Printer Friendly

Managing Cities in Developing Countries: The Theory and Practice of Urban Management.

Managing Cities in Developing Countries: The Theory and Practice of Urban Management. Meine Pieter Van Dijk van Dijk can refer to:
  • Arjan van Dijk (born 1987 in Utrecht(, dutch football player
  • Bill van Dijk (born 1947 in Rotterdam), dutch singer
  • Bryan van Dijk (born 1981), dutch judoka
  • Dick van Dijk (born 1946 in Gouda), dutch football player
. Massachusetts, US: Edward Elgar Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet, OM, GCVO (2 June 1857 – 23 February 1934) was an English Romantic composer. Several of his first major orchestral works, including the Enigma Variations and the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, were greeted with acclaim.  Publishing. 2006. Pp xx + 212. $115.

Meine Pieter Van Dijk is an established scholar in urban economics, Professor at Erasmus University Erasmus University Rotterdam is a university in the Netherlands, located in Rotterdam. The university is named after Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, a 15th century humanist and theologian. , Rotterdam, and is also affiliated to many reputed institutions in the Netherlands. He has contributed a lot in forging the urban management issues into public policy making in the developed and developing countries. It is always a nice experience reading his works, including this book.

This important addition to the existing literature comes at the right time. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 Habitat, the world population by 2025 would be about 8.29 billion, of which 7.06 billion (or over 85 per cent) would be housing in the less developed region. It is also projected that more than half of the less developed region (57 per cent) would be urbanising, with a total population of 4.03 billion in the urban areas. Given the increasing pace of urbanisation in the less developed region in the next 15 years, it is high time we geared up to meet its challenges--good governance and good living environment with better access to economic services. This book undertakes a detailed and systematic study of the theory and practice of urban management in the developing countries. It makes an attempt to bring together theoretical and practical experiences of developing countries to understand the economic and financial aspects of urban management. As there is considerable change in the nature of problems in the developing countries due to the decentralisation n. 1. same as decentralization.

Noun 1. decentralisation - the spread of power away from the center to local branches or governments

spreading, spread - act of extending over a wider scope or expanse of space or time
 and globalisation processes, the author has made an attempt to turn the problems and challenges of developing countries into opportunities.

The book is broadly divided into five major parts. The first part deals with issues like lack of professionalism in urban management, limited understanding and missing coordination between the policy and practice. It identifies 11 different new opportunities mainly highlighting the changing role of the governments, environment, technologies, civil society, and capacity building for the urban managers. It is defined that urban management is the effort to coordinate and integrate public as well as private actions to tackle the major urban issues that the inhabitants
:This article is about the video game. For Inhabitants of housing, see Residency
Inhabitants is an independently developed commercial puzzle game created by S+F Software. Details
The game is based loosely on the concepts from SameGame.
 are facing to make a more competitive, equitable and sustainable city A more sustainable city, Ecopolis (city) or Eco-city, has fewer inputs (of energy, water, food etc) and fewer waste products (heat, air pollution, water pollution etc) than a less sustainable city. In this context, sustainability is a relative concept. . It is argued that decentralisation offers new opportunities for urban management in developing economies and cities in developing countries are rapidly integrated and are competing with each other. The author rightly identifies environmental problems created by cities and argues that it is necessary to develop a broader vision on where one wants to go with the cities in future, and what are the opportunities for the cities given their comparative advantages. He also emphasises the need to take into account the interest of a large number of actors, particularly in private sector, and the role of NGOs, CBOs, project developers, saving associations and financial organisations Noun 1. financial organisation - an institution (public or private) that collects funds (from the public or other institutions) and invests them in financial assets
financial institution, financial organization
 for infrastructure development.

It is very important for the urban managers to have appropriate planning tools and apply different scientific methods. In this connection, the author classifies the tools and methods into three categories derived from economic theory, management science, and from other social sciences. From economic theory, he considers two mainstreams of neo-classical and institutional economics, which are useful to analyse the functioning of markets. He argues that many markets in developing countries, particularly in cities, do not function smoothly. Among the methods and tools derived from the management sciences, the basic thoughts and skills, like management competence and styles, extracting more from the employees, organisational structure and culture, managing changes, conflicts, stress-managing teams and working groups, management by objective, and quality in different cultures have been emphasised. In the tools derived from other social sciences, he discusses the participation and communication of the stakeholders Stakeholders

All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government.
. He opines Opines are low molecular weight compounds found in plant crown gall tumors produced by the parasitic bacterium Agrobacterium. Opine biosynthesis is catalyzed by specific enzymes encoded by genes contained in a small segment of DNA (known as the T-DNA, for 'transfer DNA')  that the participation of stakeholders creates the conditions for consensus and potential conflict resolution. Participation not only makes programmes and policies more acceptable and cost--effective, but also enhances the feeling of ownership. The book points out that once the stakeholders are involved, they undertake significant follow-up activities on their own and enhance social mobilisation.

