Note:  Chief, Policy Analysis Branch, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHabitat). Email [email protected]
Abstract: In many parts of the world, urban planning systems have to change, as they are now often considered to be contributors to urban problems rather than functioning as tools for human and environmental improvement (Watson 2007). This paper discusses the effectiveness of urban planning as a tool for dealing with the unprecedented challenges facing 21st century cities and for enhancing the environmental, social, and economic goals of sustainable urbanization. It draws on UN-Habitat’s latest issue of the Global Report on Human Settlements, titled (Planning Sustainable Cities), published in September 2009. The focus is primarily on the developing world.