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Report of the 2003 Annual Meeting Santiago de Compostela, Spain
3 - 5 December 2003  

Four members, Harvard University, ICLEI, IHS and UNDP, sent their excuses for not participating in the SCM. They requested UN-HABITAT to present their respective progress reports and recommendations on their behalf. The meeting began with each partner presenting their activity reports for the 2002-2003 period and the issues they wished to have discussed. Issues raised were then grouped under three working groups for further discussion:

  1. Issues concerning the Dubai International Award for Best Practices (media campaign, validation, TAC and Jury process, translation, the Best Practices database structure and the updating of existing practices, etc.)
  2. Issues concerning The Universal Forum on Cultures and the second session of the World Urban Forum, Barcelona 2012;
  3. Issues concerning the Good Urban Policies and Enabling Legislation initiative, transfers, case studies, outreach and distance learning.

The Steering Committee made several key decisions and recommendations in the areas highlighted above, including changes for improving the database and reporting format; next steps on Good Urban Policies and Enabling Legislation; steps to increase dissemination and transfer of best practices; the internal workings of the Steering Committee; and how to maximize the role of partners.

The Steering Committee welcomed a new partner the Far East Academy of Economics and Management. The Steering Committee also decided to continue working in several sub-committees for 2012.

The Meeting was chaired by Mr. Nicholas You of UN-Habitat.



The following sections represent the final decisions and recommendations resulting from each group as they were presented and discussed in plenary.

Working Group I

The agenda of Working Group I included:

  • Documentation of submissions by partners at regional level
  • Procedures for validation and terms of reference for TAC
  • Updating of practices from 1996, 1998 and 2000 Cycles
  • Role and designation of partners
  • Media campaign for the 5th cycle of DIABP
  • Translation

The decisions listed below were endorsed by the plenary.

1.1 Documentation of submissions

It was decided that the Together Foundation would develop and test a system for the submitters to submit their practices on-line to a dedicated part of the database. Submitters would also be allowed a 10-day period, during which they can modify their submissions online. The rationale for doing so is to avoid the time consuming and costly uploading of the practices to the database. However, this method would not replace the traditional format of submitting practices.

It was also decided that the Secretariat would inform partners of the specific size and format for pictures and videos that accompany the submissions for their inclusion to the database.

1.2 Procedures for validation and terms of reference for TAC

It was decided that the validation remains as the filter for practices before the TAC and that partners will give substantive feedback to the practices that are found to be non-qualifying.

It was also decided to include a recommendation for the TAC that to the effect:

"The secretariat requests that the Technical Advisory Committee takes note that we have observed that holistic, comprehensive and integrated approaches which link issues across sectors are vital elements of many Best Practices.

The Secretariat requests that the Technical Advisory Committee takes note that;

"Participatory, inclusive, creative and innovative planning and development processes are key components of Best Practices equal in importance to results achieved, and in some exemplary cases the process itself can be considered as a Best Practice."

1.3 Updating of existing practices and access to the database

It was decided that the new database would enable the archiving of non-updated submissions after 5 years. Archived submissions would still be retrievable but singled out by a fainter font accompanied by a notification to the user that information may be outdated (2002 SCM).

It was also decided that the submissions that would like to be considered a second time for the DIABP would have to send a new comprehensive submission including all updated data, instead of a synthetic summary of new achievements. However, submitters that only want to update their submission, should be encouraged to fill in the summary with simple ongoing information about the new actions. In both cases, they should use the same name for the practice as before, the date of their first participation to DIABP should be clearly indicated as well as their classification in the previous cycles.

It was equally decided that there will be no more registration for using the database.

It was also decided to implement a system whereby submitters could keep track of the status of their submissions. This would require the administration of individual passwords, which could be identical to the country code assigned to each new submission (decision of the 2002 SCM) or as suggested by the Together Foundation, implement a system like many commercial websites have, where the submitters are asked to provide an email account in the application. To check their status, a web page will be provided where the user inputs their email address. If the email matches our records, the status of all the submissions related to that email address will be sent to that email account. If no email address matches our records, no email is sent. The status request could only be done once daily to avoid abuses.

1.4 Role and designation of partners

It was decided to form a working group to revise the terms of reference for partners and to come up with a systematic documentation and representation of essential information regarding partners. This working group comprises of IBAM, JCI and Dubai Municipality. This working group was seen to be necessary to clarify the commitments of all partners to the BLP as well as to make the BLP network more efficient.

It was decided to undertake a participatory evaluation of the BLP. UN-HABITAT was designated to draft the Terms of Reference for the evaluation that will be sent to the partners for their comments and approval.

1.5 Media campaign for the 5th cycle of DIABP

The Steering Committee, while recognizing the value of conducting the DIABP media campaign in well-known newspapers, journals and TV networks, noted that there are several media outlets that merit attention particularly in developing regions.

Dubai municipality expressed its willingness to review its media strategy in order to attract more submissions from countries that are currently under-represented in the database. Dubai Municipality is also going to look for the possibility of using international e-newsletters and magazines to spread the word on DIABP.

1.6. Translation

The problem of the cost of translation of submissions was brought up by ENDA, who deals with the Francophone Africa. It was decided that ENDA will screen submissions coming from the Francophone Africa and will make a selection of good practices to send for TAC. Dubai Municipality and other partners agreed to help on the translation costs for these selected practices.

