"The Brown Agenda": urban environmental problems and policies in the developing world.
Only a small proportion of the available literature on sustainable development in the Third World has focused upon the environmental problems of towns and cities. The range of environmental problems experienced by Third World cities has recently been referred to as the Brown Agenda. These problems can largely be related to the development process, with some problems worsening or improving with income growth, while others may first worsen then improve. At any rate, the nature, range, and mix of environmental problems found in any urban area is definitely influenced by the general level of development of the country concerned. The Brown Agenda consists of two main components. One component is associated with traditional environmental health issues, while the other includes those problems which have arisen due to rapid industrialization and currently tend to be less widespread than the former concerns. The main items of the Brown Agenda are reviewed and considered in terms of urban development. The nature of environmental problems in developing country cities and the relationship between the environment, poverty, and shelter are discussed with reference to the case of Calcutta. The author finally considers how best to manage and plan the urban environment, considering recent proposals by international agencies such as the World Bank.