OECD Regional Outlook 2019

Leveraging Megatrends for Cities and Rural Areas

image of OECD Regional Outlook 2019

Large and persistent inequalities in regional economic performance within countries exist throughout the OECD. The 2019 Regional Outlook discusses the underlying causes of economic disparities across regions and highlights the need for place-based policies to address them. The report makes the case that place-based policies are especially important in light of growing public discontent with the economic, social and political status quo in many regions. The geographical patterns of public discontent are closely related to the degree of regional inequalities and policies to address public discontent need to have a place-based dimension.

Place-based policies will become even more important in the future due to several technological, demographic and environmental megatrends. This Regional Outlook emphasises that all regions will be affected by these megatrends, but their effects will vary from region to region, even within the same country. Appropriate policy responses need to take this diversity into account and should be tailored to the region-specific impacts of global megatrends. Insofar as possible, this Regional Outlook presents steps that policy makers can take today to make the next generation of regional policies fit for the future.



“It’s too late for pessimism”

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recently celebrated its 70th anniversary, but the road is still long. Poverty may be receding, but it has not yet been eradicated; and social inequalities remain and may even be becoming more apparent. Universal access to education is still not guaranteed across the globe. Populism is gaining ground, driven by ideologies diametrically opposed to basic universal principles, and geopolitical tensions endure. Climate change is now a given, and talk is no longer of global warming, but of climate change adaptation. The international community needs to take some bold political decisions because protecting natural resources and limiting global warming have become key challenges.


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