Ten Principles for Sustainable City Governance

Scandinavian think tank Monday Morning interviews 50 global experts to develop a series of principles for creating a sustainable city.

Read Time: 3 minutes

October 9, 2007, 9:00 AM PDT

By Chris Steins @urbaninsight


The principles were presented September 25, 2007 in Copenhagen at the IFHP-World Congress with the participation of more than 600 city planners, mayors, scientists and public officials from all around the world.

"Global climate change confronts our cities with massive challenges that radically question the way we have planned, governed and used our cities so far. Our cities have become the main driving force in the global economy. Yet the creation of wealth has its price. Almost 80% of all CO2 emissions are generated from urban activities, which make cities the biggest contributors to global warming.

To secure our urban future, we need quick action. Thus, we have asked 50 of the world's most important urban experts to tell us what it is will take to create sustainable cities. Representing all parts of the world and from a wide range of disciplines, they all agree to that to make cities sustainable we need a radical change of mindset, new strategies, and – finally, but crucially – new governance models to support development and foster a new generation of urban leadership."

The 10 principles include:

1. Rediscover the City
2. Redefine City Value
3. Involve Everyday Experts
4. Break Down Silos
5. Redistribute Urban Decision-Making
6. De-Design Urban Planning
7. Promote Corporate Responsibility
8. Go Global
9. Embrace Chaos, Crisis and Change
10. Encourage Passion in Urban Leadership

From the conclusion of the report:

"Over half the world's population – more that 3 billion people – now live in urban environments, making our cities the key to a sustainable future. This demands new approaches to how we understand, plan, build and use our cities, so that we can give city users better access to a sustainable lifestyle.

Our cities are the key to a sustainable future. For this reason, the Danish foundation Realdania have asked the Scandinavian think tank Monday Morning to create the Copenhagen Agenda for Sustainable Cities initiativeable, we need a radical change of mindset, new planning strategies and new me.thods of governance to support development and foster a new generation of urban leadership

To learn more about what this involves, we have asked 50 of the world's most influential urban experts to share their thoughts about the key challenges facing urban leaders and to suggest a way forward

Copenhagen Agenda for Sustainable Cities was established to lay down an agenda for creating the sustainable city. To do this, the initiators will continue to work together with rele-
vant national and international stakeholders to ensure that the 10 principles are put into action. Physical projects, exhibitions and initiatives that aim to gather and distribute international best practice are among the activities included in this effort.

The results will be presented ahead of the UN Climate Summit to take place in Copenhagen in 2009."

Thanks to Ida Strand

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 in Monday Morning / Danish Ministry of the Environment

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