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OECD Regional Outlook 2014

Regions and Cities: Where Policies and People Meet

image of OECD Regional Outlook 2014

Regions and cities are on the front lines of many challenges faced by OECD countries today, from education and jobs to health care and quality of life. Getting regions and cities “right”, adapting policies to the specificities of where people live and work,  is vital to improving citizens’ well-being. This second edition of the OECD Regional Outlook aims to help countries do just that. Part I describes the main trends and challenges today. Part II has a special focus on cities, looking at public investment, urban framework policies, and rural-urban issues. Part III presents a Policy Forum on the future of cities, with five contributions from distinguished authors and policy makers. Part IV offers profiles of regional development in all 34 OECD countries.

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Cities are key to the sustainable development of the European Union

Focusing on the future of European cities in the context of European Union (EU) policies, this chapter offers a broad vision for urban development in Europe and on the contribution European policies and instruments can make to the realisation of that vision. The challenges presented in this paper are daunting, as Europe struggles with sluggish economic and demographic dynamics, as well as processes that have to some extent decoupled economic growth from social progress. In response, the European Commission has put forward a holistic model of urban development, with a strong emphasis on policy co-ordination across both sectors and levels of government. In developing this theme of policy integration, the chapter highlights the need to give cities a greater role in the implementation not only of EU regional policies, but of a wide range of European policies in such diverse fields as transport, the environment, energy and IT.

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