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Structures and functions of urban government

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Presentation on theme: "Structures and functions of urban government"— Presentation transcript:

1 Structures and functions of urban government
City Management Dr. Adnan Alshiha

2 Why do city politics matter?
What is the role of urban government and how does it related to the other spheres of government in Saudi Arabia? ‌ Whose interests should local government serve? Whom does local government really serve? ‌ What is the most efficient and effective structure of governance?

3 ‌ What is “urban government”?
By 2006 half the world’s population (3.2 billion people) will live in urban areas - a 20-fold increase from 1900. Rapid urbanization in the 20th century has magnified the environmental impact of cities. Because of inadequate infrastructural systems, poor planning and weak urban management, cities disproportionately drive global warming, increase water scarcity and extend built-up space. According to the Worldwatch Institute’s recent briefing on “Reinventing Cities” changes in at least six areas - water, waste, food, energy, transportation, and land use - are needed

4 While rapid urbanization concentrates population and economic growth in cities, creating better opportunities for livelihood, at the same time cities face daunting challenges: overcrowding, poverty, environmental decay, inefficient systems of municipal service delivery, scarce finance and inefficient administration.

5 Urban management means that city governments together with other urban stakeholders - civil society, private sector, and local communities - assume an active role in mobilization, management and coordination of resources to support the objectives of urban development and ensure the vitality of cities.

6 A city, hence, is sustainable if it can provide all its inhabitants the environmental, social, cultural and economic needs without threatening natural, built or societal systems on which the safeguarding of these needs is based.

7 Increasing local planning capacities, improving financial resources, guiding urban development processes in an action-oriented manner, establishing institutional mechanisms and procedures for participation and democratization of local decision-making processes, are just a few of the challenges urban managers - mayors, legislators, planners and service providers - face to make cities a more sustainable place for people and for the planet.

8 Many national governments pursue a strategy to shift the responsibility for municipal management from states to cities, and local capacity building as well as community participation must be enhanced to support this process.

9 A diverse set of objectives to enhance the quality and capacity of urban management structures and processes has to be pursued comprising urban land management, infrastructure improvement, environmental management, poverty alleviation etc.

10 Where urban growth is far exceeding the capacity of infrastructure and services, and inadequate environmental management measures have contributed to a significant degradation of valuable natural resources, the strain has adversely affected the quality of life of urban dwellers. Yet, urban planning and management tools will have to be adjusted to meet these fundamental challenges in order to enhance the capacity to manage urban growth and development.  

11 To improve urban places
To improve urban places there are five essential areas that require the attention of local governments, mayors and urban managers, and hence can be identified as imminent training needs for urban management: Establishing effective channels of communication to mobilize citizens’ participation, providing transparency and accountability; strengthening stakeholder participation to enhance commitment to and resource mobilization for jointly elaborated urban strategies;

12 Improving the design of spatial policies to cope with rapid urban growth, of inter-sectoral programs to resolve urban problems, and of technical infrastructure and social projects sensitive to the needs of urban communities;

13 Resolving urban environmental issues to create a healthier urban environment; reduce the pressure of cities on natural resources and decrease the environmental impact of cities;

14 Empowering the urban poor by giving assets to them which in turn enhance their living conditions, e.g. through secure land titles; developing urban economies to provide opportunities to them, e.g. through channeling micro-finance to the urban informal sector;

15 Mobilizing adequate finance in line with responsibilities taken over by municipalities in the fields of service provision and infrastructure maintenance, by pricing urban services, building partnerships with the private sector to manage and finance urban infrastructure.

16 ‌ Urban government Local state ‌Local government ‌Municipal government
‌Urban governance

17 The local state Municipal government
‌Special purpose bodies (commissions, programs, boards, units, authorities, etc.) ‌Voluntary associations

18 Features of the municipality
Its corporate nature ‌Defined geographic boundaries ‌An elected council ‌Its taxing power

19 Primary purposes of local government
To act as a political mechanism through which a local community can express its collective objectives, and ‌To provide various services and programs to local residents

20 Local government responsibility includes
‌Protective services (fire, police) ‌Transportation services (roads, public transit) ‌Environmental services (sewers, garbage disposal, water supply) ‌Social and health services (welfare administration, day care, homes for seniors, public health programs) ‌Recreation and cultural services ‌Land use planning ‌And sometimes education

21 History and constitutional status of municipalities
‌Constitutional Act of 1867 ‌The incorporation of municipalities under provincial legislation (legal and political status of municipalities) ‌Legal features of municipalities: ‌Defined territory ‌Mechanism (elected council) to make legally enforceable decisions ‌List of legal governmental functions

22 Four principles of municipalities' constitutional status
‌Municipal institutions: 1)lack constitutional status, 2)are creatures of the legislature and exist only if provincial legislation so provides, 3)have no independent autonomy and their powers are subject to abolition or repeal by provincial legislation, 4)may exercise only those powers that are conferred upon them by statute.

23 Intergovernmental relationships
‌Central government ‌Provincial government

24 Government responsibilities
‌“hard” (infrastructure) services should be the full responsibility of municipalities ‌“soft” (human) services should be the proper function of the provincial government

25 Saudi System assigned these functions to municipalities
‌Public health protection ‌Local roads and streets ‌Collection and disposal of residential solid waste ‌Sewage systems ‌Regulation of local land use

26 Funds for local service provision
‌An annual Budget ‌And user fees Other charges

27 Municipal reform and restructuring
‌Entanglement/disentanglement ‌Downloading ‌Subsidiarity ‌Contracting out ‌Privatization

28 Major issues in contemporary urban governance
‌The importance of economic development ‌The fiscal squeeze ‌Fostering and sustaining livable cities

29 Debates in Saudi context
‌The historical and continuing debates about the place of local government in Saudi political system ‌Changing perspectives concerning the role of cities in the international context ‌Debates about the structure and internal operations of city governments, including the question: Whom does/should Municipality council serve?

30 Issues in Saudi context of urban governance
‌The apolitical nature of city politics, because Saudi city elections are non-partisan ‌The intergovernmental maze due to the current situation of intergovernmental relationships between the three levels of government in Saudi Arabia ‌The degree of democracy and participation in city politics

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