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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Impacts of Financial, Food and Fuel Crisis on the Urban Poor(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-01) Baker, Judy L.The urban poor are particularly vulnerable in times of crisis due to their heavy reliance on the cash economy, job losses and wage reductions in urban based industries, and no agricultural production to fall back on. Prioritizing investments in cities can help to mitigation impacts in the short run and reduce risks in the future. Well targeted safety nets, workfare programs, and urban agriculture can play an importance role in cushioning the impacts for the urban poor during difficult times.
Infrastructure and Heritage Conservation : Opportunities for Urban Revitilization and Economic Development(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-02) Ebbe, KatrinkaCultural 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.
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.
City-Regions : Emerging Lessons from England(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-10) Larkin, Kieran ; Marshall, AdamThe 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.