Working Group II

The agenda of Working Group II included:

  • Selection of final BPs to be exhibited at the Barcelona Forum 2012
  • Logistical support to BPs for exhibition and Speaker’s Corner
  • Exhibition on Award Winning Practices and Other Award Systems
  • World Urban Forum II and other events

The decisions listed below were adopted in plenary.

It was noted that there are three levels of partners’ contributions to the Barcelona Forum 2012; (i) Partners contributions to the Agenda of the second world Urban Forum; (ii) Possibility of partners organizing parallel events; (iii) To bring partners’ messages to the Open Plaza (Fair) to be presented on truck beds or at the Speaker’s corner (live presentations or other activities that make people participate).

It was decided that a meeting should be organized during Barcelona Forum 2012 between different Award Systems to share the lessons learned.

It was agreed to hold the next Steering Committee meeting immediately after the World Urban Forum in September 2012.

It was also decided that three parallel events will be held at Barcelona, one by Huairou Commission on gender mainstreaming; one by ITDG on building bridges with the grassroots and a third one by the FORO during the WUF II on BP transfers in LAC.

Working Group III

Working Group III was devoted to the following issues:

  • International Seminar on learning from good policies and enabling legislation – 2012
  • Transfers of BPs North-North
  • Distance learning

3.1 International Seminar on learning from Good Urban Policies & Enabling Legislation

It was decided to organize a seminar to refine the guidelines and the reporting format on policies, to review the results of the pilot phase projects and to focus the seminar on lessons learned. Policy makers as well as grassroots organisations related to those practices should be invited to the seminar to give examples how best practices can influence policies or how good urban policies can result in success stories. Grassroots organizations affected by the policy or legislation should be given the opportunity to voice their views on whether the policies identified are good or not.

It was also decided to hold a session during the World Urban Forum on learning from good policies and enabling legislation, to engage the winners of DIABP 2012 in a dialogue between the grassroots and policymakers.

It was also decided that a new question/section on policies and legislation will be added to the DIABP reporting format for 2014. This question would read:

"Has this practice influenced or been influenced by a municipal, regional or national public policy of legislation? If so, please describe briefly in 200 words"

3.2 Transfers of BPs North-North

It was decided that an initial partners’ group consisting of JCI, DelNet (ILO), Far Eastern Academy and the Prague Institute will organize a Winter Cities expert group meeting. The meeting should convene in the northern hemisphere in early 2012. The assembled expert group will evaluate developed nations, northern hemisphere best practices and set the agenda for a parallel event on north-north Best Practices during the World Urban Forum in Barcelona 2012.

3.3 Distance learning

It was recommended to develop a curriculum for a worldwide distance learning Virtual University using GEI and other existing methods. This suggestion was brought up by the Far East Academy. A working group was formed to take this suggestion further.


1. Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme (UN-HABITAT)

The BLP core programme was involved in the following major activities involving best practices:

  1. Initiating the pilot phase of the documentation and review of urban policies and enabling legislation;
  2. Preparations for the Best Practice City for the Universal Forum of Cultures, Barcelona 2012, to design and organise a Best Practices City exhibition during this 141-day event dedicated to conditions for peace, cultural diversity and sustainability. The main purpose of the Best Practices City is to package best practices for the general public and to show that the survival of our planet is intricately linked to how we live in our communities and how we manage our cities. This link will be the underlying theme of the exhibit and will underscore the exhibition space and the parallel activities of the Best Practices City.
  3. Preparations of the 5th cycle of the DIABP; (iv) Participation in the 19th Session of the Governing Council, and inputs to several other conferences, meetings and seminars;
  4. Participation in the Ibero-American-Caribbean Forum on Best Practices, which led to the adoption of an action plan to strengthen and expand the activities of its partners. The Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC) of UN-HABITAT also revealed its strategy for using best practices and good policies as an entry point for its normative and operational activities in the region;
  5. Crash of Best Practices database and design of new database.

New partners having joined in the course of 2003 include:

  • The Far Eastern State Academy of Economics and Management, a regional centre for Russia, Korea, Japan and Northern China;
  • The Equator Initiative of UNDP, a global programme focusing on bio-diversity;
  • AMREF - Flying Doctors (associate partner), an African-based NGO with a new mandate on health and human services for the urban poor.

Partners that have downgraded their status from full partner to associate partner include Global Eco-villages Network (GEN), and the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS). A memorandum of understanding between UN-HABITAT and the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) has revived collaboration on best practices.

2. Best Practices Hub - City of Vienna

The Best Practices Hub – Vienna was established in 1999. It serves as a regional hub for Central and Eastern Europe and a thematic centre for urban environmental technologies. The Hub has undergone major restructuring recently. Formerly set up by the Urban Planning Bureau of the City and by its Business Agency, the Steering Committee of the BP Hub – Vienna is now set up on a broader basis within the city.

The Hub runs the site: www.bestpractices.at, which is in both English and German. Restructured extensively in the last year, the website gets an average of 15,000 visits per month. It contains Best Practices from Central and Eastern European, links to partners, and a prominent appearance of the Dubai International Award, with downloadable submission guide and reporting format.

The new steering committee organized a half-day conference in Vienna on 21st November 2003, to promote the Best Practices Programme. It included speakers and participants of several high-level bodies of the city, as well as the national Habitat Committee, planners from three major capitals of Austria and a representative of UN-HABITAT.

