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
    The Global City Indicators Program : A More Credible Voice for Cities
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-06) Bhada, Perinaz
    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.
  • Publication
    Impacts of Financial, Food, and Fuel Crisis on the Urban Poor
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-12) Baker, Judy L.
    The effects of the recent financial crisis are only beginning to be felt in many developing countries, but economic activity is declining rapidly with far reaching impacts. This crisis comes at a time when most countries are still struggling with the impacts of rising food and fuel prices. Though global food and fuel prices have softened somewhat in recent months from the highs earlier in 2008, there has been much volatility and they are anticipated to remain high over the medium term. It is estimated that the high food and fuel prices alone have increased the number of extremely poor in the world by at least 100 million. While impacts of the crises affect both urban and rural populations, the urban poor have been hit hardest in this recent food and fuel crisis, and in previous financial crisis, given their heavy reliance on the cash economy, no agricultural production to fall back on, and wage reductions and employment losses at urban based industries. This has resulted in social unrest in a number of cities earlier in 2008 all over the developing world.