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Frame document Planning for sustainable urban development of i-Cities

(Version to be shared in Rabat, 30th of September 2013)

Joint publication* Document prepared in collaboration with:


Executive summary 1.



Background and objectives


Definition Intermediate and intermediary cities Quantitative and qualitative criteria for the definition


Questions on i-Cities


General findings on the opportunities and challenges for Planning and Urban Policies for i-Cities


Recommendations for i-Cities’ urban development actors



Illustration: View of Lleida, Spain, Source: Ajuntament de Lleida

Executive summary

The increasing importance of cities with intermediary profiles in the global urbanization process contrasts with the lack of adequate planning strategies that take into account their particular challenges and opportunities. Intermediary cities have opportunities to develop new forms of rural-urban partnerships, new patterns of growth and land use, new modalities of transport and new economic relations. Networks such as the CIMES network and the Union of Architects, as well as the International institutions have joined this effort; most notably UN Habitat, ILO and Cities Alliance and the Norwegian ministry of Foreign affairs have all joined UCLG. The member cities of the planning committee and initiatives, such as FMDV, also contribute on the path to gathering information, understanding city leaders, and developing recommendations. The initial European and Latin American view of these academic networks was compared with African realities and situations. Global examples were analysed and the document was further developed and debated in a global Forum in Lleida, Spain. The document raises question and gathers findings on opportunities and challenges for i-cities while also discussing recommendations. It expands on relevant topics for successful planning and development strategies, such as: • • • • •

Definitions Spatial planning and environment Institutional aspects Economic Social and cultural strategies Financing urban development

Summary of the first policy findings and recommendations Building new and innovative forms of urban-rural partnerships, governance and leadership should be a priority theme for i-Cities’ planning and future agendas. Strategic and spatial planning and financing instruments should be used to guide sustainable development that better suits cities’ particular conditions. New indicators, that take into account these differences, are required in order to define planning and financing priorities. National planning and financing for urban development is focused on indicators such as size and economic performance. The role of local social and economic development must be enhanced through planning adapted to the reality of the territory; in particular the implementation of the concept of economies of proximity is beneficial to the socio-economic conditions of i-Cities. Knowledge, that is currently accessible to i-Cities, can be strengthened. Therefore we encourage the international community, networks and partners to facilitate solutions and evidence-based knowledge exchanges between i-Cities.

UCLG and partners Frame document on Intermediary Cities

1. Introduction Rapid urbanization is currently taking place and largely in developing countries. By 2020, more than half the population of the world is projected to be urban (United Nations, 2011). Moreover, cities of less than one million inhabitants will constitute more than half of urban population by 2025 (Fig 1). This means that the cities and towns (medium-sized, second-tier and small) will require more services and investment to cope with the changes. Furthermore, serving as mediators between the rural and the urban services, functions and flows, these cities, referred to as intermediate or intermediary cities (hereinafter called iCities), will require increased capacities to sustain their position as regional economic drivers. New policies, funding and planning instruments to address their specific position in the urban system are necessary.

Source: Fig 1. UN World Urbanization Prospects 2011

I-Cities, placed between settlements, small cities and towns, and big cities of more than one million, enable the rural population to access basic facilities (like schools, hospitals, administration, markets) and services (like jobs, electricity, IT services, transportation). Having this intermediate position, they also constitute,

for the majority of citizens, transition points to exit rural poverty (The World Bank, Urbanization and Poverty Reduction, 2013). Therefore, the efforts to shape the development of a more just, sustainable and united society must be recognized so that the dynamics of these cities can be promoted. All cities need examples of effective management and leadership, and greater attention has been given to big cities and metropolitan areas but i-Cities cannot follow the same approach. Although representing very diverse groups, there are numerous similarities in the global dimension of i-Cities in terms of challenges and opportunities and relating to urban and territorial systems that distinguish them. Therefore, in order to learn and plan for sustainable urban development which meets the demands of the urban as well as rural population of their regions, i-Cities should have their own voice in the discussion on urbanization. Aware of this, local government associations are ready to provide opportunities to share international and national experiences, and lessons by stimulating cooperation among North-South and South-South i-Cities. They want more attention to be given to i-Cities in order to build their confidence and widen their ambitions. United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) represents and defends the interests of local and regional governments and their associations on the world stage through cooperation between local governments, and within the wider international community, regardless of the size of the communities they serve. UCLG is keen to enable and encourage sharing and learning projects, particularly to promote planning instruments and methods, as well as inter-municipal cooperation on local, regional, national and international levels. While there is a growing gap between the increasing importance of cities with intermediary profile in the global cities networks and a lack of adequate planning strategies, urging researchers and practitioners to respond, UCLG seeks to explore what policy support is required by networks, local associations, and national governments. Therefore, the UCLG committee on Urban Strategic planning has been tasked, in 2013, to focus on intermediary cities. The UCLG World Secretariat, through its programmes, particularly though the Joint Work Programme with Cities Alliance and the Government of Norway, is supporting intermediary cities (mainly in the global “South�) and associations to coordinate their city to city cooperation on the topic of Urban Strategic Planning and Policies for i-Cities. UCLG believes in the importance of i-Cities for the consolidation and enlargement of its political base.

2. Background and objectives UCLG and its partners at the United Nations, particularly UN Habitat and ILO, in addition to UCLG initiatives such as the FMDV and UCLG committees, are keen to respond to the challenges that local governments around the world face and lobby members to provide expertise and professional support to increase capacities. In the present context, the international urban community shares the importance of a better understanding of i-Cities, planning for their needs and creating policies to counter challenges, find solutions and innovate. Internationally, intermediary cities are facing a number of challenges. Although these challenges are shared by many other cities and metropolitan areas in the world, they have particular scope and impact in i-Cities. Their challenges include: • • • • • • • • •

poor and insufficient planning political and financial dependency higher cost for service provision with less income from taxes and fees lack of financial resources for addressing backlogs and growing the infrastructure base to absorb urbanisation pressures limited capacity and administrative challenges employment profiles dependent on few sectors (eg. mining, tourism, agriculture) unstable and conflict-ridden political structures, particularly in Africa. impact of climate change and the need for improving the management of urban growth and development insufficient promotion (city marketing building the external identity)

In a global context, apart from in Europe, we can see that there is little research and literature available in the form of publications, guides or proposals for iCities compared to bigger cities. In view of this, a task force of active members and partners was gathered among UCLG. So far, UCLG has been collaborating with the Chair of UNESCO and the UICA-CIMES network dedicated to the subject of intermediary cities, to develop a learning platform. A learning exchange, held in KwaDukuza, South Africa in March 2013, was a chance to gain better understanding of African intermediary cities.

Illustration 1: Learning exchange on intermediary cities, Kwadukuza, March 2013. From left: Silvio Barros - Mayor of Maringa, Richard Mthembu - Mayor of Kwadukuza, Nomusa Dube - Chairperson of KwaZulu Natal Province, Nomvuzo Shabalala – Deputy Mayor of eThekwini, Sara Hoeflich – Project Manager at UCLG, Welcome Mdabe – Mayor of Iiembe and Chairperson of SALGA.

Around 120 participants from cities and regions of 6 countries came together to review the needs for an agenda on i-Cities and to reflect on the concept of iCities applied to an African context. Key lessons from that learning workshop were extracted and have been included in this frame document, including characteristics and recommendations for planning. At the Lleida International Forum on ‘Intermediary cities, policies and planning’ that took place in June 2013, this document was placed for discussion. Mayors and practitioners, mainly from the global South, together with experts, development partners and network representatives had an opportunity to sit together and give their inputs on policy and planning recommendations.

