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Inception Survey Results for the Urbanization Knowledge Partnership

Inception Survey Results for the Urbanization Knowledge Partnership

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Results from the 2011 Urbanization Knowledge Partnership Inception Survey
Results from the 2011 Urbanization Knowledge Partnership Inception Survey

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Published by: UrbanKnowledge on Jan 31, 2012
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The Urbanization Knowledge Partnership is a collaborative effort to build a global community of practice around the challenges and opportunities of Urbanization. To ensure that our activities and online platform reflect and address the needs of the entire community, we sought out the urban community s input and ideas at 12 regional events in 9 countries hosted in collaboration with city governments, local think-tanks, and research institutes. Simultaneously, we also provided an online survey to reach out to those unable to attend in person. This report summarizes your needs, feedback, and ideas as expressed at the regional events and online. Based on your collective feedback, we have identified three main recommendations: 1. ENABLE COLLECTIVE OWNERSHIP. First and foremost, you have told us that you are not interested in another conventional, one-way platform focused on top-down information distribution. Rather, you want to learn from and discuss the successful examples of your peers through two-way interactions as part of an urban community. Many of you have also noted that the platform should be meritocratic, promoting young researchers as much as established experts. Most of all, you want to be able to take collective ownership of the platform so that you have both a say in its developments and a stake in its success. 2. FOCUS ON PRAGMATIC PROBLEM SOLVING, BUT TAILOR SOLUTIONS TO LOCAL NEEDS. Many of you have stressed the importance of focusing on pragmatic problem solving and capacity building by linking research and policy in ways that are relevant to practitioners, civil servants, and decision-makers so that innovations and best practices make their way into real-world plans and projects. Some of you have noted that this is best accomplished by establishing regional hubs (such as for Sub-Saharan Africa) to enable collective action around common regional challenges. As one commenter noted, Dhaka and Addis Ababa cannot be London or New York i.e. best practices must be tailored to a city s unique circumstance, not copied wholesale. 3. THINK BIG. Far from being skeptical of the Partnership s bold ambitions, many of you have pushed us to think big as one respondent noted, we need to think long-term this is a marathon, perhaps even a multi-generational endeavor that you are starting, and I applaud your efforts and would like to help. Indeed, the most common sentiment echoed in the responses was your eagerness to contribute to the success of our platform so that, together, we may give rise to a powerful Network of Cities.

OVERVIEW: In total, we received over 220 responses from stakeholders representing a well-balanced mix of sectors, professions, and specializations across 50 countries and every continent. For the purposes of this report, we will disaggregate the needs of regions and cities at different stages of development when suitable.

Geographic Distribution

Governance Physical Infrastructure Social and/or Human Development Environment Other Economics and/or Business Finance/Banking 8% 29% 28% 27% 38% 37% 35%

Job Title
Administrative staff 1%

Civil society 6%

Other 6%

Analyst / civil servant / staff 41%

High-level executive 26%

International organization 11% Int'l financial institution 10% Local government 12% Private sector 13%

Research institution 26%

Middle management 32%

National government 16%

WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED: We are encouraged by the diversity of our community, not only in terms of your geographic spread but also your rich mix of professional specializations and functions. Moving forward, we will continue to engage the full spectrum of the urban community with a particular eye towards fostering cross-sector and cross-regional knowledge exchange.

OVERVIEW: We asked you how the platform could most contribute to your day-to-day work and how you can help us. Your top need is an urban knowledge base, both of city indicators and lessons learned. You have also shown much enthusiasm for connecting with your peers both online and face-to-face and many of you are prepared to contribute original research and expert answers.