Improving Urban Service Delivery

The third part of the book addresses the problems of urban service delivery, urban environmental problems, financing options and the use of information technology in urban management, with the help of the examples of Ethiopia, the Netherlands and a few cases of India. As the public service delivery has been failing for a long time, the author suggests private sector involvement, benchmarking the performance and assessing the quality of urban services delivery. It is often felt that decentralisation and regional development have changed the situation of urban service delivery. But after analysing a few successes, he laments for the water sector and sanitation reforms in Ethiopia and the failure of reforms in Addis Ababa Addis Ababa (ăd`ĭs ăb`əbə) [Amharic,=new flower], city (1994 pop. 2,112,737), capital of Ethiopia. It is situated at c.8,000 ft (2,440 m) on a well-watered plateau surrounded by hills and mountains.  where the new public management has not yielded the desired effects The damage or casualties to the enemy or materiel that a commander desires to achieve from a nuclear weapon detonation. Damage effects on materiel are classified as light, moderate, or severe. Casualty effects on personnel may be immediate, prompt, or delayed. .

As far as the environmental issues in urban areas are concerned, the author draws the attention of the readers to major problems like change in the colour of the sky because of air pollution caused by the growing number of manufacturing units, old motor engines and adulterated a·dul·ter·ate  
tr.v. a·dul·ter·at·ed, a·dul·ter·at·ing, a·dul·ter·ates
To make impure by adding extraneous, improper, or inferior ingredients.

1. Spurious; adulterated.

2. Adulterous.
 fuels. Environmental degradation Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife.  caused by water logging due to lack of proper drainage system Noun 1. drainage system - a system of watercourses or drains for carrying off excess water
system - instrumentality that combines interrelated interacting artifacts designed to work as a coherent entity; "he bought a new stereo system"; "the system consists of a
 and drainage flood has been an added problem in cities. Traffic congestion The condition of a network when there is not enough bandwidth to support the current traffic load.

congestion - When the offered load of a data communication path exceeds the capacity.
 is the outcome of the so-called "urban comfort" and puts cities into chaos. In order to address these issues, the author draws on the experience of the Netherlands where sound environmental policies and coordination between the industrial sector and the state have not only reduced pollutions but also brought in the needed investment. He particularly dwells on how clustering of industries has brought in collective investments. Abatement A reduction, a decrease, or a diminution. The suspension or cessation, in whole or in part, of a continuing charge, such as rent.

With respect to estates, an abatement is a proportional diminution or reduction of the monetary legacies, a disposition of property by will, when
 at the source, information diffusion, covenants between the private sector and the government and 'pay for pollution' policies are highlighted. He points out different approaches for urban environment management and makes a stronger case for government intervention.

In the Indian case, different options for financing the urban infrastructure and the reforms needed in the existing mechanisms are highlighted, with emphasis on the role of the private sector. It is also argued that mere involvement of the private sector in the urban infrastructure does not bring about the needed change for capacity building at the sub-national level, which is an important issue in governance. In view of the fact that the government does not have money to develop expensive urban infrastructure, the bond banks model of Europe and bond-based infrastructure development of the USA may be replicated. Though this approach has been practised by one or two municipalities in mid- nineties, the City Challenge Fund (CCF CCF
Cooperative Commonwealth Federation of Canada
) is considered to be an effective one. But in reality, the smaller towns and cities, which are in large numbers, may not have the adequate capacity to prepare sustainable infrastructure development proposals. The cases of Gujarat and Karnataka, which are considered to be the progressive states, have brought to the fore the problem of mobilisation of resources for urban infrastructure development, especially for drinking water drinking water

supply of water available to animals for drinking supplied via nipples, in troughs, dams, ponds and larger natural water sources; an insufficient supply leads to dehydration; it can be the source of infection, e.g. leptospirosis, salmonellosis, or of poisoning, e.g.
 supply. The unsuccessful models in the water supply of Bangalore city, in regard to its missing coordination, absence of a comprehensive master plan, lack of additional capital requirement for the development of sewerage sewerage, system for the removal and disposal of chiefly liquid wastes and of rainwater, which are collectively called sewage. The average person in the industrialized world produces between 60 and 140 gallons of sewage per day.  system, recycling and sewage treatment Sewage treatment

Unit processes used to separate, modify, remove, and destroy objectionable, hazardous, and pathogenic substances carried by wastewater in solution or suspension in order to render the water fit and safe for intended uses.
 plant lend themselves to public policy making and financing in the days to come.

