Sustainable Urban Development Network

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The Sustainable Urban Development Network ( SUD-Net) has as a goal to help impoverished areas gain access to food in a sustainable manner even in urbanized areas. SUD-Net plans to “contribute to livable, productive and inclusive cities which embrace social harmony, economic vitality and environmental sustainability…” [1]

Sustainable Urban Development Network
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
Abbreviation SUD-Net
Parent organization
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN–HABITAT)

Main Activities[edit]

Some of their main activities SUD-Net focuses on include but are not limited to: Building partnerships and synergy; build a network of partners; introduce new ideas through the utilization of demonstrations; encourage education and an exchange of new ideas and actions. They hope with the application of these ideals they will be able to achieve a “clear focus on [a] local level”.[1] A key partnership SUD-Net has been able to attain is the “Cities in Climate Change Initiative, or CCCI. CCCI has a similar main goal as SUD-Net—which is to—“enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation of cities in developing and least developing countries”.[1] They also have paired with the Habitat Partner University Collaboration—HPU—to create an alliance with higher education establishments to help inform about the sustainability in urban development.

SUD-Net is able to retain its growing community and implement its goals by drawing from an array of pre-existing resources as well as partners. The Sustainable Urban Development Network has networking both locally and globally which allows them to have access to more programs that also plan to help urbanize sustainability. In all SUD-Net plans to achieve “collaborative activities to generate a coherent approach to sustainable urban designs and systems for improving basic infrastructure services”

Common photo used for UN-Habitat


Areas of Focus[edit]

SUD-Net has several primary concentrations at this point, these consist of: “governance; environmental planning and management; urban economy; education, training and research, and; urban planning[1] Within these primary concentrations they have a priority point of entry. For governance their entry point is Decentralization. SUD-net hopes to implement as well as improve the guidelines for decentralization and to provide a better representation of the population in municipal decision-making at all levels.

Climate change proves to be the point of entry for environmental planning and management thematic focus. SUD-Net as well as the CCCI have paired together to help the extenuation as well as the preparedness of climate change attributes. They hope to reduce national poverty and help support the growth of pro-poor initiative at a local level.

The thematic focus of urban economy has a point of entry at the development of the economy at a localized level. In order to create and uphold sustainable cities local key-players will carry a heavier load of responsibilities. SUD-Net helps to boost this capacity of responsibilities by mainstreaming developmental strategies as well as provide a network of tools to create a support system to the local government; by doing so they hope to resolve issues in urban planning and management, i.e. strategies to sanitation, roads, energy, help with housing programs, as well as accessibility to clean water, and lastly an educational network. The overall goal is to stimulate as well as sustain the economy and to help develop productive, livable communities.

HPU (Human Partner Universities) helps stimulate education in addition to training and research for the community. The goal of HPU in partnership with SUD-Net is to provide higher education for sustainable urbanization and introduce complex problems to gain perspective. HPU offers these programs to provide access of education along with resources to policy-makers and communities alike to deliver an interaction between them and said universities to continue research agendas.

Urban planning looks to gain participation of urban planning and management as a point of entry. To do so SUD-Net plans to unite legal frameworks for human settlements development to planning and management strategies of urban areas and participation of such practices. SUD-Net will provide technical assistance along with contact to networks of planning associations/ planning approaches to governments at a local and national level in developing countries. This will allow these countries to strive toward implementing sustainable urban plans and designs that encourage its communities’ participation.[1]

Skyline of Moscow. SUD-Net aims to work directly with cities like this in order to conduct productive and sustainable urban planning

Urban Environmental Planning[edit]

Communities and Climate Change[edit]

SUD-Net and its partner Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI) recognize the vital role of communities in both the contribution to and the mitigation of climate change. It is a growing public concern and in the 1990s became an issue of policy at the Rio Earth Summit. In order to evaluate urban contributions and efforts to ameliorate their relationship with the natural world, these concentrated centers of population have had to learn how to plan, implement, and measure the successes and failures of their respective projects.

