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  December 1999    

New from UNU Press
Water for Urban Areas: Challenges and Perspectives
Edited by Juha Uitto and Asit Biswas
UNU Press; ISBN 92-808-1024-3; 260 pp.; US$24.95; November 1999

Today, half the world's population lives in cities; by 2025, that proportion is expected to grow to more than two-thirds. This rapid growth of urban centres is placing tremendous stress on the environment and poses many formidable problems, including management of the world's water resources. The provision of sufficient water for sustainable urban development and prevention of water pollution are vital tasks. Even today, some 380 million of the world's urban residents do not have adequate sanitation, and at least 170 million lack access to a nearby source of safe drinking water. Without proper urban water management, as cities grow these numbers will increase dramatically.

In Water for Urban Areas, leading experts from four continents offer unique insights into varied issues of urban water management. Through appropriate case studies, the authors seek solutions and identify strategies for sustainable management of urban water resources, and consider technical issues, such as wastewater reuse, as well as management issues, including financial mechanisms for improved water sector management.

This book is part of the UNU Series on Water Resources Management and Policy.

The Basin of Mexico: Critical Environmental Issues and Sustainability
By Exequiel Ezcurra, Marisa Mazari-Hiriart, Irene Pisanty and Adrian Guillermo Aguilar
UNU Press; ISBN 92-808-1021-9; 240 pp.; US$24.95; September 1999

The Basin of Mexico exemplifies an endangered environment well on its way to criticality, with the extraordinary pace of environmental changes depleting natural resources, aggravating pollution and threatening to overwhelm institutional and societal capacities to cope. In the massive megalopolis that is Mexico City, dramatic concentrations of all kinds have coalesced to pose immediate and long-term hazards to human activities, health and well-being.

A tendency by politicians and planners to try and inhibit ongoing environmental degradation by enlisting imported resources, or hoping for eventual technological fixes, is increasing overall risk. Yet, the prospect of reversing the trajectory towards criticality is not altogether out of the question; it may even be occurring now in specific areas. The book's authors view the region as a laboratory, and warn that the outcome of this experiment may signal the fate of other mega-cities across the globe.

This landmark study is part of the series UNU Studies on Critical Environmental Regions.

Cities and the Environment: New Approaches for Eco-Societies
Edited by Takashi Inoguchi, Edward Newman and Glen Paoletto
UNU Press; ISBN 92-808-1023-5; 360 pp.; US$29.95; October 1999

Although cities focus human creativity, culture and industry, as well as offer welfare and livelihood opportunities for people worldwide, they also are increasingly the focus of a global population explosion. The world's burgeoning urban communities will face growing critical challenges in coming decades: enormous (and frequently unmet) demands for housing, transportation, water management and sewerage systems; increasingly severe air and water pollution; and destruction of the natural environment. The goal of the proponents of eco-societies is to manage or reverse such problems and make cities safe places in which to work, live and nurture future generations. This volume identifies and conceptualizes the ideal of urban eco-societies - their technological, political and sociological dimensions - and outlines the innovative approaches being used in partnerships among disparate actors and the widening process of cooperation.

Democracy, Governance and Economic Performance: East and Southeast Asia
Edited by Ian Marsh, Jean Blondel and Takashi Inoguchi
UNU Press; ISBN 92-808-1039-1; 460 pp.; US$34.95; December 1999

Democratization occurred, or was consolidated, in a number of East and Southeast Asian states in the early 1990s. While some states have progressively turned to technological innovation as the primary engine of development, others have focused on incorporation in regional/global production systems. For all, however, economic performance has been a primary source of political legitimacy.

In the wake of the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, the ultimate outcomes of Asian nations' economic governance efforts will be determined both by the capacity of their political systems to sustain popular support and the capacity of national institutions to rework dysfunctional economic arrangements. This study explores the links between political and economic development by using the idea of a developmental state as a template against which the practices of individual states are evaluated. (This book is part of the UNU Series on The Changing Nature of Democracy.)

The UNU Press has more than 200 titles in print, covering a wide range of subjects including vital issues in the fields of the environment and sustainable resource development, peace and governance, economic and social development, and regional studies. Inquiries about books or requests for the current UNU Press Publications Catalogue should be addressed to the Marketing and Sales Unit (fax: +81-3-3406-7345; e-mail: See for catalogues of new and backlist books and related information.

Conducting Environmental Impact Assessment for Developing Countries
Edited by Prasad Modak and Asit Biswas
UNU Press; ISBN 92-808-0965-2; 376 pp.; US$34.95

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as a policy and management tool for planning and decision-making was conceived in the 1970s after the United Nations Conference on the Environment in Stockholm. An EIA assists in identifying, predicting and evaluating the likely environmental consequences of proposed development projects, plans and policies, and can help policy makers to decide whether and how a given project should be implemented. This book discusses the EIA process, methods and tools as well as the implementation and monitoring of specific environmental management measures. It also covers the process of communicating EIA study findings to decision makers and the public, and the writing and review of an EIA report. Emerging trends in EIA are examined through a number of illustrative case studies.

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