Potencijal i izazovi integriranog urbanog upravljanja
A specific focus of this paper is the integrated urban governance approach that seeks to provide cities with an opportunity to retain their role as drivers of simultaneous social and sustainable economic development, allowing their development as centres of connectivity, creativity, and innovation through applying sustainable and innovative solutions. The implementation of the integrated approach to urban governance is one of the essential factors relevant to the “advanced development” of cities in numerous segments necessary for improving the quality of life for all citizens. The two critical short-term outcomes that create more favourable circumstances for government decision-making are improved coordination of urban development actors and strengthened involvement of broader social groups in urban environment design. Such access to the authorities enables greater legitimacy in action and creates enhanced possibilities for recognising improved solutions for numerous challenges faced by cities, as opposed to the classic rigid, unrelated system marked by numerous “silos”, poor communication with citizens, and various non-governmental actors. By applying the integrated urban governance approach, an effort is made to encourage different interest groups to identify problems and define goals, as well as to organise participatory governance through frequent consultations with all relevant actors. Furthermore, this approach encourages the academic community and experts to propose adequate measures aimed at solving the perceived problems, as well as to ensure the support of the administration and political leadership that is responsible for the efficient and effective implementation of the selected measures, and responsible for consequences should such measures fail to be implemented. By utilising a desk analysis of integrated urban governance and its implementation in Croatian cities, the paper aims to single out the obstacles to the noted implementation and encourage changes conducive to an optimal approach to urban development and urban governance.