Urban issues have emerged as key features on national policy agendas. The importance of cities and their corresponding metropolitan areas to the national economy makes them key players in the international marketplace. This in turn leads governments to renew their support to cities. At a time of increasing globalisation and international competition for investment, urban regions have become the target of a wide range of public interventions. Throughout OECD member countries these policies encompass plans to solve traditional urban problems – urban sprawl, abandoned districts, and poverty –and newer issues such as competitiveness strategy, city marketing, environmental sustainability, and innovation.


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