- United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC)
Enabling legal, policy and institutional framework for cities is a pre-condition to implement the New Urban Agenda (NUA). The outcome document of NUA has clearly highlighted the commitment to strengthen urban governance through sound institution and mechanism. Empowering cities and urban local bodies becomes even more essential given that 65% of all targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is in urban domain. Strong urban local bodies embedded in supportive legal and institutional framework would enable cities and urban local bodies to effectively perform the assigned functions, implement the NUA and contribute to achieving SDG targets. The effectiveness of urban local bodies depends largely on the national policy, legal and institutional framework for local bodies and the level of autonomy assigned to them by higher tier(s) of government. Consequently, enabling conditions such as constitutional and legislative framework, national urban policies, clear assignment of functions and finances, clear geographic jurisdictions, capacity development, and effective municipal finance systems, among others, need to be put in place in order to empower urban local bodies to perform their role as key implementing entities.
The objective of the proposed side event aims is to share the main findings of the CEE assessment in 28 countries in Asia-Pacific. This will help to identify priority urban reforms for enabling the urban local bodies to implementing the NUA and contributing to achieving the SDGs. The CEE rating seeks to catalyse a public debate on how to create environments that are conducive to the productive, sustainable and inclusive development of cities and determine what concrete actions should be taken at the national and local level to increase effectiveness in urban management. The assessment covers five areas – local governance, local capacity, financial autonomy, local efficiency and the national institutional framework. Speakers will present the methodology of CEE and the key findings from the multi-country assessment in the region.
By looking to the key elements of enabling environments, priority areas to be strengthened can be defined leading to creating favourable conditions for sustainable urban development. It will contribute to achieve the commitments of NUA which eventually correspond to other global agendas such as the climate agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs). This refers specifically to Goal 11 of making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable, as well as to other targets of the Sustainable Development Goals with an urban dimension.