Illustration 2: Mayors roundtable, Lleida, June 2013. From left, Mayors of: Narayanganj (Bangladesh), San Vincente (Ecuador), Agadir (Morocco), Kwadukuza (South Africa), Butuan (Philippines), Chefchouan (Morocco), Ferrara (Italy), Nampula (Mozabique)

Understanding the importance of planning in such cities and the necessity to train students and practitioners to optimise their opportunities and address their unique challenges, many universities have started to focus their research on iCities. Various international networks such as the Municipal Institute of Learning Durban (MILE), UNESCO Chair, the University in Lleida "Intermediate Cities Urbanization and Development", UIA-CIMES - working Programme of International Union of Architects (UIA), the European Urban Research Association (EURA), MECINE (European Network of Medium Sized Cities), the Ibero American network (AERYC), the FMDV (Fund for the Development of Cities) and others, are interested in this agenda and have started to offer support and collaboration on the work that has begun on the subject. Investments and new policies for economic development on i-Cities will directly encourage and create employment opportunities, which is one of their main aims. Furthermore, in developing countries, intermediary cities are emerging actors for urban growth, food security, job creation, education and basic service delivery.

Strategic Objectives of the Frame Document This document is the attempt to gather together the discussions of UCLG members, regions, partners and associations on i-Cities. Based on this, regional governments, national associations and organizations should develop a more accurate profile of the policy proposals. With regards to this, it is necessary to propose two major approaches: -


Firstly, to lobby within the network for the promotion of reviewing and improving new territorial and development policies and that the profile of i-Cities is included Secondly, encouraging the constitution of networks or learning groups at local, national or regional scale, complementary with the above objective, to dedicate themselves to the large and diverse set of these types of cities, to improve capacities, maturity of local teams and policies to be implemented

This document, discussed by politicians, practitioners and networks in the City of Lleida, June 2013, will subsequently be presented at the Rabat UCLG Congress in October 2013. An agenda for i-Cities with further steps will be decided on this occasion.

3. Definition


Intermediate and intermediary cities

Considering that cities function in broad spatial context as well as ´spaces of flows´ of information, goods and people (Castells, M., 2000), various city classifications include: capitals and secondary-cities or second-tier cities (ESPON Applied Research, 2013) relating to the international and national urban hierarchies; Regiopoles (Aring, Reuter, 2008) and Netcities (Biaccini, Oswald, 2003) referring to agglomeration in a regional scale; edge cities, Zwishenstadt (Sieverts, T., 2000), intermediate landscape in relation to their urban form and bedroom, satellite cities, industrial cities, airport cities in relation to function in metropolitan scale. However, urban agglomerations continue to be defined primarily by spatial and demographic criteria as mega, metropolitan, large, medium-sizedand small cities, which signal their position within the domestic and international urban networks. The classification criteria lacked indicators for both the potential inherent in mediumsized cities and the risks they were prone to. In view of this, the term ´intermediate or intermediary´ was introduced. Intermediate city, whose use was first registered in academic circles in the mid-1980s, expands on the meaning of the term that it has now all but replaced: medium-sized city (Gault, M., 1989; Bolay, J.C., et al. 2004, Bellet, C., 2010). I-Cities, which include intermediate and intermediary cities, must refer to specific well-defined territorial context and be associated with hierarchies and networks, taking into consideration not only urban but also rural networks and natural environment systems. They are not only defined in terms of demographic size and specific dimensions (that are coherent with the demographic context), but on the basis of the functions that they perform: their role in the mediation of flows (of goods, information, innovations, and administration, etc.) between the rural and the urban territories within their respective areas of influence and with respect to other centres or areas, that may be more or less distant from them (Llop, J.M.; Bellet, C., 2010). 3.2.

Quantitative and qualitative criteria for the definition:

The characteristics of i-Cities vary across and between continents and countries, with each having different thresholds for what would hold such a classification. Their position is determined by the country’s political, social and economic specificities.

The size of i-Cities may also vary considerably and so do their budget and administrative competences, which all constitute quantitative indicators, difficult to shape and influence by the city itself. In terms of population size as an example of quantitative criteria, the European Union defines i-Cities as settlements that contain between 20,000 and 500,000 inhabitants, while the World Bank raises the upper limit to one million. In the North American context, the range is usually between 200,000 and 500,000; in Pakistan 25,000 and 100,000 and in Argentina between 50,000 and one million. Moreover, what would constitute a medium-sized, or intermediate city in Europe, may correspond to a small, or even very small city in the context of China or India in which there are many cities with far more than a million inhabitants (Llop, J.M., 2004). Furthermore, many national governments classify the cities in groups based on income, population or size. This has implications on their legal and fiscal competences, leading towards “upward aspirations� such as districts wanting to become cities (Indonesia), towns to become cities (Namibia) or tertiary cities to become secondary cities (South Africa) or metros.

Similarly, qualitative criteria like quality of life in the city, connectivity, cooperation with the hinterland, etc. are equally important in defining i-Cities. Urban networks often apply measuring indicators to the network of flows, role, and function that the city has within its territory; in addition to these we can add the relationship it maintains and creates, which can be influenced by the cities themselves.

To illustrate this, the following are the identified quantitative indicators of i-Cities Population size o


In this study, we consider cities with populations between 50,000 and one million inhabitants as iCities, occupying intermediate positions in their settlement hierarchy. However, there might be a few exceptions. Some i-Cities need two population indicators: the difference between day and night population is easily 2:1 (ex. Blantyre in Malawi has a day time population of approximately one million while at night time, it is a little over 600,000. At least 350,000 people commute to the city on a daily basis; in Krakow (Poland) approx. 250,000 students are not considered in the official statistical figures).

Administrative competences and budget o





Institutionally (and financially) the city is dependent on other spheres of government, given less power than the big cities in national networks to shape their development. In international and national development priorities, they are often “invisible” or fit under the umbrella of the region. Staff capacity in administration is smaller than in big cities, with less number of specialized employees and lower salaries. Budget per inhabitant is considerably lower in i-Cities than in the metros or big cities, when compared in respective national context (i.e. the difference in budget for public transport in Spain is ten times bigger on average in big cities than in medium-sized). They house government administration bodies (local or regional) through which the demands and needs of large sectors of population are channelled as well as national development programs implemented.

The identified qualitative indicators for i-Cities: External connectivity (networks, territorial links) o o




By serving as important node in the structure flow, iCities provide access to other levels of network. Functionally i-Cities serve as supply centres for more or less specialised goods and services for their own population and for those (urban and rural settlements) which lie within its hinterland or area of influence. I-Cities are the “economic heart” of large rural areas (Hardoy, J.; Satterhwaite, D., 1996), centres of social, economic and cultural interaction. They serve education (higher education facilities), health (hospital, specialized medical care), cultural, religious and transportation facilities for broader population. They create added value to the territory as a whole by facilitating mediation between rural and urban areas (i.e. institutions like ACTEL in Lleida (Spain) improve the performance of agricultural production in the area by organizing the flow of goods).


I-Cities are points of transition, a first stop for populations looking for jobs, specialised services and a better quality of life. For example, research in Tanzania showed that one in two individuals/households who exited poverty did so by transitioning from agriculture into the rural non-farm economy or secondary towns. Only one in seven exited poverty by migrating to a large city (World Bank, 2013).

Internal connectivity (form, scale, facilities) o






Comparative research on almost 100 i-Cities around the world show that cities up to 650,000 inhabitants are more compact than bigger ones, with a 70% of population living within the circle of 3.9 Km radius walking distances (Llop, J.M; Bellet, C., 2003) Proximity of services and facilities makes i-Cities more humane and comprehensive for citizens to identify themselves with space and create strong local identity (ex. Ferrara in Italy). Scale offers more balanced and close relations with natural environment and surrounding rural areas. However, they can be also more vulnerable to unsustainable investment (for example, i-City of Cajamarca (Peru) faces risk of mining company threatening fragile ecosystem of mountaintop wetlands). They are often with primary and secondary resources (mine, agriculture) which depend much on external factors. I-Cities usually have free land available for urban extension and are able, at least in principle, to maintain harmonic and balanced relation with their respective territories. Quality of life is considered superior owing to the proximity to services which is appreciated by certain income groups, especially knowledge workers such as university employees.



