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Planning for Sustainable Cities in Developing Countries

©2014 Essay 10 Seiten


This essay discusses the topic of planning sustainable cities in developing countries. The aspects of economy, ecology and social cohesion are examined and challenges to creating sustainable cities are discussed.


Dr. Benson Agaya

LDP 614: Rural-Urban Social Planning

27 August 2014

Planning for Sustainable Cities in Developing Countries

Planning (in the social context) is a rigorous process that progressive communities employ when identifying their internal strengths and weaknesses in a bid to come up with sustainable methods of improving their quality of life.1 In our case, this (social) planning endeavor should lead a community into developing a sustainable city i.e. a city that meets the needs of the present and secures those of future generations.2 There are three main pillars that support a sustainable city: the economy, the ecology (natural environment) and social cohesion.3 Therefore, a sustainable city is one that is characterized by an apt awareness of its natural environment and a cautious approach when interacting with the ecosystem. It also has a strong economy, where sufficient income opportunities are always complemented by good returns. If a city fails to address its social issues (like crime, violence, education, equity, justice, governance, and social diversity among others) then it will fail miserably when it comes to its economy and the ecology.4

What is a developing country (also called a less developed country-LDC)? What distinguishes an LDC from a developed country? There are no agreed upon criterion for making the LDC vs. developed country distinction but generally, people in LDCs have lower income, lower life expectancy and higher levels of illiteracy when compared to people in the developed world. These indicators are however also widely varied amongst the LDCs. It is proper to note that LDCs tend to demonstrate relatively higher growth rates. Over 75% of the world’s countries were labeled as LDCs in the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook Report of April 2014 and World Bank data.5 According to Cohen, about 300 cities in the LDCs contained more than one million residents in 2005 and the UN predicted that future global population would grow more in the urban than rural areas (see Figure 1 bellow) with this growth being experienced more in the LDC cities. A majority of these cities are plagued by a myriad of social, economic and environmental challenges due to rapid population growth e.g. urban congestion and sprawl, dilapidated infrastructure, inequality, crime, violence, environmental health challenges, broken sewerage and limited solid waste management facilities among others.6 Proper planning can help LDCs transform their ailing cities and build new sustainable ones. We will discuss some fundamental issues to consider when planning urban centers in LDCs.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: Estimated and projected size of the world's urban and rural populations, 1950–2030.7

Following a series of discussions amongst planners, a paper titled ‘Reinventing Planning’ was developed with the sole aim of provoking and focusing debates prior to the World Planning Congress held in Vancouver in June 2006. The paper outlined 10 key principles for managing modern human settlements. These are: promoting sustainable development, integrated planning, linking plans with budgets, involving partners and stakeholders, subsidiarity, market responsiveness, access to land, appropriate planning tools, pro-poor and inclusiveness, embrace cultural diversity.8


1 Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO)

2 The World Bank Group

3 Conference Strategies for Sustainable Cities

4 The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC)

5 Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

6 Cohen

7 Cohen

8 Farmer, Frojmovic and Hague


ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
431 KB
Institution / Hochschule
University of Nairobi – School of Continuing and Distance Education
2015 (Oktober)
Urban Planning Sustainable Cities Developing Countries LDC stakeholders inclusiveness cultural diversity subsidiarity participation

Titel: Planning for Sustainable Cities in Developing Countries