Information System in Urban Management

Given the critical role of information collected from different sources in the planning process and its application, the book rightly captures the various advantages of the urban information system. It discusses in detail the applications of information technology in urban management, especially in urban planning urban planning: see city planning.
urban planning

Programs pursued as a means of improving the urban environment and achieving certain social and economic objectives.
, social development, land information system, monitoring locational changes, dealing with congestion, environmental changes etc. Urban managers can access the new tools and techniques of urban services and management and design an integrated urban information system, which allows previewing of consequences of their decisions and monitoring of the results of implemented policies and investments. In addition to the conventional applications of information technologies, it has clearly brought to the fore how participation of population can be promoted.

In a separate chapter, the importance of the development of micro and small enterprises in order to provide employment is discussed taking the example of China in the broader context of economic reforms after Mao. In China, these enterprises are an important part of the economy and play a vital role in the ongoing economic transition having expanded employment opportunities in urban areas. The urban authorities have taken a more positive approach towards employment creating activities through these enterprises not only to solve the unemployment problem but also to ensure that China remains a low-cost economy. Also, authorities are working hard to review municipal legislation and regulations to identify rules hindering the capital accumulation Most generally, the accumulation of capital refers simply to the gathering or amassment of objects of value; the increase in wealth; or the creation of wealth. Capital can be generally defined as assets invested for profit.  activities in the informal sector and to help these entrepreneurs expand their business in China and foster relations with medium and large-scale enterprises or government departments to act as suppliers or subcontractors. Further, in an extended chapter, the author brings to the fore the case of Nanjing, a metropolitan city, and examines different urban social and infrastructural issues and the way they are handled by different approaches and authorities. What is significant is the integrated approach being followed to manage the infrastructure issue by assigning different roles to different agencies. For the housing output, the approach is to follow the labour-intensive technology, with the government confining con·fine  
v. con·fined, con·fin·ing, con·fines
1. To keep within bounds; restrict: Please confine your remarks to the issues at hand. See Synonyms at limit.
 itself to spatial planning Spatial planning refers to the methods used by the public sector to influence the distribution of people and activities in spaces of various scales. Spatial planning includes all levels of land use planning including urban planning, regional planning, national spatial plans, and in  and looking for Looking for

In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with.
 private financing and decentralised Adj. 1. decentralised - withdrawn from a center or place of concentration; especially having power or function dispersed from a central to local authorities; "a decentralized school administration"
 land/transportation policies. Similarly, infrastructure improvement is strongly linked with urban development projects. The government at all levels is a major actor and its representatives are less visible in urban development, which is unlike in other developing countries. Well-knitted, coordinated hierarchy is a major contribution to the successful investments. Provincial and municipal governments are given freedom to evolve their own vision of development and to determine means and methods of production of goods and services In economics, economic output is divided into physical goods and intangible services. Consumption of goods and services is assumed to produce utility (unless the "good" is a "bad"). It is often used when referring to a Goods and Services Tax. . Local governments have their policies of development, especially for the development of techno parks and information technologies. These governments decide on the policy-related incentives, software companies, source of financing (mainly venture capital with public-private linkages), prices and subsidies of land, electricity, physical support and other services. It is argued that competition-based urban management (in two important regions of China--the Pearl river delta The Pearl River Delta Region (PRD) in China occupies the low-lying areas alongside the Pearl River estuary where the Pearl river flows into the South China Sea. Since the "Open Door Policy" was adopted by the Communist Party of China in the late 1970s, the portion of the delta in  and the Yangtze river delta The Yangtze River Delta or Yangtze Delta, also called Chang Jiang Delta, or the Golden Triangle of the Yangtze (Simplified Chinese: 长江三角洲; Traditional Chinese: 長江三角洲; Hanyu Pinyin: ) is possible, provided the challenge of critical coordination of governments at all levels is met.

In the concluding part- on the future challenges and the emerging themes in urban management--the author considers the remaining potential researchable issues, like the effects of decentralisation, mobilisation of necessary finance, the method of using information technology and promotion of economically feasible clusters in urban areas etc. Because, success depends largely on healthy financial base, cluster-based dynamic development and private sector financing. But the real challenges of urban management involve the question of developing strong metropolitan governance, proper service delivery for the poor, investment of the service sector, increasing efficiency and the multi-stakeholders approach, which requires new technology and skills serving the new institutional forms. It is argued that the stakeholders, as the main actors in the developmental process, play a critical role, as it happened in the promotion of slum slum

Densely populated area of substandard housing, usually in a city, characterized by unsanitary conditions and social disorganization. Rapid industrialization in 19th-century Europe was accompanied by rapid population growth and the concentration of working-class people
 improvement in Burkina Faso Burkina Faso (burkē`nə fä`sō), republic (2005 est. pop. 13,925,000), 105,869 sq mi (274,200 sq km), W Africa. It borders on Mali in the west and north, on Niger in the northeast, on Benin in the southeast, and on Togo, Ghana, and ; they promote an integrated strategy to deal with major issues of their cities.

