Assessment Of Urban Development Policies In The Context Of Sustainability In Latvia
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An assessment of the sustainability of urban development policies was undertaken in six major cities in Latvia using a methodology developed as part of the Aalborg Commitments baseline review for the city of Riga. Development planning documents and development indicators and trends were assessed against the Aalborg Commitments. The assessment revealed significant discrepancies between the sustainability criteria of the Aalborg Commitments and development policy goals and measures defined in the municipal planning documents. Development goals provide cities with a weak orientation towards sustainability, whereas policy measures show limited coherence with development goals and the Aalborg Commitments. None of the strategic development plans of the investigated cities reflect all the Aalborg Commitments and none reflect issues in the group Local to Global. Only three of the cities studied have a limited number of sustainability indicators that can be used in part to measure progress towards sustainable development. Based on the available indicators development in these cities is characterized by predominantly unsustainable trends. The results of a survey of municipal administration personnel and council deputies indicate that deficiencies in governance, including knowledge about sustainable development, policy integration, intersector cooperation, municipality and stakeholder cooperation and urban management contribute to development policies and outcomes that are weakly supportive of sustainable development and act as barriers to mainstreaming sustainable development. Keywords: Aalborg Commitments, governance, indicators, intersector cooperation, policy integration, sustainability criteria, sustainable development, urban development policies.
Keywords: Aalborg Commitments, governance, indicators, intersector cooperation, policy integration, sustainability criteria, sustainable development, urban development policies.