Green Growth in Cities

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This report synthesises the findings from six case studies of urban green growth policies, four at city level (Paris, Chicago, Stockholm, Kitakyushu) and two at the national level (China, Korea). It offers a definition of urban green growth and a framework for analysing how it might play out in different types of cities. It demonstrates the importance of urban policies for achieving national environmental policy goals and discusses the increased efficiency of policy intervention at the urban level. It identifies urban activities to reduce environmental impact that are most likely to contribute to the policy priorities of job creation, urban attractiveness, metro-regional supply of green products and services, and increased urban land values. It also provides guidance on addressing potential financing and governance challenges that may arise in pursuing urban green growth. Finally, the report offers a preliminary proposal for how green growth in cities could be measured.


Why are cities important to national green growth strategies?

Chapter 2 provides evidence for the important role cities play in both national growth and environmental performance. While cities can generate the positive effects of agglomeration economies, such as higher income and productivity levels, they are also vulnerable to negative agglomeration effects such as congestion, pollution and pressure on natural assets. This chapter underlines the strong link between cities’ environmental performance and urban form and demonstrates how cities can lower the abatement costs of national environmental policy targets, notably through transportation and land-use policies. This points to the key challenge of greening urban infrastructure, within the context of lagging global investment in infrastructure.


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