A Selected Urban Assessment and Profiling Bibliography

The technical study assessment of existing profiling studies, which aims to review the various methodologies used worldwide and to compile the findings of the exercises conducted in the Caribbean is currently underway.

As part of the NSUS project, the preliminary findings were presented at the first Technical Advisory Group meeting held on November 22-23rd in Suriname.

Prior to the release of the Technical Working Paper on Urban Assessment Methodologies, we are happy to present the primary bibliographic resources collated for the exercise.

  1. General Urban Development and Management
  2. City Profiles
  3. Urban Assessment Indicators
  4. Specfic Urban Assessments and Profiling Programmes :
  • Localizing the MDGs,
  • localizing Agenda 21/Sustainable Cities,
  • City Consultation,
  • Rapid Urban Profiling for Sustainability RUPS
  • Disaster assessment
  • Commonwealth City Assessment
  • Safer cities programme
  • Global Environment Outlook (GEO) Cities
  • Cities Alliance

NB: when no link is provided, the document is only available in hard copy.

Enjoy the browsing and please send any comments or additional resources you may have !

General Urban Development and Management

State of the World’s Cities 2010/2011 – Cities for All: Bridging the Urban Divide, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), 2008.Kenya: UN-HABITAT.

Abstract: The world’s urban population now exceeds the world’s rural population. What does this mean for the state of our cities, given the strain this global demographic shift is placing upon current urban infrastructure? Following on from previous State of the World’s Cities reports, this edition uses the framework of ‘The Urban Divide’ to analyse the complex social, political, economic and cultural dynamics of urban environments. The book focuses on the concept of the ‘right to the city’ and ways in which many urban dwellers are excluded from the advantages of city life, using the framework to explore links among poverty, inequality, slum formation and economic growth. The volume will be essential reading for all professionals and policymakers in the field, and a valuable resource for researchers and students in all aspects of urban development.

Global Report on Human Settlements 2009: Planning Sustainable Cities, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), 2009.  Kenya: UN-HABITAT.

Abstract: Planning Sustainable Cities reviews recent urban planning practices and approaches, discusses constraints and conflicts therein, and identifies innovative approaches that are more responsive to current challenges of urbanization. It notes that traditional approaches to urban planning (particularly in developing countries) have largely failed to promote equitable, efficient and sustainable human settlements and to address twenty-first century challenges, including rapid urbanization, shrinking cities and ageing, climate change and related disasters, urban sprawl and unplanned peri-urbanization, as well as urbanization of poverty and informality. It concludes that new approaches to planning can only be meaningful, and have a greater chance of succeeding, if they effectively address all of these challenges, are participatory and inclusive, as well as linked to contextual socio-political processes.

Solid Waste Management in the World’s Cities:Water and Sanitation in the World’s Cities 2010, Nairobi: UN-HABITAT. United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), 2010.

Abstract: In a rapidly urbanizing global society, solid waste management will be a key challenge facing all the world’s cities. This publication provides a fresh perspective and new data on one of the biggest issues in urban development. Using the framework of Integrated Sustainable Waste Management, the report presents unprecedented research from 22 cities across six continents. It describes the rich diversity of waste management systems used throughout the world drawing out the practical lessons for policymakers. The volume is essential reading for all professionals and policymakers in the field and a valuable resource for researchers and students.

State of the World 2007: Our Urban Future, World Watch Institute. World Watch Institute, 2006.

Abstract: In 2008, half of the Earth’s population will live in urban areas, marking the first time in history that humans are an urban species. State of the World 2007: Our Urban Future examines changes in the ways cities are managed, built, and lived in that could tip the balance towards a healthier and more peaceful urban future.

Urban Revitalization Strategy and Operational Guidelines, Barbados: CDB. Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), 2000.

Abstract: Provides information on CDB’s policies and procedures relevant to assistance by CDB for Urban Revitalisation:

(a) Lending Policies;
(b) Sector Policy Paper – Environment;
(c) Environmental Review Guidelines;
(d) Guidelines for Procurement;
(e) Procedures for the Selection and Engagement of Consultants by Recipients of CDB Financing; and
(f) Natural Disaster Management Strategy and Operational Guidelines.

Urban Poverty and Habitat Precariousness in the Caribbean. Santiago de Chile: CEPAL. Rajack, Robin and Shrikant Barhate. 2004.

Abstract: This report focuses on urban poverty and habitat precariousness in the Caribbean countries with an emphasis on current and former British territories. Chapter 1 looks at the different sets of related indicators. Firstly, an overview of population growth and urbanization is presented. Next a synopsis of poverty indicators is given. Chapter 2 analyzes available information by countries mainly referred to habitat conditions such as housing, sanitation, land titles, water, public services, in order to present an evaluation of poverty conditions and precariousness in Caribbean urban areas. Preliminary profiles of informal settlement are given for three territories in which informal settlement is most prevalent in the region: Trinidad, Jamaica and Guyana. In certain sections, data is presented in categories such as ‘most developed countries’, ‘less developed countries’ and Eastern Caribbean Countries. Distinction is also made on the basis of economic ranking accorded to different countries by the World Bank and Caribbean Development Bank. Chapter 3 includes an analysis of land markets in the Caribbean countries, emphasizing on current and former British territories; their structure, evolution and tendencies and their impact on land access by poor families and on spatial exclusion. The document then evaluates different types of upgrading and land regularization programs and compares their operation in different countries, identifying impacts on poverty reduction, elements and conditions that determine successfulness, institutional responsibilities at different governmental levels and funds sources for program financing. Finally, the authors develop guidelines to improve regularization policies in the Caribbean region. The smallness of most Caribbean territories dictates that for the most part both the analysis and the operational proposals should focus upon national level institutions rather than local bodies, including a review of institutional reforms related to the implementation of regularization programs in various territories of the region. But having in mind the potentialities at local level for managing programs, attention should also be given to the integration and relation of regularization with other programs of habitat development, in order to favor urban poverty reduction.

Strategic urban planning in Latin America: experiences of building and managing the future. Steinberg, Florian. 2005. Habitat International. Vol. 29, 1.

Abstract: Strategic urban planning is a process which permits the articulation of the initiatives of public and private stakeholders which seek synergies for the development of a city. It is about (i) an adaptable, non-rigid methodology for which flexibility is an indispensable precondition; (ii) a tool for local development which conceives strategic interventions that guarantee the quality of life, and economic and social progress; (iii) a mechanism to promote progressive forms of governance, substantially improving local democracy through a real collaboration between public and private urban stakeholders; (iv) a modern, participatory and democratic form of thinking about urban development which permits to establish a reference for all those economic and social actors who can harmonise their own strategies with those scenarios which are desired for their city or territory; (v) a new instrument which facilitates the management of a city in a period of frequent and substantial changes which stimulates the necessary imagination to deal with this. This paper presents the experiences of Cordoba, Rosario and Buenos Aires in Argentina, Santiago de Chile, Santa Cruz de la Sierra and La Paz in Bolivia, Trujillo, various Districts of Lima in Peru, Bogota in Colombia, and Havana in Cuba in the field of strategic urban planning and the implement action of such plans. Strategic Urban Planning comes with the promise of a fundamental change in the city, opening new routes towards the new millennium with programmes and projects that are really transforming, modernising and innovative.

Adjusting Planning Frameworks to meet changing needs in Post Colonial Countries: The Example of Belize. Brown, D.F and J.M. Wolfe. 1997.  Habitat International, Vol. 21, 1.

Abstract: This paper examines the events that affected the development of planning as an institution in Belize. Initially, an overview of the shifts in planning frameworks that have accompanied each recent change of government is presented. This is followed by an analysis of land development issues in the Belize City Region that have accompanied the recent emergence of the private land market and the decision to release a considerable number of government lots within a very short period of time. The implications of these events for planning are then assessed with respect to a set of criteria adapted from an analytic framework proposed by William Doebele. Conclusions are offered concerning the development of institutional capacity to support land-use planning, appropriate land-use controls, deregulation and professional responsibility.

City Profiles

City Profile – Havana. Cities, Vol 23, 1. Colantonio, Andrea and Robert B. Potter, 2006.

Abstract: Since 1989, after 40 years of curbing urban development and under-investment in urban infrastructure, Havana is slowly regaining its primacy as Cuba is, and indeed one of the Caribbean, major tourist destinations. This profile focuses on the urban change undergone by Havana since the introduction of the so called Special Period in 1989, following the collapse of State socialism in the USSR and Eastern Europe. A particular emphasis is placed on the role played by international tourism as a catalyst for socio-economic and environmental change in Havana in the 1990s. The profile also reviews the main urban development and governance issues that Havana is likely to face in the future

City Profile Georgetown, Guyana. Cities. Vol 22, 6. pp 446 – 454. Edwards René, Suk Ching Wu and Joseph Mensah. 2005. 

Abstract: City Profile: As the primate and capital city of Guyana, Georgetown has multiple functions: it is not only the seat of government, but also the hub of industry, commerce, and international trade. We take an in-depth look at the history of this metropolis to gain some understanding of its present city structure, economy, and urban development concerns. Like many cities of the developing world, Georgetown faces several socio-economic problems, including widespread poverty, biting unemployment, poor infrastructure, and a host of environmental predicaments relating to sanitation, garbage disposal, and flooding, with this last being far more threatening, as a result of the city’s physical environmental attributes—notably, its proximity to the Demerara River and the ocean, coupled with its below sea- level elevation.

City Profile, Paramaribo. Cities. Vol. 27, 1. pp 50 – 60. Verrest Hebe J.L.M. 2010.

Abstract: Paramaribo, the largest and only significant urban area in Suriname, is a typical primate city. The majority of the countries’ population resides here and the majority of political, social and economic functions is clustered in the urban zone. In the course of the 20th century, the city changed dramatically. Its population grew enormously and the city expanded through conversion of agricultural lands. In addition, economic and political developments produced alternate functional divisions within the city. These developments have taken place in other Caribbean cities as well. However, where Caribbean cities, e.g. Kingston or Port-of-Spain, are known for high levels of ethnic and socio-economic segregation and inequality, Paramaribo is a city of more or less ethnically and socio-economically mixed neighbourhoods. This profile focuses on patterns of settlement in Paramaribo after 1950 and explains these from developments in the local economy and land market. It concludes that the economic crisis together with the structure of the land- and housing market have slowed down processes of moving and resettlement, encouraged the development of socio-economically mixed neighbourhoods and sustained the absence of no-go areas in the city. It concludes by posing the question whether this may change in the future and more clustering can be expected.

Urban Assessment Indicators

Global Urban Observatory

The Global Urban Observatory Databases

Urban Indicators for Managing Cities. Asian Development Bank (ADB). 2001. Manila, Philippines: ADB

Urban Indicator Guidelines: Monitoring the Habitat Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals. United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), 2004. Nairobi, Kenya: UN-HABITAT.

Specific Urban Assessment and Profiling Programmes

Localizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Programme

Good policies and enabling legislation for attaining MDGs: a methodology for participatory review and assessment, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), 2005. Nairobi: UN-HABITAT.

Abstract: UN-HABITAT, through the Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme, has implemented a pilot project to document some outstanding urban policies and laws. Studies were done in Brazil, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. An Expert Group Meeting (EGM) was held in Nairobi in July 2004, to review the experience and methodology. The EGM concluded that the methodology represents a cost effective tool for unpacking and assessing policies and legislation. It recommended its widespread application in support of attaining the Millennium Development Goals. This publication presents the process, the methodology and its application; and key findings. It also includes further inputs from the World Urban Forum II, Dialogue on Urban Realities, which showcased six outstanding policies and legislation.

Improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers: Progress Towards the Millennium Development Goals. UN-HABITAT and Global Urban Observatory (GUO), 2003. Nairobi: UN-HABITAT.

HABITAT Debate: The MGDs and the City, UN-HABITAT, 2005. Vol 11, 3. Nairobi: UN HABITAT

City consultation on Localizing the Millennium Development Goals in Georgetown (Guyana) and Action Plan. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT), 2006. UNDP and UN-HABITAT.

Localizing the Millennium Development Goals: Profile of Castries, St. Lucia. United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT), 2006. UN-HABITAT.

Good Practices and Enabling Legislation for Attaining the Millennium Development Goals: A Methodology for Review and Documentation. United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT), undated.  Nairobi, Kenya: UN-HABITAT.

Toolkit for Localising the Millennium Development Goals. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2005. New York: Bratislava.

Localizing Agenda 21 / Sustainable Cities

Havana Habana La Havane. Achieving Sustainable Urbanization – Innovations for Local and Global Results: A Report on the 6th Global Meeting of Sustainable Cities and Localizing Agenda 21. United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), 2006. UN-HABITAT.

Abstract: The 2005 Global Meeting of the Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) and Localizing Agenda 21 Programme (LA21) partners took place from 26 June to 1st July in Cuba, hosted by the City of La Havana. The meeting offered the partners of the UN-HABITAT Urban Environment Section the opportunity to advance their collective know-how, exchange experiences, review activities, and discuss how to mainstream Environmental Planning and Management (EPM) into local, national and global policies. The meeting brought together: mayors, high-ranking city officials, urban practitioners, representatives of central/federal governments, urban institutions, heads of international support programmes and key representatives of donor agencies. The meeting was organized jointly by UN-HABITAT, UNEP, the Government of Cuba and the City of La Havana.

The Sustainable Cities Programme Source Book Series  Preparing the Environment Profile. No. HS/549/98E. Sustainable Cities Programme. 1999.  Nairobi, Kenya: United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Localizing Agenda 21

Sustainable Cities Programme

Urban Management Programme / City Consultation

City Development Strategies to Reduce Poverty, Asia Development Bank (ADB), 2004. Manila: ADB.

The Port of Spain City Consultation on HIV / AIDS: Lessons learned and applications for initiating social change. Clancy, A. 2004. Toronto: York University.

Solid Waste Management in the City Of Port of Spain. David, W., Hinds, M., and Flores, D. 2003. Urban Management Programme, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), City of Port of Spain.

The Port of Spain Corporation, 2003. A City Stakeholder Profile (based on appreciative inquiry methodology). United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Urban Management Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean (UMP-LAC).

Participation to Partnership: Lessons from Urban Management Programme City Consultations. United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS), 2001. 27. Nairobi, Kenya: UNCHS.

Rapid Urban Environmental Assessment – Lessons from Cities in the Developing World, Volume I. Methodology and Preliminary Findings. Leitmann, Josef. 1994.  UNDP, UNCHS, World Bank.

Rapid Urban Environmental Assessment: The Urban Management Programme (UMP) Approach. Einsedel, Nathaniel von. undated.

City Consultation Methodology

City Development Strategies

Global Urban Management Programme publications

Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP)

Ghana: Accra Urban Profile. UN HABITAT Regional and Technical Cooperation Division, 2009.  Nairobi: UN-HABITAT.

Rapid Urban Sector Profiling for Sustinability Studies (RUSP) in Developing Countries: Implications for Urban Planning in Ondo State. Johnson Bade Falade and Afolabi Aribigbola. 2010. Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, 5 (14).

Abstract: This paper explores the application of rapid urban profiling for sustainability studies (RUSPS) in articulating city strategic plans in developing countries with the aim of determining its implications for urban planning in Ondo State, Nigeria. Ondo State is one of the 36 states of Nigeria where urban planning is undertaken by the state government. It discusses the usefulness of the methodology to urban planning and suggests how it can be applied to re-invigorate urban planning activity in the state. The paper draws on document analysis, qualitative research as well as systematic survey of planning activities, departments and agencies of government as well as individuals involved in urban planning tasks in the study area. Other relevant materials and data are sourced from published sources. The paper reveals that RUSPS has a lot of implications for urban planning in Ondo state, where it is at present wholly concerned with the approval of plans such as building and layout plans without overall city development strategies. The paper concludes that for planning to flourish and more importantly stem the growing slum formation and poverty in the study area, there is a need for a more fundamental rethinking of city planning and development approaches and actions to be inclusive, participatory and one to be undertaken at the local level. RUSPS offers this.