Four issues of the newsletter on Best Practices in Urban Environmental Technologies have been published in 2003, featuring best practices in the field of: water use and sanitation, women in planning, regional development, and regaining public space. They cover: Central and Eastern Europe, the rest of Europe, International Practices transferable to Transition economies and Innovative International Practices. The newsletter also promotes the Dubai International Award for Best Practices.

Most transfer activities related to technical or administrative assistance. Besides responding to requests for more detailed information on Best Practice projects, several Viennese BP projects have now formed new direct partnerships, resulting mostly out of their Best Practices status and efforts taken by the Hub, through European Union funded programmes. The Hub has worked on bringing together requests from all over CEE with Best Practices experts, but also other possible EU programme opportunities.

The Hub runs an information centre twenty hours a week in Vienna, to meet visitors trying to find information on projects and HABITAT activities and link them to experts. The Best Practices Hub – Vienna participated in several conferences, and is also working together with UN-HABITAT in Geneva providing them expertise on Best Practices for publications and conferences.

Planned Activities for 2012 include Regional Validation Meeting, Regional Conference on Best Practices 2012, preparation for the 4th Cycle of Dubai International Award, publication of new hand book on Best Practices of the City of Vienna with topics they would like to address, database improvement and development of case studies.

3. Dubai Municipality

Dubai Municipality (DM) in cooperation with the UN-HABITAT and the Best Practices Partners are currently promoting the call for submissions for the fifth cycle of the Dubai International Award for Best Practices (DIABP). The following activities have been undertaken:

  1. The call for the submissions was launched at a joint press conference with BLP in Dubai on 30th June 2003 that was covered by local and international media
  2. The translation of the Submission Guidelines and Reporting Format of the DIABP for the year 2012 into Portuguese language in collaboration with IBAM and BLP
  3. 10,000 copies of the Submission Guideline and Reporting Format booklet have been produced in English; 5,000 copies in Arabic; 3,000 copies in Spanish and 2,000 copies in French. Copies of the booklets were dispatched to the UN-HABITAT in Nairobi, Geneva, New York and Japan. Copies of the booklets are also sent to various BP Partners;
  4. More than 5,000 institutions and organisations around the world have been invited to submit for the fifth cycle of the award. Also, invitations to participate have been sent to all foreign diplomatic missions operating in the UAE and to international and regional organisations such as the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Capitals and Cities (OICC) and the Arab Town Organisation (ATO), etc.
  5. Promoting the DIABP internationally as well as regionally in conferences and exhibitions, where promotional material and media information was distributed
  6. The Board of Trustees of the Award approved an international media campaign to promote the call of submissions for the 5th cycle, Adverts for the award, depicting three designs were placed in the following publications: The Far Eastern Economic Review Magazine, The International Herald Tribune, The Times of India (all editions), El Pais , Le Monde, Al Ahram and Ashraq Al Awsat; 240 spots, each 35 seconds in duration, were aired on all five beams of the BBC channels giving the award global coverage and reach in its promotional campaign; 48 spots were aired on Euro News plus a banner on the Euro News website for one month and 40 spots were aired on the Qatari-based Al Jazeera channel to promote the award on a Pan-Arab and regional level.

The Director-General of Dubai Municipality has initially accepted a proposal from H.E. Mr. Joan Clos, Mayor of Barcelona, Spain, to hold the next award ceremony for the fifth cycle during the Universal Forum of Cultures Barcelona in September 2012.

Plans are underway to launch a second media blitz for the award during December 2003 to intensify the call for submissions for the award and help attract quality submissions ahead of the submission deadline of March 31, 2012.

4. ENDA Tiers Monde, Best Practices Regional Centre for French-speaking Africa

At the request of the Commission on Human Settlements, ENDA has set up a regional Urban Observatory that functions as the UN-HABITAT focal point for the various partner’s groups engaged in monitoring and evaluation of progress in implementing the Habitat Agenda.

In the past few months, best practices and good policies and legislation have been collected from many countries in francophone Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali, and Senegal). In Senegal, good policies and legislations are collected in French in the field of health, waste management, grassroots women activities, youth activities, mobilization of municipal tax, land, transport, decentralised cooperation, etc. These are currently available in CD-Rom. In Burkina Faso (Koudougou), five experiences of good policies and legislation have been collected.

In the course of Urban Observatory training in West Africa, the DIABP submission guide was disseminated in five countries to different actors. The training to set up urban observatories was an occasion for ENDA to invite the participants to see the Best Practices Web Site. They appreciate the number of experiences collected since 1996 and the possibilities to exchange with partners. One of the objectives of the program is to reinforce the municipalities to use the ICT as an opportunity to engage in peer exchanges.

The access to ICT and the dissemination of the electronic version of the guide in Francophone Africa is a problem for ENDA and its partners. Another gap is a need for a renewed commitment by all actors objectively to monitor and evaluate outcomes of their actions and to prepare new learning tools based on lessons learned. Translation from French into English remains the main problem in Francophone Africa. Many submissions are received in French and the submitters do not have the facilities nor the resources for translation.

5.Government of Spain

During the last year the activity of Best Practice Working Group has focused on three main objectives:

  • Dissemination of Good and Best Practices selected during the 4th Cycle of the DIABP;
  • Transfers of lessons learned;
  • Preparation of the Spanish participation in the 5th Cycle of the DIABP.

