2nd Newsletter of IULA'99 Virtual Congress

In the last newsletter, we informed you about the opened forums of each
thematic area. Since then, new contributions and also papers have arrived to
the forums. These papers open new issues for debating and, with no doubt,
enrich the forums. We should not forget that the IULA Conference will begin
in four weeks!

Before starting with the new issues of each thematic area (Local democracy,
Sustainability and Local Agenda 21 and Social cohesion), it's good to remind
the main objective of the Virtual Congress. This is to open a debate, as
wider as possible, among people and social sectors related with each of the
items through contributions, opinions, experiences, publications, best
practices, etc. A virtual library about local government can be also
consulted. You can find us in:


Another important previous question is that the register form has been
changed to promote participation in the forums. With this modification the
initial identification is not needed and you just have to identify yourself
with your name and e-mail when you do a contribution to a forum.

We are waiting for your participation!

The Virtual Congress facilitators,
Moises Amoros (Social Cohesion)                  [log in to unmask]
Helena Barraco(Sustainability and Local Agenda 21) [log in to unmask]
Ramon Canal (Local Democracy)                          [log in to unmask]

Local Democracy in the world

This area covers a very wide range of themes related to the concept of local
government (what should be local government in the 21st century?). We are
sure that at least one of them will fit in with your professional or
academic interest areas. Just try!

We recommend you to take a look at the new contributions put in the themes
"Towards a world charter of local self-government" (the local-global
polemic) and "Local democracy, sustainability and social cohesion" (the
decentralisation debate).

You can also consult and/or download numerous documents of great interest,
such us the declaration issued from the conference "cities for human
rights", which was held in October 1998 in Barcelona.

Sustainability and Local Agenda 21

These are the new issues of the thematic area Sustainability and Local
Agenda 21 since the last Virtual Congress' newsletter:

* Local Agenda 21. You'll find interesting documents for discussion about
the sustainable urban development in Latin-American cities (in Spanish) and
the United Nations' Program about Cities for Climate Protection. This is the
most dynamic forum; you can find interventions and news related to
experiences at different levels which have taken place in the local world:
co-operation among cities, sustainable tourism, energy efficient management
and citizen participation process' among others.

* Urban vehicles. More efficient and less polluting cars are already a
reality? In this forum you'll find documents referring the Brazilian Policy
of Alcohol as a fuel and documents about hybrid vehicles in Sweden

* Telematics and clean technologies. A discussion forum about the possible
effects of Internet on urban mobility is going on. You'll find also
documents related to experiences with local telematic information networks
in Italy.

* The urban-rural dynamics. In this forum you can find the paper Local
Authorities, food commercialisation and the cities' future (only in Spanish)
by Olivio Argenti (Co-ordinator of the FAO's interregional program about
Food management and distribution in cities), who will participate as a
speaker in the IULA'99Congress.

Social Cohesion

Opened fora and the themes that are being discussed are as follows:

* Tackling crime for successful cities. Mr. Jordi Borja's paper can be
consulted in this forum. In the paper, Borja explains that there is an
ambiguity concerning crime prevention: on the one hand, it is a right which
can not be denied to anyone, and, on the other hand, some planing policies
play against the effective promotion of security.  The negative effects of
the traditional prevention policies should be added to the effects of city
planing. Mr. Jordi Borja, acknowledging some positive results of these
traditional crime prevention policies,  bets for a more integrated approach
with planing policies. This new approach ought to revitalise the public
places as a meeting point of the different local communities. Hence,
communication and solidarity would be enhanced. Apart from this paper, it
can be found some other contributions asking for ideas to help them to
improve the prevention of crime in their localities.

* Local government: working for older persons and young people. The
contribution of the  Building and Social Housing Foundation is important.
This Foundation held a seminar on new ideas and attitudes to housing for
older people, last April. An extract of the main conclusions achieved can be
consulted. The conclusions highlight the need for a more integrated approach
among the different stakeholders working on ageing policies. Besides, in
this forum it is asked whether Barcelona's model of Social Services can be
exported to other cities or not.

* Promoting local employment. This is the most dynamic forum of the Social
Cohesion and Participation Area. Two interesting papers can be read. The
first paper is written by Mr. Micahel Cohen, and he highlights the
importance of the 'soft factors' in building a coalition for the promotion
of the local economy. The second one belongs to the Mayor of Porto Alegre
(Mr. Raul Pont) and emphasises the chance of citizens to have an important
role in promoting the local economy and employment through the participatory

* A city for all. Participation.  In this forum it can be found as well the
paper of Mr. Raul Pont, Mayor of Porto Alegre,  because he emphasises the
need for understanding citizen participation as a key element of local
economy policies. Besides, there are more contributions challenging the
assumption that Internet can enhance citizen participation.

* A city for all. Intercultural dialogue. The main topic addressed in this
forum is whether we should talk in terms of multiculturality terms or in
terms of interculturality. What is being debated is the nature of the city
and the impacts of the city as a place open to every body, or not. The
issues is opened for discussion.