Directions in Urban Development

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These briefs address emerging trends and topics of relevance to cities, towns, national governments and development agencies as they face the challenges of urbanization. This series draws attention to new research and policy issues with references and resources for researchers, policy analysts, and practitioners alike who will wish to further explore these, topics.

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  • Publication
    City-Regions : Emerging Lessons from England
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-10) Larkin, Kieran; Marshall, Adam
    The emergence of city-regions in England offers some useful lessons for the World Bank partners in developing countries. The city-region approach, as applied in England touches upon issues of decentralization, intergovernmental fiscal relations, governance, and the need to realign outdated administrative arrangements with a metropolitan area's economic footprint, among other highly relevant topics for rapidly urbanizing cities in developing countries. As a concept, city-regions are designed to promote cross-boundary collaboration across large urban areas. They aim to facilitate horizontal and vertical co-ordination between multiple jurisdictions. They advance the concept of an appropriate spatial scale for economic development functions such as transport, housing and training. They capture urban hinterlands, as well as core cities. This note explains: 1) the emergence of city-regions in England, 2) the current policy framework in England, 3) a case study of Greater Manchester, 4) city-region contracts as a policy tool to codify intergovernmental institutional arrangements, and 5) transferable lessons.