Many Latin American cities have successfully carried out Strategic
Planning (SP), bringing tangible results to inhabitants and to efforts
to better manage the urban environment. City governments face particular
difficulties in planning and managing urban growth, and in achieving
long-term solutions to urban environmental problems. SP offers an
interesting, participatory strategy for addressing these challenges. SP
is different from conventional urban planning because of its cooperative
process, drawing in businesses, civil society and different government
agencies. It promotes these groups’ continuing cooperation in
envisioning the city’s future, diagnosing problems, planning,
prioritising, mobilising resources, and implementing and monitoring
initiatives. This Brief describes the SP process followed in Latin
America, and concludes with lessons learned that will be useful for
other cities seeking an effective way to engage in urban planning.
•Solving the environmental problems created by uncontrolled urban
growth, as well as the associated social fragmentation and poverty,
means generating a long-term plan for managing city growth and
•Anticipating demands due to urban growth is central to a more effective
government response. Municipal planners must consider how future growth
will affect, for example, traffic within and beyond their boundaries,
and make plans now to be able to prevent future congestion.
•Anticipation of future needs, combined with a participatory approach,
is SP’s key contribution to solving urban environmental challenges. Many
Latin American cities have used SP with great success, and the lessons
coming from this Latin American model could be useful for cities in
Africa and Asia facing similar challenges.
II ED&#8211;AL. ELLA Policy Brief: Strategic Planning in Latin America. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2012) 5 pp.