Conspicuously Missing

Notwithstanding the author's detailed account of the Chinese experience of the urban management within the ambit of theoretical considerations (with the inclusion of a limited overview of selected sectors of a few other developing countries), there have been many missing issues, even within the context. Water, environment and infrastructure are not the only sectors that need effective management, but there are many more that pose even more challenges in the urban context. The growing incidence of the urban poverty and deprivation in developing countries is a major issue in today's context, especially in the newly emerging economies. China being one of the emerging economies, a detailed analysis of poverty in terms of its magnitude, dimensions and distribution in different urban sizes would have added value Added value in financial analysis of shares is to be distinguished from value added. Used as a measure of shareholder value, calculated using the formula:

Added Value = Sales - Purchases - Labour Costs - Capital Costs
 to the book, if one were to argue that development of software parks in metropolitan cities has contributed to the urban management in a bigger way. Undoubtedly, the experience in the other context suggests an altogether different scenario. Although the expansion of information technology sector has brought about enormous skill formation and economic prosperity to both the state and to a small segment of the IT professionals, it has pushed a large chunk of the common men to the brinks of the urban areas on account of cascading and spillover spill·o·ver  
1. The act or an instance of spilling over.

2. An amount or quantity spilled over.

3. A side effect arising from or as if from an unpredicted source:
 effects. Because of the spiralling price of the urban residential land, the common man is unable to buy or own even a small piece of the land for housing purposes. This has further led to outmigration of the common people from major urban areas to small towns and semi-urban areas, which are not yet equipped with good social and economic infrastructure. Also, in major urban centres, the income divide between the IT professionals and others is very conspicuous, which has paved the way for economic crimes over the years. The point is that the benefits of any economic decision should reach all sections of the society, particularly the common man. Only then, the outstanding issues like poverty, disparity and deprivation in urban areas can be resolved effectively. Given the cascading and spill-over effects, expansion of manufacturing and non-IT service sectors is even more essential for a better social management of urban areas.

In addition to the economic prosperity, urban areas of the developing countries are also known as the centres of slums, which are phenomenally increasing. The book would have been even more interesting had it discussed the issues relating to relating to relate prepconcernant

relating to relate prepbezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc 
 the management of slums in China or in other developing countries. Evolving an effective slum development policy and the process of taking the slumdwellers into the mainstream urban life is a very challenging task to any government. The fact is that many developing countries are yet to realise the various dimensions of poverty and deprivations in urban slums, let alone having a slum development policy. In this sense, China's experience in slum development, in terms of the political commitment, role of the governments at various urban levels, financing and effectiveness of the development, would be a lesson in itself to other developing countries.

Housing management in urban areas of developing countries assumes greater significance in view of the fact that there is a lack of political will for the same. Unlike the developed countries, the developing ones have not assigned any specific role to the municipalities and local governments in the development and management of the existing housing stock. Lack of a fool-proof system for house tax collection and orderly development of housing have been added miseries. In the urban context, given the cost and other values, development of the existing housing stock is as important as new housing units. Unfortunately, most of the developing countries have yet to realise this. Towards that direction, the experience of the other countries could have been captured by the author. In spite of such shortcomings A shortcoming is a character flaw.

Shortcomings may also be:
  • Shortcomings (SATC episode), an episode of the television series Sex and the City
, the book is a valuable guide to those interested in understanding the dynamics of urban management.

M Mahadeva

Associate Professor

ADRTC, ISEC ISEC International Society for Ecology and Culture
ISEC Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Coimbra (Portugal)
ISEC US Army Information Systems Engineering Command
ISEC International Society for Endangered Cats
ISEC Internal Security

COPYRIGHT 2009 Institute for Social and Economic Change
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Mahadeva, M.
Publication:Journal of Social and Economic Development
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jan 1, 2009
Previous Article:Local Governance in India: Ideas, Challenges and Strategies.
Next Article:Adoption--Global Perspective and Ethical Issues.

Related Articles
The American City: What Works, What Doesn't.
Police Auditing: Theories and Practices.
Classic Drucker; essential wisdom of Peter Drucker from the pages of Harvard Business Review.
Five recent books on the city.
Managing urban America, 6th ed.
Managing Government Property Assets.
Information management.
Theories of urban politics, 2d ed.
Managing and organizations; an introduction to theory and practice, 2d ed.
Child Welfare Supervision A Practical Guide for Supervisors, Managers and Administrators.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters