Local Agenda 21 (LA21) processes have 2 central goals. i) On the basis of some of the empirical evidence in this study, the primary goal is to improve democratic (environmental) policy-making processes in such a manner that a larger share of the population will be able to participate in planning and decision making and will also be able to understand the consequences of these decisions. ii) The LA21 processes seek to improve (at least indirectly) the broadly defined environmental situation locally in a manner that takes into account both the local and the global contexts. The first part of this article discusses the concept and methods of LA21 and sheds light on the different action areas that are central to the Baltic LA21 processes. In addition, the study will describe and display the LA21 situation within one network of cities, the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC). Networking, including transfer of information, models and ideas, has been among the main tools for the diffusion of LA21 ideas especially into newly democratized societies. Finally, the article will conclude with an overall assessment of the LA21 situation on the Baltic rim.
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