Your Top Need
Global Database of Key City Indicators Connect with Peers and Expand Network Project Overviews and Lessons Learned Face to Face Conferences Specially Commissioned Research Online Q&A with Urban Experts Expert Video Conferences Events Listing Online Courses / eLearning 33% 30% 30% 29% 41% 41% 49% 47% 57%

Your Contributions
Connect with Peers and Expand Network Face to Face Conferences Specially Commissioned Research Online Q&A with Urban Experts Expert Video Conferences Project Overviews and Lessons Learned Global Database of Key City Indicators Online Courses / eLearning Events Listing 25% 38% 37% 36% 31% 48% 45% 58% 56%

WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED: Based on your feedback, we will concentrate our efforts on (1) building an online knowledge base of lessons learned, innovative research, and comparable city-level data and (2) facilitating peer-to-peer connections and conversations among our stakeholders both online and off. The low priority you have placed on expert activities such as eLearning and Q&A sessions demonstrates that you expect the platform to focus on peer-to-peer knowledge exchange so that you may learn from one another. Importantly, your responses also suggest a gap between your needs and your ability to contribute to the consolidation of urban data and lessons learned. The Partnership will make sure to contribute the necessary resources to fill this gap. Your feedback also reinforces our experiences to date: that you are far more interested in using data than in sharing it. We will therefore make a particular effort to communicate the value and motivations for open access and harmonization of city-level data.

OVERVIEW: You provided over 120 questions, topics, and knowledge gaps that are in urgent need of further research and discussions ranging from vertical farming to GIS data layers to climate-responsive urban poverty reduction. The tag cloud below summarized the most commonly mentioned topics.

WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED: Your questions and topic suggestions strongly reinforce the four research pillars of the platform: 1. 2. 3. 4. Economic rural to urban transition; Social social inclusion and mobility; Environmental sustainable urban growth; and Governance accountable cities.

We also take note of the re-emergence of city planning as a source for urban solutions and your consistent emphasis on good governance, poverty alleviation, and above all sustainability. While we cannot address all of your questions, we will make every effort to fill the core knowledge gaps you have identified by co-creating new knowledge, innovations, and research.

OVERVIEW: You have nominated over 100 cities spread across every content and level of development that offer experiences you would like to learn from. You aim to learn from their success and, in some cases, failures particularly from cities that share similar challenges and conditions to your own. The top nominated cities are listed in the tables below as grouped by the respondents region and country of residence. # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ALL RESPONDENTS New York City (22) London (20) Curitiba (17) Seoul (17) Singapore (17) Paris (12) Bogota (11) Mumbai (10) DEVELOPING WORLD RESPONDENTS Seoul (13) Curitiba (10) Singapore (9) London (6) Bogota (5) New York City (5) Paris (5) Cairo (4) Hong Kong (4)

Why ?
Their Success 62%

Their Similarity to my City


Their Failures




# 1 2 3

AFRICA Seoul Cairo Nairobi Kigali

LATIN AMERICA Curitiba London New York City

EAST ASIA Seoul Singapore Curitiba

N. AMERICA New York City London Mumbai

OCEANA London Portland Singapore Kobe

W. EUROPE Amsterdam Barcelona London

SOUTH ASIA Ahmadabad Curitiba Singapore

WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED: Cities have much to teach one another. But it is essential that lessons learned are tailored to local conditions. The Partnership will therefore make special effort to help customize global best practices to local needs. In addition, the Partnership has put in place programs and partnerships with virtually all of the cities you most want to learn from: y In Seoul, we have partnered with the Korean Research Institute of Human Settlements to launch the Asia hub and have also established an agreement with the Seoul-based World eGovernment Organizations of Cities (WeGO). In Singapore, we have partnered with the Centre for Livable Cities and the Future Cities Lab and participated in the Singapore-hosted World Mayors Forum. In New York, we have partnered with Colombia University and contributed to events hosted by the New York City Global Partners. In London, we are supporting the annual Chatham House event on the Future of Cities and have partnered with the Urban Age Institute and Cisco for a virtual series on ICT for urban service delivery.

y y y

Based on your feedback, we are also actively interfacing with local organizations in Curitiba to complement our LAC regional hub centered in Bogota and are expanding our partnerships in Africa to build on our work with the Indian Institute of Human Settlements.

SUMMARY: Our respondents rely most heavily on general search engines to locate urban knowledge. Twothirds are also active on Facebook, while less than half have a LinkedIn account. Two-thirds of respondents use smart phones, and most have laptops.

