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A Free Toolkit of Measures for Managing Environmental Externalities in Urban Areas

The purpose of this toolkit is to provide an overview of a selected sample of generic policy measures and instruments that specifically address the challenges raised by ‘greening’ urban development. It focuses on instruments that may be able to help leverage finance (from private sector, national government and donors)to advance the ‘brown agenda’1 and support the implementation of green urban development measures.


The toolkit is intended primarily as a resource for urban managers and planners in African cities. As such, the instruments that are presented have been specifically selected because they address some of the most pressing environmental challenges faced by rapidly growing African cities while at the same time contributing to the achievement of wider sustainable development goals.

Why is the Toolkit Needed?

Cities depend on a healthy natural environment that continuously provides a range of benefits, known as ecosystem services (see Box 1). Some examples of ecosystem services include drinking water, clean air, healthy food, and protection against floods. Healthy ecosystems are the foundation for sustainable cities, influencing and affecting human well-being and most economic activity.

What is Included in this Toolkit?

This toolkit therefore presents a suite of generic policy and other instruments that public agencies within African cities may consider for both mitigating the negative environmental externalities deriving from urbanization and for enhancing green urban development. As noted above, none of the instruments described in this toolkit offers a ‘silver bullet’. For any of them to be effective and enduring, they need to sit within a package of complementary measures that lie within a much broader, yet integrated urban environmental planning and management framework.

How to Use This Toolkit

At the outset, it is important to understand the nature and significance of the environmental externality to be addressed. Perhaps even more importantly, it is necessary to have an understanding of the key drivers of change or the causes of environmental degradation as this will help identify where efforts to reverse, or prevent further degradation, need to be targeted. Each of the instruments presented in this toolkit may apply to one or more environmental issues. To aid the user, we have used icons throughout the toolkit to identify the key issues to which each of the instruments
can most readily be applied. These are as follows:

You can download this toolkit for free here.

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