Chapter 6. A New Urban Agenda for the 21st century: The role of urbanisation in sustainable development1

Joan Clos
Executive Director, UN-Habitat and Secretary-General of Habitat III

This chapter discusses why urbanisation is a necessary tool for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It proposes a strategic and pragmatic framework for how governments at all levels, across all regions, can activate a positive pattern of urbanisation to improve the lives and livelihoods of all human settlements. UN-Habitat is advocating for a transformative model of urbanisation in the New Urban Agenda (NUA), set for adoption at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. This chapter first offers an overview of trends and challenges for sustainable urbanisation, which provide the basis for understanding why a New Urban Agenda is needed. The second section explains how quality urbanisation and the role of cities are critical to achieving the aims of all post-2015 global agendas. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the strategic actions needed to implement the New Urban Agenda.



Urbanisation is one of the most important global trends of the 21st century. As the United Nation’s (UN) specialised agency in sustainable urban development, UN-Habitat approaches urbanisation as a transformative source of sustainable development for all human settlements that can be harnessed to enhance prosperity, and provide solutions to the most significant global challenges of our age – from poverty and inequality, to climate change and security.

Cities are now home to 55% of the world population and account for 80% of global GDP. By 2050, the urban population will be larger than the current total world population, with cities accommodating 3.5 billion new urban dwellers. This unprecedented rate of urban expansion demands new approaches to how we conceive and arrange our urban landscapes: spatially, physically, culturally, economically, and environmentally.

History has shown that no country has ever achieved economic prosperity without urbanising. Urbanisation in the People’s Republic of China – occasioned by massive economic growth – helped pull 680 million people out of extreme poverty between 1981 and 2010, and reduced the rate of extreme poverty from 84% in 1980 to 10% in 2013. China alone accounts for three-quarters of the global reduction in poverty.

However, given that today’s urbanisation is occurring against the backdrop of a relatively weakened global economy will make it tougher to pull up the remaining billion people living on less than USD 1.25 per day. The current pattern of spontaneous urbanisation that is leading to widespread inequality poses another significant barrier to achieving the 2030 Agenda. This is because, along with GDP growth, equity and poverty reduction go hand-in-hand. Today, 75% of the world’s cities report higher levels of income inequality than a generation ago.

In Africa, which has the highest current rate of urbanisation globally, 62% of people live in slum conditions without access to clean water, sanitation, education, and social services. This is the case in cities around the world. UN-Habitat’s research shows that the absolute number of the world’s slum population has been rising over the past 25 years, from 650 million in 1990 to nearly 1 billion today. At the same time, cities now account for between 60% and 80% of energy consumption, and generate as much as 70% of the human-induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, primarily through the consumption of fossil fuels for energy supply and transportation.

A new pattern of urbanisation is needed to reverse these trends. Urban expansion must be adequately planned and managed, supported by sound and enforceable legal frameworks and opportunities for local-level revenue generation. Only then can the growth of our cities support the economic stimulus and equitable conditions that are essential for sustainable development.

Trends and challenges for sustainable urbanisation

Today’s urban landscape is radically different than it was 20 years ago, when the Habitat II Agenda was adopted. Cities around the world are facing a number of challenges resulting from the outmoded urban model of the 20th century – characterised by a high reliance on industrialised forms of transport, and the spread of gated communities and sprawl that have led to increased inequality. This raises an urgent need to revisit the urban agenda, and to reposition our collective approach to urban development.

An important feature of 21st century cities is that most of the urban growth is now occurring in developing countries. These countries often lack the national and local capacities to adequately plan for and design a sustainable model of urbanisation. Other common challenges include ineffectual governance and legal frameworks, limited municipal revenue generation opportunities, and lack of co-ordination between different levels of government.

As observed in UN-Habitat’s World Cities Report (WCR) 2016, cities also face emerging challenges, including massive growth of small- and medium-sized cities and towns, climate change, large-scale migration, and the growing population of young people, which now represent the dominant demographic in several developing economies that are ill-equipped to cater for the socio-economic needs of this new generation.

New trends in the governance and finance of cities must also be taken into account. One of the most notable trends is the devolution of power from the national to the local level. However, in many developing countries, decentralisation has not corresponded with adequate financial resources to enable municipalities to translate their new-found authority into action. Consequently, municipal finance is not keeping pace with the huge demand for urban infrastructure and services. This was clearly observed in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, which acknowledged that, “expenditures and investments in sustainable development are being devolved to the subnational level, which often lacks adequate technical and technological capacity, financing and support”.

