Développement régional

Thematic work on cities


Cities, climate change and green growth  |  Global development and port cities  |  Rural and urban linkages  |  Cities in the face of demographic change  |  OECD seminars relating to cities and urban development


Cities, climate change and green growth

Cities are home to over half of the world’s population and host to many of today’s environmental challenges. They are also catalysts for environmental policy solutions. In co-ordination with national, regional and local governments, the OECD has been working to bridge the divide between the achievement of ambitious environmental goals and economic development.




More densely populated cities tend to generate lower per capita CO2 emissions


Based on data from the OECD Metropolitan Database

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Green Growth in Cities
How can governments deliver cost-effective policy responses to global economic and environmental challenges? The OECD synthesis report, Green Growth in Cities, draws on findings from a conceptual framework, in-depth urban-level green growth studies (Paris-IDF, Chicago, Stockholm and Kytakyushu) and two national-level studies on urban green growth (China and Korea).


Urban Green Growth in Dynamic Asia
How can urban green growth models be adapted to the unique development context of Asian cities? OECD has launched the Urban Green Growth in Dynamic Asia project  to explore ways to achieve green growth in fast-growing cities in Asia.

The project is composed of three elements:

The Urban Green Growth in Dynamic Asia project is a key vector of the OECD Knowledge Sharing Alliance (KSA), which promotes mutual learning processes between OECD and emerging and developing economies.

Compact City Policies
Compact cities are not simply dense cities. Instead, they encompass a wider set of characteristics, including dense and proximate development patterns, built-up areas linked by public transport systems, and accessibility to local services and jobs. Compact City Policies: A Comparative Assessment (2012) offers a comprehensive understanding of the compact city concept, its role in today’s urban contexts, and the potential outcomes of compact city policies.


Cities and Climate Change
How can cities and metropolitan governments work in tandem with national governments to change the way we think about responding to climate change? Cities and Climate Change reveals the importance of addressing climate change across all levels of government.


Related work:

Green growth and sustainable development

Climate change

Adaptation to climate change

Green cities


Global development and port cities

Average turnaround time (in days) of ports in the world (May 2011)

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Ports play an essential role in facilitating trade flows in a global economy. Port development has also been closely linked to urban development. The OECD Port-cities programme assesses how global port-cities can make the most out of their port for the regional economy.


Related work:

Ranking Port Cities with High Exposure and Vulnerability to Climate Extremes

Rural and urban linkages

Partnerships between urban and rural areas within a functional region are a unique form of territorial co-operation. When successful, rural-urban partnerships can improve the exploitation of existing resources, increase the economic potential of a region and generate greater well-being and equity in service provision. The OECD, in collaboration with the European Commission, is using a new analytical framework to assess urban-rural linkages and to help identify the governance forms that can enhance urban-rural interactions.


Related work:

Rural development policy

Veneri, P. and V. Ruiz (2013), "Urban-to-Rural Population Growth Linkages: Evidence from OECD TL3 Regions", OECD Regional Development Working Papers, No. 2013/03, OECD Publishing.



Cities in the face of demographic change

An increasingly ageing society: evolution and forecast of the elderly population (1950-2100)

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Across the OECD, the elderly population increased more than 1.5 times faster than the total population between 1995 and 2008 and is expected to continue to grow in the coming decades. According to UN statistics, 80% of older people in developed countries live in urban areas. Cities thus have a critical role to play. The OECD project on Sustainable Urban Development Policies in Ageing Societies explores innovative approaches to urban development that can help mitigate the effects of ageing populations and make cities more sustainable and liveable for all generations. 


Related work:

Ageing and emploment practices

OECD seminars relating to cities and urban development

What cities for the next 3 billion?



Full list of OECD Seminars





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