City Development Strategy (CDS)

A City Development Strategy (CDS) is a tool that helps a city harness the potential of urbanization through strategic planning. It is an action-oriented process, developed and sustained through participation, to promote equitable growth in cities and their surrounding regions to improve the quality of life for all citizens.

A CDS helps cities integrate a strategic development approach and a long-term perspective into their urban planning. The idea behind a CDS is that “well-positioned, well-timed public, private and civil society strategic interventions can significantly change a city’s development path and improve its performance”. CDS is not only concerned with developing a strategy but also with its implementation and the sustainability of initiatives through integrating operation and maintenance issues into the whole process. The CDS addresses three cross-cutting issues: poverty reduction, gender and resilience; so that all three are integrated into every phase of the planning process. For more information

A CDS consists of four phases:

Phase 1: Where are we now? Getting organised and situation analysis

Phase 2: Where are we going? Visioning and strategic objectives

Phase 3: How are we going to get there? Strategy Formulation

Phase 4: How to implement and know if we are on track? Strategy implementation, monitoring & evaluation

The success of a CDS process will depend ultimately on resources, culture and capacity.  This toolkit aims to provide a framework and a guide—but does not provide a rigid blueprint where “one size fits all”.

Partners Mapping: 
Scale Mapping: 
Data Input Mapping: 
Timeline for Application Mapping: