Promoting inclusive, accountable, and sustainable cities by enhancing urban governance
WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities’ Urban Governance practice strengthens the relationships between citizens, civil society organizations, the public sector, and the private sector as they work to create more environmentally and financially sustainable cities. We support citizen participation, safeguard access to information, build institutional capacity while removing institutional constraints, and hold institutions accountable. We will review and measure these essential elements of urban governance through an urban governance diagnostic framework currently in development. This approach encourages partners in urban governance to evaluate and enhance their methods of governing and interacting with stakeholders.
We also help develop more effective methods of the delivering urban services like transport, water, and energy to engage citizens, foster inclusion, and increase quality of life. Many local governments are limited in their ability to provide adequate services to their citizens due to institutional constraints on finances, staffing, regulations, and more. We help cities improve urban service delivery and improve quality of life by working to strengthen local responsibility and provide a clearer understanding of barriers and opportunities.
We envision that by 2018, half of the cities where WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities operates will reform practices, policies, and the way they engage citizens to deliver better outcomes for urban water, urban development, sustainable transport, climate adaptation, and energy. These reforms will lead to significant on-the-ground improvements for service delivery, institutional capacity, accountability, access to information, and public participation in the pursuit of more sustainable cities.
Urban Governance Facts
Globally, urban land use will nearly triple between 2000 and 2030, raising essential urban governance questions and urban development decisions.
In 2012, 33 percent of the world’s global population lived in cities with 500,000 or more people, and accounted for more than 55 percent of all global economic output.
Two-thirds of the world’s urban population lives in cities where income inequality has been increasing for the past 35 years.
Globally, around one in seven people live in poverty in urban areas, typically without access to basic infrastructure and urban services.