Your Use of Social Media
% Twitter % Facebook % LinkedIn
89% 77% 73% 67% 64% 63%63% 61% 54% 51% 43% 38% 27% 22% 16% 5% 29% 25% 25% 19% 15% 15% 56% 50% 44% 57% 77%


South Asia


Western Europe North America

Latin America



East Asia

Online Knowledge Sources (Top 8)

Mobile Connectivity
% Smart Phone % Laptop % Tablet 68% 5% 25% 3% 0% 8% 5% 45% 29% 0% 63% 58% 75% 72% 73% 63% 78%

Online Knowledge Sources
82% 56%

Everyone Latin America

76% 88%

54% 46%

North America East Asia


18% 10% 9% 8% 8%
Europe Africa


79% 91% 75%

General search engines

Academic search engines

World Bank Wikipedia urban site


GaWC Network

Urban Gateway



EU Knowledge South Asia 0% Network

WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED: Given the demand for the World Bank s knowledge products, the Partnership will work hard to improve the accessibility and usability of this content. We also recognize the importance of not trying to compete with Google but instead concentrating on adding value by contributing new and original content and by complementing static knowledge with interactive conversations and events. We also take note of the relatively low rate of LinkedIn adoption (particularly in non-English speaking countries). This suggests that we should not rely too heavily on any one communication channel, but also indicates an opportunity to introduce profession-oriented social media to a large segment of the urban community that has yet to experience its benefits.

This is only the beginning. With your insightful feedback and innovative ideas in hand, we have begun to implement an interactive online platform and to design our strategy and agenda for the coming year. Crucially, we will continue to do this in a transparent and collaborative fashion so that, together, we can co-design the platform and our partnership and maximize the relevance and impact of our collective activities. We thank you for your input and ideas and urge you to remain engaged as permanent partners in this ambitious new undertaking.

KNOWLEDGE GAPS good practices in rural-to-urban conversion Land use planning in national regional and urban Affordable and Sustainable Housing Technologies for Slum Upgrading Believe it or not it is very similar to the one you put as an example, to what extent can land value increments can be captured to finance basic infrastructure for the poor in growing urban areas?' best practice How to scale up slum upgrading How to successfully addressed "sprawl" in Latin America how to sustain urban infrastructure How to sustainably allocate urban explosive growth

Best practices on sustainable urban development to deal with the social, economic (poverty, equity) and environmental (climate change, food security lost of biodiversity) challenges in XXI Century. city data

How to transform policies into actual projects, and how to keep up the commitment to implementation of a project (i.e. overcoming the threshold from talking about many needs and policies, to doing something real from the beginning to the end, with every difficulties involved). implementing effective area-wide congestion charges

Climate responsive Urban Poverty Reduction comparative case studies connecting different government departments to work together not at cross purpose of each other Creating initiatives for reuse of existing structures Creating the City Data Layer Database on land allocations (automatic) Digital and Social Gap

Economic Indicators (ex: GDP, GDP growth, unemployment, and employment experts...) in world cities Financing public/private operations in economic crisis (European/international support programs): how to manage and propose complex operations? governance and stakeholder frameworks How are local governments organized, responsibilities, partnerships etc how can a housing problem be merge in a new urban development How can cities comprehensively plan their

In terms of urban transport for the small and medium siozed cities, we should be buying the land for the government Land use planning: Governance aspect Link between economic development and urban planning Local governments climate change policies and its effects over national policies managing increased population densities and upgrading transport Metropolis Social Capital Generation Metropolitan governance and housing Model and Indicators of Sustainable city (particularly: Large City/ world class city) ; toward city world class without sacrificing environment and balanced development Networking for Cities

New humanitarian approaches and methods of decisionmaking in urban-planning activities and conflict resolutions in urban planning New Towns' creation Open XML-based data standards that will enable to aggregate and share data without having to normalize the data each and every time Policies for inclusive urbanization Poverty Mapping

