Guide Economic Development in American Cities: The Pursuit of an Equity Agenda

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Economic Development in American Cities: The Pursuit of an Equity Agenda. Front Cover. Michael I. J. Bennett, Robert P. Giloth. SUNY Press, Feb 1,
Table of contents

The constitution led to the introduction of a parliamentary democracy, with its first elections in At the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris, Bhutan further announced its intention to remain carbon-neutral, ensuring that GHG emissions do not exceed the carbon sequestration capacity of its vast forests. Beyond these measures, Bhutan is also home to a diverse ecosystem, ranked among the top 10 countries in the world with the highest species density and recognized as a biodiversity hot-spot. It also has the highest proportion of land in protected areas, with five national parks, four wildlife sanctuaries, and a nature reserve, covering an area of 16, This list goes on.

Preservation and promotion of culture : Tucked between the powerful giants of China to its north, and India to the south, the fact that this tiny country remains on the map is in itself an amazing feat.

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Its high mountain passes and deep valleys have helped to guard the country, but have also created isolated communities which have evolved their own culture, identity and languages. Bhutan has over two dozen languages throughout the country. The emphasis on tradition and celebration of a unique culture is part of daily life.


Based on this assessment, specific recommendations for adjustment to the policies are made. But, the most important question still remains — as a result of these measures, are the people of Bhutan the happiest in the world? For me, this is a challenging question to answer — I met many enlightened and centred individuals in Bhutan, but I also met many who struggled to merely sustain their livelihoods. Things are however fast changing.

Municipal determination

The introduction in of the television to Bhutan has certainly complicated matters. As I sported my old Nokia analogue phone, my taxi-driving neighbour who lived in a shack without running water or heating had taken a large portion of his savings to invest in a smartphone — increasingly seen as a sign of prestige.

Like many cultures built on subsistence agriculture, as was the case in Bhutan, a shift away from traditional agricultural practices combined with urban migration is placing pressure on the country to manage growing youth unemployment and its related challenges. While Bhutan is not a country without its struggles, what Bhutan has done to pursue a more balanced approach to economic development is not only evident on the ground, it can also serves as inspiration for countries around the world.

Cities and Economic Development

Antonia Gawel was working in Bhutan as an adviser to the multilateral development banks on environmental and clean energy policy. Have you read? Can Bhutan go organic? Which country is the happiest in the world? The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum. I accept.

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  • The vision has been widely consulted on with mayors and experts since its inception, and is fully aligned with the United Nations New Urban Agenda and the Agenda. The Conference will address the interlinkages and integrated nature of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals SDGs that make up the Agenda through its 6 themes.

    Economic Development in American Cities The Pursuit of an Equity Agenda

    It will focus on improving equity, health and well-being, and on strengthening peace that will profoundly change the lives of people in cities and the world for the better. People: a human focus to societal development that prioritizes investment in people to improve equity and inclusion through enhanced empowerment. This theme includes equity and inclusion, empowerment, non-discriminatory governance, a rights-based approach to participation, universal access to public services, gender equality, and health literacy. Place: the social, physical and cultural environments that align to create a place that is actively inclusive, and that facilitates the pursuit of health and well-being for all.

    This theme includes the physical and natural environment, the social environment, equity, trust and ownership, ethics, inclusivity, commerce, transport, and co-design and co-benefits. Participation: ensuring the participation of all individuals and communities in the decisions that affect them and the places they live, work, love and play. This theme includes coherent governance, inclusive civic participation, accountability, empowerment, and city health diplomacy.

    Prosperity: enhanced community prosperity and strengthened assets through values-based governance of common goods and services. This theme includes enhanced community prosperity, strengthened assets, investment in the. Planet: ensuring that the protection of the planet is at the heart of all city policies, both internal and external. This theme includes divestment, disaster risk reduction, sustainable consumption and production, resilience, and mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.

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    • Peace: promoting peace through inclusive societies that focus on places, participation, prosperity and the planet, while putting people at the centre of all policies and actions. This theme includes just and inclusive societies, freedom from fear and violence, sustainable development, respect for human rights and human dignity, equality and non-discrimination, ethnic and cultural diversity, equal opportunities, and shared prosperity.

      The programme will be of interest to mayors, national and local politicians, professionals, academics, activists, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations and community organizations operating at the national, regional and local levels.