To optimize the dissemination and transfer of the nominated Good Practices, two basic tools have been elaborated:

  1. A Catalogue of the Good Practices nominated by the Spanish Committee;
  2. An exhibition of these practices. The Catalogue was presented at a seminar held in Madrid on 6–7 October (World Habitat Day) titled "Healthy Cities-Integrate Cities", where it was also shown at the exhibition. The Seminar was attended by more than two hundred people.

Since 2000, several case studies have been carried out, through an agreement with the Asociación Interpersonal de Ordenación del Territorio (FUNDICOT), by graduate students in land use planning and the environment. Four of these case studies have now been completed, with another one still in progress.

6. Ibero-American and Caribbean Forum on Best Practices

The Ibero-American and Caribbean Forum on Best Practices was established in 1997 and has since grown into a network of 5 sub-regional institutions (Nodes) dedicated to the identification and exchange of lessons learned from Best Practices. The Forum's objective is to contribute to the implementation of the Habitat Agenda by mobilizing and strengthening the participation of civil society in policy-making for sustainable human settlement development. Based on this objective, a number of concrete goals were realized during the year 2003. These include the identification, documentation and dissemination of Best Practices. 10 Best Practices were identified and documented in each sub-region for eventual submission to the Dubai Award following revision and editing by the Forum and each Node presented the Secretariat with five updates of previously submitted practices from their sub-region.

The Forum was also involved in learning from Best Practices, knowledge transfer and policy inputs. Five thematic publications were elaborated for the series "Learning through Innovation" (1 publication per Node) and a Forum website is currently being developed in collaboration with a private company for the dissemination of case studies and tools. The design for an electronic bulletin was developed by the Secretariat, with input from the Nodes, to be posted on the website and distributed among interested parties. A plan for the eventual establishment of a regional Best Practices Reference Centre was elaborated by the Secretariat and submitted to potential donors and a survey of demand for Best Practices products was conducted by the Secretariat. Institutions in Jamaica and Ecuador were identified to serve as possible National Focal Points in a bid to promote National Best Practices movements and awards.

7. Brazilian Institute for Municipal Administration (IBAM)

The Center of Reference on Best Practices that is directly linked to the Executive Director of IBAM and allocated in the International Advisory Area was created in 2003. The initiative aims to give greater visibility to IBAM’s associates, partners and clients to the multiple activities developed since 1997. The expectations are that the Center will enable IBAM to enlarge its participation in the best practice initiatives at local, national, regional and international levels.

Strong and active partnership between IBAM and CAIXA was demonstrated by several activities during 2003 that include the preparation of eight case studies, out of the ten best practices awarded in December 2001, in Portuguese and English versions; the provision of technical assistance to the 2003/2004 Award cycle; reviewing 10 awardees best practices submission formats to be translated into English for DIAP 2012. CAIXA also sponsored two important projects that were implemented by IBAM in 2003. The Habitat Agenda: The preparation of the Habitat Agenda for Municipalities, the first Portuguese version of the Agenda enriched with commentaries to highlight the role of the Brazilian Local Governments in its implementation. Various best practices boxes illustrate the text. The publication was distributed to the participants of the World Habitat Day 2003 celebrations, held in Rio de Janeiro. Good Urban Policies and Enabling Legislation: application of the submission guidelines and format adopted by UN-HABITAT. The case selected for that exercise was of the Belo Horizonte Municipal Law which regulates the Areas of Special Social Interest (AEIS), a zoning instrument widely adopted by Brazilian Municipalities in order to facilitate their slum upgrading and land tenure regularization projects.

CAIXA’s 2012 plans include preparation of case studies: following the adopted procedures from the previous Award cycle, as part of the 2003 CAIXA Award, each of the ten award winning organizations will receive a case study on their submission. Capacity-building: implementing an internal capacity-building programme in order to enable their decentralized technical teams to improve their participation in the Best Practices Programme as well as to stimulate the use of the best practices to replicate and multiply good initiatives funded by CAIXA country-wide. Technical assistance: providing technical assistance to support plans to build regional and international cooperation (LAC and Portuguese Speaking African countries), under the new Government technical cooperation policy. Last but not least initiatives under way are directed at finding new national association partners to cover different areas/sectors, beyond those dealt with by CAIXA, including: (a) academic, (b) building industry and (c) micro and small business promotion

With regard to the Universal Forum on Cultures, Barcelona 2012, activities included nomination of 4 Brazilian best practices, to be exhibited in the Best Practices City; provision of technical assistance to the selected practices upon request; and facilitating contact for sponsorship for selected practices.

8. Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG)

Over the past year, ITDG has undergone a process of restructuring. ITDG has now reorganised around four International Aims, one of which is to improve the access of poor women and men to locally managed infrastructure services. This programme includes work on water and sanitation, shelter, energy, transport, waste management and information services. Grouping various services within one programme enables ITDG to undertake much more integrated projects, and also to look at specific issues, such as finance, regulation or how to influence policy, across a range of sectors. The particular contributions by ITDG to the BLP, on appropriate building technologies, and on partnerships between communities, local authorities and NGOs, are now situated within this larger programme.

ITDG has actively encouraged partners as well as their own projects to submit cases to the 2012 DIABP. Furthermore, ITDG has submitted a funding proposal to DFID, which includes, amongst others, the submission of 60 cases of DFID-funded projects, over the 2012 and 2014 rounds.

