Water Journal : Water Journal November 2014
WATER NOVEMBER 2014 40 Feature Article Key policy and planning actions needed • Governments must address the complex challenges posed by expanding cities as an essential element of UN post-2015 sustainable development and poverty alleviation goals. We welcome the recent inclusion of a speci cally urban goal in the draft list and urge further work to ensure it has practicable and appropriate content. • All levels of government need to work with the private sector and communities to develop integrated strategies and plans, based on local engagement and transparent decision-making. • Global and local investments in built and ecological infrastructure and services should be directed to ensure equity between people occupying urban and peri-urban landscapes. • Regional planning strategies and processes should be based on trans-disciplinary research and integrate perspectives from natural and social sciences, economics, government, industry and community. • National and international indices of "liveability" and "sustainability" should be developed to guide future urban planning strategies and measure effectiveness of urban development. Knowledge and capacity building actions for future cities • Governments and knowledge providers must come together to generate, maintain and enhance knowledge bases on ecological, socio-economic, political and cultural dimensions to build baseline conditions and test future development scenarios. • The education and planning sectors must address the shortcomings of existing planning processes and management by developing innovative curricula and delivery mechanisms for professional and community actors. • Governments, R&D bodies, NGOs and donors are urged to make signi cant investments in research and development to support and integrate hard evidence into sound decision-making. • Emerging tools and techniques need to be customised and implemented to tackle these challenges. There should be an integrated approach, for example, the 'Circles of Sustainability' method used by the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme, Metropolis and other organisations. In conclusion, at present there is insuf cient policy focus on the challenges of the peri-urban areas of these growing mega-urban regions, because they are not recognised as an integral part of the functional activities that drive the growth of these urban areas. Policies tend to focus on making the central city more globally connected and internationally competitive, often absorbing a large proportion of national budgets for urban development. There is a need to create more balanced budgetary allocation so that challenges of peri-urban regions can be met. Further, there is a need for more innovative research that can be fed into the formulation of peri-urban policies that will make cities liveable and sustainable while they are secured in terms of water, food and energy. Thus, policies for peri-urban regions have to be given priority at both national and global level if "globally just urban places" are to emerge. REFERENCES McGee T (2009): The Spatiality of Urbanization: The Policy Challenges of Mega- Urban and Desakota Regions of Southeast Asia. UNU-IAS Working Paper No. 161, www.as.unu.edu/resource_centre/161%20Terry%20McGee.pdf United Nations (2011): Population Distribution, Urbanization, Internal Migration and Development: An International Perspective. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, Publication no. ESA/P/WP/223, 363 pp. THE AUTHORS Basant Maheshwari (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) and Bruce Simmons are Professor and Adjunct Associate Professor respectively at the School of Science & Health, Hawkesbury Campus, University of Western Sydney. Attendees at the Opening Ceremony. Delegates from Nigeria, Uganda, India and Sri Lanka networking. The Hon Kevin Rozzoli, Chair of the Conference Organising Committee, at the registration desk.
Water Journal September 2014
Water Journal December 2014