Planning Methods and Conflicts[edit]

It is common for local governments to utilize special planning for the development of their industry and commerce, as well as their residential growth. They first consider what they need, or the areas that they have available, and then decide where to build or what to build in order to benefit the largest number of people and interests. This is in contrast to environmental planning which considers the quality of the environment for the residents, and protects these areas from developments that would damage it.[2]

Integrated Environmental Zoning (Dutch model)[edit]

In an effort to simplify the process for permitting and land use, the Dutch government combined the agencies that were each responsible for air, water and soil pollution assessment (Environmental Protection Act of 1980). Further legislation switched the focus from threat analysis to environmental protection (National Environmental Management Act). The Netherlands have received attention for their plan to control all of their environmental issues within twenty-five years.[3] This mode of assessment has uncovered conditions that are unacceptable according to the program criteria, and the cost of remediation has been prohibitive. There have been concerns over the inflexibility of the assessments and today’s environmental policy is considering incorporating flexibility criteria to compensate for the costs, without compromising on the environmental standard goals.[4]


SUD-Net, in an effort to enable global, regional, national, and local leaders, has sought to commence and strengthen relationships that support urban development. SUD-Net enters into agreements with its members to communicate within a standard while using current ways to deal with urban issues. The Regional Technical Cooperation Division (RTCD) offices are tasked with creating Regional Working Groups, initiating agreements to be ratified by SUD-Net administrators. Access to SUD-Net is voluntary and happens through an Urban Gateway.


SUD-Net aims to improve the resources available for entities ranging from national to local governments to assist in the efforts to cultivate productive, sustainable urban cities. The organization seeks to improve social equity, social resilience, economic development, and the quality of urban environments all over the world. Through the use of urban and environmental planning, SUD-Net intends to help local decision makers mitigate the effects of urbanization on climate change and support poverty reduction strategies.[5]

The consequences that are linked with growing populations in cities are known, however, many government and local decision makers in developing and semi-developing countries still remain unaware of the strategies and resources that can be used to implement sustainable urban development policies. SUD-Net seeks to address this issue with the use of furthering education about sustainable urban planning and provide access to tools and communication networks to further enhance the resources for cities to practice good, sustainable habits.[6]

With these goals in mind, UN-HABITAT and SUD-Net provide a coordinated global portal through which urban decision makers can access information and resources, interact, and cooperatively engage through the SUD-Net partnerships and access to basket funding. Within UN-HABITAT, SUD-Net joins existing initiatives while also strengthening interdisciplinary collaboration on sustainable development issues.[6] SUD-Net is recognized as one of the targeted ongoing actions for advancing the Global Campaign for Sustainable Urbanization that will enable cities to make more sustainable decisions.[7]

Initiatives and Projects[edit]

The Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI)[edit]

Formally launched at an international conference in Oslo, Norway on 17 March 2009. The conference took place with two main goals in mind: integrating the principles of sustainable development into policies and programs and reversing the loss of natural resources in developing countries through the promotion of resilience to climate change. The main objectives of the conference were to officially launch the CCCI and share experiences on how to address the CCCI in both developing and developed countries. About 100 participants from the countries of the Philippines, Uganda, Mozambique, and Mexico were all in attendance. The issue of climate change is a key mandate connected with SUD-Net. The network places a strong emphasis on local urban planning and enhancing the competence of cities in the subject of global climate change.[5]

Cape Town SUD-Net Workshop[edit]

Took place in Cape Town, South Africa on 17–19 February 2009. The topic of the workshop was how to promote sustainable urban development networking in African cities. Prior to the conference, five pilot cities in Africa were added to the Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI), which continued to fulfill the major goal of SUD-Net that is strengthening the voices of urban dynamics for developing cities. Major objectives of the workshop were to identify and strengthen urban planning networks in Africa and identify any possible weaknesses or gaps in the plan, share experiences, define SUD-Net’s role in the Africa region in the promotion of urban planning and management, and to officially launch the SUD-Net Africa regional network. The countries of Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe were all in attendance. 41 participants were present at the workshop.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "UN-HABITAT For A Better Urban Future". UN-HABITAT. UN-HABITAT. 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  2. ^ Miller, D.; de Roo, G. (1997). Urban Environmental Planning. Brookfield, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company. pp. 1–10. 
  3. ^ Miller, D. (1997). Urban Environmental Planning. Brookfield, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company. pp. 165–178. 
  4. ^ de Roo, G. (1997). Urban Environmental Planning. Brookfield, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company. pp. 179–188. 
  5. ^ a b "Cities and Climate Change Initiative" (PDF). UN-HABITAT. 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c van Donk, Mirjam (2009). "Promoting Sustainable Urban Development Networking in African Cities" (PDF). UN-HABITAT. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  7. ^ Balasescu, Alexandru (2011). "Window on the World" (PDF). Society for International Development (54(3), (418-419)). Retrieved 28 April 2016.