commonwealth, the degree of urbanisation varies significantly. Whilst 38.1% of the population of the Commonwealth lived in urban settlements in 2014, Commonwealth Europe is 82% urban and Commonwealth South-East Asia 78% with Commonwealth Africa 41%, Commonwealth South Asia 33% and the Commonwealth Pacific Islands 18% urban. Achievement of SDG 11 will require cities to actively address the key dimensions of sustainable development – the economy, the society and the environment and to be inclusive, and proactive to ensure safety of all citizens. Subthemes includes urbanisation and migration, urban planning, informal settlements, formal and informal urban economy, disaster risk reduction and emergency planning, safety and security in cities, and smart cities and ICT.


Equitable Economic Growth in your Town or City: A diagnostic toolkit

This toolkit is designed to help mayors – especially of small and medium-sized towns in the Global South – understand what equitable economic growth means for their city, and what kind of opportunities and constraints exist. The toolkit takes access to public goods as an entry point for municipalities that want to create a better environment for providing decent employment, and focuses specifically on those areas over which the municipality has some control.

Publication year: 2017

Sustainable Urbanization Strategy

This Sustainable Urbanization Strategy outlines how UNDP is responding to rapid urbanization in developing countries and its consequences for sustainable development. It outlines how UNDP will support countries and cities, building upon its past and current work on urbanization. The strategy presents the complex and evolving urban challenges and the interrelated development choices which cities face as they strive to achieve the SDGs and implement the New Urban Agenda. It also sets out UNDP’s comparative advantage and experience in core thematic areas which are relevant to achieving the SDGs in cities and urban areas.

Author: UNDP Publisher: UNDP Publication year: 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Governing Cities in a Global Era: Urban Innovation, Competition and Democratic Reform (edited by Robin Hambleton and Jill Simone Gross)

Robin Hambleton and Jill Simone Gross have assembled a collection of papers which powerfully supports their argument that “those concerned with the future of cities, whether as academics or practitioners, should devote more time to instrumental learning from abroad.” Contributions range widely from the influence of globalisation and urbanisation, to the importance of understanding the unique impact of our own context; from innovation in the leading ‘world cities’ of the developed world, to the seemingly intractable problems of cities in the developing world; from celebrating the importance of a shift from government to governance, to contributions highlighting the potential of governance to undermine local democracy; and from the role of leadership to the dangers of persistent managerialism.

Author: Peter McKinlay Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance Publication year: 2009

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