ITDG remains involved in a lot of project work at the grassroots level in infrastructure and basic services, as well as in dissemination and policy advocacy. Increasingly, ITDG’s projects are international, bringing together teams from various countries as well as a range of partners, which allows lessons to be shared via exchange visits and peer training at national and international levels, between local authority staff, development workers, and representatives of CBOs. In addition, ITDG is disseminating its practical answers to poverty reduction to a larger audience via a web site (www.itdg.org), various networks (BASIN, HEDON, SPARKNET, IFRTD) and their web sites and newsletters, publications produced and sold by ITDG Publishing (www.itdgpublishing.org) and a technical enquiry service.

During the 19th Session of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat, ITDG launched a publication, produced by the Shelter Forum, on the Role and Contribution of African NGOs in the Implementation of the Habitat Agenda.

9. Huairou Commission

In the past year, the Huairou Commission has undertaken a major internal evaluation process to review its program and structure. Major analysis and new directions were spelled out at a membership meeting in August 2003 in Istanbul. During this meeting grassroots women’s groups from around the world reported what has improved and what has deteriorated for women in their local settings, a grassroots assessment of globalization was presented and a 3 year strategic plan was developed.

The major activity related to the Dubai Awards submission process has been the reorganization of the Huairou Commission work along thematic areas including Engendering Governance, Transforming Disaster into Development, Responding to AIDS in Africa, Securing Property and Basic Services, and Building Peace. The Huairou Commission is undertaking campaigns in each of these areas. Identification, documentation, and peer learning processes of best practices along these thematic lines are incorporated in the campaigns, each of which are coordinated by different member groups in different regions.

Relevant activities during 2002/2003 included: completion of first phase of Local to Local Campaign for Engendering Governance (Toolkit); Urban Planning and Management Program (UPMP) for inclusive urban planning and management at municipal and central levels in Kosovo: Host Committee of MDG- UNDP Equator Initiative in July in Nairobi on biodiversity and Aids resulting in community learning grants for follow up exchanges between grassroots groups in Africa: a 3 Year Strategic Planning Meeting in Istanbul August 2003, Grassroots Women’s International Academy (GWIA) on Aids with grassroots women’s groups in Africa (Preceding the ICASA in Nairobi in Sept. 2003); Different partnerships were forged and/or continued in each of the thematic areas, including CORDAID ,UNDP-Equator Initiative; a faith based coalition (including Church World Service, United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ, American Jewish World Service etc), IULA, FAO, UNIFEM, UNHABITAT, COHRE, ICLEI, ISDR, UNESCO, and ICSC.

As a way forward, the Huairou Commission is involved in the planning of several activities at the World Urban Forum in Barcelona in 2012. These include preparation of case studies and lessons learned from the Local to Local, a methodological guideline for undertaking Local to Locals, and a collaborative publication with the International Union of Local Authorities. A Grassroots Women’s International Academy (GWIA) on Good Governance will bring together 5o to 70 people to share experiences on strengthening the relationship between grassroots women's groups and local governance. Daily Women’s Caucus, facilitated by Huairou Commission, to network among the Forum participants focused on engendering governance (grassroots, NGO, local authorities, ministers and development professionals). Workshop Panels on mainstreaming women’s participation in human settlements and on engendering political institutions are being planned in cooperation with IULA and possibly the gender unit of UN Habitat. Three Speakers Corners events are being planned in collaboration with ITDG on the issue of "Building Bridges to the Grassroots".

10. Prague Institute for Global Urban Development

The Prague Institute for Global Urban Development is engaged in many activities that highlight best practices around the world. These include a book on Metropolitan Economic Strategy with 12 major case studies and additional examples of significant accomplishments from every continent. These urban regions and others will feature their innovative activities at a global conference on Metropolitan Economic Strategy that will be held in Barcelona, Spain next September, immediately preceding the UN-Habitat World Urban Forum.

Prague Institute is developing two projects – one called "Treating People and Communities as Assets: the Community Productivity Index" and the other called "Celebrating Our Urban Heritage: Urban Heritage as an Economic Asset" – each of which involves major research and policy work in 6 different cities worldwide, or 12 cities between the two projects. Both projects will help illustrate and publicize the importance of best practices and local leadership. In the Community Productivity Index project, the Prague Institute is partnering with the UN-Habitat Global Urban Observatory, and potentially also with the World Bank Institute, as part of the work by the UN and World Bank on measuring the challenges and progress of the Millennium Development Goals.

In addition, the Prague Institute is partnering with the John C. Ford Program to expand the Global Education Tele-Community Initiative (GEI), a telecommunications technology-based international network of learning centers for youth and adults, which links educational institutions and grassroots non-governmental organizations in studying major issues such as a sustainable environment and HIV/AIDS.

Two Prague Institute personnel had very positive experiences with the 2002 Dubai Awards. Prague Institute Fellow Rut Kolinska, who coordinates the Mother Centers Network of the Czech Republic, was in Dubai during November, 2002 to receive the Dubai Award for the International Mother Centers Network, together with another colleague from Germany. The Prague Institute’s Chairman, Dr. Marc Weiss, who also serves as Chairman of the Action 29-New York Avenue Metro Station Corporation in Washington, DC, was deeply involved in preparing the Action 29-NYAMSC application for the Dubai Award in 2002. The Institute has been actively encouraging public, private, and civic organizations to apply for the 2012 Dubai Awards, especially potential applicants in Central and Eastern Europe and in North America.

