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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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Public investment: Smart, co-ordinated and efficient

This chapter highlights the importance of sub-national investment for the competitiveness of regions and cities and the well-being of their residents. Public investment serves to leverage private investment, needs to be tailored to the specific conditions in the region, and often involves different levels of government. Three sets of challenges and the associated 12 principles for smarter investing are discussed. Co-ordination challenges need to be addressed at several levels (among national ministries, between national and sub-national governments, and across local jurisdictions), to obtain better results and avoid wasted spending or investments that work at cross-purposes. Capacity at sub-national level is also needed to make these critical investment choices in a transparent manner. Finally, helpful framework conditions, regarding financing and procurement practices as well as the regulatory environment, set the stage for making smarter investments.

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