Urban Planning, Management and Governance in Emerging Economies


Prof. Meine Pieter van Dijk, Senior Project Consultant at MSM, recently published a book titled “Urban Planning, Management and Governance in Emerging Economies” together with Jan Fransen, and Jurian Edelenbos. This book explores how urban professionals plan, manage and govern cities in emerging economies and highlights how the paradigms of interventions and approaches to urban management are shifting, indicating that urban governance is becoming increasingly important in dealing with wicked issues, like climate change and social and economic inequalities in cities. It is a sequel to Van Dijk’s book Managing cities in developing countries (2006) published by the same publishing house: Edward Elgar.

The book looks at urban planning, management and governance from multiple theoretical angles with a main purpose of identifying and understanding urban paradigms in emerging economies. Within this book that is helpful for urban leaders, strategists and advocates working in emerging economies, Prof van Dijk wrote three chapters and co-authored the first chapter with the other editors.

Chapter 2: Urban management in practice, issues at stake and overview of the book
This chapter looks at new approaches and activities that are linked to the rapidly changing urban management and governance due to new societal problems. Networking is of increasing importance. The emphasis is currently on innovation to achieve the full potential of cities. It is all about smart and creative cities, about experimenting, about managing flows and paying attention to resources, such as the capacities of the local governance structures and local entrepreneurs.

Chapter 6: How sustainable, green and smart eco-cities deal with water issues
This chapter compares sustainable, green and smart eco-cities approaches as well as different interventions. The approaches use similar interventions. Technical solutions range from water infiltration and rainwater harvesting systems to introducing the separation of grey and brown water. The chapter describes the relative importance of the concepts and the interventions at different levels of government and at the household level, using modern technological options and urban governance structures. The chapter argues in favor of integrated approaches to urban water issues. Successful interventions require appropriate technological solutions, governance structures and financial system to assure the operation and maintenance cost can be paid, preferably through a cost recovery mechanism.

Chapter 9: Financing urban infrastructure and services in Africa (with Aloys Bongwa from HIS of EUR)
African cities suffer from major urban infrastructure, services and investment gaps. Infrastructural projects in Africa face problems, frequently because these projects are complex. Various innovative financial mechanisms are available but rarely applied and unlikely to replace traditional methods of infrastructure financing. To help address the challenges of infrastructure financing, local governments are combining traditional and alternative approaches. However, Africa’s legal, institutional, and governance framework constrain the attraction of private capital for infrastructure. Governance networks are needed to decide on infrastructure projects and to attract infrastructure finance from multiple sources. Infrastructure delivery and maintenance subsequently require robust networks across levels of governments and other actors. Governance models allow for more flexibility and should be set within a clear institutional framework in order to reduce opportunistic behavior (such as corruption) and poor quality of the infrastructure and services delivered.

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