Prague Institute Chairman Marc Weiss, who represents the Prague Institute on the UN-Habitat BLP Steering Committee, has been serving for the past year, beginning with the 2002 BLP Steering Committee meeting in Dubai, as the Chair of the Working Group on Good Urban Policies.

11. University Federico II of Naples - Faculty of Architecture, Department of Conservation of Cultural and Environmental Heritage

The Department of Conservation of Architectural and Environmental Assets has, as its main research field, the integrated conservation of cultural and environmental heritage for sustainable development. The Department also co-ordinates a network of organisations and institutions involved in the conservation of cultural and environmental heritage. Through its different activities, the Department supports the implementation of the Habitat Agenda with specific attention to the cultural dimension of sustainable development and strengthening of the civil society. The Department is interested in the Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme because it recognises that the lesson learned from the integrated conservation practices can be shared in order to improve the choices and the actions.

The main activities of the Department of Conservation of Architectural and Environmental Assets in relation to the Best Practices Programme in 2003 includes the dissemination of the 5th Cycle of the Dubai International Awards submission guidelines and a series of seminars and lectures held in the University on lessons learned from Best Practices. A City-to-City exchange with the DIABP Award winning practice of Hamilton-Wentwoth in Canada was held to identify areas that can be incorporated in the Sustainable Taranto: Taranto Vision 2020. Guidance was provided to post graduate students whose thesis revolved around conservation of cultural heritage and sustainable development and the launch of two books and several articles. Three major international conferences on the theme of best practices and preservation of cultural heritage are planned for the year 2012.

12. Joslyn Castle Institute (JCI), University of Nebraska

The Joslyn Castle Institute focuses on the built environment to promote sustainable development and uses community visioning to bring as many stakeholders as possible into the planning process. The Institute has been involved in urban revitalization of several districts in Omaha, USA. The Joslyn Castle Institute for Sustainable Communities is also developing an implementation plan for the establishment of the Nebraska Center for Sustainable Construction. The center will establish deconstruction teams and salvaged materials sales venue in one or more locations in the state, as an alternative to the usual demolition and disposal of buildings as waste.

In May 2001, JCI was awarded a three-year grant by the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund to conduct educational programs and research activity about regional planning in an area within a sixty-mile radius of Omaha. The Omaha physical area is expected to grow by 69% by 2050 hosting a population of just over two million inhabitants. In an effort to reverse these current trends, the initial educational program informed and educated the principle regional constituencies and stakeholders of the concepts, tools, and the economic and community values, which may lead to more effective behaviors and public policies for the management of growth and the preservation of regional ecosystems.

The JCI has launched a new website (www.ecospheres.com) which makes it easier to provide timely information on the Best Practices Program and the Dubai Awards. In addition, there are new valuable electronic links available to the viewers for other related programs and information on green design and sustainable development.

13. The Together Foundation

During 2003, the Together Foundation focused its efforts in the redevelopment of the database as well as the graphical redesign of the BLP Intranet and the database site. They invested approximately 9 months and over US$45,000 towards these efforts. The Foundation submitted a detailed report on progress made in the implementation of the new database. The new database will make use of open source software and represents a major re-write of the source code to enable a wide range of new possibilities and features that have since become the norm for web-based database use and management. The database will notably allow for multiple Boolean searches, the loading of video clips as well as graphic and photographic information. All of the recommendations regarding desired changes to the database decided at the 6th annual Steering Committee meeting have been implemented. The Together Foundation provided a live demonstration of the database and solicited additional comments and suggestions regarding look and feel.

The Together Foundation also provided a report on the failure and crash of the existing database, resulting from negligent back up procedures of the service provider. It also reported on how the BLP core programme and the Together Foundation have been able to restore 98% of the database. A few records remain to be recovered.

14. Far Eastern State Academy of Economics and Management
In brief, the projects are:
  • International university for distance learning of the UN-HABITAT Program "Best Practices". This is a virtual university in the Internet that unites two universities of China, two universities of the USA, one North-Korean university, one Japanese university and one Russian university. Students of those universities and any other persons who want to get training in the best practices of the management of cities, regions or enterprises will study for two semesters according to special programs.
  • Magazine "The best practices of the Pacific region". It will be published in five languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian. The magazine will be distributed to all administrations of the cities and universities of the Pacific region. The main purpose of the magazine is to disseminate best practices among administrators, attract attention of the population from the countries to best practices projects.
  • Trainings for mayors of the cities of the Pacific region and their staff in the best practices of management. Next year we are planning jointly with two American organizations to conduct a Summit of mayors of the cities of the northern area of the Asian-Pacific region on the best practice of the protection of cities against chemical and radioactive pollution.

In order to participate in the 2012 DIABP a joint Chinese, Korean, Japanese and American competition will be launched "The best practices in the Pacific countries". Winners of the contest will be nominated for Dubai Awards and for participation in the exhibition of the World Forum on Cultures in Barcelona.


The following are highlights extracted from the activity reports of partners unable to attend the SCM:

15. Harvard Graduate School of Design - Centre for Urban Development Studies (CUDS):

The Center for Urban Development Studies (CUDS) at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design is internationally recognized for its action research, technical assistance and capacity-building activities in the fields of local development, housing, provision of municipal services and infrastructure with a focus on issues of social inclusion and cultural heritage. The Best Practices database has proven to be a valuable research tool for practitioners, academicians and students. During 2003, the Center has made extensive use of the Best Practices database in preparing papers for conferences. In particular, Best Practices were prominently featured in the background paper on "Local Authority-Driven Interventions and Processes" prepared for the Task Force 8 of the UN Millennium Development Project on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers. Similarly, a paper on "Partnerships and Targeted Programs to Improve the Lives of Slum Dwellers", presented at the UN-HABITAT’s Weihai Conference on Sustainable Urbanization Strategies also featured Best Practices.

