The EPM Guidebook


Clarification of Issue-Specific Policy Options

Consideration of Implementation Options and Resources

Building Broad-Based Consensus on Issue-Specific Objectives and Strategies

Coordination of Environmental and Urban Development Strategies


Better Environmental Decision-Making

Establishment of Agreed Urban Environmental Management Strategies: preparing, assessing and reconciling issue-specific strategies and incorporating them into relevant city development and environmental management policies and strategies, including consensus-building among the actors or stakeholders.

2.1 Clarification of Issue-Specific Policy Options

Achievable progress seems to have been most feasible with a focus on issue-specific strategies as the starting point. Political and social, as well as technical and administrative, activities seem to proceed most effectively in relation to well-identified and relatively narrowly specified issues, for which the relevant policy options can be most effectively prepared. In particular, clarification of issue-specific policy options, executed through a participatory approach, brings a clearer understanding of costs and benefits for different stakeholders and of "trade-offs" for the city as a whole. This "bottom-up" approach not only mobilizes the involvement of relevant stakeholders but also provides a more realistic basis for reaching consensus on which to build strategies. As part of this process it is helpful for strategies to be articulated and publicized in the form of both technical and non-technical presentations and reports, to facilitate continued participation of relevant stakeholders in the pro cess of clarifying policy options and agreeing strategies. These presentations and reports typically cover aspects such as:

a review of the environment/development issue, with a description of the environmental system from which it originates, the development concerns that are affected and the stakeholders that have been involved;

a summary of the options considered for responding to the issue, the pros and cons of each option for various stakeholders, and the assumptions and procedures that led to the agreement on the selected option (including relationships and coordination requirements with other issue-specific strategies, existing legislation, ongoing programmes, etc);

a summary of the analytical results comparing alternative approaches in terms of social and economic and environmental costs and benefits;

both detailed and summary mapping information, to securely place the information and the proposals in a clear geographical context;

the agreed long-term environmental objectives and targets as well as a set of interim goals to guide phased interventions (this could include a preliminary outline of project profiles, an initial identification of priority geographic areas and development sectors for channelling investments, etc);

the associated policy reforms and institutional strengthening that have been agreed upon to support the implementation of the strategy; and

discussion of the indicators and statistics which could be used to track the progress of actions and their impacts.

ABIDJAN: In Abidjan EPM process, the following criteria were used to clarify and prioritize policy options: implementation should avoid conflict; the solutions should rely on community participation; options should be ecologically sustainable, financially viable and employment-generating; and alternatives should address root causes of problems as well as result in better public health.
IBADAN: Ibadan's consultation was explicitly organized to clarify issue-specific policy options for three cross-cutting issues: sanitation, health and solid waste management; health and water supply; and institutional arrangements for improved solid waste and water supply management.
ISMAILIA: Through a strategic development planning process, it was decided that the focus should be on: a) managing the city’s lake, industrial and solid wastes; b) introducing environmental issues into urban expansion and upgrading; c) promoting agro- and small-scale industries; and d) organising stakeholders in unplanned settlements to be more involved in development management. This process culminated in an Environmental Strategies Review Workshop where stakeholders and interested pa rties discussed and agreed on issue-specific options.
KENYA SMALL TOWNS: The last day of the "Green Towns Project" three-day workshop in each town is used to clarify issue-specific options. A video is shown to explain the process. Then, participants divide into four groups with each preparing: a map showing ecologically vulnerable areas that need to be protected; another showing suitable agricultural land; a map indicating which areas are suitable for urban development; and a "zero map" suggesting how the town might develop without any EPM. Maps are compared in a plenary session and areas of conflict are traced onto a single map. Groups are reformed and assigned one conflict area to come up with detailed but easy to apply solutions. These solutions are checked between groups by the facilitators to ensure that they do not overlap. Each group then identifies a most important, most wanted, and most realistic option.

2.2 Consideration of Implementation Options and Resources

To be realistic and robust, strategy formulation is best if integrated - from the very beginning - with the consideration of implementation options and resources. In this way, the strategies which are evolved will have a better relationship with likely available constraints and resources (financial, economic, technical, administrative, physical, etc.). Building in these considerations from the beginning also allows a consistent use of social cost-benefit analysis (and similar techniques), which is cru cial for helping all stakeholders to understand the limits and trade-offs - as well as the distribution of gains among different groups. This has also proved to be important by helping to ensure that strategic agreements which are reached will be reliable, in the sense that the agreeing stakeholders understand from the beginning the implementation and resource implications of the chosen strategies. (This helps avoid the wasted effort of developing a technically ideal strategy which cannot subsequently be implemented).

BANGALORE: In upgrading one slum, the process revolved around affordable finance, appropriate housing design and equitable land allotment, with each aspect being participatory. Financing was limited by each household’s ability to pay about Rs. 100 per month. This, in turn, constrained the design and cost of the units to be constructed. Additionally, residents wanted ground to sky rights over a small piece of land and a dwelling that would eventually be theirs and they ruled out the op tion of sharing toilets. Two affordable designs were finally developed that were acceptable to the community. The process of land allotment involved many meetings to decide which houses the slum dwellers would eventually occupy; rules and a system were designed whereby residents allotted houses to each other until everyone was satisfied.
CONCEPCION: Prior to implementation of action plans, an assessment of the existing means of implementation was conducted. Inventories were prepared in different ways by each of six working groups to identify financial resources, technical capacities and institutional responsibilities. Using the resource assessment, working groups then developed responsibilities, budgets and a timeline for implementation of their specific action plans.
COTONOU: Awareness of resource limitations and implementation capacity were prime concerns in the development of Cotonou's pilot waste management strategy. The strategy was based on: a) choosing an affordable waste collection system; b) developing a waste treatment system based on appropriate technology; and c) recovering costs for improved sanitation. This resulted in action plans that included: a door-to-door waste collection system employing handcarts, a project for composting soli d waste, and a project for low-cost pay public latrines.
ISMAILIA: Implementation options and resources were carefully considered in the generation of investment projects. A long list of projects was prepared, screened according to feasibility, and prioritised through stakeholder ranking of environmental, economic and social variables. Nine priority projects emerged for which financial and technical pre-feasibility studies are being prepared.
KUCHING: Among the many environmental problems discussed, those associated with street vendors were solvable by the Local Council at reasonable cost and within a limited time frame. This was in contrast with large problems such as squatters and central sewerage that would take major co-ordination and large investments over a longer period of time. Thus, vendor-associated problems were tackled early on by the Council.

