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10 Principles for Sustainable City Governance - have a look

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  • Eric Britton
    Dear Kyoto World Cities and New Mobility colleagues , I guess there are thousands of earnest sustainability manifestos and swear sheets out there twisting
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 11, 2007

      Dear Kyoto World Cities and New Mobility colleagues ,


      I guess there are thousands of earnest sustainability manifestos and swear sheets out there twisting slowly slowly in the wind, but here is one – the just-out Copenhagen Agenda for Sustainable Cities – that I suggest you might usefully to take a few minutes with.


      At first I think all our eyes tend to glaze over any next list of “Principles for Sustainable City Governance” with that creeping feeling of déjà vu all over again -- but may I ask you to let the ten you will find in the attached swirl around in your mind a bit and you will, I think, see that the whole construct fits together in a rather interesting way. And really does succeed in breaking a few of those old and clearly not very effective patterns.


      Just below to give you a running start are the summary lines on the ten basic principles that their rather considerable panel has put together. For the full document go to  http://mm.dk/filer/10principles.pdf.


      The 10 principles and their content are up for discussion and are to be regarded as work-in-progress.  So if you have any remarks or suggestions on any of this, I am copying this note to the organizers in Copenhagen, and would suggest that we discuss this as useful on the New Mobility Agenda Idea Factory (on the top menu of http://www.invent.newmobility.org), of which the posting address is NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com. I suggest this on the grounds that sustainability and sustainable transport is above all about cities and people, and not about vehicles, throughput, or even for that matter our beloved bikes.


      Eric Britton  - from the city of 20,000 free bikes and an idea that is going to change the face of cities all over the world

      (Check it out at http://www.invent.newmobility.org -- The Greening of Paris.)





      Copenhagen Agenda for Sustainable Cities –





      1. REDISCOVER THE CITY. We need a radical change of mindset:

      A city is much more than a consumption exhaust. It must

      become a self-sustaining organism – complementary to

      nature, rather than hostile opposition.


      1. REDEFINE CITY VALUE. A sustainable city depends on the attitude

      and behaviour of each urban individual and user. We

      must encourage a sense of citizenship and individual responsibility

      towards sustainable values rather than plain consumerism.


      1. INVOLVE EVERYDAY EXPERTS. Sustainable cities are participatory

      cities. We must encourage user-driven self-governance.

      Through new partnerships between city users, a common

      understanding of the sustainable city must be developed and

      initiatives agreed upon.


      1. BREAK DOWN SILOS. Sustainable city planning is inherently

      multidisciplinary. Therefore, old administrative structures

      should be abandoned in favour of innovative, cross-sector




      changes do not respect city borders. Vertical cooperation

      between local, national and international public institutions

      is crucial to sustainable city planning.


      1. DE-DESIGN URBAN PLANNING. City planning should be people

      centred, rather than design centred. A city is a constantly

      evolving organism, and city planning must take a broader

      perspective than the design of individual buildings.



      cities and successful commerce are interdependent.

      Companies must be considered stakeholders and invited to

      participate in city planning and assume responsibility for

      urban sustainability.


      1. GO GLOBAL. Climate change is a global challenge. Global

      cooperation on the development of environmental technologies

      is essential, and a joint effort to solve the massive problems

      of the developing world’s cities is urgently required.


      1. EMBRACE CHAOS, CRISIS AND CHANGE. A sustainable city

      must be adaptable to unexpected change. The ability to both

      fight current and future climate change is crucial. Flexible

      governance and an innovative mindset to overcome crisis is




      expected of urban leaders of the future. They must be able to

      manage the complex interconnection of new institutions and

      partnerships. A mix of business management, political leadership

      and creativity is demanded from the future generation

      of urban leaders.


      -                      - - - - - - - -



      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.



      Andrew Boraine, CEO, Cape Town Partnership;

      Barbara Southworth, Director, City Spatial Development, City of Cape Town;

      Fabio Todeschini, Professor, School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, University of Cape Town;

      José Forjaz, Director, Faculty of Architecture and Physical Planning, University Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo;

      Lars Reuterswärd, Director, UN-Habitat Global Division, Nairobi;

      Omar Maani, Mayor, City of Amman


      South America

      Alfredo Brillembourg, Founder, Urban Think Tank, Caracas;

      Enrique Penãlosa, former Mayor of Bogota;

      Jaime Lerner, Architect and former Mayor of Curitiba



      Haixiao Pan, Director, Transportation Research Lab, Tongji University, Shanghai;

      John Keung, CEO, Ministry of National Development, Singapore;

      Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Professor of Engineering, Kyoto University;

      Mee Kam Ng, Professor, Centre of Urban Planning and Environmental Management, University of Hong Kong;

      Noboru Harata, Professor, Department of Urban Engineering, University of Tokyo;

      Sheela Patel, Founding Director, The Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers, Bombay; Somsook Boonyabancha, Director, Community Organizations Development Institute, Bangkok;

      Sue-Ching Jou, Professor, Department of Geography, National Taiwan University



      Anthony Capon, Professor, The Australian Health Policy Institute, University of Sydney;

      Peter Newman, Director, Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy, Murdoch University, Perth;

      Rob Adams, Director, Design and Culture, City of Melbourne;

      Tim Flannery, Chairman of Copenhagen Climate Council and Professor, Macquarie University, Sydney



      Charles Landry, Director, COMEDIA, United Kingdom;

      Chris Luebkeman, Director, ARUP Foresight Innovation and Incubation, London;

      Colin Fudge, Director, WHO Collaborative Centre in Healthy Cities and Urban Policy, Bristol;

      Dritan Shutina, Director, Co-Plan Institute for Habitat Development, Tirana;

      Eric Britton, Founding Director, The Commons, Paris;

      George Ferguson, Architect and former President of Royal Institute of British Architects, Bristol;

      Jan Gehl, Partner, Gehl Architects, Copenhagen;

      Joan Busquets, Professor and former chief planner, The City of Barcelona;

      Leo van den Berg, Professor and Director, European Institute for Comparative Urban Research, Rotterdam;

      Mats Olsson, former Director of City Planning, City of Malmö;

      Sir Peter Hall, Professor of Planning, University College London;

      Richard Burdett, Professor, Cities Programme, London School of Economics;

      Stein Kolstø, Head of Office, Oslo Waterfront Planning Office;

      Winy Mass, Principal, MVRDV Architects, Rotterdam;

      Wolfgang Nowak, Director, Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, Berlin



      Ann Ferebee, Founder, Institute for Urban Design, New York;

      Carol Coletta, CEO, CEOs for Cities, Chicago;

      Chris Steins, Director, Urban Insight, Los Angeles;

      Craig Williams, Founder, Architects Without Borders;

      David Harvey, Professor, Graduate Center, City University of New York;

      Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces, New York;

      Gil Penãlosa, Director, Walk and Bike for Life, Ontario;

      Jennifer Siegal, Founder, Office of Mobile Design, California;

      John Nordquist, President, Congress for the New Urbanism, Chicago;

      John Peterson, Founder and Chairman, Public Architecture, San Francisco;

      Julie Wagner, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Programme, Washington D.C.;

      Larry Beasley, Professor, former Co-Director of Planning, City of Vancouver;

      Robert McNulty, President, Partners for Liveable Communities, Washington D.C.;

      Timothy Beatley, Professor, Urban & Environmental Planning Faculty, University of Virginia




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