[30 May 2013] -- The European Commission (EC) has, for the first time, identified sustainable urbanisation as one of the key fields of action in its approach to development.
The new European Union (EU) approach is outlined in the communication Empowering Local Authorities in partner countries for enhanced governance and more effective development outcomes, which was adopted in May 2013.
The communication formulates a number of key recommendations to promote good governance at the local level for the Commission’s forthcoming funding cycle. It also has a welcome focus on inclusive development:
“In its cooperation with partner countries, the EU will seek to promote sustainable strategies to promote non-discrimination and break down the barriers that exclude various groups from
access to resources and opportunities offered by urban development, with the view to promote
social inclusion, territorial cohesion and environmental protection”.
The Cities Alliance welcomes the inclusion of urbanisation as a focus area for the EU, especially its emphasis on slum upgrading policies as an important component of sustainable urbanisation:
“In particular, the EU should encourage the definition of city policies for slum upgrading, to
gradually improve, formalise and incorporate slums into the city itself by extending land,
services and citizenship to slum dwellers”.
The communication integrates the results of various consultations that the EU has undertaken recently regarding the role of local authorities in development, a dialogue that the Cities Alliance has participated in. The Cities Alliance shared its experiences with City Development Strategy and slum upgrading policies from its Land, Services and Citizenship Country Programmes as part of an open call for consultation on the EC issue paper Local Authorities in Development.