Setting an urban agenda: Human settlements and IIED-América Latina
The last decade has brought increasing recognition by governments and international agencies of the need to develop urban policies, both to address urban poverty and in recognition of the importance of wellmanaged urban centres for economic growth. Many have also recognized that these require more capable, competent and accountable local (urban) governments. There is also the shift in the understanding of what constitutes urban poverty from a narrow focus where poverty is equated only with inadequate income or consumption levels to a broader recognition of the multiple forms of deprivation suffered by much of the urban population (see Box 10.1). Perhaps the most critical implication of this shift is the much increased focus on the role of local institutions in reducing urban poverty since many of the aspects of deprivation noted in the box depend on more competent, effective local institutions that are also accountable to local populations and local democratic political systems.