Urban Planning and Development Practices

Rehabilitation & Upgrading of the Manshiet Nasser Informal Settlement by GOPP- Egpyt


The Rehabilitation and Upgrading of The Manshiet Nasser Informal Settlement located in the heart of Cairo City, is a unique initiative to improve the living environment of more than 500,000 inhabitants. The project, which was initiated in 1997 by the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities of Egypt, is focused on relocating a percentage of inhabitants into a close by planned settlement equipped with all services and amenities, and developing and renewal of the site of the existing slum. The process consists of nine phases, to complete the biggest project of its kind in Egypt by building 70,000 housing units.


The settlements are fully equipped with complete piped networks of water supply and sanitation, roads network, open space, vocational training and heath care centres, libraries, schools, phone service network, and environment friendly crafts workshops. Residents are provided with a soft loan, 90 percent of which is required to be paid over 40 years giving the residents a sense of ownership. The project is based on participatory socio-economic survey and mechanisms of transparent dialogue with local inhabitants in both the planning and management processes. Major achievements of the project include affordable housing options to the poor; empowered civic engagement at early stages of decision making; institutionalised participatory urban management; maintained and enhanced livelihood systems of inhabitants; preserved social capital and ties of original dwellers; and socio-economic sustained development. The initiative has demonstrated how empowerment of local inhabitants to effectively participate in decision making at an early stage of planned interventions can reduce the scope of conflicts and enable mobilisation of resources for effective implementation. It has also shown that co-ordination among government agencies, civil society entities and external support programme, though challenging, is necessary for effective and sustainable urban development.


Contact: Eng. Hussein El-Gebaly, President of the Board, GOPP
Tel: 00-202-7921514
Fax: 792 1512
E-mail: gopp2@idsc.gov.eg

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Comprehensive Improvement of the Urban Environment, Zhuhai, China

Before its establishment as a city in 1979, Zhuhai was an economically disadvantaged fishing village. The urban area was less than 4-sq. km. with little access to transportation. The daily water-supply capacity was only 5,000 cubic meters and there were no sewage and waste treatment systems. The telecommunication facilities were poor and the power supply was insufficient. Poor infrastructure conditions and an adverse living environment impeded the economic development. In 1980, the Zhuhai Municipal Government prepared a comprehensive plan for the improvement of the urban environment.

As a result, a new urban district covering 56.2 square kilometres was constructed. An additional 161 "all-inclusive" living quarters were built, pushing the per capita living space up to 17.74 square meters considered the best in the country. High-grade urban highways (around 400 km in total length), a large airport that conforms to top level international standards, and two 10,000-tonnage harbours were also constructed. Communication facilities were also improved including the water system, which complied with the national standard for drinking water. Sewage treatment plants and smoke and dust control systems were installed to ensure that the city complies with the national standards for air and water quality. A natural reserve covering 105.9 square kilometres has been set up and a 3-dimensional protective system has been formed for urban afforestation with the urban greenbelt coverage rate standing at 39.9% and per capita green area reaching 114.97 square meters. The city government has also passed laws and regulations related to urban environment management and set up an efficient administration system to handle environment-related problems.

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Park Central Taxi Rank, South Africa

Johannesburg is Southern Africa's largest and most vibrant city. Transportation problems arising from the taxi industry are considered the biggest problem facing South Africa's inner cities and this was no exception for Johannesburg's Jack Mincer area where taxis invaded a 15-block area in the early 1990's causing a urban decay of the surrounding area. The infiltration of taxis in the area caused the roads to become nearly impassable and made proper sanitation impossible and crime inescapable. In the absence of formalised management, the central point, Jack Mincer Park and parking garage, deteriorated to a point where it became unsafe and a health hazard to the general public.

In response to the urban decay in the area, the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Council (GJMC) put out a proposal call for the development of a formalised taxi rank in the area which was approved in 1997. Funding for the project was provided by three tiers of government in partnership with the private sector. The project cleared the surrounding streets of public transport activity that was an obstacle to traffic on inner city roads as well as to commercial development within the city by providing a parking area for 2,000 taxis. There is more efficient and safer transportation services for 160,000 commuters per day. The success of the project represents much more than just an improved transportation hub and the revitalisation of a community. It represents the coming together of public and private enterprise in a serious attempt to revitalise the Inner City. More importantly, it is the first project that gives formal recognition to an industry, which has been ignored and suppressed throughout apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa.


The use of milestones to facilitate progress and reaching a consensus is very useful in such developments. When the rank first opened, the usage fees were to be paid on a monthly basis by taxi drivers. This method proved to be inefficient and ineffective. In response to the inability to collect usage fees, a 'pay upon entrance' method was established. The success of the Jack Mincer Rank project has encouraged the municipal authority to develop other ranks applying the lessons learnt in the decision making process.


