Assessing Good Urban Policies and Legislation to Enable Creative, Resilient, and Sustainable Cities and Communities
Share Your Knowledge: How Have Urban Policies and Legislation Been Put into Practice and Made an Impact?
Description of the Template and Instructions for Use
1. Purpose of the Template
An important goal of the WUC is to enable cities and their communities to achieve sustainable urbanization. The creation of enabling space within policies and legislation is fundamental for this. It is important to look beyond the mere text and assess also how policies and legislation are being put into practice, as they can also become a hindrance for people and industry if the processes involved become complex, lengthy, costly, or are fraught with corruption. Policies and legislation that are identified as contributing positively to improving the livelihoods and living conditions for all citizens in accordance with the seven principles of the Campaign can become the tools that enable other urban authorities and communities to become more creative, resilient, and sustainable.
Another goal of the World Urban Campaign (WUC) is to measure how successful it is in promoting creative, resilient and sustainable cities and communities. In order to do so, it needs to establish benchmarks, monitor progress, and share knowledge worldwide. Policies and legislation have an important role to play in achieving the goals of the Campaign; this template is a way of assessing their impact, hence their contribution to the Campaign
2. The Basis for Assessment
This template assesses how policies and legislation impact on the seven principles of the WUC, as established by partners at its second Steering Committee in Paris, 2009 (the 'Paris Principles') as follows:
Sustainable urbanization is understood by all partners as a process which promotes an integrated, gender-sensitive and pro-poor approach to the social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainability. This integrated approach further requires that investments be made in new forms of technology and inclusive governance. More specifically, the principles of sustainable urbanization involve:
I. Accessible and pro-poor land, infrastructure, services, mobility and housing;
II. Socially inclusive, gender sensitive, healthy and safe development;
III. Environmentally sound and carbon-efficient built environment;
IV. Participatory planning and decision making processes;
V. Vibrant and competitive local economies promoting decent work and livelihoods
VI. Assurance of non-discrimination and equitable rights to the city; and
VII. Empowering cities and communities to plan for and effectively manage adversity and change.
3. Proposed Methodology for Selecting Cases
The identification and assessment of urban policies and enabling legislation will have a twin track approach:
Track A will start at the project or programme level as the initial unit of analysis and, through unpacking the processes involved, will seek to identify the important institutional framework, particularly those policy and legislation components, examining how they have been put into practice and have made a positive contribution to the success of the projects or programmes.
Track B will take the policy and legislation level at its initial unit of analysis. It will then go on to assess the impact on all citizens through the identification of projects that have aimed to put such policies or legislation into practice.
An important area to explore under both tracks is that legislation on its own cannot address barriers for change. There must be a clear understanding of the broader institutional resource and capacity requirements for putting them into practice and to facilitate transformation at the local level. This includes leadership and governance issues as well as an understanding of market and societal drivers and barriers which are often as, if nor more, important than legislation.
The 100 Cities Initiative of the WUC can be used as an entry point for choosing cases to be analyzed under both tracks. Others could be found through cities that have joined UN-ISDR's Resilient Cities Campaign, or through partners.
It is proposed that the methodology is piloted in assessing four laws or policies in four different cities.
4. Instructions for using the template
The simplified template comprises twenty one (21) open questions – three under each of the WUC principles. The aim is to enable an overall understanding of the impact of the proposed initiative, policy, or legislation for addressing each of the outlined principles.
The respondents/ nominators need to take account of the following points:
- Complete all four boxes as far as possible. In box one, provide your details. In box two, provide details of the proposed initiative, policy, or legislation. In box three, show how the proposed initiative, policy, or legislation addresses the main WUC principles. In box four, provide a summary of lessons learnt and transferable knowledge from the exercise that can be applied to other situations.
- In addressing the WUC principles, provide a written response of about 500 characters (without spaces) to each question under each of the principles that are relevant to the initiative, policy, or legislation under consideration. Otherwise please provide as much detail as you can.
- In your response, provide detail as to why the point is or is not relevant, either in the form of evidence and/ or citing the section of the policy/ legislation that speaks to the point. This should include some indication of the ease of implementation and the required capacity (institutional, infrastructural, leadership, human, technical, and financial) for successful implementation.
- It may be that the initiative, policy, or legislation under consideration only addresses some of the principles and not others. In such cases, it is not necessary to respond in the same detail to the other noted principles. However, where possible, provide some indication of the implications of the initiative, policy, or legislation for the other principles according to the questions posed. Otherwise, please indicate as not being applicable.
- It is recommended that this simplified template be used for the initial response. However, where respondents/ nominators wish to provide additional information in respect of any of the principles, it is suggested that you consult the more detailed template and address the relevant questions posed. Alternatively, you can provide additional information according to a different set of questions that you may think are relevant but have not been posed in either of the templates.
- It is expected that the respondents/ nominators will have sufficient knowledge of the impact of the initiative, policy, or legislation under their consideration. As such, it is not expected that the respondents/ nominators undertake new research or exhaustive analysis to utilize either the simplified or detailed templates. The templates should, therefore, be easy to use and completed in a relatively short time depending on which ones are used and how many questions are answered. Nevertheless, your feedback on the time taken to complete either of the templates that have been used would be appreciated.
- If you feel that a question is inadequate or irrelevant, please amend the question as appropriate, or indicate that it is not relevant.
- If possible, please attach copies of the main documents on the initiative, policy, or legislation and/or provide access details.
- If nominating an initiative or project, please clarify the relationship with existing or new policies and/or laws in your responses. How has the nominated initiative or project impacted changing, existing, and/or developing new policies and laws? How do existing laws and policies either hinder or stimulate the initiative or project?
- Please provide any other feedback that you think is relevant.