Globally, some 60% of the area expected to be urban by 2030 remains to be built. The World Economic Forum estimates the corresponding infrastructure investment needed stands at USD 4 trillion per year until 2050. However, this kind of analysis frequently misses the amount of urban value that can be generated by such investment.

Particular attention must be given to the rapid rise of medium and small-sized cities with less than one million inhabitants, which now account for 59% of the world’s urban population. Despite the demographic importance and potential role of such cities, urban planning efforts in developing countries have so far focused disproportionately on the problems of large metropolitan areas.

Similarly, the current pattern of housing production and consumption shaping urban growth has, regretfully, led to cities that are fragmented, unequal and dysfunctional. In many countries, the housing gap has become a housing crisis. This has contributed to pronounced inequality across developing and OECD countries alike.

The sustainable future of cities will, therefore, strongly depend on meeting accelerated demand for affordable housing, which is connected to economic opportunities, transport systems, and other infrastructure and basic services. These future cities must also be welcoming to new inhabitants, including those fleeing conflict, and provide opportunities for young people so that all urban residents equitably share the human, social, cultural and intellectual assets of the city.

Regional trends and challenges in urban development

In many ways, the battle for sustainable development will be won or lost in Asia’s cities. This reflects the fact that the success of the Millennium Development Goals was by and large the result of progress made in Asia over the last decades, which is particularly attributable to an approach to urbanisation that linked urban planning with the urban economy, building cities with efficient supply chains, and therefore enhancing the production and business environment. According to PwC and Oxford Economics (2015), global infrastructure spending may grow to USD 9 trillion per year by 2025, with most of this investment made in Asia. Correspondingly, the region has greatest potential to gain most from urbanisation.

Today, just under half of the region’s residents live in urban areas. However, Asia’s economic success has come at a cost to its level of equity and the environment. The challenges facing Asian cities include stagnant slum populations, inadequate housing, and a rising environmental footprint from urbanisation. Cities in the Asia-Pacific region are also particularly prone to natural hazards. From 1970 to 2011, the region accounted for three-quarters of disaster-related fatalities worldwide.

The upside is that Asia-Pacific has learnt and gained considerably from the past. The economies of scale which fostered rapid urbanisation across the region – first in Japan and Australia, and thereafter in Singapore, Korea, Malaysia and China – has produced significant skills and capacity that are now driving the necessary innovations and partnerships needed to confront new challenges, and mark another leap forward.

For Africa, achieving sustainable urban development largely depends on the success of ensuring positive connectivity between urban and rural areas. While the region’s rural population growth rate will continue to decline, the absolute number of people living in rural areas will keep rising to over 1 billion by 2050. This has an implication, not only for labour absorption capacity within the process of structural transformation, but also emphasises the need for a deeper understanding of rural-urban linkages. Rural areas benefit from the transformative power of urbanisation through increased demand for rural goods, which can have a significant impact on rural poverty. Other benefits from rural-urban linkages include increased urban-rural remittances and increased rural non-farm employment.

To fully unlock the region’s “urban dividend”2 potential, however, governments must address Africa’s growing slum population, which comprises 60-70% of residents in large metropolises. This suggests that sustainable urbanisation that responds to proper planning is directly related to the prosperity of a city.

Over the last decade, some countries in the Arab Region have been defined by intense and violent conflicts. This has resulted in large numbers of internally displaced people and refugees settling in urban areas (fourfold in some areas of the Syrian Arab Republic). With 56% of its residents living in cities, most Arab countries are already challenged to steer balanced development, provide access to safe and affordable housing, basic services, and economic opportunities, let alone cater for mass population movement. This huge unplanned growth is physically manifested in the spread of informal settlements, slums, urban sprawl, and the decline of agricultural land.

This is compounded by weak governance capacities, corruption, and the oppression and exclusion of women from the workforce and political decision making in many parts of the region. The growing population of disenfranchised youth is another concern. Today, 60% of the region’s population is under the age of 25, with many turning to the informal job sector for employment. Further, many cities lack the comprehensive systems for land management needed to ensure security of tenure and property rights, affordable access to land, and the protection of natural resources.