Contact: Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Council (GJMC)
Melissa Laughlin
Telephone: 27(11)407-6733
Facsimile: 27(11)403-4388
Email: melissalaughlin@yahoo.com

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UCISV-VER Housing Program for the Peripheral Areas of Xalapa, Veracruz - Mexico

The Union of Tenants and Housing Applicants, Veracruz (UCISV-VER) is a community organization that was established in Xalapa, Veracruz in 1984. The main problems afflicting the low income population in Xalapa was access to land for housing since they had settled on public land on the city's periphery which was in a state of neglect and where urban service provision was non existent. These areas had grown considerably, largely due to rural out-migration with 46 percent of the city's total population of 400,000 inhabitants living on the city's periphery.

The project sought to improve housing, urban conditions and quality of life to the population living in 80 irregular settlements on the periphery of Xalapa, Veracruz. The project began with the elaboration of a partial plan for all the zones using participatory planning methods. This was finished in 1991 and was used as a basis for negotiation with the state and city authorities for land and services provision.

The project's achievements are the following:

• Training of a large section of the population in settlement issues and self-construction methods. • The slogan "protest with a proposal" came out of this process;
• Provision of ecological sanitary units in the peripheral area;
• Provision of urban services in the peripheral areas;
• Access to land (with a secure tenure) on a State Government reserve for construction of low-income housing;
• Construction of a prototype house which is used in the self-construction training programme;
• Setting-up of a savings and loans scheme for the housing programme on the territorial reserve and for improving housing in the peripheral areas.


UCISV-VER's Integrated Social and Urban Improvement Plan had led to the realisation of several follow-up programmes including education, nutrition, the environment and urban management and planning.

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Planning and Designing of theCivano Community Model, Arizona, USA


Civano is a model community demonstrating that the goals of sustainability and marketability are not irreconcilable. Specific performance targets were developed in 1990 using participatory processes to: (i) reduce energy consumption by 75%; (ii) reduce potable water consumption by 65%; reduce landfill-destined solid waste by 90%; (iii) reduce internal vehicle trip miles by 40%; (iv) create one community job for every 2 residences. By developing measurable and enforceable performance standards, Civano has shown how local resources can be saved and has enabled the City of Tuscon to see its participation as a wise investment. Others are also investing in Civano: the nation?s largest financial institution, Fannie Mae Corp., has made its largest community development equity investment in Civano; the developer has committed 10% of its gross profits for inner city development. Based on the Civano experience, the City of Tuscon has begun a city- wide sustainable development initiative using public participation to define the priorities. Other impacts include the adoption of new state legislation to promote the use of solar energy and national funding for photovoltaic product development.


Contact person: Wayne Moody
E-mail: wayne@civano.com
Fax: 520-889-6207

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Sustainable Economic Transformation and Decentralization in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona City, with more than 1.5 million inhabitants, is the centre of an extensive metropolitan region (RMB), which occupies a surface area of 3,236 km2, inhabited by 4.3 million people (69% of the total population of Catalonia). Ciutat Vella is the city's principle historic, culture and leisure centre, since it contains the majority of its historic and artistic wealth. It represents 4.3% of the surface area of the city and 5.6% of its population. This district was experiencing major deficiencies in education and healthcare delivery, housing and town planning, loss of economic activity, marginalisation and unemployment. In response to this emerging trend, the city council in partnership with citizens and the private sector formulated an integrated plan to rehabilitate housing, improve public infrastructure, promote the economy and implement social welfare programmes.

The process of developing this integrated plan - mooted in the principle of decentralisation and Public-Private collaborations - required a public investment totalling US$ 806 million between 1988-1999. Facilities that are being targeted include construction and renovation of the museums, a public University, civic centres and a public hospital. More than 2000 public residential dwellings have been constructed and a further 22,400 residential dwellings refurbished. The houses have served to resettle residents affected during the actuation of the new plan to open up new spaces and/or roads. Urban redevelopment and social policies have improved the life expectancy of the district, its education levels, household income levels and economic activity, reducing the economic and social gaps that existed within Ciutat Vella.

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Local Agenda 21 Model Communities Program in Jinja, (LA 21 MCP), Uganda


Jinja is the second largest urban centre in Uganda and serves as the principle urban centre and market for the Districts of Jinja, Iganga, Kamuli, Mukono and Pallisa, which together accommodate over 2.0 million people. The existing Municipality of Jinja encompasses an area of approximately 28 km square (2,800 hectares), and is strategically located at the point where the River Nile flows out of Lake Victoria. The town serves a catchment area of about 3.0 million people. The increasing urbanization and development resulted in corresponding demand and pressure on the environment that led to deterioration in environmental conditions. The LA 21 MCP was initiated in 1995 to improve services to residents while protecting and improving the natural environment. This programme involved the active participation of community members and other stakeholders in problem identification, priority setting, analysis and activation processes. Partnership building was one of the main objectives of the programme and it began with the municipal management identifying and inviting interested groups and institutions in the Town. ICLEI, Canada played a major role in the initiation and execution of the programme. Project appraisal contributed to the planning process by assessing progress and putting in place corrective measures. ICLEI provided technical guidance and feedback on the activities such as community consultation, issue identification and priority setting.


