- Global urban development programmes and local realities in the Caricom-Caribbean: mismatches in needs and approach
- Habitat International
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Over the past decade the relationship between urban governance and urban development has been an area of growing academic and theoretical discussions. To improve urban living conditions, multilateral agencies within the United Nations have been at the forefront in integrating a ‘good governance’ agenda, including participation and decentralisation into a wide range of policies and urban development programmes. The principles underpinning these programmes find their origin in documents such as the Habitat Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals. In many of such programmes, models developed for African and Latin American cities have been adapted for implementation in cities in other regions of the global South. This article questions the extent to which such UDPs, with specific images and structures of governance in mind, are relevant to other urban realities. The central question is whether the urban issues that are considered urgent at the global level resonate with those acknowledged as urgent at the regional and national levels. Focussing on the CARICOM Caribbean, for this comparison, an international urban agenda with a Caribbean translation is developed, largely defined by UN programmes that have been implemented in the region. This international agenda is juxtaposed with a regionally defined Caribbean agenda of critical urban issues. We argue that while both policy agendas contain similarities, UDPs implemented by international agencies are not always relevant and useful. Specifically, we review the methodologies of implementation introduced in UN programmes, aimed at resource efficiency and sustainable results through a ‘good governance’ approach, which focuses on openness and transparency, inclusion, integrity and accountability through decentralisation and participation. From our preliminary analysis of local perceptions and experiences with UDPs, we argue that these approaches have not been suitably adapted to Caribbean realities.
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