development combining spatial, qualitative and quantitative tools How can cities ensure a high-quality environment, including green spaces. The quest for land combined with poor governance too often leads to encroachment on green spaces in fast-growing cities How can government manage urban planning by geographical information system (GIS)? And Remote Sensing? How can LGA finance urban projects? how can local government implement housing policies How can local governments ensure that there is food security and availability for their community? How can local governments implement coordinated actions to promote a sustainable city How can private institutions help to implement new urban policies or projects in urban areas? How can the governments implement the urban planning projects in (the) reality? How can the mayor plan the development of the city for the next 20 years (context of a capital city in SubSaharan Africa) How can urban decision-makers transition from economic judgments to value-based decision-making? How can water be fairly and efficiently managed at the scale of a city how can we arrest climate change through city development initiatives? How can we do better for city preparation? How can we implement national land use plan? How can we improve governance and accountability in developing world cities? How can we make cities more efficient and resilient to climate change issues How cities can mobilize resources? How could we deal with policy transfers to the places with diverse cultural contexts to enhance the successful practice? How do local gov't policies respond to urban informal settlements in different cities? How do we evolve public participation platforms for effective plan preparation for urban design that are ingrained to established democratic patterns of governance? How government can create policies and implement programs to prevent the increase of informal communities and upgrade the informal settlements How implement and strength multilevel governance and cooperation in large urban areas

Private Corporations Investments on HSE and Rural Development

Public Goods Provisioning

Public Participation Reducing poverty regional/metropolitan governance Relacionado con renovación Urbana en sector público Resettlement Riverfront transformation vis-a-vis hood mgt. rural urban transformation

SAFE HAVEN... Cleaning House, Crime, Reuben Greenberg´s, Communities policing, Broken Windows, Gun Control, safety. Scale and efficiency in delivering success Slum transformation slum upgrading staff and community commitments and engagement! suburbanization, per-urbanization Sustainably managed urbanization sustainable cities sustainable cities

sustainable municipal finance sustainable urban energy use

The relationship between Urban Form and Sustainability

The relationship between the built environment and human health -- allowing for people to engage in

How knowledge can trigger Innovation in sustainable city management? How the desire to modernize cities and the ability to provide modern house for the poor particularly when governments are for building high rise building while the poor migrant laborers are looking for temporary place of shelter. How to meet this challenge is becoming a paradox. how to avoid property-led development and sociospatial fragmentation How to create an institutional structure to bring actors from multiple levels of governance in a common platform for a specific city how to create truly sustainable cities -- including the poor in the boom/growth How to create and manage an urban land market How to develop sustainable services in peri-urban areas? How to enable secondary cities in developing countries to develop capacity to deal with urbanization How to engage multiple levels of society in city and nation building? How to ensure basic service levels for slum tenants

physical activity; connecting and strengthening communities through facilitating social interaction; providing access to fresh and nutritious food. The relationship of the Urban-Rural network The role of local governance in building legitimacy and capacity in conflict-affected countries

urban agriculture and food security issues urban development planning and good practice for community-driven economic and infrastructure development urban financing to sustain urban development Urban informal sector Urban Poverty and Lack of Access to Transportation y The Poor urban-based humanitarian challenges Use of Urban Information systems (AIS) to aid in planning and policy foundation valuing urban settlement dwellers as fully contributing citizens of the city - labor force, financial resource, ideas and entrepreneurship, ... Vertical Farming What are the forces driving urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa and the biggest impediments to its progress What are the resource flows into cities What are the steps for government to work with/ or to accept community as stakeholders of city planning What is the best way to use the land market in funding infrastructure improvement? Which are the urban innovations already existing in the South, but which are not notified and mainstreamed yet? Successful practices/projects in urban planning and inclusive cities decision making and improved public involvement How can we meet the challenges of urbanization? Open data

How to implement transportation infrastructure that are correctly integrated in a urban environment how to improve living conditions in informal urbanization? How to increase tenure security through incremental formalization How to introduce urban policy in national agendas how to plan sustainable cities to grant access to both infrastructure and nature (e.g. city parks, natural lakes, ocean) how to put into practice urban sustainability

how can municipal gov'ts engage their officials to interpret and hone their projects/mandates/funded initiatives for improved outcomes? Advanced or innovative data collection methodologies to support evidence-based expanding livelihoods for inclusive cities how can local governments implement value capture for land appreciation to guarantee equity of urban development

What are the practical ways in which local governments and urban service delivery agencies better identify and respond to the needs of their citizens - i.e. moving budget allocations to front-line service delivery. managing urban service delivery

How can combat insecurity with a weak institutions?

How can developing countries implement its plans? alternative & effective tools for urban development financing

How can urban upgrading and housing finance scheme be designed to be affordable for and really address low income residents Housing policies in developing countries

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