Contact person: Mr. Joseph Bagonza-Birungi
Telephone: + 256 43 21056
Fax: + 256 43 30002

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Poverty Eradication and Living Environment Improvement in Zhulin, China

Zhulin is a town with a population of 10,000 inhabitants located in the mountainous region of Henan province. Before 1995, Zhulin was an obscure village situated in the eastern mountain area of Gongyi City, Henan province. Poverty was pervasive affecting to a larger extent the women of the village. 60% of the women were illiterate and none had received a college education while only 5% of the women had jobs outside their families. Everyone in the village perceived the urgent need to diversify the local economy in order to create alternative sources of income and to improve their livelihoods. A series of meetings and discussions were held involving expert consultants to look at the possibilities of diversifying the economy.

In 1983, 400 households were mobilized to pool their savings of about US$ 1000 to open a quarry to exploit the abundant supply of rock and minerals. The quarry was registered as a collective enterprise and per capita income increased about tenfold with fixed capital assets reaching US$ 500,000 within 4 years. With these earnings, the villagers established a refractory plant in 1985 to produce fireproofing materials. Profits from this plant were, in turn, invested in a cement factory that began operation in 1988. To keep in tune with the country's economic reforms, the villagers decided that it was necessary to attract outside capital to expand and help operate their businesses. In 1995, Zhulin became the province's key township with US$ 170 million of collective assets supported by 8 companies and 58 industrial and commercial enterprises.

In 1995, a village-wide consultation on the sustainable urbanization and development of Zhulin resulted in a strategy that saw an increase in the annual per capita output with daily per capita income increasing from US$ 600 in 1995 to US$ 1,200 by 2000. By 2000, Zhulin was able to pay the State US$ 10.5 million in taxes and other revenues, representing a radical departure from the situation prior to 1985 when the municipal budget was continuously in deficit and the village depended on government relief. This economic turn around has enabled Zhulin to bring about major improvements in infrastructure including capital investments of US$ 26 million in all weather roads totalling 23 km; the provision of public toilets; a waste collection and disposal facility with 100 percent coverage; and street lighting - all of which were totally absent in 1985. New housing construction totalling 360,000 square meters has increased per capita living space to a very comfortable 36 square meters, with 90 percent of the population being re-housed in new neighbourhoods and housing estates. At the same time, the town has achieved 100 percent coverage in piped water supply, electricity, telephone and cable television. Household ownership of computers has reached 83 percent. Urban greening provides 19m2 of green space per capita within the settlement itself as well as 200m2 per capita reforestation in the surrounding hills. 92 percent of the women in Zhulin aged over 40 are actively engaged in social and economic production.

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Action Programme for Sustainable Guangzhou, China

Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton), situated on the Pearl River, is a city of 7 million people, covering an area of 3,700 km2. It is the capital of Guangdong Province, one of the first cities to have benefited from the economic liberalization policies of the 1980s and is famous for its Trade Fair. As a staging point of the ancient Marine Silk Route, it is also a city with a history of 2,200 years. Since the mid-1980s, Guangzhou, has witnessed double-digit economic growth and a booming population, placing considerable strain on its infrastructure, environment and cultural heritage. By the mid 1990s traffic congestion became commonplace and the environment was rapidly deteriorating. Citizens, tourists and businesses were constantly complaining about the poor liveability of the city, which became a threat to the economic vitality of the city. All these problems arose from two decades of misplaced policies favouring economic development over quality of life.

In 1997, the Municipality initiated an Action Program for improving the living environment so as to maintain and enhance Guangzhou attractiveness both as a place to live and do business. In a major departure from past practice, the municipal government established partnerships with the provincial government and the private and community sectors to finance the plan. Build-Operate and Transfer was also adopted for the construction and management of expressways and bridges. The Transportation Project required the resettlement of more than 14,000 households, businesses and institutions, including many small and informal enterprises and 67 vulnerable families, especially single female-headed households. One-time compensation grants were provided either in cash or credited to new housing and/or facilities in five new locations. Preferential conditions and assistance were offered to the affected vulnerable group. Over 300,000 volunteers, including 3,456 women's organizations and thousands of youth groups participated in traffic management and environmental improvement. Millions of citizens take part in tree-planting month of March. Communities, enterprises and NGOs continue to raise funds to implement neighbourhood and district level projects. Key municipal projects were approved on the basis of consultations and popular voting.

The first phase of the program was successfully completed in 2001, and resulted in substantial improvements in traffic management, urban greening, sanitation, pollution control and the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage. The renovated downtown area took on a new look. Residents are enjoying a better quality of life and feel proud of their city, more so in light of the fact that they participated actively in both planning and implementation. The achievements of the Program were recognised in December of 2001 when Guangzhou received the National Award for improving the Living Environment, and the Award of Nations in Bloom 2001, an international award for liveable communities. The innovative aspects of Guanzhou's Strategic Plan and the method of implementation, have served as an example for other cities in China.

