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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The future of US cities: Addressing social, economic, and environmental resilience

This chapter addresses three key priorities which the US administration sees as critical to the future of cities. The first is adapting to climate change and rebuilding after disasters. The emphasis on climate change is on energy efficiency and greening American homes, while the discussion of post-disaster action looks at two related priorities for reconstruction: ensuring bottom-up community involvement in the reconstruction process and adopting approaches to rebuilding that reduce vulnerability in the future – not least by factoring climate change mitigation and adaptation into the decision-making process. The second priority is regional planning for the future of cities. Over the last few years, the US Department of Housingand Urban Development (HUD), the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and theUS Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been co-ordinating their work with local communities. They aim not only to better co-ordinate federal initiatives in three areas with strong urban impact (housing, transport and the environment), but also to help connect communities and cities with the wider regional economies around them. Finally, Secretary Donovan turns to social and economic resilience. As with policies on climate change, resilience and mitigation, one key aim is to break down silos between departments and between cities, to encourage regional co-ordination in support of policies to achieve social and economic resilience. The White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities takes a place-based approach and a broad perspective on resilience to the city level.

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