Despite these conditions, Arab leaders increasingly recognise the role of sustainable urbanisation in driving innovation, investment, job creation, and poverty reduction. Efforts are underway to realise the economic advantage of cities and achieve balanced spatial distribution of the population, by developing national urbanisation strategies and ambitious planning projects. This includes developing systems of interdependent urban agglomerations and growth nodes, linked by development corridors, leading to the emergence of metropolitan urban regions. Morocco, for example, has successfully led slum upgrading and resettlement programmes, often through partnerships between public agencies and the private sector.

The Latin America and Caribbean region (LAC) is among the most urbanised in the world, with eight out of ten citizens residing in urban areas. By 2050, 86% of the LAC population will live in cities of different sizes. While urban areas in the region continue to face challenges such as spatial segregation, congestion and crime, there is an increasing consciousness about the transformative power of urbanisation. This is owed, in part, to the increased influence of mayors and cities in driving social, political and economic advancements, and evidence that poverty reduction has been associated with urbanisation and social innovation.

Over the past decade, the LAC region saw its highest economic growth period since the 1960s. This economic boom, along with job creation and some of the world’s most innovative social policies, have lifted over 90 million people into an emerging middle class, representing about one-third of the region’s population. Correspondingly, LAC has seen declining levels of official development assistance (ODA), which has focused attention on the capacities of governments at all levels to deliver socio-economic policies that will contribute to the region’s future sustainable development. However, this has highlighted the fact that an estimated 110 million people continue to live in slums and informal settlements, and subsist on informal employment.

In spite of the progress seen in the last decade, about 216 million Latin Americans (38% of the population) risk sliding back into poverty. This begs the question of how to protect previous development gains and leverage these successes to finance future urban development. It is a question confronting many cities around the world in developing and OECD countries alike.

The role of quality urbanisation in achieving sustainable development

Agenda 2030, which aims to “leave no one behind”, clearly recognises the importance of leveraging good urbanisation as a solution to the global challenges of poverty, exclusion, peace, and security. The necessary qualities of good urbanisation are framed in SDG-11, to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, as well as being reflected in other goals.

Agenda 2030 does not promise prosperity, but it does set the targets needed to get there. By emphasising comprehensive and quality approaches to housing and services, mobility, territorial integration, heritage, clean and safe cities, and the role of cities in bringing people together, the SDGs have greatly advanced the concepts of inclusive and integrated human settlements. This lays the path for cities to be masters of their own fate, avoid past development mistakes, and harness the transformative opportunities brought by urbanisation.

Wealth creation and urbanisation go together

“No country has ever reached middle-income status without a significant population shift into cities (Spence, Clarke Annez and Buckley, 2009).” As engines of growth, cities have played a key role in the economic recovery of countries by providing jobs and supporting investment in critical infrastructure. Unfortunately, wealth distribution is more unequal today than in the previous generation. In the United States, large metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington, DC, Miami and New York experience levels of inequality akin to cities in developing country such as Abidjan, Nairobi, Buenos Aires and Santiago.

Economic inequality, combined with stagnant and/or declining levels of economic growth and consumption patterns – particularly in rapidly urbanising developing regions like Africa – present the most profound challenge to sustainable development. It is why the Addis Agenda, like the SDGs, rightly recognised cities’ role in global development and committed to strengthen municipal capacities to implement sustainable actions.

Municipal finance and urban design can play a central role in driving equity and wealth creation. This includes providing local governments with the financial resources and frameworks required to design and invest in local infrastructure and basic services, and ensure that growth is distributed equitably amongst the urban population. UN-Habitat focuses on three areas for improving municipal revenue: land value finance and assets management and registration; urban infrastructure and design; and financial management.

First, land is the primary source of endogenous revenues and wealth. Therefore, by improving property rights via land registration through a central system, it is possible to achieve an efficient collection of property taxes and design land value sharing schemes. Valuation rolls and land registration enable all interested parties to apply urban planning tools to renew and expand cities while simultaneously increasing property values (Kamiya, 2016).

Second, improving the productive capacity of cities requires adequate urban infrastructure and design. Cities that sustain growth and thrive have adequate urban infrastructure (e.g. transportation, electricity, telecommunications, energy, etc.) and are designed to maximise the use of space while also bringing the urban community together (UN-Habitat, 2013). Failure to provide adequate infrastructure and urban design has a deleterious effect on cities; municipalities effectively increase the transaction costs of production and hamper urban mobility, which results in lost revenue for the city. Therefore, providing basic urban infrastructure and design must be a priority for municipal authorities if they are to improve local revenue generation and wealth creation.

