Making Cities Work for All

Making Cities Work for All

Data and Actions for Inclusive Growth You do not have access to this content

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13 Oct 2016
9789264263260 (PDF) ;9789264263253(print)

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Cities are places where opportunities for prosperity coexist with stark inequalities between the richest and the poorest. Cities produce and attract highly educated workers and innovative employers. It is usually easier in cities than in other parts of the country for individuals to climb up the income, education or jobs ladder. But cities, especially the largest ones, also concentrate inequalities, both in income and in other well-being aspects,  that remain remarkably high in many OECD economies. Access to opportunities seems stalled for many low-income urban residents, who often live in distressed neighbourhoods.  This report provides ground-breaking, internationally comparable data on economic growth, inequalities and well-being at the city level in OECD countries. It provides empirical evidence on how cities are diverging from, or converging with, other parts of the country, and of the extent of inequality within cities. Finally, it proposes a framework for action, to help national and local governments reorient policies towards more inclusive growth in cities – a new approach to growth that ensures that no part of society is left behind.

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  • Foreword and acknowledgments

    The return to economic growth is a bumpy, uneven path. Nowhere more than in cities is the divide between prosperity and inequality more apparent. Home to around half of the OECD’s population, approximately 200 cities of 500 000 inhabitants or more have generated over 60% of jobs and economic growth in the past 15 years. At the same time, inequality of income and other well-being outcomes is higher in cities than elsewhere. Access to opportunities seems to stall for many low-income urban residents, who often live concentrated in distressed neighbourhoods. Children in these communities start off in life with low prospects, as their chances of success are increasingly tied to the socioeconomic status of their parents.

  • Executive summary

    Cities are unique laboratories, where opportunities for prosperity co-exist with stark inequalities between the richest and the poorest. Cities are also places where today’s inclusive growth policies can make headway, ensuring that opportunities are available for all and that the dividends of increased prosperity, both in monetary and non-monetary terms, are distributed fairly across society.

  • Cities as laboratories for inclusive growth

    This chapter provides the framework for the report. It starts by describing the objectives, strategies and tools of inclusive growth policies in cities, which combine economic growth-oriented policies with policies for inclusion and social cohesion. The chapter then provides an assessment of the different patterns of inclusive growth in OECD cities by measuring gross domestic product per capita growth and change in the labour participation rate since 2000. Finally, it introduces the evidence and policies for inclusive growth in cities that are presented in the report.

  • Measuring well-being and inclusiveness in cities

    This chapter provides evidence on recent trends in well-being and inclusiveness in OECD metropolitan areas. Well-being indicators cover several dimensions of people’s life, which are grouped into two major policy domains: the first relates to expanding opportunities to people through inclusive education, labour market and income; the second relates to an inclusive urban environment through policies for housing, transport, service provision and subjective measures. Inclusiveness in metropolitan areas is assessed in terms of income inequality.

  • A three-dimensional measure of inclusive growth in regions

    This chapter proposes a measure of inclusive growth that integrates the income dimension with non-income outcomes, jobs and health, and takes into account the distribution of income among different household groups. Following the OECD inclusive growth framework, this summary measure of welfare – expressed in monetary terms and called multidimensional living standards – is applied to 209 OECD regions covering the period 2003-12. This is the first time that such data have been collected and analysed in this way at subnational level. The chapter describes levels and trends of multidimensional living standards in regions focusing on three aspects. It first looks at whether the different components of living standards reinforce each other in regions; second, it analyses whether economic growth in regions translates into higher multidimensional living standards; finally, the chapter explores whether living standards have followed different trends in metropolitan regions compared with the other parts of a country.

  • Together or separated? The geography of inequality in cities

    This chapter provides evidence on the spatial dimension of inequality in metropolitan areas, assessed at both the neighbourhood scale and at a larger spatial scale (municipalities). First, levels and trends of spatial segregation of people by income are computed and compared across OECD metropolitan areas. Second, the chapter discusses the implications of spatial segregation on future earnings and inequality. Finally, it assesses the main factors that are associated with higher spatial inequality in OECD metropolitan areas.

  • Policies and partnerships for inclusive growth in cities: A framework for action

    This chapter examines a selection of policy options and partnerships for pursuing inclusive growth in cities. First, it sets out a framework to help national and city governments join forces towards making cities more prosperous and equitable. Second, it reviews a range of policy tools that aim to improve urban residents’ life prospects, both in terms of human and social capital (jobs and education) and in terms of the urban built environment (housing, transport, environment). Finally, it offers a set of guidelines to help decision makers implement policies for more inclusive growth in cities.

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