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URBAN ENVIRONMENT | sustainability and ecological footprints

Supporting sustainable cities and the notion of ecological footprint: this cluster includes new policy and programme initiatives in global-local linkages, economic- environmental trade-offs, priorities and strategies for ecological conservation, responsibilising the use of resources and minimising unsustainable consumption.

quick links

local level city level
  international level websites

local level

Budhya, Gururaja & Solomon Benjamin (2000) -"The politics of sustainable cities: the case of Bengare, Mangalore in coastal India"- Environment & Urbanization, Vol 12 No 2, October 2000 - IIED [pdf]

This paper describes a local-national conflict over a powergeneration
scheme in Mangalore (India) in order to highlight two important issues. The first is that the planning of large projects by national and state governments in India often bypasses local government and, as such, avoids accountability to local populations. The second is that the politics of sustainable cities is in the institutional domain; in this instance, the conflict was between what was perceived locally
as being sustainable as opposed to external interests that sought to exploit resources in response to larger markets. The paper describes the political organizations in a fishing settlement (Bengare) that falls within the boundaries of the city of Mangalore and how they worked with elected city corporation representatives to halt a scheme for barge-mounted power generation. It also describes how the city government of Mangalore has become more committed to participation.

Hernández, Orlando; Barbara Rawlins & Reva Schwartz (1999) - "Voluntary recycling in Quito: factors associated with participation in a pilot programme" - Environment & Urbanization, Vol 11 No 2, October 1999 - IIED [pdf]

Ecuador - This paper describes a pilot recycling programme in Quito and the factors associated with residents’ participation in separating their wastes. This municipal programme extended garbage collection to previously unserved neighbourhoods through micro-enterprises formed by residents which provided separate collection services (on different days) for organic (compostable), recyclable and non-recyclable wastes, and delivered these to municipal depots. The revenues from the sale of recyclables went to funds to support neighbourhood improvements.

Hobson, Jane (2000) -"Sustainable sanitation: experiences in Pune with a municipal-NGO-community partnership", Environment & Urbanization, Vol 12 No 2, October 2000 - IIED [pdf]

India - This paper describes a communal toilet construction programme in the city of Pune (India) undertaken through a partnership between the municipal corporation and eight NGOs. It focuses on the 13 toilet blocks that are the responsibility of one of these NGOs, Shelter Associates, and includes details of how they have been working with local residents with regard to design, construction, provision for maintenance and incorporation of space for community activities. It highlights the positive aspects, especially the municipal corporation’s willingness to try a new approach, while also describing the difficulties that NGOs face in having to meet official implementation schedules and cope with bureaucratic delays while delivering for, and remaining accountable to, low-income groups.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Neighborhood Participation in the District of Santiago de Surco - [pdf]

Peru - The rehabilitation of our environment is not only a responsibility of developed countries but also our own. The financial crisis in Surco has made us look for ways of maximizing the use of our resources. In a quest to do so, we have sought to sensitize the inhabitants of Surco on the importance of environment conservation. People have come up with various ideas on how best to achieve this end. These ideas have been incorporated into the district environmental management programme. This has in turn created a close link between the municipality and the Surco community.

city level

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Ciechanow, Sustainable Town [pdf]

Poland - Development of the town of Ciechanow is a very unique case in the worldwide scale. The main goal of the project was the improvement of living conditions by means of comprehensive sustainable development of the town. We defined a sustainable town as a town having well developed economic and social sector, unpolluted environment, a town taking care of both health and intellectual, inward development of its inhabitants and visitors. Our detailed objectives were: improvement of drinking water quality, Lydynia river water and ground water quality, air quality, land surface protection, improvement of health, physical culture and intellectual, inward development of people, improvement of likeness of the town and ecological education especially in the field of EU compliance.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Activities that Promote Conservation Policies and Protect the Environment, Panama [pdf]

Panama - ANCON was created to protect and conserve the natural resources of the Republic of Panama. This organization is a private non-profit association that includes among its personnel biologists, zoologists, ecologists, geographers, botanicals, forestry engineers, data and general management professionals who dedicate their intellectual efforts, capacities and skills in accomplishing the association's objectives. To ensure this commitment, ANCON has promoted the creation of policies and programs oriented to environmental protection and community education.

international level

Bartone, Carl (2001) - Urban Environmental Priorities. Environment Strategy Background Paper - World Bank [pdf]

The World Bank Group has embarked on a comprehensive effort to develop a corporate environment strategy. The initial phase of the preparation of the environment strategy has mobilised a large number of World Bank Group staff who work in various Regions and a wide range of sectors. This phase included the preparation of thematic background papers to describe emerging issues for discussion. This report is one of those background papers. It is intended as a vehicle to help a stocktaking process and stimulate a dialogue within the World Bank Group, as well as with its client countries, partners, and other interested stakeholders.

Bretton Woods Project (2003) - Managing Sustainability World Bank-Style, An Evaluation of the World Development Report 2003 - Bretton Woods Project / Heinrich Böll Foundation [pdf]

The World Bank’s annual World Development Report (WDR) is the Bank’s flagship publication. This year’s WDR 2003 entitled Dynamic Development in a Sustainable World – Given the importance of the World Bank as both major global development agency and major development financier, the Bank’s most “up-to-date” thinking about an ecologically, socially and economically- balanced development deserves scrutiny, attention and critical vigilance by an engaged civil society.