The third area of municipal financial management includes accounting rules, auditing practices, capital investment plans, sustainability financial ratios, and rules for revenue and expenditures. Many UN-Habitat projects that emphasise accounting principles, training in capital investment planning, and electronic financial management systems in Africa and Asia have been effective in improving municipal financial resources and capital funds for infrastructure development that supports and sustains urban wealth creation.

In addition to these priority areas, local governments should consider financing instruments, such as national municipal corporations, local infrastructure funds, and municipal bonds. Regardless of the mechanism used, it will be important for municipal authorities to simultaneously consider both the financing options available to them and the ways in which they can improve municipal revenues via programming and urban design. Improving municipal financial resources through outside sources such as bonds, and prioritising urban design that supports wealth generation, must be considered in tandem.

Local urban authorities need to enhance their financial resources by focusing on public and private land asset registration, urban infrastructure and design, and financial management (Bourdic, Kamiya and Salat, forthcoming). While improving efficiency and capacity in these areas, municipal governments should also consider different financing instruments that are well suited to their local conditions. In short, a multidimensional approach to urban finance, design, and wealth generation is essential to fulfilling the achievement of SDGs and goals of other urban development agendas.

Effective rules, regulations and governance are key to capturing the full economic potential of cities. Good quality urban law contributes to investment, strong economic performance and wealth creation, as it provides predictability and order in urban development. Effective local governance also rests on participatory service delivery planning, budgeting, management and monitoring. When endowed with appropriate legal powers, adequate financial allocations, and human capacity, cities can drive the transformation agenda.

Cities and climate change

Climate change, and cities’ role in addressing its causes, cannot be divorced from sustainable development efforts. Cities emit a significant proportion of the world’s GHG emissions and are home to a concentration of people and assets vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The relationship between urbanisation and climate change was clearly reflected in the Paris Climate Change Agreement, as was cities’ role in contributing to the long-term global response to climate change, as expressed in the Agreement’s call upon cities and subnational authorities to “scale up their efforts” and showcase them via a global platform.

The intersection between disaster risk reduction, sustainable development, climate change, and human settlements was also reflected in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which took specific note of the number of cities facing risk from climate-induced disasters, as well as their role in incubating adaptive solutions to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Likewise, Agenda 2030 explicitly calls for a “substantial increase [in] the number of cities and human settlements [that have] adopted and [are] implementing integrated policies and plans towards […] mitigation and adaptation to climate change […].”

Even before these agendas were adopted, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) observed that the largest mitigation opportunities with respect to human settlements are in the rapidly urbanising areas in developing nations where urban form and infrastructure are not yet “locked in”. In this regard, the next 15 years presents an enormous opportunity for progress, as the majority of urban infrastructure is yet to be built, with urban land cover witnessing up to a threefold increase between 2000 and 2030 (Edenhofer et al., 2014).

Many of the actions needed to help cities combat their contribution to climate change can also serve as pathways to sustainable development in terms of closing equity gaps and generating new finance opportunities and jobs. Some of these include co-locating high residential with high employment densities, achieving high diversity and integration of land uses, increasing accessibility, and investing in public transport.

Some actions cities are taking to mitigate the impact of climate change3 include: constructing buildings that use resources more efficiently (e.g. buildings rated four star under Green Star SA in Johannesburg); providing mass transit and non-motorised transit options (e.g. bus rapid transit in Jakarta); and establishing programmes for reducing, reusing and recycling waste (e.g. Curitiba, Brazil). In terms of adaptation, a number of cities are piloting storm water capture systems, crisis management, including warning and evacuation systems, and flood mapping. For example, Ho Chi Minh City’s Climate Adaptation Strategy includes channelling new development away from flood-prone lands to less vulnerable areas. With assistance from UN-Habitat, the coastal city Maputo in Mozambique zoned a critically placed mangrove forest threatened by urban development as an ecological area – an ecosystem-based approach to buffering settlements from storm surge.

As cities represent more than 70% of global energy demand, they play a central role in moving the sustainable energy agenda forward. The current global share of renewable energy supply is 11%, but has a potential contribution of 60% of total world energy supply. Germany’s innovative Energiewende (Energy transition) policy of 2010, which combines targets for significantly increasing the share of energy from renewables with a shift from centralised to decentralised (distributed) energy generation, hints at the potential benefits from such an approach. Germany’s transition to distributed energy coincides with a significant increase in the share of renewables in the electricity mix, from around 5% in 1999 to 22% in 2012. For developing countries facing an infrastructure gap, decentralised energy generation may represent an apt strategy for increasing access to energy, while at the same time transitioning to renewables (Edenhofer et al., 2014).

