Urban Governance: Top Ten Solutions and Challenges to Implementation

Urban Governance: Top Ten Solutions and Challenges to Implementation

Challenges Legend
POL Political Challenges
TECH Technical Challenges
ADMIN Administrative Challenges
PUBLIC Public Acceptance Challenges


Low $

Higher $$$

Public Information and Access

  1. Provide public and media access to most city council sessions. (TECH)

  2. Provide minutes of council sessions on notice boards at city hall, in public libraries and other public locations. (TECH)

  3. Publish proposed plans for land use, municipal budgets, etc. in advance for public comment. (ADMIN)

Public Engagement in Decision-Making

  1. Conduct systematic public consultations before adopting plans and budgets, and adopt results of consultations within limits of available resources. (ADMIN)

  2. Engage residents as elected or appointed (following open competition) members of governing boards of appropriate municipal organizations, such as libraries, schools, police oversight boards or electric power authorities. (ADMIN)

Electoral Reform

  1. Establish or strengthen election systems for mayor and for municipal council positions, based on regular elections, secret ballots and representation by population. (ADMIN)

  2. Establish or strengthen systems for paying mayors and municipal councillors so that they do not require other sources of income that conflict with their civic responsibilities. (PUBLIC)

Structure, Administration Reform

  1. Establish or strengthen systems for paying municipal managers and employees adequately so that they do not require other sources of income that conflict with their duties, and so that they can be held to account for their performance in serving the public.

  2. Decentralize national government powers and responsibilities for providing urban services to duly constituted municipal authorities, based on rules of accountability to residents and capacity to manage finances and operations, and provide taxation powers and other sources of revenue to give effect to the added powers.
    (POL) (TECH) (ADMIN)

  3. Reorganize smaller municipalities to consolidate services and provide them more efficiently, while strengthening provisions for elected representation. (POL) (ADMIN) (PUBLIC)

Measuring effectiveness

  • Public opinion polling results on satisfaction with government performance.
  • Polling results and customer satisfaction ratings of individual urban services.
  • Rate of vandalism in public places and theft of public property.
  • Rate of community participation in planning and implementation of programs.


Impacts on Other Sectors

Map of Main Impacts: Good Governance

of Good Governance on:
Delivering Urban Services
Reduces costs
of corruption.
Increases public support for difficult choices.
Increases sense of fairness in distribution of benefits.
Reduces negative impacts through waste and misuse of resources.
Attracting Investment, Visitors
Generates more lasting employment.
Increases investor and visitor confidence.
Increases local benefits of investment and tourism.
Ensures compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
Managing Risks, Assuring Safety
Reduces costs of lost production when disasters occur; reduces costs of crime.
Increases public engagement in managing risks and promoting neighbourhood security.
Increases likelihood of all income groups surviving disasters; reduces crime rates.
Reduces environmental impacts of disasters caused by human actions; increases environmental security.
Budgeting, Financing
Increases effective collection of revenues, capacity to borrow at lower rates.
Increases public support for allocating resources to priorities.
Reduces efforts to evade taxes and fees.
Increases support for expenditure on environmental protection.

Source: Cities Solution Network 2001 (no longer operational!)
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