Questions on i-Cites

The questions for the debate and further study that have been raised by members and partners are classified under the following categories: definition, spatial and environmental aspects, social and cultural aspects, institutional aspects, economic aspects, financing development and services. 4.1.


• What is the understanding of an intermediate and intermediary city in different countries? What terms are used by national and regional governments when referring to this group? • What are their distinctive features, strengths, weaknesses and opportunities compared with capital cities and metros? • What should be the roles and functions of these cities in broader urban network? • Are the i-Cities competitive? If yes, how and with whom do they compete? • Are i-Cities placed in the middle of urban system of cities? • Who are the stakeholders in i-Cities? Are they different than in big cities? Do they create different relations with each other? • Should i-Cities join networks of cities that have an identity by themselves or a brand? Which networks suit them? • What is the demographic range of i-Cities? 4.2.

Spatial and Environmental aspects

• What are the new trends of urban growth and their priorities and how are iCities affected by them? • What is the role of i-Cites in national and regional urban systems? • Were they exposed to new planning methods like the metropolitan areas have been? What are i-Cities planning methodologies and tools? • Is a land consumption viewed as a problem or an opportunity? • Do they have concepts of protection and heritage? • Are there any initiatives to adapt to climate change? What is their level of resilience? • Is there a tendency towards green, sustainable development? • What are the existing legal instruments to plan for sustainable development? • Is the environmental potential important enough to create a strategy around it? How can it be measured? • What is the range of their physical size and population density? • Are i-Cities dense? Are they scattered or compact? • Do they have mixed land use patterns? • What are the levels of urban amenities and basic infrastructure services?

• What is their relationship to their hinterlands? 4.3.

Institutional Aspects

• What is the level of decentralization of i-Cities in their respective countries or regions? What are the ways in which the different tiers of government cooperate? • What is the institutional capacity of the local governments to manage iCities? • Is there good horizontal and vertical multi-level urban governance? • What are the ways adopted by i-Cities to advocate their cause and represent their interests? • How can local government associations benefit from cooperation with international networks such as UCLG, CA, etc.? Do they provide more effective platform to promote i-Cities? • What are the management tools employed by i-Cities? • What mechanisms do they use to deliver social and economic services? • How can the local government facilitate innovative management of i-Cities and their potentials? What tools must be given to the local government to lobby with both national government and international institutions? • What can i-Cities do to improve their governance (performance, strategies, etc.)? • Is intermediation considered a main task for local political leadership? 4.4.

Economic aspects

• What is the economic potential of i-Cities? • What is the GDP and economic profile of i-Cities compared to big cities in urban system? • What is the economic situation of i-Cities? What is the prosperity level of its people (income)? • What are their main sectors of economic activity? • What levels of economic growth are being experienced? • What levels and types of investments do they attract? • What is the job creation rate and what type of jobs? • How is unemployment structured? • What is the nature of skills of its people? • Is there a migration to metropolitan areas and why? Is there migration from rural areas to the city? • What is the role of the private sector? • How has the financial crisis affected i-Cities and how are they coping? • Are the constraints of i-Cities different to Metropolitan areas? Who is responsible for their economic development, poverty alleviation and employment creation? • Are economies in i-Cities more linked to urban or rural economies?

• • • •

Is there a focus on endogenous economy? How can we stimulate the investments? Are there resources to fund sustainable growth and development? What is the role of planning in economic development?


Social and cultural aspects

• What are the characteristics of i-Cities population? Is it more diverse or homogeneous than in big cities? • Are i-Cities multi-cultural compared to big cities? Is there interaction between diverse communities? • Is there a difference between i-Cities in immigration societies and nonimmigration societies? • Are there problems related to migration, segregation, inequality and inclusion? How do i-Cities deal with it? • Are there issues of poverty? How do i-Cities deal with it? • What are the social consequences of unemployment? How do i-Cities deal with it? • Are there problems with ageing population? How do i-Cities deal with it? • What are the cultural challenges in i-Cities? • Do i-Cities have their own cultural identity? Is it regional or national identity? • How do i-Cities preserve local identity for the future population? • Is the cultural and social potential important enough to create a strategy around it? • What is the role of social dialogue in i-Cities? 4.1.6. Financing Development and Services • What are the existing financial instruments to support i-Cities? • What are i-Cities’ specificities in terms of financing development? What are its main strengths and weaknesses? • How do i-Cities finance their development and services? How to provide and finance sustainable and effective public services with local resources? • Are financing tools innovative (PPP, effective strategies of tax recovery, land value management)? • What are the financial resources available to i-Cities besides their tax revenue? How do i-Cities mix different sources of revenue (hybridization)? • What kind of financial support do they receive from their national governments? • What specific challenges do they face internally in generating revenue? • What are their challenges in access to finance and how do they overcome? • How to plan to ensure a sustainable, integrated and resilient economic development of territories (attract private investment, valorise local resources, management of land value and spatial growth, etc.)?


5. General findings on the opportunities and challenges for Planning and Urban Policies for i- Cities.

This chapter contains answers and first examples to the above listed questions regarding planning, urban policies and financing i-Cities. They are based on findings discussed among members of the UCLG Committee on Urban Strategic Planning in 2012 and 2013, following the adhesion of the CIMES as associate partner. The objective of developing this collection was to gather the vast knowledge on planning of i-Cities in order to share with local leaders, international organizations, universities and other actors involved in the process of balancing urbanization. Grouped into six thematic sections and related to the above questions, the answers create a set of examples and proposals for i-cities’ sustainable urban development. Following this, more detailed recommendations feature for specific actors involved in the urban development process.

Illustration 3: Thematic round-table workshop on intermediary cities, Lleida, June 2013.

5.1. Definition of the concept The characteristics of i-Cities vary across and between continents and countries. Their position is determined by political and economic specificities. Moreover, the diversity of intermediary and intermediate cities is in direct response to the diverse results of the urbanisation process in each and every territorial context. The forms of urbanisation have a duel cultural and material component that responds to, among other things, the historical, social, cultural and geographical characters. The indicators defining i-Cities (mentioned in the previous chapter) vary according to the region, particularly in size. An European city is understood as medium if it has more than 50,000 inhabitants, while the same definition cannot be applied in Asia. Generally i-cities range between 50,000 and 1 million. Reasons for the establishment of these cities also vary significantly. Some have strong historical roots (Blantyre in Malawi, Speyer in Germany) or have emerged from the extraction of raw material (Newcastle in South Africa), while some others border a major Metropolitan city (KwaDukuza, bordering eThekwini in South Africa). Some have been established as “new towns� for specific purposes, like setting up of particular industries, (Maringa, Brazil) affordable housing (Arakkonam, India) or as administrative hubs and perform the function of an intermediate city. Moreover, in large parts of the world, i-cities depend on the economy of their dependent domains, where local opportunities constitute the basis of its development. These extend from rural forms of economy to informal economies. Concept The intermediary cities concept is based on the idea that the potential and importance of the city does not depend so much on its demographic size as on the way in which it interacts with the other elements within its system: its capacity to create relationships and create a network and also the characteristics of this network. The intermediary city concept adds value and introduces more dynamic and strategic aspects that offer new possibilities for self-affirmation, reinforcing the city-region or city systems and paving the way for/consolidating relationships at other levels such as inter-municipal, regional, national and even international level. The intermediary cities concept implies replacing the static and notably hierarchical conceptualisations of the urban system identified in the most classical theories with a new and more open, dynamic and interactive concept (Dematteis, G., 1991).

Finally, the intermediary cities concept does not see urban and rural dimension as separate dynamics. The global food crises and the industrialization of agriculture have been impacting cities: unemployment, migration, alteration of food chains, to name a few. Only an intermediary attitude that includes the rural territory will encourage innovative opportunities. Therefore there is big potential in strengthening the role of i-cities to enable active facilitation of urban-rural relationships.

