What are the preventive measures of urbanization

Development Policy and Urbanization: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Measures in Change


1 Introduction

2. Introductory key aspects of the consequences and problems of urbanization

3. Multilateral and bilateral development policy tendencies in view of the international urbanization process
3.1 Multilateral development policy
3.1.1 United Nations Program for Human Settlements - UN-Habitat
3.1.2 Change of strategy of multilateral development policy in the context of the urbanization process
3.2 Bilateral development policy
3.2.1 Sector concept: "Creating a future for cities"
3.2.2 Strategies for sustainable local development
3.2.3 Change of strategy of bilateral development policy in the context of the urbanization process

4. Conclusion

1 Introduction

It can currently be seen that the urbanization trend is steadily increasing worldwide. While only a third of the world's population lived in cities in 1975, around half of the world's population did so in 2000. In contrast to the developing countries, the urbanization process in the industrialized countries is almost complete and the population growth is correspondingly low, while the urbanization process in the developing countries is increasing rapidly. This process is accompanied by the rapid spread of poverty in the cities, which is spreading faster there than in rural areas.[1] One of the many causes of such a development are so-called “push” and “pull” factors in all sectors of society, which favor progressive urbanization.[2] "Urbanization means the entire socio-economic and socio-cultural process of increasing population density in urban areas."[3]

From an economic perspective, urbanization and rural-to-city migration have long been viewed as essential positive and necessary factors in the development process in the so-called developing countries. This would concentrate human resources from the peripheral regions in places that are characterized by a much greater dynamic development. The accumulation of various resources enables progress in various sectors of society, which often leads to an increase in the gross domestic product.[4] The sociological perspective viewed urbanization processes rather negatively, “because they produced heterogeneous, structureless large cities in which central positive characteristics of village communities such as cultural homogeneity, personal contacts, social conditions, identity and caring responsibility were largely absent, while on the other hand social discrepancies and social deviance increased. "[5]

The concentration of several million people is currently confronting the cities of developing countries with serious problems. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development explains: “In many places there are extremely poor environmental and unhealthy living conditions, especially in the poor settlements. Lack of access to clean drinking water, a lack of sewerage and inadequate waste disposal are among the main problems. The World Health Organization estimates that 25 to 30 percent of the urban population in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East have no access to a drinking water supply, in Asia it is even more than a third of the population. "[6]

Since the second United Nations conference on human settlements in Istanbul in June 1996 at the latest, many actors have become aware that future human settlement development will have “urban characteristics”. At the turn of the millennium there were around three billion city dwellers worldwide, around half of the world's population. Peter Herrle (GTZ) makes it clear that the number of urban populations will add up to another two billion over the next 30 years and that this process will mainly take place in developing countries. Without preventive measures, the number of slum dwellers would also double from around one billion to two billion.[7] These figures alone illustrate the important role development policy plays in urban development. One of the most important future tasks of international development cooperation will therefore be to deal with the problems that arise with the urbanization process.[8]

Against this background, the question arises, where exactly does development policy begin? What measures are currently being taken at the multilateral and bilateral level? And to what extent have the measures and strategies in this area changed?

This thesis aims to discuss the theoretical foundations and practical measures of multilateral development cooperation within the framework of the United Nations and bilateral development cooperation in the field of urban development.

2. Introductory key aspects of the consequences and problems of urbanization

First of all, a short summary of the consequences and problems of the urbanization process should be listed here in order to provide an overview.

The following problems arise from the urbanization process[9]:

- Growing urban poverty
- Growing environmental pressures and crises
- Growing demand for urban services and infrastructure with simultaneous overloading of the existing infrastructure
- Overpopulation, crime and violence; Potential for conflict
- Uneven spatial development (rapid growth in large cities, neglect of structurally weaker areas)

These problems are difficult to remedy, for example due to weak local governments, unfavorable political framework conditions or insufficient financial resources.[10]

The urbanization process not only creates problems, but also has positive effects. Often potentials are also set free, in which diverse opportunities and possibilities are hidden. For example, 60% of the gross domestic product is produced in cities. This suggests a connection between urbanization and economic development, especially as 80% of the economic development

Growth is mainly seen in cities. In addition, modernization processes and productivity increases in rural regions are favored, since the cities of the developing countries often demand rural products. Infrastructural measures are often taken there that were not previously available in rural regions. These include, for example, education and healthcare. The improved education systems in the cities and partly in the surrounding areas represent an important basis for economic and social development and also increase employment opportunities and chances. Urban life also changes the reproductive behavior of the population, which is reflected in falling birth rates.[11]

In the following, it is to be explained where the international as well as the national development policy starts, which measures have been taken and in what framework these have changed.

3. Multilateral and bilateral development policy tendencies in view of the international urbanization process

3.1 Multilateral development policy within the framework of the United Nations

Multilateral development policy means that donor countries work together through an intermediary institution. Here, the work of the bilateral and multilateral institutions is linked and coordinated in order to shape the cooperation together and effectively.[12] Program-oriented development cooperation plays a major role in the current international discussion on development policy. The multilateral institutions usually take on the necessary management and coordination tasks.[13] The Federal Republic is "integrated into the network of international organizations that are active in the field of development aid through diverse memberships."[14] The United Nations Organization plays a leading role in this. Every year, the BMZ makes around 1/3 of its budget available to multilateral institutions.[15]

3.1.1 United Nations Program for Human Settlements - UN-Habitat

There is a United Nations program for human settlements on the subject of urbanization: the United Nations Program for Human Settlements - UN-Habitat.

UN-Habitat is fundamentally dedicated to questions and problems in the area of ​​urban development, settlement and housing supply in developing countries. The aim of this United Nations program is to “promote sustainable urban development”. In addition, their task is to address parallel problems such as growing social tensions, environmental problems and the mostly unstable infrastructure. UN-Habitat is financed through three different sources, namely the regular UN budget, the Human Settlements Foundation and third-party funds.

There are currently 200 programs and projects being carried out in more than 80 different countries.[16]

At this point a short chronological outline of the formation and course of UN-Habitat should be given.


[1] See: BMZ: “Urban and Regional Development”, (2004), p. 232 ff.

[2] See: Wilhelm, J .: “Decision-making, results and implementation options of the HABITAT conference - BMZ concepts and projects for urban development”, (1997), p. 257

[3] Quotation: Kraus, F .: "Megacities: Urbanization of the Earth and Problems of Governability of Metropolises in Developing Countries", (1997), p. 142

[4] See also p. 139

[5] Quotation: loc. Cit. P. 139

[6] Quotation: BMZ: “Urban and Regional Development, (2004), p. 233

[7] See: Herrle, P .: "Urban development in development cooperation", Rev .: 2005-09-1, p. 3

[8] Cf.: Wilhelm, J .: "Decision-making, results and implementation options of the HABITAT conference - BMZ concepts and projects for urban development", (1997), p. 262

[9] See: Wilhelm, J .: “Decision-making, results and implementation options of the HABITAT conference - BMZ concepts and projects for urban development”, (1997), p. 259ff.

[10] Compare: loc. Cit. P. 260

[11] Compare: loc. Cit. P. 261ff.

[12] Quotation: BMZ: “Multilateral Cooperation”, (2004), p. 97

[13] Compare: loc. Cit. P. 98

[14] Quotation: Wolff, J. H. (Ed.): “Development Policy - Developing Countries. Facts - Experiences - Teaching (1998), p. 258

[15] See: BMZ (publisher): “The German contribution to development cooperation”, Rev .: 2005-09-24

[16] See BMZ “United Nations Program for Human Settlements - UN-Habitat”, (2004), p. 123

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