2.3 Building Broad-Based Consensus on Issue-Specific Objectives and Strategies

To succeed with preparation and implementation of urban environmental management strategies, experience has shown the importance of effective processes for consensus-building. Just as it is vital to involve all relevant stakeholders in the identification and prioritization of issues, it is equally vital to involve them in the process of analyzing issues and policy options and working towards agreed environmental planning and management strategies. This approach recognizes that strategy-building is not simply a technical exercise, but is an activity of consensus-building and compromise across a range of technical, political, social, and economic factors and interests. This point is especially important for environmental issues, which cut across sectors, across geographical boundaries, and across time. Approaches which acknowledge the existence of differences of interest have generally been more successful, whereas attempts to "cover over" real differences (through a forced consensus or a so-called neu tral technical solution) have generally been less successful. In addition, this consensus-building approach can help diverse stakeholders acquire a sense of ownership and commitment, leading to constructive engagement in implementation and follow-up.

ACCRA: Urban environmental issues have been the subject of public debate in Accra for nearly a decade. The 1995 city consultation helped to achieve a consensus from this debate. Prior to the consultation, a series of individual meetings were held to build commitment. Good group dynamics, familiarization with the issues, use of facilitation techniques, and discussion in the local language all helped to achieve consensus.
CAPE TOWN: A progressive series of workshops were used over a three-year period to reach consensus on a Metropolitan Spatial Development Framework. At these workshops, expert facilitators and rapporteurs were used to help build consensus and maintain continuity between workshops.

2.4 Coordination of Environmental and Urban Development Strategies

With a focus on issue-specific strategies, it becomes important to consistently coordinate strategies. The primary need is to coordinate across the separate issue-specific strategies, in order to understand and incorporate the important inter-relationships among different approaches and strategies. A second need is to coordinate with existing plans and strategies (which are likely to originate from a different approach and therefore not fit easily into the EPM issue-specific strategy approach). A bas ic requirement is a framework - an organized process - for coordination. This does not require the preparation of a comprehensive overall strategy - especially not in the old-fashioned Master Plan sense of comprehensive planning. On the contrary, an effective coordination framework will concentrate on the important inter-relationships and inter-linkages between the various issue-specific strategies and focus especially on the needs for inter-agency collaboration and joint action. The concern should be f or "connectedness" rather than "comprehensiveness".

BAMAKO: The municipality-community partnership "Co-ordination for Sanitation" is now regularly consulted by the city administration before any decision is made about sanitation infrastructure. This arrangement is being studied for replication in other districts of the city.
BELO HORIZONTE: Strategisation and action planning have been undertaken by the City Environmental Office and the Municipal Council for Environmental Issues by integrating environmental issues into the city’s master plan. Two new types of environmental zoning were used in the revised master plan: environmental and landscaping protection zones to preserve the quality of natural resources in an area; and environmental protection zones to maintain areas that support the environmental balanc e of the city. The former includes green urban spaces while the latter includes areas of high permeabilisation, watercourses and critical vegetation.
CAPE TOWN: The environment was elevated to the same status as urban systems in the Cape's Metropolitan Spatial Development Framework. The Framework actively seeks to conserve resources and reduce pollution while giving importance to green areas in order to facilitate stormwater management, sewage treatment, recreation and amenities, urban agriculture,and nature conservation.
COLOMBO: this co-ordination occurred through several different routes: the EPM process helped to revised the Colombo Master Plan; the city’s Urban Development Authority set up its own environment unit to gradually integrate EPM into its land use planning and infrastructure development; and, at the national level, the EPM exercise became an integral part of the national environmental action plan.

DAR ES SALAAM: Following the consultation, thematic working groups were formed to prepare strategies and action plans. Each group included representatives from the affected sector and levels of government, the affected geographical locations, the private sector, and community groups as well as interested individuals. The working groups were linked by a Co-ordinating Working Group for information exchange and strategy co-ordination.

GOTHENBURG: The city has integrated environmental concerns into physical and land use planning. Matter and energy balances are used in physical planning to describe and understand the management of natural resources. In Gothenburg’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, water circulation, nitrogen and exergy analysis are included. The land use and development consequences are to avoid developing new fringe areas that are not supported by public transport and to concentrate urban development in the built-up areas in such a way as to preserve cultural heritage and environmental features.

SHENYANG: The recent revision of the city’s master plan (1996-2010) made environmental protection an important chapter and an independent sectoral plan focuses on environmental matters. The siting of new development projects must strictly comply with the environmental zoning in the plan. No new polluting industries are to be allowed in the central city and existing highly polluting enterprises will be moved to less populous suburban areas through both regulatory and incentive measures.

TILBURG: An important principle of the city’s strategy is that quality of the physical environment has to be the basis for all urban development. Thus, the action plan for urban planning will be used as the starting point for the 1996 revision of Tilburg physical urban plan.

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Environmental Planning and Management Guidebook