5.2. Spatial and Environmental aspects The spatial evolution of cities is has always been marked by economic pressure, of private sector or informal growth. Cities struggle to avoid an altered relation between planning, and actual spatial evolution. While investors and citizens receive plans as obstacles to development, plans are permanently changed, lose credibility or do not meet the pace of growth or shrinking. The prevailing trends of urban growth are space and resource consuming; the outputs are inefficient in a longer timeframe. Particularly in i-Cities, urban land is growing much faster than urban population. Some of the most common spatial growth patterns and challenges include:

growth of urban corridors

urban sprawl and segregation of functions

loss of green or agricultural land

While planning to achieve territorial balance, it is important to consider the diversity of patterns of urbanisation and the functioning of different urban systems, and the different potentials and roles in each particular territorial context. In this process i-Cities play an important role in balancing the urban concentration. This is also because of their foreseen growth that will largely take place in the developing world (UN World Urbanization Prospects 2011). The phenomenon of i-Cities helps to limit the excessive congestion of the large urban agglomerations (mega-cities and megalopolises). They are complementary to

the process of urban migration, suburbanization, and growth of informal settlements that cause pressure, and not only on large cities. Cities try to anticipate those trends by addressing in their plans: defined boundaries between the city and surrounding land as well as decentralized services and functions involving surrounding villages. Some of the proposed spatial growth patterns and include:

planned satellite cities

densification and urban extensions

planned growth of existing surrounding villages

5.2.1. I-Cities have an important role in creating sustainable urban systems I-Cities can create a new spatial – economic format, even a new paradigm. Not antithetic or opposed to metropolitan (global) centres, but as an integrated and coordinated wholes, mutually beneficial. This idea is the bases for the Leipzig Charter (2007), which encourages specifically the strengthening of city clusters. This builds on the tradition of European countries, with the state or provincial policies supporting “weaker” municipalities to provide services and overcome the lack of competitiveness. Intermediary cities therefore play a key role as ‘switch’ between big and small scale, urban and rural municipalities – often operating in peri-urban area as an ‘in-between’ or so called ´mediators´ (Tsveta Velinova, 2010). 5.2.2. Physical urban planning is coherent at the intermediary city scale I-Cities have a spatial and human scale that is appropriate for understanding and defining them. With respect to larger cities, those of this scale tend to have sizes and urban dimensions that are more conducive for efficient urban planning. They usually have opportunities for expansion and growth. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that this is a generalisation and needs to be validated with respect to different types of cities and their respective urban plans. Their particular structures, zoning, spatial distributions and/or design and the specific

relations with, rural areas, megacities or/and other cities in urban system should serve as the definitive points of reference.

5.2.3. Planning for proximity Proximity, which is a distinctive character of i-Cities, allows for high quality, sustainable urban space. Many i-cities include central areas with the key services being accessible within walking distance. By reducing distances between spaces and people, it provides better accessibility for users and effective service management. The potential of proximity, unique to the i-City, promotes a more just planning process as the scope and scale is more easily encompassed than in the big city. The most basic right of access to common space and opportunities, as well as urban services - the right to know, understand and review the plan and/or city programme - is more achievable in i-Cities scales. Innovation and development are fundamental for these diverse cities. Smart growth, efficient resource management and information circulation should be a central point for development strategies. Compactness and proximity are spatial factors that have an impact on those aspects of development. 5.2.4. Policy and strategic plans illustrate solutions to the basic problems faced by each city and its population Spatial and strategic plans are ideally linked and integrated into a single plan. They must be tailored to the needs of each specific place and society in order to avoid the negative consequences of the homogenisation of cities as a result of badly applied globalisation processes. To achieve this, it is necessary to base urban plans and spatial proposals on locally significant elements and considerations. The assets that can change the development dynamics must be valued (including land and natural assets). Natural assets must be preserved on long term basis for different uses: here, it is very important to make informed choices. Law and regulations need to support this vision at national level. The right mechanisms for protecting public space are increasingly created and encouraged by civic and political leaders, who raise awareness to consider the value of green land, public space and public facilities. These mechanisms include careful study of the local, socio-spatial relations to build on the existing potentials and values.

5.2.5. The physical or urban spatial plans establish balances between consolidated and open spaces to the benefit of natural environments It is broadly agreed that it is not possible to develop a form of urbanism that ignores criteria for sustainability and respect for the environment. For this reason, physical and urban plans and their subsequent administrations achieve the following general objectives, which can serve as a working hypothesis. The physical plan establishes a system of open spaces as guideline for planning the urban occupation (Tardin, 2013). It means that the plan is based on a system of open spaces and occupied spaces (existing or forthcoming) and its rules of occupation. This approach aims to promote and apply the ecological advantages of cities, as well as ensure the protection of their visual features, such as the skyline, landscape and urban composition etc. Those plans guide the construction of the built elements in the urban context, such as infrastructure and buildings. In this sense, urban plans and particularly infrastructure plans, impact on the environment and the whole landscape in their models for territorial organisation and development. In the larger scale, the territory, officially recognised in the form of the specific landscape of each urban area and its own particular diversity, constitutes the fundamental element of urban planning. I-Cities have more opportunities to establish systems of open spaces, promoting/protecting geographic and environmental elements (rivers, hills, wetlands), as well as ensuring open space protection between consolidated areas as land markets and urbanization are still open. The result of this approach means a more integrated urban development in which the most significant physical-spatial attributes of open spaces (biophysical, visual perception and related to the integration of urban context) are preserved/reinforced as guidelines to the construction of the urban occupation of cities. 5.2.6. The urban spatial plan provides measures, definitions and indicators The physical plan gives concrete definition of the relationship between factors such as total surface area and zone density, maximum distances and general urban form, land use planning and means of transport. This has an impact on the rates of the individual and essential movements of people between their places of work, residence and service. Many solutions involve adopting denser models in the case of horizontal cities (as found, for example, in the cities of North America, northern Europe, and the English-speaking world) and controlling densities in areas that already have high densities (e.g. the Mediterranean region or Asia).

5.2.7. The urban spatial plan promotes density, compactness and mixed use to become reality The goal is an optimization of densities, urban compactness and mixed use, avoiding sprawl and the creation of “dormitory cities”, without segregation between different urban zones. City limits or boundaries as instruments of growth regulation should be central to the plan, as showcased in the case of Agadir in Morocco that “learned” not to repeat urban areas without public facilities. In the case of i-Cities, those ideas become more feasible. Due to their smaller scale, the impact of plans is greater and they are much faster to implement. Moreover, organisations such as UN-Habitat have produced materials to support cities in their planning processes, such as the “Urban Planning for City Leaders”. UN-Habitat discussion on urban expansion is in process. The meeting of experts in Barcelona (Planning City Expansions: Public and private space for expanding cities, September 2013) focused on creating planning guidelines for urban growth, particularly for cities in developing countries.

5.3. Institutional Aspects 5.3.1. Intergovernmental coordination of different administration levels involved in planning and implementation processes This is particularly relevant as decentralization frameworks often do not detail strategic alignment, for example in citizens’ participation, negotiation with private investment or local economic and social development opportunities. A systemic vision helps to enhance coordination between different administration levels to make a good prioritization of interventions. 5.3.2. The city development strategy includes medium and long term strategic planning in various spatial scales Regarding their functional character, strategic spatial planning in i-Cities cannot be discussed without taking into account the wider city region, including intermunicipal cooperation and coordination. Therefore there are two scales of policy making and spatial planning:

Local and/or regional including strategic relations with surrounding municipalities within a general framework that includes parameters for

urban policies and makes clear the relations with the nearest megacity or other cities in the urban system. It also provides the frame for a city project agreed upon by consensus amongst the public and private sectors.

