UN adopts guidance on urban and territorial planning drafted by SCaRP professor and chair Bruce Stiftel and others

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UN-Habitat Executive Director Joan Clos is fond of referring to a “three-legged” approach to sustainable urbanization, consisting of urban legislation, planning and finance. Yet Clos has also warned that one leg of that tripod — urban planning — “is in crisis today”. At the 25th session of the UN-Habitat Governing Council, held in Nairobi in late April, that leg was strengthened through a resolution establishing global guidelines on the issue. France, Japan, South Africa and Uganda co-sponsored Resolution 25/6, adopted during the Governing Council, which sets forth new guidance on urban and territorial planning. An expert group that first convened in 2013 drafted the planning guidelines. Bruce Stiftel, professor and chair of the School of City and Regional Planning, was a member of that group.

“It’s not a global rulebook,” he cautioned. “They’re guidelines, which is to say ways that planning can be most effective.” Importantly for planners, the guidance reflects contemporary ideas about participation and bottom-up approaches as opposed to older, top-down methods. “The guidelines are very clear that planning, when done right, is participatory, engages stakeholder constituencies and considers a wide variety of objectives in order to make appropriate decisions,” Stiftel said. “All too often, planning is a tool for the top leadership of the country to impose their ideas on the nation rather than a way in which the nation itself defines where it wants to go and sets courses of action.” 

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School of City & Regional Planning

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Global, guidelines, IGUTP, stiftel, UN, united nations
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  • Created By: Jessie Brandon
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: May 11, 2015 - 4:53am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 10:27pm