World Bank Urban and Local Government Strategy, November 2009
The World Bank is putting forth its new Urban and Local Government Strategy at a critical time. For the first time in history more than half the world’s people live in cities. Over 90 percent of urban growth is occurring in the developing world, adding an estimated 70 million new residents to urban areas each year. During the next two decades, the urban population of the world’s two poorest regions—South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa—is expected to double.
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Successful cities change their ways, improve their finances, attract private investors, and take care of the poor. The new Urban and Local Government Strategy will help governments at all levels make cities more equitable, efficient, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. The strategy draws on two principles. First, that density, agglomeration, and proximity are fundamental to human advancement, economic productivity, and social equity. Second, that cities need to be well managed and sustainable.
The strategy unfolds along five business lines:
- city management, governance, and finance
- urban poverty
- cities and economic growth
- city planning, land, and housing
- urban environment, climate change, and disaster management
The World Bank’s new Urban & Local Government Strategy aims to be a key element in helping civic leaders and national authorities think through, and implement, policies and programs for the benefit of their people, their cities, and their countries. I hope you will take a moment to look through this strategy and learn how we hope to make a difference.
Vice-President, Sustainable Development