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Formulating UN-HABITAT's Integrated Guidelines and Framework for Eco-city, Korea

The initiative "Creating a 'Green City Hanam'" was conducted with a view to transform Hanam from a rural and unplanned city into a sustainable and environmentally sound self-sufficient city with a well-structured urban development and growth management. Since 1971, 98.4% of Hanam's total area has been designated as green belt zone and local residents have been complaining about the legal restrictions in most areas. Therefore, there was a need to transform Hanam into a sustainable and environmentally sound city. To this end, in addition to a guideline for sustainable city development, four strategies were formulated based on: green belt deregulation policy; Landscape Ecology; development axis of 2016 Hanam City Master Plan; and an expanded town concept.

Hanam generated a comprehensive and long-term framework to achieve this goal. The city sought the assistance of UN-HABITAT and UNEP to define the basic direction of an Eco-city and to introduce environmental technologies and international support programs. Four main considerations were used: (1) energy saving, (2) water circulation, (3) land use and transportation, and (4) biodiversity and urban space structure.

As a result of a partnership between UN-HABITAT/UNEP, UNDP, the Environment Promotion Foundation, SNU, Korean and foreign experts of various fields, citizens and NGOs, Hanam was able to realize most of its goals. Among them was the development of a local agenda 21 to realize an Eco-city plan and creation of a database based on an ecological survey conducted by experts. In leading the Eco-city plan to actual implementation, another unique feature has been the use of pilot projects. A trust was established for pilot projects to facilitate Eco-city development focusing on the development of Agenda 21 and investment. Having achieved more environmentally sound and globally sustainable development, Hanam then embarked on the Hanam Sustainable City Programme (SCP). Forging of partnerships proved that planning can only be effective through a local community base. The 'Hanam's Biodiversity Strategy' was presented at the 'Urban Environment Forum' in Cape Town, September 2000, and the city of Hanam won the '2001 Asia Green City Award' in Singapore, September 2001. This is an on-going project and its impact on other cities in Korea is noticeable and the Hanam initiative is being replicated as an Eco-city model all over Northeast Asia.

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Sustainable Urban District Freiburg-Vauban, Germany

The city of Freiburg bought the Urban District of Freiburg-Vauban, which had been used as an army base for over 50 years. The area occupies a 42-hectare site and is being developed for a population of 5,000 inhabitants by the year 2014.

"Forum Vauban", an NGO created in 1994, has become the official body for citizen participation in municipal affairs. The City of Freiburg formed a special committee to spearhead activities to transform the Freiburg-Vauban for use by the civilian population. Regular meetings took place between the Forum Vauban and members of the City Administration with special roundtable and workshop sessions where necessary. The process is guided by stipulations in the master plan including specifications on the height of the buildings, standards for low-energy use and consumption, the general structure of the development site and other regulations concerning rainwater infiltration and the greening of facades and roofs. To address social issues, city welfare institutions were established to provide services and support to specific target groups - children, youth, families and to enhance conflict resolution while supporting grassroots initiatives.

The current neighbourhood houses 1,200 citizens, 10% of whom are children below 10 years of age. All houses have been built to utilise improved low energy standards. Carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced by 60% through the use of insulation and efficient heat supply systems that utilise solar power and a co-generation plant. Traffic congestion has reduced with 35% of households agreeing to live without motorised units and the introduction of a car sharing system. Play grounds and public spaces have been reserved for green development. Building owners have come together to form an organisation that develops schemes that enable the low-income earners to become homeowners. An extremely high level of citizen participation characterizes the housing project, not only in planning but also in construction. The ecological housing scheme has made solid contributions to the European sustainable development debate on energy conservation, reduction in car use and the creation of a green living environment for children and community activities.

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Sustainable Urban Development in the City of Malmo, Sweden

The city of Malmo has a population of 259,579 with a large majority being foreign citizens. The Western Harbour of Malmo was a landfill with polluted soil and a former industrial estate belonging to the Kockums shipyard. The Augustenborg district built as a post-war model in the 1950s could not cater for the needs of the growing population and was faced with a myriad of social and economic problems. Building new and revitalizing old residential areas were identified as priority needs for the region.

The municipality of Malmo taking into account the Local Agenda 21 action plan, the Comprehensive Plan for Malmo 2000, the Environmental Programme and the Gender equality plan adopted by the City Council in 2001 embarked on two comprehensive housing projects in the Western Harbour of Malmo. A local housing company in partnership with the City of Malmo and the local community initiated the Ekostaden Augustenborg project. 1,800 dwelling units were rehabilitated with 95 of them being reconstructed for people with special needs. A pilot recycling project was established, and an electric car pool set up as a means of affordable shared transport. Green space is better maintained and local treatment of surface water run-offs has decreased the risk of flooded basements during heavy rain.