Another area where cities can have an impact on reversing global climate change trends is sustainable urban mobility. Sustainable forms of mobility provide efficient access to goods, services, job markets, social connections and activities, while limiting both short- and long-term adverse consequences on social, economic, and environmental services and systems.

An evolving transformative trend is the shift away from auto-dependency. Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Tokyo are examples of cities where the costs of car ownership and use are purposefully high and planning strategies have emphasised mass transit, walking, cycling, as well as efficient supply chains to scale-up productive sectors. More compact, better-connected cities with low-carbon transport could help cities save as much as USD 3 trillion in infrastructure investments over the next 15 years.

A New Urban Agenda for the 21st century

There is no “silver bullet” to sustainable development. Likewise, there is no “formula”, or “one-size-fits-all” solution to the complex and interrelated challenges confronting cities in both developing and OECD countries. Rather, the keys to the sustainable development of all human settlements require a set of strategies that are integrated, adaptable, flexible, and evidenced-based.

UN-Habitat‘s vision of the New Urban Agenda represents a paradigm shift that views urbanisation as a transformative force to harness economic growth, inclusiveness, and prosperity. It aims to be concise, action-oriented, forward-looking, universal, and spatially integrative – recognising distinct globally evolving trends, regional specificity, and transformative potential, as well as taking into account a wide range of realities and contexts, cultures, and historical urban and human settlement landscapes. In this way, the New Urban Agenda marks a first step in operationalising sustainable development in an integrated and co-ordinated way at global, regional, national, subnational and local levels (UN-Habitat, 2016).

The proposed New Urban Agenda aims to reinforce the 2030 Agenda, by proposing a framework that is universal in scope, and sets out priorities and actions at the global, regional, national, subnational, and local levels. In particular, it proposes a commitment to work with local authorities and communities in an inclusive and effective manner to renew and plan our cities and human settlements in a way that fosters social cohesion, stimulates innovation and employment, and ensures environmental sustainability.

Specifically, the New Urban Agenda can be implemented through five strategic areas of intervention:

National Urban Policies (NUPs). A fundamental aspect of evidence-based decision making in NUPs is that they must promote systems that can be effective, regardless of available capacity and resources. NUPs must be rooted on productivity achieved by better layout and planning and spatially built on three foundations: i) promoting good urban design at the national, regional and local level that can respond to human needs; ii) requiring functionally effective legislative and regulatory tools that drive equality; and iii) including financial tools and strategies that promote inclusion and sustainable urban development over the long term.

Urban legislation, rules and regulations. There is consensus that good governance is crucial for developing, maintaining, and restoring sustainable and resilient services and social, institutional, and economic activity in cities. Many city governments are weakened due to limited power and responsibility over key public services, including planning, housing, roads and transit, water, land use, drainage, waste management and building standards. Rule of law, sound legislation, and the ability to enforce rules and regulations are therefore necessary to ensure that planned urbanisation is achieved and inclusive governance prevails to enable the voices of urban citizens, particularly women and youth, as well as poor and marginalised groups, to be heard in decision-making processes.

Urban planning and design. Good urban planning and design promotes compact, efficient, and people oriented cities, which are integrated, well-connected, and equitable. They encourage environmental sustainability, create access to jobs and essential services, and provide adequate public space. Good urban plans are also a pre-condition for urban resilience. This requires a pro-active approach from governments to prevent construction in high risk or vulnerable areas; a well-planned, well-connected network of streets, public spaces and infrastructure with an inherent redundancy; and sound regulatory frameworks with incentives to adhere to appropriate building codes.

Urban economy and municipal finance. The urban economy means that good urbanisation improves a city’s competitiveness. This occurs by providing a spatial layout where businesses can grow and develop, thereby increasing opportunities and access to jobs and wealth, and reinforcing urban planning and the economy as a system that connects through supply chains. Municipal finance enables the value generated by urbanisation, such as land value sharing, to be expanded and shared in order to sustainably finance the upfront and maintenance costs of urbanisation. It further emphasises that local governments require sustainable finance and an adequate flow of endogenous resources to invest in increasingly higher quality urbanisation that will create a virtuous financial circle.