Centro de Estudios para la Sustentabilidad (1997) - Ecological Footprint of Nations How Much Nature Do They Use? How Much Nature do They Have? [pdf]

This "Footprints of Nations" report compares the ecological impact of 52 large nations, inhabited by 80 percent of the world population. It also shows to what extent their consumption can be supported by their local ecological capacity. One key finding is that today, humanity as a whole uses over one third more resources and eco-services than what nature can regenerate. In 1992, this ecological deficit was only one quarter. After introducing the rationale and assessment method for this study, the report explains how such biophysical analyses can help build a sustainable future.

Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) (2003) - Power to the People-Sustainable energy solutions for the world’s poor [pdf]

Two billion people have no access to electricity and up to three
billion depend on bio-mass (wood, charcoal and dung) to meet their
household energy needs. Energy services have a critical role in
achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The UN
Commission on Sustainable Development has called access to
sustainable energy a “prerequisite” for halving poverty by 2015.


World Development Report 2003 - World Bank

The Report is about improving well-being and protecting what people value and want to pass on to their children.
Its messages, in brief, are these: For people to thrive, assets must thrive. A broad portfolio of assets -- physical, financial, human, social, and environmental -- needs to be managed responsibly if development is to be sustainable -- because of thresholds and complementarities assets.

Chapter 6

Chapter 8

Whole publication (www)


Documents highlighting DFID's published work in support of sustainability and sustainable ecological footprints of urban areas and activities.

"Watershed management in Nueva Vizcaya" - Allen, Adriana; Nicholas You (2002) – Sustainable Urbanisation: Bridging the Green and Brown Agendas – DPU [pdf]

Philippines - Watershed management requires the protection of natural ecosystems and management of land uses.
However, where watersheds are located in areas such as peri-urban zones, population pressure, poverty, and lack of legal title to land can often mean that local populations are forced to rely on livelihood activities
which damage watersheds. One example of how such a situation has been addressed is the case of Barobbob Watershed in the Philippines.

An Integrated Hotel Waste Management System in Bali - Ibid. [pdf]

Indonesia - In partnership with hotels and waste haulers Wisnu Foundation, a local NGO, initiated a programme to use waste as a resource in order to contribute to more sustainable tourism development.

"Catching Rain in the Drain" - Ibid.[pdf]

India - Chennai has been facing water shortages for decades, heightened in the
wake of droughts experienced in the last few years. The shortfall in public
water supply is met by private wells in individual houses - but this unplanned
over-exploitation of groundwater sources has resulted in depletion
of the water table, causing well failures and seawater intrusion. Rainwater, however, is abundant.

"Large-Scale utilisation of Solar Energy" - Ibid. [pdf]

Cyprus - The island of Cyprus, in the eastern
Mediterranean, has a population of 663,300 inhabitants. Cyprus does not have any indigenous fossil fuel resources and is almost totally dependent on
imported energy products, mainly crude oil and refined products. With the island's dry Mediterranean climate and abundant sunlight, solar energy is one of the few locally available sources of energy. For this reason, Cyprus has invested in a policy of future energy use centred on renewable energy sources, and solar energy in particular.

Paudel, Shyam K & Paul Follet (2003) - Proceedings of Bamboo housing workshop March 2003 , Kumasi Ghana - INBAR / BARADEP [pdf]

Ghana - Bamboo has a long history as a building material in manyparts of the world. It is light, strong and easy to grow. In spite of these advantages, it is widely perceived as a temporary, poor man’s material. However, with careful specification and design, safe, secure and durable bamboo shelter is achievable at a price that is
within reach of even the poorest communities in developing countries. Even when issues of durability and strength are resolved, the question of acceptability remains. A bamboo building need not look ‘low-cost’ – imaginative design and the use of other locally available materials within the cultural context can make the building desirable rather than just acceptable.

Affordable housing using Bamboo and Bamboo Composites (2001) - IPIRTI / TRADA & DFID [pdf]

India - A one-day Seminar on “Affordable housing using Bamboo and Bamboo Composites” was jointly organized by IPIRTI, Bangalore & TRADA Technology, U.K., at
IPIRTI, Bangalore on 20th March 2001. The collaborative work of IPIRTI and TRADA
Technology Ltd., U.K. under DFID funded KaR Project “Bamboo Shelter demonstration
of best construction practices” was highlighted. A demonstration house using
bamboo, Bamboo Mat Board (BMB) and Bamboo Mat Corrugated Sheets (BMCS)
in combination with other building materials constructed in IPIRTI premises was on

"Renewable Energy in Remote Settlements of Inner Mongolia" - Wakely, Patrick; Nicholas You (2001) – Implementing the Habitat Agenda: In Search of Urban Sustainability - DPU [pdf]

Mongolia - The high cost of central electricity supply in
remote settlements is often a barrier to providing these areas with energy. Solar PV
and wind power systems are viable solutions for providing clean, renewable and reliable electricity to remote areas. GTZ's
experience with renewable energy systems in Inner Mongolia demonstrates their extensive economic and social benefits.

Appleton, J.; Ali, M. & Cotton, A. (2000) - Success and Sustainability indicators - A tool to assess primary collection schemes - DFID / WEDC [Intro] [Part A] [Part B]

A list of success and sustainability indicators for primary solid waste collection systems was prepared by the project team as part of the DFID Knowledge and Research (KaR) research project, Capacity Building for Primary Collection of Solid Waste (R 7143). The indicators were prepared to help field workers undertake impact assessments of primary solid waste collection schemes. This booklet presents the indicators, how they may be used and the results of the field tests.

2003 Development Planning Unit | Sikandar Hasan | Anna Soave | Khanh Tran-Thanh || Tina Simon