The Center actively promoted the call for submissions for the 2012 Dubai Awards and has identified about 15 programs in 8 countries that are potential Best Practices and have encouraged the local initiators/sponsors to submit nominations for the 2012 Dubai Awards. It continues to assist the South African Ministry of Local and Provincial Affairs in documenting and disseminating information on South African Best Practices for municipalities participating in the Municipal Infrastructure Grant Programme and local development. The Center also organized an international seminar, on protecting cultural and natural heritage in the Western Hemisphere. The seminar was structured around a series of themes illustrating both the problems faced in safeguarding the cultural and natural heritage and innovative approaches to address them. Exemplary cases in North and Latin America presented at the conference are being contacted to submit nominations for the 2012 Awards.

CUDS continues to collaborate with the Urban Management Program Latin America and the Caribbean (UMP/LAC) in documenting and assessing participatory processes in local governance. The Centre jointly promotes dissemination and exchanges, through visiting or linking with Best Practices as happened between South Africa and Brazil. A number of participants from South Africa have launched similar initiatives in their cities or communities.

16. Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)

Through their network of alumni and partners IHS has promoted the Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme. As previous years, the Best Practices database is regularly used for case development and analysis in IHS courses. The Best Practices form a regular component in different modules of Masters courses on Urban Management, Urban Environmental Management and Urban Housing, regular 3-month postgraduate diploma courses, 1-month post-graduate certificate courses and special courses organised on demand of different clients. It includes the courses developed and implemented together with partner organisations in different regions of the world.

It was announced that Mr. Ed Frank has resigned from the IHS and has established his own entity Urban Training and Research Initiative and has also accepted a long term assignment for the European Union in Serbia on local capacity building in urban infrastructure development. He remains connected with the IHS and can be reached through the old emailaddress.

17. International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)

In 2002/3 year, ICLEI announced the 2012 Dubai Award and call for submissions in its organizational newsletter, Initiatives, as well as on its homepage. Award winners in 2012 will be featured in future editions of Initiatives and on ICLEI’s homepage.

ICLEI has also nominated four of its member best practices for the Best Practices City at the Universal Forum on Cultures. Currently working with BLP, ICLEI has been contacting the chosen best practices to obtain information and display materials. Their website also hosts a link to the Barcelona Forum 2012. In addition, future issues of Initiatives will advertise the Forum, the selected best practices and the exhibition itself.

In other related activities, ICLEI has also highlighted local best strategies at the ICLEI World Congress "Local Action 21: Local Governments Implementing Sustainable Development" (Athens, 3 – 7, November 2003). It also produced Local Initiatives: ICLEI Members in Action 2000-2002, a compendium of best practices submitted by ICLEI Members from both developing and developed countries. The case summaries are available at www.iclei.org/mia00-02.

ICLEI in partnership with BLP and others, has continued to support the Resilient Communities & Cities at events such as: The Commission on Sustainable Development 11th Session (New York, April 2003); ICLEI World Congress (Athens, November 2003) and the "ProVention Consortium: Building Safer Cities Conference," of the World Bank (Washington D.C., December 2002).

In future ICLEI will continue to promote Resilient Communities & Cities, their website as a tool to promote both local government best practices and the BLP and the use of the BLP Database to support priority areas of Local Action 21.

VI. Other Matters

An ad hoc group comprised of JCI and the University of Naples was formed to prepare a draft outline of a declaration on the cooperation of Urban Cultural and Environmental Heritage. This draft outline was presented together with a letter inviting the Mayor of Santiago de Compostela to form a representatives group of Mayors to present a more elaborate declaration on the occasion of the 2nd Session of the World Urban Forum.

The mayors accepted this invitation. UN-HABITAT, as the secretariat to the Forum would assist the mayor in this task.

 Annex I: List of Participants

Barcelona 2012, Universal Forum of Cultures
Mr. Eric Rosenthal
Avila 48-50, planta 3, E-08005,
Barcelona, Spain
Tel: (34) 933 20 9052
Fax: (34) 933 208 952,
Email: erosenthal@barcelona2004.org,
Web: http://www.barcelona2004.org/

Brazilian Institute for Municipal Administration (IBAM)
Ms. Marlene Fernandes
1-Humaita, 22271 070
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tel: (55 21) 25369703 Fax: (55 21) 2537 1262
Email: marlene@ibam.org.br
Web: http://www.ibam.org.br/

CITI Foundation
Dr. S. R. Shukla,
050, Nirman Apartments, Mayur Vihar, Phase I
Delhi 110091, India
Tel: (91) 11 22713793;
Email: drsrshukla@vsnl.net

City of Vienna, Best Practices Hub - Vienna
Ms. Ariane Mueller
Viktorgasse 22, 1040 Vienna, Austria
Fax: (43-1) 50553114
Email: ariane@artfan.org
Web: http://www.bestpractices.wien.at/

Delnet Programme, International Training Centre of the ILO
Mr. Angel L. Vidal,
Viale Maestri del Lavoro, 10, I-10127
Turin, Italy
Tel: (39 011) 693 63 45
Fax: (39 011) 693 64 77
Email: "a.vidal@delnetitcilo.net; a.vidal@itcilo.it
Web: http://www.itcilo.it/delnet