Local physical implementation. This area covers planned city extensions, urban regeneration projects, and the provision of basic services and affordable housing, among others. It is based on realistic business and investment plans, taking into account the interplay and balance between the provision and deployment of national, regional and local infrastructure, which do not necessarily always share the same priorities among layers of governments, nor the same capacity to invest.


Implementing quality urbanisation is critical to achieving the goals of the SDGs and other global agendas. It will require a re-imagination of cross-scalar governance arrangements and an unprecedented level of co-operation across administrative boundaries and between different levels of government. Responsibilities for implementation must be devolved to the most appropriate level, with stable transfers of funding. This includes mitigating the risks of lending to cities; increasing cities’ access to bonds; and permitting more decentralised revenue generation.

In addition, the institutional structures and capacities to integrate implementation and monitoring must be strengthened at multiple scales, particularly the local level. While the success of Agenda 2030 will require action towards all 17 goals, localising the SDGs will be critical to their achievement. Local governments, therefore, have a pre-eminent role in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

Realising the potential gains of urbanisation is not automatic. This will depend on how well urban growth and its evolving challenges are planned and managed, and the extent to which the benefits accruing from urbanisation are equitably distributed. Formulating the necessary policies, including effective urban planning, management and governance, is a vital precondition for enhancing the transformative potentials of urbanisation. Sustainable development efforts must also consider the urban-rural continuum. The adequate provision of infrastructure and opportunities in small- and medium-sized cities can promote “rural urbanisation” and contribute to achieving balanced population and wealth distribution.

The urban space can be a strategic entry point for driving sustainable development. However, this requires innovative and responsive urban planning that utilises density, minimises transport needs and service delivery costs, optimises land use, enhances mobility and space for civic and economic activities, and provides areas for recreation, cultural and social interaction to enhance quality of life. While new spatial configurations play an increasing role in creating prosperity, there is an urgent demand for more integrated planning, robust financial planning, service delivery and strategic policy decisions. These interventions are necessary if cities are to be sustainable, inclusive and ensure a high quality of life for all.

Sustainable, resilient and inclusive cities are often the outcome of good governance that encompasses effective leadership; land use planning; jurisdictional co-ordination; inclusive citizen participation; and efficient financing. If the world is to achieve its sustainable development goals, and reach targets that range from eradicating poverty and social inequity, to combating climate change and ensuring a healthy and liveable environment, global efforts in the transition to sustainable energy are pivotal.

A New Urban Agenda, with well-combined sets of principles and recommendations, can be a catalyst for the transition to sustainable development. This follows from a realisation that urbanisation is not a threat or a process to be curtailed: instead, well-managed urbanisation is a necessary driver of sustainable, equitable, and prosperous societies. Habitat III will mark a generational opportunity to define the transformative role of our cities and secure a new vision of the urban environment for the 21st Century.


Bourdic, L., M. Kamiya and S. Salat (forthcoming), The Economics of Three Pronged Approach: Sustainable Urbanization with Design, Legal and Finance for Local Governments, UN-HABITAT and Morphology Institute, Nairobi and Paris.

Edenhofer, O. et al. (eds.) (2014), Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, Working Group III Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, New York.

Kamiya, M. (2016), “New Solutions to Close the Gap on Municipal Finance”, Citiscope, (accessed 10 May 2016).

PWC (2015), Capital project and infrastructure spending: Outlook to 2025, (accessed 15 May 2016).

Spence, M., P. Clarke Annez and R. M. Buckley (eds.) (2009), Urbanization and Growth: Commission on Growth and Development, The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank,

UN-Habitat (2016), “Habitat III Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda”,

UN-Habitat (2013), Streets as Public Spaces and Drivers of Urban Prosperity, UN-Habitat, Nairobi.


← 1. This chapter should not be reported as representing the official views of the OECD or of its member countries. The opinions expressed and arguments employed are those of the author(s).

← 2. Adapted from Rodin, J. (2014), The Resilience Dividend: Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong, Public Affairs.

← 3. At the end of 2015, two major platforms - Carbonn (a registry of local climate action) and C40 (a network of 80-plus large and mega-cities) - summed up such actions. Carbonn reported that 486 local and subnational authorities were undertaking a total of 6 181 mitigation and adaptation actions and action plans, while C40 found that 66 cities were carrying out 9 831 climate actions.