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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    Urbanization Trends in Bolivia: Opportunities and Challenges
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-05) Trohanis, Zoe Elena ; Zangerling, Bontje Marie ; Sanchez-Reaza, Javier
    This note is a summary of a report that considers urban areas as the complement to rural areas that will allow the Plurinational State of Bolivia to achieve the goals set forth in its Patriotic Agenda for the Bicentennial 2025. The report uses data available at the national level from censuses and household surveys from the National Statistics Institute (INE) and the Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit of the Ministry of Development Planning (UDAPE) to provide a first approximation to: (i) identify opportunities that urban areas present to achieve the objectives of the Patriotic Agenda regarding the reduction of poverty and universal coverage of basic services; (ii) understand and overcome the challenges that the expansion of urban areas present, and understand the growth dynamics of different types of cities; (iii) review the institutional framework and planning tools currently available for urban development; and (iv) provide suggestions for future analysis. However, due to limitations of the available data, the report does not include an economic analysis of urban areas nor an in-depth analysis of issues at city level. It is expected that the results of the report can inform the projects that the Government of Bolivia is developing and implementing in cooperation with the World Bank and other partners, such as improving national data, urban labor markets, poverty and informality, and investment for infrastructure in cities.
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    The Global City Indicators Program : A More Credible Voice for Cities
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-06) Bhada, Perinaz ; Hoornweg, Dan
    The Global City Indicators Program (GCIP) is a decentralized, city-led initiative that enables cities to measure, report, and improve their performance and quality of life, facilitate capacity building, and share best practices through an easy-to-use web portal. Managing cities effectively is critical and becoming more complex as population growth and economic development are taking place in urban areas. Today's big challenges, such as poverty reduction, economic development, climate change, and the creation and maintenance of an inclusive and peaceful society, will all need to be met through the responses of cities. So too will the day-to-day challenges of garbage collection, responding to the house on fire and larger disasters, and facilitating the provision of water, electricity, education, health care, and the myriad of other services that make life more productive and enjoyable. Standardized indicators are essential in order to measure the performance of cities, capture trends and developments, and support cities in becoming global partners.
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    Infrastructure and Heritage Conservation : Opportunities for Urban Revitilization and Economic Development
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-02) Ebbe, Katrinka
    Cultural endowments such as traditional architecture, unique streetscapes, and historic sites are increasingly recognized as important economic resources in both developed and developing countries. Cities are often an important focal point for development based on these resources because they provide concentrations of heritage assets, infrastructure services, private sector activity, and human resources. Improving the conservation and management of urban heritage is not only important for preserving its historic significance, but also for its potential to increase income-earning opportunities, city livability, and competitiveness. Many of the World Bank's client countries have been successful in supporting cultural heritage activities within some large infrastructure projects.
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    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.