The Cities Alliance has long supported strategic planning activities to improve the efﬁciency and impact of urban development in support of city-based, consensus-building processes. These processes enable cities, local authorities and stakeholders to deﬁne a common vision for their city and establish city development strategies with clear priorities for action and investment. Given the complexity of strategy development and urban governance, there are many different views on what a city development strategy is and how it should be developed.
In 2009, several Cities Alliance members – United Cities and Local Governments UCLG, UN-HABITAT, UNEP and GIZ, facilitated by the Cities Alliance Secretariat – created a subgroup to discuss the diverse views on City Development Strategies and to share their experiences in implementing CDS. The subgroup devised a harmonized, basic conceptual framework for a CDS that is ﬂexible enough to incorporate diverse experiences and methodologies while ensuring that certain crucial steps have been taken into consideration.