Participatory Slum Upgrading and Prevention Programme Narrative Report 2009. United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT). 2009. UN-HABITAT.

Report on the International Tripartite Conference: Urbanization Challenges and Poverty Reduction in African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries. United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT). 2009. Nairobi, Kenya: UN-HABITAT.

United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT). 2009. Strategic City Wide Planning: A Situational Analysis of Metropolitan Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Nairobi, Kenya: UN-HABITAT.

United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT). Undated. Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme Phase I: Urban Sector Profiling. UN-HABITAT.

United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT). Undated. Port of Spain Urban Sector Profile: Rapid Profile for Sustainability (RUSPS). UN-HABITAT.

Disaster Assessment

Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises. National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council. 2007.  The National Academy of Sciences.

Abstract: Worldwide, millions of people are displaced annually because of natural or industrial disasters or social upheaval. Reliable data on the numbers, characteristics, and locations of these populations can bolster humanitarian relief efforts and recovery programs. Using sound methods for estimating population numbers and characteristics is important for both industrialized and developing nations. Ensuring that the data are geographically referenced for projection onto maps is essential. However, good data alone are insufficient. Adequate staff training and strong organizational and political desire to maintain and use the information are also required. Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises, reviews the main methods and tools for making estimates of subnational populations and makes several recommendations to improve the collection and the use of population data for emergency response and development.

Impact on Hurricane George on Health Sector Response. Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), PAHO.

Abstract: This report is compiled by the Pan American Health Organisation under the Disaster/Emergency Preparedness Programme. It examines the impact of Hurricane Georges on the Health Sector response in the English speaking Caribbean Islands of Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts-Nevis, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and Anguilla.  Hurricane Georges as it passed through the region from 20th–21st September 1998 with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and gusting to 150 mph affected these Islands.

Disaster Assessment in the Sub-region: ECLAC’s Methodology No. LC/CAR/G.484. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) 1996. ECLAC.

Environmental Values, Valuation Methods and Natural Disaster Assessment No. LC/L.1552 Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). 2001. P. Santiago, Chile: ECLAC.

Handbook for Estimating the Socio-Economic and Environmental Effects of Disasters No. LC/MEX/G.5 – LC/L.1874 Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). 2003. ECLAC and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank).

Jamaica: Assessment of the Damage Caused by Flood Rains and Landslides Associated with Hurricane Michelle, October 2001, No. LC/CAR/G.672 Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee, 2001. ECLAC.

Commonwealth Cities Assessment

Urban Challenges: Scoping the State of Commonwealth Cities. ComHabitat, 2010. UK: Commonwealth Association of Planners.

The Commonwealth Foundation and Small Island Developing States, Brown, Nicole and Andrew Fermin, 2004. UK: The Commonwealth Foundation

Report on the CLGF Inclusive Cities Network. Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth Foundation. 2010. Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth Foundation.

Safer Cities Programme

The Safer Cities Programme: Making Cities Safer From Crime. United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT).  Nairobi, Kenya: UN-HABITAT.

Safer Cities Tools

Global Environment Outlook (GEO) Cities

Methodology for Preparation of GEO Cities Reports Training Manual – Version 3. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS), and Consorcio Parceria 21. 2009. Panama City: UNEP.

Environment for Development – Policy Lessons from Global Environmental Assessments Report for UNEP, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2009.

Global Environmental Outlook: User Profile and Impact Study. Nairobi, Kenya: UNEP. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2004.

Review of the Initial Impact of the GEO-4 Report. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and The World Conservation Union (IUCN), 2009.  UNEP.

GEO Cities Assessment

Cities Alliance

Action Plan for Moving Slum Upgrading to Scale. Cities Alliance for Cities Without Slums, undated. The World Bank and United Nations Centre for Human Settlements.

City Development Strategies

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