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First Summary of Debate

From: Alessandra Olmi, Listowner
Category: Category 1
Date: 18 Mar 2000
Time: 19:55:27
Remote Name:


Dear colleagues,

the first contributions we have received deal with an issue that is very relevant for our discussion on the review of Habitat Agenda in the process leading to Istanbul+5, namely that of the role of the actors, and expecially civil society actors, in the actual development of the City and the management of urban services.

I think that some of the topics raised deserve comments from other participants.

Let me summarize a few topics that I find particularly relevant:

a. the fact (as M. Guery said) that one of the major difficulties in developing adequate urban policies lays in insufficient analysis of the role in urban development of actors other than the State or Utilities, while most of urban production is caused by the actions of the population itself;

b. the additional problem (underlined by C.Vouhe) that any reference on the role of people or civil society in urban development points to a reality that is by no means homogeneous but must be understood as composed by different groups, stake-holders, bearers of conflicting interests; in this context differences related to gender, age and class can be very relevant.

c. this leads to the issue (raised by all contributions) of the theoretical, methodological and technical tools to make analysis that are able to take into account and highlight the complex articulation of civil society from different perspectives, including gender, age, income, relative power, etc.

As you see, these issues are very much connected to those raised in the background paper expecially in its first part that outlines the most critical points of the path followed after the Istanbul Summit. I think that many participants have both ideas and experiences to share on these topics.

I wait for your substantive contributions to the ongoing debate!

All the best,

Alessandra Olmi Listowner

Last changed: March 13, 2002