Wider Urban systems, including region or country, is where i-Cities position themselves (i.e. offering attractive living and working conditions, affordable housing). Therefore i-Cities need the support of national spatial development policies oriented at the polycentric urban system.

A key factor of the planning methodology is a clear communication of short and long term goals and responsibilities. The creation and subsequent administration of appropriate city plan-projects make it possible for all the city’s stakeholders to become involved including organized civil society. This, in turn, allows greater public participation and the creation of a synergy and common goals. It is especially important in cities where lack of continuity in long term planning related to changes in government affects the development. 5.3.3. New Policies intermediation







I-Cities have the position of active mediators in urban governance. Therefore new policies and mediating relationships are vital. To achieve this, i-Cities create new policies that promote: •

• • •

The creation of partnerships between municipalities, but also between municipalities and private agents, improving local administrations capacities in order to integrate and improve urban and rural public services to be accessible and competitive for the population. Promote multi-level governance, taking into account a more relational and strategic management of cities and regional governments, committing to the same objectives. Encourage participation built on mutual trust and understanding between communities and authorities regarding their rights and duties. Adopt formulas for partnerships, associations and service based intermunicipal cooperation. Create new public management formulas, private or mixed, including users and the entities and/or companies, exploring new actors and emerging markets and initiatives. Build relationships of cooperation and solidarity with common projects between cities and regions.

5.3.4. Sound strategic urban plans and policies I-Cities often face problems implementing their strategic plans. In in order to gain better outcomes, strategic i-City plans need to be coordinated with

higher levels of governance and sustained by citizens’ legitimation, inter-institutional and inter-governmental agreements. Different government levels, involved in planning and implementation, should cooperate to make comprehensive strategies however the tasks associated to them, should be delegated clearly. As showcased by the Haagland region in the Netherlands, the overseeing function can be from local to regional level or vice versa. Moreover, due to their scale, I-Cities have the opportunity to pursue closer relations with citizens. Thus transparency in planning and policies should be promoted to allow for more effective citizen control and participation. Consequently legitimisation of regional planning through participatory process requires official local government agreement and it should be organized in more subsidiary principle. 5.3.5. Large scale physical or financial interventions not constrained by municipal boundaries Legitimation of large scale interventions because of their inter-municipal scope and dimension, need to be incorporated in the urban planning. Very often local government interventions are restricted by jurisdiction and are, following their own criteria, often incoherent in terms of management. To achieve sound results, more horizontal and vertical cooperation is needed between sectors and levels of governments respectively. •


Better horizontal cooperation can be achieved through intermediary urban governance, which is a result of city to city cooperation that includes different planning sectors (transport infrastructure, mobility, housing, environmental corridors, services etc.) in one holistic vision. Improving vertical cooperation should be done by implementing multilevel urban governance in finding solutions to spatial problems that cross the borders of cities and regions.

5.4. Economic Aspects 5.4.1. Local Economic and Social Development aspects LESD and decent work strategies are increasingly being implemented in cities around the world; however, LESD does not only mean economic growth. I-Cities need to promote the creation of employment and several other aspects such as social dialogue, social protection, rights at work, etc. By putting emphasis and developing these

aspects, i-Cities are able to advance, and furthermore, achieve - the Decent Work Agenda - a key component of LESD strategies. Local authorities must have fiscal autonomy and sufficient minimum capital to promote sustainable development. This depends on national laws on decentralization of resources, and it must be complemented with citizens’ oversight to prevent corruption. 5.4.2. I-Cities have their own, competitive agenda I-Cities share many similarities, one of which is that due to their scale and functions they cannot simply adapt metropolitan cities’ agendas. Therefore, based on the assessment of their individual strengths and opportunities, they should develop their own agendas. In order to respond to the dynamics of local economic and social development, it is helpful to build complementary and supportive networks and not to get into the logic of competition. Those networks should be built at: • • •

Regional level between intermediary cities and rural communities. National level between intermediary towns and cities; International level between intermediary cities.

These networks can be established inside the region, or through a South-South and Triangular cooperation frameworks, as it is based on the central idea of solidarity engaging partners involved in a mutually-beneficial relationship that promotes self-reliance and self-help. In this sense, the roles of national governments, regional entities and UN agencies is in supporting and implementing South-South and Triangular cooperation that has been highlighted in the outcome document from the High-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation held in 2009 in Nairobi.1 Each i-City has its own specific potential. This potential is being enhanced through the balance of the five criteria of sustainability (adopted on the basis of the Leipzig charter by the Africa Union of Architects). The proportion and relevance of the potential can help in building an identity for the city (old or new), and in integrating it into international networks following the same affinity. This can add to the city’s uniqueness and be relevant in facing constant challenges. The unique aspect is that i-Cities are more flexible in adapting to new challenges and coming up with innovative solutions that are closer to their citizens. This allows them to address their problems more accurately and rapidly than metropolitan and prime cities. Moreover, i-Cities have a greater direct impact on the surrounding areas and the rural-urban linkage is stronger. 1

For example, cities like Lleida in Spain Chefchouen in Morocco or Nampula in Mozambique encourage new forms of commerce and food distribution, by proving farmers and consumers direct access to each other. In providing this linkage, they also strengthen themselves because owing to the coalitions they form. 5.4.3. I-Cities see the potential of the local economy While most of global investment focuses on large cities, i-Cities economic strategies need to be built mostly upon local resources oriented on the local market. Strategies should be preceded by a diagnosis of the territory and the economic actors, along with their economic development potential (strengths and weaknesses). It should include strategic economic planning in physical planning. Job creation and economic growth provide the basis to expand decent work. As a result a higher and a more sustainable growth can be ensured. The parallel relation of these aspects covers the recognition and respect of the rights at work, the extension of social protection and the promotion of social dialogue. Transparent formal planning and clear policies of cooperation with public sector, for example by supplementing public transport, guide the private sector to make investment plans. This helps to lay the ground for responsible investment. For example, investment in mining industry creates jobs along with providing houses and other services thereby creating city extensions in many cases. However, when the mine is shut down, the working population remain without secure income. This unsustainable practice requires, later on, big public investment to overcome its consequences. Therefore clear laws for socially and environmentally responsible investment are crucial, especially in the case if intermediary cities. In developing countries, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are one of the main driving forces of economies. They provide a wide range of services, products and are well known for being significant job creators. Therefore they should be taken care of by the local government policies and regulations. 5.4.4. Urban planning is a tool for economic development Sound urban planning can mitigate unsustainable urban growth and be a crucial tool for city management. One of the main assets of i-Cities is that they have strong relationships with surrounding agricultural land from which city and region mutually benefit. However, too many i-Cities sprawl into agricultural land (mini-funds). As property structures are diverse in these areas, formal and informal housing occurs, using basic agricultural services, particularly water. If the city is not providing alternatives through active land management,

people will settle informally, and often using the best agricultural land. Therefore i-Cities need to play a more active role in deciding their development patterns. Clear land use strategies and land valorisation that help to protect agricultural assets are vital. Holistic visions, in which development is tuned with transport systems and economic targets, are only effective if they are communicated and promoted. This directs the investment and allows for other actors to join the vision. 5.4.5. Economy of proximity is beneficial for i-Cities The economy of proximity provides better internal relations for short-cycle production – and consumption. Proximity of basic services and facilities is more socially just and inclusive. Municipalities can facilitate cooperation between various sectors and cluster development programmes, research, university, agribusiness, consumption circles based on proximity.