The Bo01 - City of Tomorrow was initiated to transform the Western Habour from a polluted wasteland to an ecologically leading edge example of sustainable urban development. The process started with large efforts made at cleaning the polluted soil. Infrastructure for traffic, energy, waste and water were established and 600 new dwellings constructed to accommodate the different needs of the elderly, students and families. The district is supplied with 100% locally produced renewable energy. The "Quality Programme for Bo01" guides the programme by outlining minimum level of quality required. As a result of these projects, the City of Malmo has noted a change in people's attitudes and behaviour with increased recycling of household waste and increased popularity of the bicycle as an alternative mode of transport. A wide range of innovative "green" products and services has resulted from the projects e.g. green roofs, low energy villas and renewable energy solutions.

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Liveable Region Strategic Plan (LRSP) for the Greater Vancouver Regional District, Canada

The Greater Vancouver Regional District had been experiencing population growth from 750,000 in 1980 to 2,030,000 in 2002 increasing pressure on greenspace, traffic congestion and resulting in declining air quality. There was a lack of vision and no co-ordination of development actions within the region.

The 21 member municipalities of the Greater Vancouver region brought various stakeholders together in a series of workshops to develop the Livable Region Strategic Plan (LRSP). At these fora, the protection of a regional network of greenspace held strong interest leading to the creation of a Green Zone as an effective urban containment area while protecting the region's ecology, health and agriculture. The LRSP was developed as Greater Vancouver's official regional growth strategy and is built around four main goals:

• Protect the green zone;

• Build complete communities;

• Achieve a compact metropolitan area and

• Increase transportation choice.

The LRSP provides the framework for making regional land use and transportation decisions in partnership with the GVRD's 21 member municipalities, the provincial government and other agencies guided by a shared vision. Urban centres were identified and have been successful in containing development efforts within a concentrated urban area while establishing diverse and more complete communities. The plan led to the establishment of a regionally controlled and operated transit authority (Greater Vancouver Regional Transit Authority) from the previous provincial entities. These initiatives have enhanced the region's social, economic and environmental health. Implementation of the plan is integrated into the budgets of the member municipalities through their official community plans.

As a result of this initiative, the protected green zone has increased by approximately 60,000 hectares since 1991. Air quality improvements have been significant as a result of reductions in emissions from industry and vehicles. A key contributing factor to the success has been the formulation of a shared vision that guides the development. The LSRP proves that this can lead to large scale impacts on the structure and characteristics of a region. It also shows that partnership between spheres of government and communities is achieving tangible results. What makes the Greater Vancouver Regional District stand out as compared to comparable practices is the scale of its coordinated effort. Vancouver demonstrates that sustainable development is a planning concept that benefits development and the environment.

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Sustainable development of the coastal zone of the Red Sea- Red Sea Information System (RSIS), Egypt

Tourism developments, oil industry, municipal and industry disposal practices endanger the Egyptian natural coasts. These activities had negative impacts on the ecosystems in the unique and fragile environment of the Egyptian coastal zone with the most notable one being damage to the coral reefs caused by the land filling process. The coast along the Red Sea is the most environmentally sensitive areas, and is characterized by diverse natural resources such as coral reefs, sandy beaches, turtles, mangroves, and many other wildlife species. It is considered an enormous potential for international and local tourism development, and represents a housing and employment opportunity for Egypt's growing population.

The Red Sea had been selected as a priority region to formulate a sustainable development plan for the coastal zone. For that purpose, the activities in Hurghada (South East of Cairo) had been studied to provide analysis of the whole coast. This was closely followed by development of an information system for the Mediterranean coast.

The main objective was to develop a sustainable environmental plan, through assessing, monitoring, and analyzing the impacts of the past and current anthropogenic activities on the coastal zone of the Red Sea, and to provide a decision support tool, for both the decision makers and planners, for future development. Through cooperation with the environmental planners, the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialists developed a Coastal Decision Support System, that is capable of evaluating, monitoring, analyzing, and simulating the impacts of the human activities and natural changes. It started with the study of the environmental sensitivity of the Red Sea through the Red Sea Information System (RSIS). An assessment of the residents' needs was carried out through meetings with the planners and managers of the initiative. The assessment was used to develop the RSIS. Performance was evaluated based on financial, technical, and operational criteria by assessing whether the benefits obtained from implementing the RSIS are worth the costs; and whether the RSIS 's goals can be achieved within the resource limits allocated to it.

The RSIS facilitated the development of a sustainable action plan with regard to new urban, tourism, and industrial developments on the coastal zone. The RSIS has played a key role in achieving environmental and economical sustainability; changes in the regional development policies and strategies; changes in the allocation of the financial resources; addressing the environmental conservation constraints; better co-ordination between the various investment and environmental organisations; and public participation in the decision making.

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Ciechanów - Sustainable Town, Poland

In 1975 the small town of Ciechanów (population - 24,000) became the capital of Ciechanowskie province in Poland. During the next 14 years Ciechanów population doubled as a result of rapid industrialisation and immigration of people from neighbouring villages. Living conditions in the town became very arduous, because of an economic crisis in Poland: there were no investments in infrastructure, services or social facilities.