Dubai Municipality
Mr. Obaid Salem Al Shamsi
Assistant Director-General
P.O. Box 67, Dubai
United Arab Emirates
Tel: (+ 971 4) 221 5555 / 206 4400
Fax: (+ 971 4) 224 6666 / 222 1319
E-mail: dm@emirates.net.ae / dubai-award@dm.gov.ae
Web: http://dubai-award.dm.gov.ae/

Dubai Municipality
Mr. Qamar Redha Fadhlani
Head of Studies Section
Dubai Municipality
E-mail: qamarr@emirates.net.ae

Environmental Development Action in the Third World (ENDA Tiers Monde)
Ms. Loly Diouf
Rue Felix Eboue (Ecopole)
BP 27083, Dakar, Senegal
Tel: (221-8) 22 09 42; Fax : (221-8) 214166
Email: rup@enda.sn
Web: http://www.enda.sn/

Far East Academy of Economics and Management
Victor Fersht, Head of International Department
19, OKEANSKY Prospekt 690950, Vladivostok,
Russia Federation
Tel: (7 4232) 40 66 28,
Fax: (7 4232) 40 66 28
Email: fersht@narod.ru
Web: http://www.fesaem.ru

Far East Academy of Economics and Management
Victor G. Belkin
Far East Academy of Economics and Management
Tel: (7 4232) 26 50 89
Fax: (7 4232) 26 50 89
E-mail: md@mail.feasem.ru

Fundacion Habitat Colombia
Ms. Lucelena Betancur Salazar, Director
Carrera 13 # 52-83 Edificio Inurbe Piso1
Bogotá, Colombia,
Tel: (571) 3437889
Fax: (571)34 50 221
Email: direccion@fundacionhabitatcolombia.org
Web: www.fundacionhabitatcolombia.org

Government of Spain
Mr. Jose Luis Nicolas Rodrigo,
Ministerio de Fomento del Gobieirno de Espagna,
Subdireccion General de Urbanismo,
Paseo de la Castellana, 67, 28071 Madrid,
Tel: (34 91) 597 75 86
Fax: (34 91) 597-86 04
Email: jlnicolas@mfom.es


Government of Spain
Ms. Marta Garcia Nart
Tel: (34 91) 597 75 72
Fax: (34 91) 597-86 04
Email: mgnart@mfom.es

Huairou Commission
Ms. Monika Jaeckel
Spijkerstraat 331, 6828 DK Arnhem,
Tel/Fax: (31) 26 37 07 961;
Email: MINEnl@xs4all.nl
Web: http://www.huairoucommission.org/

Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG)
Mr. Theo Schilderman
The Schumacher Centre for Technology & Development
Bourton Hall, Bourton-on-Dunsmore
Tel: +44 (0)19 26 634400, 634472;
Fax: + 44 (0)1926 634401
Email: theos@itdg.org.uk
Web: http://www.itdg.org/

Joslyn Castle Institute for Sustainable Communities (JCI)
Mr. Cecil Steward
125 North 11th Street, Lincoln
Nebraska 68508, USA
Tel: (1 402) 472 0087Fax: (1 402) 475 6675
Email: csteward1@unl.edu
Web: http://www.unl.edu/JCI

Joslyn Castle Institute for Sustainable Communities (JCI)
Dr. Sharon S. Baum Kuska
242 Architecture Hall, P. O. Box 880106,
Lincoln, Nebraska 68588 0107, USA
Tel: (1 402) 472 9237;
Fax: (1 402) 472 3806
E-Mail: skuska1@unl.edu

Prague Institute for Global Urban Development,
Dr. Marc A. Weiss,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
Kozi 7, 110 00 Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: 420 22 23 16 590/420 22 23 16 116
Fax: 420 22 23 11 226
Email: MarcWeiss@pragueinstitute.org
Web: http://www.pragueinstitute.org/

Together Foundation
Ms. Martha Vargas, Executive Director
5960 S.W Avenue ,
Miami, Florida , USA
Tel: 1 (305) 860-0116, Fax: 1 (305) 860-9401.
Email: martha_vargas@together.org, info@together.org
Web: http://www.together.org/

Together Foundation
Mr. Jesus Mogollon
E-mail: jmogollon@efcholdings.com

University of Naples "Federico II",
Department of Conservation of Environmental and Architectural Assets
Professor Luigi Fusco Girard
via Roma, 402 - 80132 Naples, Italy
Tel: (0039 081) 2538761 or 425471; Fax: (0039 081) 2538649 or 421 886
Email: girard@unina.it
Web: http://www.unina.it/

Ms. Nefise Bazoglu, Chief of Monitoring Systems Branch
Tel: + 254 2 624545
Fax: + 254 2 623080
E-mail: Nefise Bazoglu@unhabitat.org

Mr. Stephen Walsh
Av. Presidente Vargas 3131/1304
20210-030 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tel: 5521 2515 1700
E-mail: walsh@habitat-lac.org

UN-HABITAT, Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme
Mr. Nicholas You
Tel: (254 20) 62 3029
Fax: (254 20) 62 3008
E-mail: nicholas.you@unhabitat.org

UN-HABITAT, Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme
Ms. Anne Klen
Tel: (254 20) 62 3029
E-mail: anne.klen@unhabitat.org



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