ESC’s Methodology is organized in a two-stage, five phase process.
Stage one begins by executing a rapid diagnostic tool to identify the sustainability challenges of a city. Afterwards, topics (i.e. water, air quality, transparency, etc.) are prioritized through the use multiple filters – environmental, economic, public opinion and sector specialist expertise – to identify issues that pose the greatest challenges in a city’s pathway towards sustainability. Finally, an Action Plan is formulated, containing prioritized interventions and a set of strategies for their execution across the short-, medium- and long-term.
In stage two, the execution phase begins with the preparation of pre-investment studies for prioritized interventions and the implementation of a citizen monitoring system.
Emerging cities in Latin America and the Caribbean need planning processes that are specific and action-oriented—capable of bringing about quality of life for citizens in the region.
ESC’s Methodology is based on the premise that urban development strategies that are well-planned, integrated, and cross-sectoral, can ensure improvements in the quality of life for citizens and help materialize a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive future for emerging cities in Latin America and the Caribbean.
More recently, the Program has been working on strengthening the ESC Methodology by including topics related to local economic development, competitiveness and productive employment creation. The proposed methodological adjustment stipulates a new set of 10 topics, 15 subtopics and 17 indicators. In addition, the updated methodological framework recommends three new additional base studies on economic development, adding another 23 indicators. This update will facilitate a more robust analysis of the local economy of ESC cities, enabling the Program to better identify strategies for promoting sustainable and equitable economic development at the city level. ESC is currently carrying out pilot exercises to evaluate the robustness and applicability of the proposal in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala and San José, Costa Rica.