5.5. Social and cultural Aspects Social dialogue plays a critical role in achieving solutions for development and in building social cohesion and the rule of law. It promotes negotiation, consultations and exchanges of information on issues of common interest between or among the different members of the civil society and the government. Furthermore, social dialogue is an efficient mechanism to advance opportunities for the cities to attract investments and strengthen their capacity to provide its population with the necessary services. 5.5.1. The populations of i-Cities increasingly participate in city planning and management Inhabitants and space users participate in the design and management of the places where they live and work. The more familiar they are with the space, the more they matter. The city can only be a space for individual freedom, social cohesion and socio-economic progress if it meets certain minimal conditions for civic participation. As Aristotle said, “the city is a political construction”. There are good number of cities from different countries that have demonstrated the importance of active community participation in the preparation and implementation of their long term strategic growth and development plans. For example, in Brazil the city of Maringa made outstanding progress involving the local entrepreneurs into the city development strategy. In Divinopolis, the city approached participatory budgeting involving communities through “city hall” meetings. A similar experience is reported by Dondo, Mozambique, that is

applying participatory budgeting in a context where municipalities have little funds of their own. In those cases, participation is reflected in a number of forms. Firstly, communities contribute to the decision making processes in relation to the selection and prioritisation of projects and programmes. Secondly, they become signatories to the plan, acknowledging their participation in its formulation thereby reflecting their commitment to its implementation. Finally, as a result of the commitment by the communities, the cities have a mechanism to ensure that the performance, in relation to project implementation, is measurable and as such can be monitored by communities. As there are multiple examples of cities that have demonstrated that extensive public participation even in the budgeting process, this concept should be encouraged in all Intermediary cities. In principle participation should occur during the planning, reviewing and implementation cycles within the budgeting or/and spatial planning. 5.5.2. Social inclusion is increasingly incorporated in local planning Countries like South Africa count on legal bases (Integrated development plan) that foresee consultation processes. However, not all cities display this potential. In order to acknowledge the role of women, children and youth as key actors in social integration processes there needs to be a clear strategy aimed at including them in planning process. This can be achieved by establishing social dialogue to take into account their voices as individuals within society. They should have a stake in the debate that later defines their opportunities for better integration in society.

5.5.3. Housing problems in i-Cities can be addressed efficiently Considering that the fundamental problems of modern-day and future urbanisation continue to be those related to the most basic needs of housing, this can be addressed more efficiently in i-Cities. Cities like Santander, Spain report lower housing prices to be crucial factor for competitiveness. Along with addressing housing and services, organising shared open spaces and public spaces is a key issue. By forming efficient cooperation in the peri-urban space, intermediary cities play a crucial role in this field and in housing issues by providing an attractive quality of life. Issues related to informality need to be addressed, such as ownership and tenancy of dwellings. This helps to deal with the provision of better quality and affordable housing in a flexible market. In i-Cities, the floating population is often related to the efficiency and limited differentiation of services in villages. This situation can be the strength of i-Cities in becoming service and economic centres for rural population rather than being just a place to live.

5.5.4. Protect historical and architectural heritage and use them as a source of inspiration in i-Cities Protect, rehabilitate and find new uses for the elements that comprise the historical and architectural cultural heritage. The consciousness of a representative architecture and of historical landscapes, which are closely bound to specific sets of geographical, historical, cultural, conditions, should be the source of inspiration for the architecture and urban development of i-Cities. This should be taken into consideration not only at the level of individual or isolated projects, but also when considering larger development plans and urban interventions and composing images, places or visual representations of these cities. 5.5.5. The global objective in i-Cities should be to offer their population a good quality of life The way in which this objective is defined depends on each specific contexts and starting point. Meeting the quality of life objective firstly implies covering the basic needs of each settlement: dignified housing, basic services: running water, drains and sewers, education and health services, etc. Once these basic needs and services have been covered, it is necessary to establish a series of more qualitative objectives.

Redevelop and improve the quality of city´s central areas

Create networks of public space, pedestrian areas, parks

No space consuming shopping malls in the outskirts

Provide streetlights, spaces for all age groups

Encourage commerce in the city centre

5.6. Financing Development and Services Knowing that cities are the real engine of growth for countries and considering that cities’ dynamism depends on the degree of development of each country, the percentage of public spending of i-Cities is very unequal in absolute and relative terms, some countries channel less than 3% through local governments. (GOLD II) 5.6.1. Financial Management Clear financial management is a critical step in promoting and maintaining the community’s trust in its government. Transparency in tendering processes would remove any suspicion of fraud and corruption, thereby improving the credibility and transparency of the city and, more importantly, creating a relationship of trust to be formed between the city and its citizens. Generally the economic scale of Intermediary cities differs to large cities and capitals. Salaries and public incomes through taxes and fees are lower, but infrastructure and other service provision might be similar or sometimes higher. In order to overcome the extensive backlogs coupled with inadequate financial resources that many intermediary cities face, it is imperative that cities: • • • • •

have strategic budgeting processes in which funds are clearly committed to projects and programmes have a mechanism to ensure that financial systems are in place and are legally compliant have regular financial monitoring and reporting have strategies for improving their revenue generation and collection have regular financial audits

5.6.2. Land management is an important financial tool Financing urban development can be done through effective land management by using planning instruments and urban policies. Planning instruments, such as urban plans, are essential tools to stimulate city economy. Increase in land value can be reached through direct investment in land, such as for example infrastructure and services, or through urban planning. In the case of the second, the plan, a legal instrument reflecting local governments vision, is a guide for potential investment. For example change of land use, plans for urban extension, road network plans, all affect the land value and stimulate growth. The revenue from investment in

land should be gained by local authorities through, for example, the land tax and reinvested in, for example, buying other land and increasing its value.


6. Recommendations for i-Cities urban development actors

The recommendations for i-Cities´ urban development actors, advocated by the UCLG and its partners, are built on conclusions from the first interregional meeting in South Africa (March 2013), that were discussed in the global meeting in Lleida, Spain (June 2013) and will be further debated at the World Congress in Rabat (October 2013). Their objective is to serve as a basic reference for various actors in the urbanization processes concerning iCities. The following six sections correspond to the logic of the above chapters. 6.1. Spatial and Environmental aspects Land is a central issue for i-Cities. It is one of their biggest assets. Most local authorities have competences in land management and thus can drive and stimulate growth. Land is also a limited resource, and requires protection and urbanization is one of the least sustainable uses. Growth patterns should foresee compact urbanization, clear zoning and connection between urbanized areas through public transport and basic and environmental services. Intermediary cities fulfil an essential role in forming effective partnerships between urban and rural parts/ land of a certain region. These partnerships will be of crucial importance for improving the quality of life. It is therefore important to plan urban expansion as a reduction of agricultural land, preserving green areas around the cities, tackling environmental and climate change problems, energy and water supply, and provision of services as a whole. It should be done according to basic principles for the planning of the system of open spaces, for example: the maintenance of natural elements and processes; the maintenance of the most singular physical characteristics, its elements and processes of perception, which gives identity to a specific landscape; the promotion of integration among the elements and processes of urban occupation through open spaces, regardless of their biophysical or visual attributes; the promotion of synergic urban design strategies between open and occupied spaces. Planning cannot be considered separately to implementation processes. It is very important to have precise indicators allowing for monitoring and

evaluation of urban development. This allows evaluation of the usefulness and feasibility of the planning tools, strategic decisions, and financial sustainability of urban development. Urban sprawl must be minimized by regulation and alternatives, the physical plan must give priority to a concrete definition of the relationship between factors such as total surface area and zone density, maximum distances and general urban form, land use planning and means of transport. Compact forms are generally more sustainable and need to be encouraged by legal instruments. It is necessary, however, to respect certain proportionality between free (public or community) space and land reserved for construction. The dense urban model has a proportional limit between free space and the built environment. Plans fulfil the criteria for sustainability. They must foster integration between informal (family) and formal (business) economies, promote sustainable cycles of production and the recycling of waste, encourage the use of local, nonpolluting or recyclable materials and conserve natural resources (water and land). Recycling of land, unused areas, building materials should be a priority, as well as the use of degradable building materials. Local government should make sure that the plan is done according to basic principles for the planning of the system of open spaces, such as for example: the maintenance of natural elements and processes; the maintenance of the most singular physical characteristics, its elements and processes of perception, which gives identity to a specific landscape; the promotion of the integration among the elements and processes of urban occupation through open spaces, regardless their biophysical or visual attributes; the promotion of synergic urban design strategies between open and occupied spaces. Proximity is a governance principle that has a spatial dimension. On city and neighbourhood level, planning possibilities include: • • •

Concentrating the working and living environment in walkable distance, maintaining or even improving the ecological quality. Production of consumption recycling services close to each other. Transport is the service in which intermediary cities have been innovative in the last decade: joining systems and fees, encouraging multi nodal systems, including cycling and walking facilities. To allow more urbanization along the existing public transport lines. Besides contributing to competitiveness, an investment in modern transport, attracting people to live in small centres that form a system and encouraging them to reduce the use of cars.

The management of cities and the provision of public services such as water, sanitation, shelter and roads require an integrated approach addressing all aspects of development. Local governments of i-Cities should make use of specific opportunities owing to the smaller size of their city and consequently of their administration. A more integrated or mixed city allows for a better, easier and more comfortable development of human functions and activities in the space in question and reduce (forced mobility) population movements. Citizens have a right to a plan and to make this happen, they need to understand their territory. This implies that planning tools and outcomes needs to be better shared and communicated. Technical mapping of infrastructure for example can become more didactical in order to be used by public and local decision makers, independent of their education. The best City systems are those that are able to cooperate and are spatial. It is important, when planning land use or spatial planning, to agree on basic principles for enhancing or controlling development (land use, sprawl, and growth) and to foresee coherent specialization, i.e. university cities in relation to industrial city.) Cities that have successfully implemented their projects are crucial in disseminating and supporting the application of successful strategies. Associations, networks and UCLG should encourage networking capacities among municipalities, within and between regions and countries, developing knowledge banks where best practices can be shared. Moreover, it is very important to have precise data on the evolution of cities and indicators for research and evaluation (they have to include some benchmarks, for instance the percentage devoted to public spaces). 6.2. Institutional Aspects Given the degree of urban concentration on a global scale, there is a fundamental need for i-Cities to be more active in urbanization processes at the national and regional level and international networks, so they can obtain visibility and recognition. For local leaders, public administration is less complex and makes integrated planning easier. Local leaders can set a personal example in the way they exercise their responsibilities. Local governments should take a more active role as intermediary cities as they are more manageable than big ones. They should invest in urban spatial

plans and urban policies as tools for economic development improvement. To do that, they need to develop networks and create partnerships with other municipalities and the private sector. South-south cooperation is an efficient and cost effective framework to partner for knowledge sharing and institutional capacity improvement. I-Cities can make use of this framework to share experiences and best practices. By documenting exchanges, the south-south cooperation approach can be systematized and further applied to other partnerships. National governments should be transparent in their planning processes and implementation. They should take into account the requirements of the stakeholders and the needs of their citizens. They should also acknowledge the challenge of urbanization and commit to following integrated local planning processes in order to enable local investment, once its coherency is ensured. There should be instruments available, such as inter-municipal secretariats, to coordinate the work of various municipalities. Distinctions between levels of responsibility must be clear to provide clarity for citizens and investors and also to help avoid confusion between local and national tiers of government. Regional governments should thrive towards avoiding territorial imbalance. When the real estate market is left alone to lead urban development, it tends to give preference to big transportation systems. Many iCities perform like market places - growing and shrinking during the day. These nodes should attract investment and provide services both to their urban population and to its rural surrounding. One of the objectives is to ensure territorial balance between the urban and the rural parts of their territories. The associations should advocate on behalf of i-Cities and promote their participation as key actors in urban development along with major cities. They should lobby national ministries to facilitate the implementation of local strategies. All of this would consequently lead the way towards a better structured cooperation and well documented success stories, providing the basis to develop the necessary tools for knowledge sharing. In this sense, by promoting the experience of an i-City in a certain field, there is great potential in developing also South-South Cooperation networks. UCLG together with partners and networks should promote i-Cities agenda in the global calendar of urbanization through international urban policy which involves these urban scales. UCLG would play in this context, a key role mainly in identifying i-Cities and highlighting their great development potential. They will also have a major role in identifying and disseminating good practices as well as in partnering with other organizations to obtain the technical or economical resources to implement the cooperation programs between i-Cities.

Development partners and UCLG should have bigger presence in Asia -raise awareness of new urban world dimension, the value of i-Cities in that scale through information gathering and communication. Development partners and international agencies should give i-Cities international attention by facilitating exchanges of good practices and information. In this context, South-South and Triangular Cooperation can serve as an effective framework to promote initiatives and take further follow up actions. A South-south and Triangular Cooperation Strategy for i-Cities would enable them to create and promote new mechanisms devoted to exchanging information and experiences. It would also provide the basis to develop networks of key actors for development. Development partners and international agencies, such as ILO, strongly support this initiative, drawing from previous experiences emanated from its own strategy. Development partners and superregional governments should focus on rural development strategies as one agenda and not develop back to back policies

6.3. Economic Aspects Local authorities and regional governments Local economic and social development of intermediary cities should be supervised by a schedule, which is adapted to the reality of the territory. The schedule should include:

• • • •

diagnosis of the territory, economic actors, their economic development potential short, medium and long term goals local and regional focus (to strengthen ties between the city and nearby rural communities), and make the different levels of planning consistent The strategic economic planning should be part of physical planning

To strengthen the local economy intermediate cities, local and regional authorities should: • • • •

Support the creation of quality jobs that guarantee a decent work. Encourage the creation of companies, cooperatives, supporting small and medium enterprises, attracting investment. Encourage a decentralization of services, especially education and health. Encourage the formation of systems, avoiding overlapping and competing between neighbouring cities for the same function or investments

• •

• • • • •

Manage the informal economy Being effective in regards to the delivery of good quality services, particularly housing, health, education and public transport, ensuring that these public services will positively and directly impact the population, including local youth and elderly. Hereby contributing to fighting social inclusion while expanding social protection and becoming the engine of local economic and social development. Take into account private and public sectors, trade union members, and civil society groups who could work together to promote investment in quality public services. Encourage innovation (important role of universities). Develop "green economy" and “green jobs”. Finding a balance between endogenous and exogenous development, empower indigenous resources in an open economy. Have a comprehensive view of the local economy, finding a balance between rural economy and urban economy. Identify the elements that make the city more dynamic and balanced. Each city must have an identity (specialization is an option but not necessarily adapted to all territories) and gain visibility.

National governments should ensure that the municipalities of the i-Cities and their territories make progress. In particular they should encourage them to build on their assets. Support may be required for some of these and can be provided by increasing management capacity. In planning processes, all aspects of local economic and social development should be taken into account. In Brazil, for instance, when Decent Work Municipal Programmes (DWMPs) are established, ministries of Labour had a key role to support local authorities by transferring knowledge. Some agencies, such as ILO, give special attention to multi-stakeholder approaches in the field of Local Economic and Social Development. Conversely, agencies such as UN-Habitat should continue playing a key role in promoting LESD through strategic planning. 6.4. Social and cultural Aspects Local governments should establish a mechanism to receive the contributions and ideas of their citizens. This can be achieved by creating comprehensive urban plans, which are understandable and by allocating resources to this particular task. Inputs and recommendations from citizens should be shared to higher levels of government so as to be transformed into concrete project proposals. It is also the responsibility of municipal leaders to allow for effective monitoring by stakeholders.

Local governments should include social inclusion in their strategy that must acknowledge the role of women children and youth as key actors in integration processes. Participation implies a more active concept of citizenship both by the citizens and the local government. Civil Society Organizations should actively participate in the planning processes, from identifying and verifying problems and priorities to monitoring actions. Moreover this should include social inclusion, which acknowledges the role of women, children and youth and other groups previously excluded from power. Local authorities should promote social dialogue and include all economic actors articulating the relations of formal and informal way: • • •

Strengthen citizen control at various levels; Integrate the private sector; Recognize the role of local associations (e.g. Workers and companies) and that of women children and youth as key actors in social integration processes; Work closely with the universities.