The main goal of the project was to improve living conditions through comprehensive sustainable development of the town. Some of the detailed objectives were to improve drinking water quality, air quality, health provision, and promote sustainable land use management. To achieve these goals, the town built a new wastewater treatment plant (with a 15,000m3 capacity/day) achieving a 95% reduction in pollution levels. There was a reduction by a third in phosphates' concentration and while phosphorus levels went down by 50% in the ?ydynia river. A new 12 ha landfill site was built with a draining pipe and waste is currently separated on site.

The town demolished 48 local coal-fired boiler plants and built a central heating plant and installed energy saving distribution pipes. The company operating the heating plant has signed the Cleaner Production Declaration. All 5 new communal buildings are built using energy-saving technologies and old buildings are repaired in order to decrease heat losses (isolation of walls, roofs, new windows and doors) and equipped with facilities for the physically challenged. Social amenities have been set up including a new sports complex with a multi-purpose hall and indoor swimming-pool; a new primary school to cater for 900 children with full-sized sports hall, soccer field, other sports equipment and sports-specialised standards at the newly-built housing estate. Public participation especially women was registered in the decision making process of the "Ciechanów - Town Of Health" programme. Donor support has enabled affordable healthcare provision to all the city's residents.

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Fresh Water Management and Environmental Improvement in Taiyuan City

In the late 1970s, the Taiyuan City section of the course of the River Fen became heavily silted and polluted owing to rapid economic and industrial development becoming one of the most heavily polluted cities in the world in terms of air and water quality. The pollution of the urban stretch of the River Fen was seriously affecting the livelihoods and health of the inhabitants on both banks of the river and hampering the economic development of Taiyuan City.

In 1997, with the adoption of a national urban development and environmental protection policy, the Taiyuan Municipal Government decided to carry out feasibility studies focusing on pollution management, water storage and urban greening. In line with the principles of Agenda 21 and of the Habitat Agenda, the municipal government decided to involve the participation of citizens, experts and other stakeholders in the formulation of a plan of action. The overall plan for managing and remediating the River Fen was led by the Beijing Survey and Design Institute, under the aegis of the Ministry of Water Resources, while the contractors for the implementation of the projects were selected through open tender. In September 1999, the Municipal Government invited multi-disciplinary experts from national governments agencies, leading universities and research institutions, local authorities, enterprises and non-governmental organizations to hold consultations and discussions on the plan and the projects. In December 1999, the plan for the remediation and management of the River Fen was adopted in a referendum involving over 40,000 citizens. In April 2000, the Municipal Government called upon hundreds of people from all walks of life to participate in a public hearing on the implementation of the project. By September of the same year, a large multi-functional and ecological park was completed together with the environmental remediation of the urban stretch of the Fen River including de-silting, pollution, and flood control.

Owing to the extensive publicity and mobilization by the municipal government and the media, 16 large enterprises and some 700,000 members of the army and civilians participated in the clearing of 1.3 million square meters of the river course; the displacement of 4.3 million cubic meters of earth; the removal of 78,000 cubic meters of silt from the river course; and leveling of 226,000 square meters of channel beds. This voluntary contribution resulted in savings of US$3.44 million for the project between October 1997 and August 2000.

The project created jobs for over 30,000 people and turned the 6-kilometer long and 500-meter wide natural river course of the urban section of the River Fen into multiple river channels. The project created 1.3 million square meters of green space and a water surface covering 1.78 million square meters. Both embankments of the river have been turned into 6 garden zones, 4 squares, and 14 scenic spots with varying characteristics with a capacity for 130,000 tourists and sightseers. Wastewater is treated at a wastewater treatment plant located downstream. The purified water is transported through a pipeline to the water storage ponds to be used as the source of water supply for the scenic spots, irrigating gardens and to restore the natural flow of the river. The flood discharge capacity of the river course was increased to 3450 cubic meters/minute, adequate to deal with 100-year flood risk. Changes have been noted in the production cycle of the city's industries, with awareness created on environmental issues and civic engagement and participation being recognised as the basis for long term sustainable development for the city.

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Renovation of the Old City of Hebron, Palestine

Hebron, one of the oldest and most sacred cities in the world is located in the south of Palestine and has about 140,000 inhabitants. In addition to agriculture, local economy relies on handicraft, small and medium-scale industry and construction. Hebron is one of the best-preserved examples of medieval cities in the world, but was progressively abandoned and had been in a bad state after the Israeli occupation of the Old City in 1967. Various campaigns and the consequent tighter restrictions on the movement of the residents together with increasing economic problems forced most people out leaving those who were socially marginalized and could not afford to improve the existing housing facilities, urban infrastructure, prevent decay of cultural heritage and environmental degradation.

