This reference manual highlights the potential contribution of sound urban-environment management to both environmental and development goals, or in the words of the Brundtland Commission, to development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". It suggests that improving environmental management can contribute directly to better living conditions, notably for the poorest, while stimulating balanced socio-economic development in urban centres, peri-urban areas and surrounding regions.

The manual aims to not only to provide advice for development co-operation agencies and their counterparts in partners' countries in their efforts to address urban environmental problems, it also highlights the environmental roles and responsibilities of many other actors. Good governance lies at the centre of more effective responses to urban environmental problems, city and municipal authorities, citizens and their community-based organisations, the private sector and NGOs have key roles too.


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