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THEMATIC COMMITTEE

Thematic Committee
7 June 2001
9h - 13h

Environmental Management

The following presentation were made:

Tanzania: Environmental planning and management in Dar es Salaam
(Presented by Mr. Tumsifu NNKYA)
(full case study is available in Msword and PDF)

The presentation highlighted the conflicts arising from the interaction between development and natural resources as well as the problems of a city where 70 percent of the population live in unplanned settlements. The city has addressed these and other problems through a bottom up participatory process involving diverse stakeholders. Specific activities include participatory environmental planning as well as upgrading of some neighbourhoods. This programme has been scaled up to cover all the major towns of the country. The following issues emerged from questions and comments: the programme has extensively and successfully employed the principles of partnership, participation, inclusiveness and gender equity. It has combined waste management, and upgrading with poverty reduction through use of community contracts. During upgrading, relocation has been avoided by compromising on infrastructure standards -- this may have to be revisited in the future. Property values have gone up but majority of residents are owners so nobody has been pushed out. Urban agriculture has been recognized as a legitimate land use and is now reflected in urban policy.

The high level of decentralization in Tanzania and the governance climate made it easy to mobilize the community for this project.

Sweden: Developing a sustainable compact city in Stockholm
(Presented by Mr. Mats Pemer)
(full case study is available in Msword and PDF)

Stockholm is a "city of blue and green" (water and green areas). The city has accommodated growth while avoiding urban sprawl by land re-development of certain old areas, and creative development of mixed residential-commercial neighbourhoods. Discussion on the case study raised the following issues: The city was commended for the combination of housing with job creation, and also for the discipline in keeping to the concept of a compact city. Questions raised covered: how long the city can continue to "expand inwards"? The answer is approximately the next thirty years. Is the city addressing through law and taxation, the increase in land values caused by compacting the city? 70 percent of the land is government owned but on lease to private companies. Inward expansion tends to push out the very low income groups, how has the city addressed this potential problem? This is always a danger and a difficult problem to address.

China: Comprehensive urban environmental renovation in Chengdu
(Presented by Mr. Shaoxiong Wang)
(full case study is available in Msword and PDF)

The Fu and Nan rivers flow through the historic city of Chengdu. Accelerated urbanization and rapid industrialization had caused severe pollution of the two rivers. Other problems were alternate drying up or flooding with severe consequences to the city. Environmental rehabilitation was triggered by a letter from the students of a primary school on the banks of the Nan river, asking the mayor to rescue the rivers. The programme involved cleaning up the rivers and resettling residents off the rivers' banks. Issues raised from questions and discussion included: The process of mobilizing funding from multiple stakeholders including community organizations, social bodies, private sector, central and local government, including companies from the relevant sectors - water, electricity, transport ... as well central government incentives for private sector to invest in the project; and cross-regional collaboration along the rivers' course. Relocation was acceptable to all affected families because they were moving to bigger and better spaces and there was an attempt to keep neighbourhoods together in the resettlement area. Long-term sustainability issues raised included future disaster mitigation; and systems for monitoring environmental conditions in Chengdu (and in cities in general, especially cities in extreme climates).

Poland: Environmental management and city development strategy for Katowice Agglomeration
(Presented by Mr. Piotr Uszok and Ms. Justine Gorgon)
(full case study is available in Msword and PDF)

Katowice, a highly industrialized region has, suffered from years of heedless mining resulting in environmental degradation. The project involves rehabilitation and re-use of post-industrial areas, municipal waste and sewage management and revitalization of the urban environment. Key issues emerging from questions and discussion included: how to establish functioning urban environment indicators and to apply them in monitoring and modifying the urban environment; the problems and potentials of inter-municipal collaboration in large agglomerations; the role of women in the programme and initiatives taken to address women's employment in a area that traditionally had jobs for men. Also highlighted was the useful role of the United Nations in facilitating exchange of experiences on environmental management with other cities.

 

2001 UNCHS