Since its inception the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) aimed at preserving the cultural heritage as a key element for keeping the collective identity of the people of Hebron; counteracting the Israeli political pressure by repopulating and revitalizing highly threatened, neglected and poverty-stricken areas in the old city; and encouraging community participation through the provision of adequate and affordable housing compatible with a cultural heritage conservation policy taking in to consideration the social, economic and cultural aspects of the residents. It has promoted legal initiatives in an attempt to halt further Israeli settlement constructions and demolition of Arab-owned houses. The rehabilitation programme promotes the use of labour-intensive methods as a means to create sustainable employment opportunities, provide specialized training on traditional methods of conservation and increase the level of income of the community. The HRC is working closely with several governmental bodies of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and many other governmental and non-governmental organizations. It has received political and financial support by many Arab and international donors and organizations.

The HRC has succeeded in rehabilitating historical buildings and urban infrastructure in accordance with international renovation standards while converting these buildings into residential affordable apartments. More than 526 apartments have been renovated and eventually inhabited. Some of the commercial markets, streets and underground infrastructure have been renovated. The Committee has installed iron doors and windows for approximately 279 houses. Health care facilities have been provided for the community. The Committee was able to change people’s perceptions about Hebron from a bad, unsecured environment into a pleasant place to live in. Several new residents have moved into the old city since 1997.

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The Pride of Place Program, Australia

Australia has a Federal system of government. State Government is the middle level of 3 tiers of Government: Federal, State and Local. Victoria is the smallest and most densely populated state in Australia with a population of 5 million. Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and is dominated by the Yarra river.

The Pride of Place Program was initiated to spread the benefits of good strategic planning and urban design to the whole of Victoria, in response to the visible decline of many suburban, regional and rural centres, and inspired by the successful urban revitalisation of central Melbourne.

The Program is a partnership between State and Local Government. Local Government Agencies apply for co-funding for projects given priority by their communities. The State gives priority to projects in areas of perceived need of assistance, such as towns affected by natural disasters. The Department of Sustainability and Environment (the Department) manages the program.

Grants encourage Councils, working with their communities and urban design professionals, to develop visions and strategies for lively, economically sustainable, attractive and safe local centres. Councils are assisted to manage change, such as development pressures or industry decline, by reinforcing the attractiveness, unique character and cultural heritage of local centres.

After funding for a new Program is confirmed an information brochure, which clarifies objectives and selection criteria, is produced and distributed to eligible applicants, accompanied by a letter from the Minister for Planning inviting applications. Applications include the amount of their proposed contributions and amount of funds requested. The value of grants requested ranges from $5,000 to $300,000.

Presentations by Regional Offices and subsequent reviews by the Panel take 3-4 days. The Panel considers the relative merit of all applications, based on published selection criteria, and submits recommendations to the Minister for Planning for approval.

Applicants are notified of the result of their application. Successful applicants receive a Letter of Offer, and Terms and Conditions of the grant including a Schedule and Performance Milestones agreement. The applicant together with the Regional Office must complete these. The contractual stage is important, to reduce the risk to the State of Councils defaulting on agreements after receiving funding.

Projects have generated high levels of community support and pride through consultative and inclusive design processes. The Program fosters goodwill between the State Government, Councils and local communities. The projects also promote sustainable development, through

the development of long-term strategies to manage global and local changes. The development of attractive towns and cities helps to retain and increase resident populations, and to attract more visitors.

Many projects in rural and regional locations have provided or strengthened existing recreation and tourist attractions, protecting the delicate balance between natural flora and fauna, and the intrusion of people through limiting access to protected areas, creating elevated boardwalks, and enhancing environmental awareness with signage at key points.

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Operation of Ocean-ecology and Renewable Energy, Republic of Korea

Incheon city is a coastal city located in North-East Asia. With population of 2.6 million, it is famous of being the industrial city, which led economic growth of Korea in 1960s and 1970s through its harbor. Korea’s has a population of 47.7 million (UN, 2003), with a GNI per capita of US $9,930 (World Bank, 2002). The city is famous for its wetlands and for a long time, it was a salt production area until decreasing economic efficiency caused it to halt production. Recently the city got a fresh breath of life with the opening of Incheon International Airport.

In 1990, Sungdam Co, the company that owned more than 3,700,000 acres of wetland around Sorae port, decided to turn the land into a golf course. The municipality of Incheon proposed to use the land as part of an ocean-ecology park and the rest of it, for economic development. This led to protests from various Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs) who wanted the land preserved.

A citizen group comprised of NGOs, municipality, and businesses working with natural energy formed a partnership with five priorities, to prevent indiscreet development of the salt farm by turning it into a golf course, to preserve it as a place to experience ecological wetland and increase citizen familiarity with water, to constitute a place of education related to environment, to earmark the area for environmental preservation closed from city development and lastly to establish a sustainable development strategy to hand over younger generations.

One of the major achievements of this cooperation has been the creation of a wetland park accessible to all Incheon citizens. More than 20,000 students and housewives a year visit the part and get to experience the importance of conservation and use of natural energy firsthand. Every year over 100,000 citizens enjoy leisurely walks and bike rides in the park. The park has also become a popular movie and wedding location.

