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UN-HABITAT Launches “Urban Planning for City Leaders” Guide

20 September 2012: The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) has launched a guide titled “Urban Planning for City Leaders” at an inaugural conference with the same name, held in London, UK. The guide aims to support urban planning good practice among local decision makers and leaders in developing and emerging economies.

The guide includes ten practical “how to” chapters designed to offer advice and guide decisions on topics such as building resilience and reducing climate risks, creating partnerships and measuring impacts. Each chapter features city case studies describing initial challenges, adopted solutions and results. Noting that most climate change effects will be felt by urban populations, the guide recommends, inter alia: integrating resilience in urban planning and urban investment; mainstreaming adaptation in building standards and land policies; adapting infrastructure to climate variability; and mainstreaming mitigation in spatial and transport planning. The guide primarily targets urban planners in intermediate cities, those with populations between 20,000 and two million people, in developing and emerging economies where the majority of urban growth occurs.

Joan Clos, UN-HABITAT Executive Director, explained that the Guide aims “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 and ask the right questions.” Roland Busch, CEO, Infrastructure and Cities Sector, Siemens AG, said "good urban planning can provide the framework for making decisions that are resource effective and sustainable for all cities," contributing to sustainable urban planning and green infrastructure.

The “Urban Planning for City leaders” conference explored how spatial planning can contribute to functioning, livable cities and how to develop partnerships among all city stakeholders. Over 300 participants, including mayors, city planners and policy makers, from cities around the world, attended. Siemens AG and the Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA) provided support for the guide. [UN- HABITAT Press Release]  [Publication: Urban Planning for City Leaders] [Urban Planning for City Leaders Conference]