The local management should work towards identifying their individual strengths based on multiple reference points (e.g. historical monuments or natural heritage, surrounding villages can act as tourism potential and boost its economy). By entering into partnerships with other similar cities (in a network) or serving as a mediator between a bigger urban centre and a number of surrounding smaller peri-urban or rural areas, intermediary cities play a vital role in organising transport, schooling, health care, housing, spatial planning, economic development, cooperation with other stakeholders (companies, universities, NGO’s) economies. If legal frameworks and competences do not mandate local governments to “create jobs”, citizens expect their leaders to care for sustainable jobs and fair access to services. To fully guarantee rights at work it is necessary to develop labour standards. The expansion of social protection and social dialogue can also address specific needs. In order to successfully achieve the Decent Work Agenda, it is necessary to align in a coherent manner all the economic and social objectives to ensure they support each other.

National government should pay better attention and support rural areas; diversify economic development strategies to encourage young people to stay

(tourism, agribusiness, crafts, etc.) Encourage of decentralisation of services especially education and health. Every city has its own unique characteristics and identity. Cultural heritage and traditions are more relevant in i-City than in other cities. Such assets cannot necessarily be measured or transcribed into tangible value. In fact, in order to promote the local development of an i-City it is necessary to make optimal use of its potentials. The distinctiveness of a place – heritage, creativity, customs, environmental or social structure – should be valued and promoted by all governments. 6.5. Financing Development and Services Local governments need to obtain funding opportunities. One way to access these opportunities is through international cooperation. However, national government funds must not be forgotten, as illustrated by San Vicente in Ecuador. Furthermore, the option of financing urban development through land management instruments and urbanization policies can be adapted to different scales. National governments should acknowledge the importance of intermediate cities, engines of country-balanced economic growth, by decentralizing power and resources. Therefore the budget to manage these cities should never be less than 10% of the country's public spending. This percentage could be considered as the minimum necessary to address the urban challenges of any city outside of their level of development Investors in urban development The private sector should consider the scale and absorption capacity of i-Cities when foreseeing large investment such as real estate or PPPs. Local capital should be involved as much as possible. There are important lessons to learn from the risks and subsequent failures while encouraging the model of real estate packages, as can be seen from Spain. In this sense, public private partnerships constitute an important factor that could be dealed under the South-South Cooperation framework. The concept of Smart cities is gaining popularity and acceptance, and can work efficiently in iCities, where it is easily implementable. There should be cooperation between the private sector investors with national, regional and local level visions and policies. The private sector investors must be more open and flexible to cooperate with the different levels of governments.

There are also examples and models on how people can participate in lowering costs through different financing models (cooperatives). In addition to a positive balance, this model builds a broad ownership, making it sustainable.

7. Team and Bibliography * This Frame document is a result of a joint effort of a team Under the supervision of I-Cities Project team leaders: Josep Maria Llop Torne - Director UNESCO CHAIR of UdL, UIA-CIMES Work Program Sara Hoeflich de Duque - United Cities and Local Governments Project Assistants: Ewa Szymczyk - Project assistant UCLG and Ajuntament de Lleida Venkat Aekbote - Project assistant UCLG Alessa Bennaton - Project assistant UCLG Marta Ros Carrera .Project coordinator Ajuntament de Lleida Nacho Compans - Project coordinator Ajuntament de Lleida Graphic design – Ewa Szymczyk Project team: Arch. Anat Chervinsky Dr. Ajiv Maharaj Avirama Golan (Center for Mediterranean Culture and Urbanism in Bat-Yam) Bruno Reinheimer (Director Provincial de Planificación Territorial, Secretaria de Planeamiento, Ministerio de Obras Publicas, de Santa Fe- Argentina) Prof. Dr. Ezequiel Uson Guardiola (Departamento de Proyectos Arquitectónicos at UPC, Barcelona) Firdaous Oussidhoum (FEELL ARCHITECTURE Group) Prof. Horacio Schwartz (Academic Center of Design Haifa) Jean-Francois Habeau (FMDV) Prof.Dr.Karsten Zimmermann (Faculty of Spatial Planning at the Technical University of Dortmund) Leticia María Leonhardt (Directora Provincial de Planificación Estratégica Territorial, Secretaria de Regiones, Municipios y Comunas del Ministerio de Reforma del Estado de Santa Fe – Argentina) Monica Quintana (Habitat Programme Manager UN-HABITAT Ecuador)

Maria Encarnação Beltrão Sposito (Rede de Pesquisadores Sobre CidadesMédias – ReCiMe) Maria Herrero (Diputacio de Barcelona) María Paz Gutierrez (Subsecretaria de Planificación y Descentralización, Secretaria de Regiones, Municipios y Comunas del Ministerio de Reforma del Estado de Santa Fe – Argentina) Dr. Rene Peter Hohmann (Cities Alliance Secretariat) Raquel Tardin (Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) Silvio Magalhaes Barros (FNP Frente Nacional de Prefeitos in Brazil) Dr. Thorsten Heitkamp (TU Dortmund University, Faculty of Spatial Planning) Tsveta Velinova (Green Policy and European cooperation, Spatial Planning Department, Haaglanden Region) Pierre Martinot-Lagarde (ILO) Laura Petrella (UN-HABITAT in Nairobi)

Bibliographie Bellet, C. & J. M. Llop, (2003), Intermediate cities. Profiles and agenda: Second phase of the UIA-CIMES programme “Intermediate cities and world urbanisation”, Ajuntament de Lleida-UIA-Most/UNESCO, Lleida. United Cities and Local Governments (2010), Policy paper of urban strategic planning: Local leaders preparing for the future of our cities, Cities Alliance, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Barcelona. ESPON & European Institute for Urban Affairs, (2012), Second Tier Cities in Europe: In an age of austerity why invest beyond the Capitals? , Liverpool John Moores University publication, Liverpool. Lynelle John (2012), Secondary cities in South Africa: The start of a conversation – the background report, South African Cities Network, Braamfontein. Bolay et al, (2004), Intermediate cities in Latin America risk and opportunities of coherent urban development, Cities, Vol. 21, No. 5 Tardin, Raquel, (2013) System of Open Spaces: Concrete Project Strategies for Urban Territories. New York: Springer Kotkin, J., (2012), Small Cities Are Becoming a New Engine of Economic Growth, Forbes, accessed 05/08/2012source:<>

(2010), Brookings, New Geography of Urban America,source:>


Renn, Aaron, M., (2012), The great reordering of the urban hierarchy, Urbanophil, source:<> Joel Kotkin, (2012), The real winners of the global economy: The Material Boys, New Geography, source:<> Bruce Katz, (2013), Small town America is Metropolitan America, Brookings on The Money magazine, source:<> Schรถn, Karl, Peter;Szydarowski, Wiktor, (2013), Cities and Urban Agglomerations: their functionality and development opportunities for European competitiveness and cohesion, ESPON Applied Research 2013/1/1, source: < > Dijkstra, L.; Poelman H., (2012), The new OECD-EU definition, Regional and Urban Policy, RF 01/2012, source: <> OECD, Redefining Urban: a new way to measure metropolitan areas, source: < Parkinson, Michael, (2013), Second Tier Cities and Territorial Development in Europe: Performance, Policies and Prospects, ESPON Applied Research 2013/1/11, source:<> Council of European Municipalities and Regions, (2013), Urban-rural partnership CEMR survey on integrated territorial development Useful links: UCLG CITIES ALLIANCE ILO CIMES Lleida University

Frame do intermed cities uclg ilo unh cimes eng  

The document raises question and gathers findings on opportunities and challenges for i-cities while also discussing recommendations. It exp...

Frame do intermed cities uclg ilo unh cimes eng  

The document raises question and gathers findings on opportunities and challenges for i-cities while also discussing recommendations. It exp...