as “an advisory body on governance matters” (United Nations 2004: 51-52). Not only hasconsultation and collaboration between international organizations and cities evolved, but so hascooperation between cities themselves through the creation of inter-city networks. Increasedurbanization creates challenges, which may vary between different cities, but also showsimilarities and demand cooperation and joint action on a global scale. Various networks havebeen and are being developed at all levels: nationally (e.g. National League of Cities in the U.S.),regionally (e.g. Asian Network of Major Cities 21) and globally (e.g. United Cities and LocalGovernments). And these networks have a variety of objectives and goals: tackling social issues(e.g. Cities Alliance-Cities without Slums), creating an information society free of digital divide(e.g. Global Cities Dialogue), promoting peace, mutual respect and understanding (e.g. SisterCities International-Global citizen diplomacy network), etc. The main objective of these networksis to deal more efficiently with common urban concerns.Ensuring urban environmental sustainability is one of these major common urban challenges(UN-HABITAT 2006). It relates to questions of waste and water management, air pollution,energy, transport and urban sprawl (Satterthwaite 1997; Hardoy, Mitlin, and Satterthwaite 2006:87-148). Urban environmental sustainability is not just a matter of local politics. As growingcenters of population and activity, cities contribute significantly to global environmentalproblems. They are, for example, responsible for 75% of the world’s energy consumption and80% of the greenhouse gas emissions (www.c40cities.org). At the same time, cities are affectedin a very specific way by global environmental change. The Urban Heat Island effect is just oneillustration. Urban environmental governance is very complicated and challenging for both citiesin the global North and cities in the global South (Satterthwaite 1997). Finding a balance betweensocial, economic and ecological demands is more easily said than done. Cooperation among citiesworldwide could therefore, ideally, enable cities to develop and implement appropriate policies.One way to categorize the city networks of global environmental governance that have beenestablished up to now, is based on the type of actor that has initiated them
. Networks arelaunched by IGOs, cities and non-governmental and private actors. They encompass a group of cities that want to better handle environmental problems and, therefore, exchange best practices,knowledge, experiences, … In addition, other actors, such as financial institutions, academia,global companies, NGOs, … are involved in order to assist the cities technically and financially
For an overview of other categorizations, see Keiner and Kim 2007.
Financial assistance occurs in two ways: the private sector is engaged to fund the networks or to arrangefinancial mechanisms in order to allow cities that not have sufficient starting capital, to engage in projects.