One of the greatest lessons learnt from the experience was building of partnerships. The committee of Local Agenda 21 for Incheon consisted of citizens, businesses, and municipality. To be able to come to effective solutions, communication and compromise is key as opposed to antagonism.

Though partnership and sustainability, the citizens of Incheon city are able to enjoy the benefits of a recreation park and to learn the importance of conservation.

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The Alba-Ter Consortium: a commitment to territorial cohesion, economic development and sustainability basin of the River Ter from the local initiative, Spain

The population of Spain stands at 42.7 million (official figure, 2003), with a GNI per capita of US $14,580 (World Bank, 2002). The River Ter basin (located north-east of Catalonia) used to be the economic motor of the region. Today, the problems that affect this territory are multitudinous and assorted, environmental degradation, water outflow, loss of biodiversity, destruction of the river basin and its cultural heritage, lack of territorial unity and a lack of a common policy framework linked to the river. What stands out about this river is the total lack of territorial cohesion.

It is against this background that, at the end of the 90s, a local initiative led by seven riverside town councils, promoted the creation of an organisation to advocate for territorial cohesion, economical development and the sustainability of the river basin. Alba-Ter/Ave Project received funding from the TERRA Programme of the European Union in 1997 and work began to set up an organisation capable of managing this ambitious project as well as to mobilise economic resources in order to develop and implement it.

The Alba-Ter/Ave Project elaborated an Integral Development Plan for the River Ter. Once the project was finished in May of 2001, the Alba-Ter Consortium began working as the organisation in charge of executing and implementing the strategies that arose from such an ambitious project. At present, this organisation represents 90.6% of the riverside population and 55.3% of the total river basin population.

Among the activities achieved so far are the formulation and implementation of integral and global spatial development strategies oriented toward territorial cohesion of the river basin, valorising the natural and cultural heritage of the territory both as an asset to be preserved and as part of the territory’s identity, promoting the equality of opportunities of all the member municipalities, in spite of their dimensions, difference economical, technical and human resources, the introduction of information and communications technologies to promote access by all the territorial bodies, associations and the citizens to technical information related to the consortium, and to establish a forum for debate on the river space, including web page, interactive cartographic service based on the GIS. P

Some of the public institutions, which provide financial support to the consortium, participate directly in the entity’s management, thereby assuring the efficient and rational use of funds. Private funds also exist for specific projects and finally, the consortium has also its own income. In the future, the possibility has been presented of obtaining income through the under-ministry of information and from the management of projects.

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Integrated Management of Water Resources in The Paraiba Do Sul River Basin, Brazil.

The Southeast Coastal Hydrographic Region of Brazil has an area of 231,216 km2, accounting for 3% of the country's total area mass and has a mean river discharge rate of 4,024 m3/s (3% of the country's total). Its main rivers are the Paraíba do Sul and Doce rivers, run for 1,150 and 853 km respectively. The Paraíba do Sul basin alone produces an impressive 10% of national GDP. This hydrographic region also presents, significant economic differences, with the GDP per capita ranging from R$ 5,239 in Minas Gerais to R$ 9,210 in São Paulo. The national GDP per capita is R$5,740.

The Paraíba do Sul river crosses three of the most important and developed states of Brazil: Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It is the main water supply for more than 11 million people in Rio de Janeiro City, and it is also used extensively as a waste disposal system by industrial facilities in all three states. The river basin has a total population of 7,600,000 (IBGE/2000 Census). The integrated water management initiative is a model of sustainable management for this important river basin to guarantee water for future use.

The establishment of a committee (CEIVAP) comprising 60 members from Central government, 9 state governments, local authorities, research institutes, industries and water users is a complex and effective model of partnership. The objectives were to implement a pioneering and fully operational management system and establish a set of instruments in compliance with the Brazilian National Water Resources Policy and the respective Federal Act 9433/97. CEIVAP thus obtained resources for structural interventions in environmental remediation and improvement of water availability in a river basin. The committees also introduced billing for water use covering large portions of three key States: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Minas Gerais, with 180 municipalities all characterized by extreme economic, social, and political heterogeneity. The discussions and approval of water billing rates took into account users’ economic interests and involved various sectors and participation at various levels in the Committee

The initiative has been successful in implementing structural interventions in the water supply, sewage treatment, waste collection, drainage, and slope stabilization in order to arrest and reverse environmental degradation and ensure the availability of water resources. This type of management system involves participation by society as a whole in the preservation and use of rivers (some 127,000 liters of water per second are drawn from this river basin every day, used for household, industrial, and irrigation purposes), including a sustainable water supply for 14.4 million inhabitants, 80% of whom are in Greater Metropolitan Rio de Janeiro. A Programme for Participatory Mobilization was established to ensure decentralized and participatory management. The sensitization campaign was realized through the Waterway Environmental Education Programme.

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