43rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Peripheries, Centres, and Spatial Development in the New Europe", 27th - 30th August 2003, Jyväskylä, Finland
Sustainable development, survivability, equal rights, civic engagement, enablement and governance are the main principles of our times, urban systems must be considered in view of these principles while wide range public participation has become a necessity. As a result of the ?National Development and Environment Conference, World Summit? held in Rio 1992 where concepts of sustainable development were recognized, the ?Local Agenda 21? action program has been developed. This program is a comprehensive document that puts responsibilities on Governments, non-governmental organizations, local governments, UN organizations, development institutions and all other institutions and individuals, which may have effects on the environment. The decisions taken at the Rio Summit impose upon all local governments, regardless of size, to prepare and implement their own programs along the concept/philosophy of ?Think Global, Act Local?. The aim of this paper is to establish and evaluate implementations of the Local Agenda 21 in Turkey, at different levels of local governments. The evaluation will not only aim at the governmental dimension but the roles played by all responsible parties will be taken into consideration. Sample implementations in Turkey will be scrutinized as to how many of the objectives and the policies of the Local Agenda 21 have been achieved. The results of the studies in this paper will provide, all local governments in Turkey, a means to evaluate their programs in the framework of Local Agenda 21, as well as setting forth supplementary suggestions for producing prioritized ?Local Sustainable development Policies' and for assisting them in devising short and long term strategic plans for solving problems. It will also be strongly emphasized that these plans must be implemented, with mechanisms allowing for multi-partner participations, and a method for this purpose will be suggested. Key Words: Local Agenda 21, Sustainable development, Enablement, Participation, Local governments.