OECD Regions at a Glance shows how regions and cities contribute to national economic growth and well-being. This edition updates more than 40 region-by-region indicators to assess disparities within countries and their evolution over the past 15 years. The report covers all the OECD member countries and, where data are available, Brazil, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Peru, the Russian Federation and South Africa.
New to this edition:
- A comprehensive picture of well-being in the 391 OECD regions based on 11 aspects that shape people's lives: income, jobs, housing, education, health, environment, safety, civic engagement and governance, access to services, social connections, and life satisfaction.
- Recent trends in subnational government finances and indicators on how competencies are allocated and co-ordinated across levels of governments.
Food insecurity and malnutrition are major international concerns, especially in rural areas. At the global scale, they have received considerable attention and investment, but the results achieved so far have been mixed. Some countries have made progress at the national level, but still have many citizens who are food insecure, often concentrated in specific geographic areas. Food insecurity and poverty are highly interlinked and have a strong territorial dimension. To provide effective long-term solutions, policy responses must therefore be tailored to the specific challenges of each territory, taking into account a multidimensional response that includes food availability, access, utilisation and stability. This report highlights five case studies and the OECD New Rural Paradigm, presenting an effective framework for addressing food insecurity and malnutrition.
Transport infrastructure opens new routes and creates connections. It increases prosperity by generating economic opportunities, reducing transport costs and supporting agglomeration economies. However, the increased traffic flows also generate environmental and social costs. In Korea, the amount of paved roads increased dramatically between 1951 and 2014, from 580 kilometres to over 87 000 kilometres. This expansion of Korea’s expressway, highway and major road network has created benefits for cities and rural areas across the country, contributing to both economic growth and inclusiveness. This rapid development of road infrastructure and motorisation has also resulted in relatively high traffic fatality rates. This report combines empirical research on the relationship between road infrastructure, inclusive economic development and traffic safety with an assessment of policies and governance structures to help governments find ways to create effective, safe and inclusive transport infrastructures.
Japan is embarked on a demographic transition without precedent in human history: the population is both declining and ageing rapidly. This raises important questions about the country's future economic geography, as public policies will need both to respond to these shifts and also to shape them. Demographic change will have particularly important implications for the settlement pattern of the country, and this, in turn, will affect Japan's ability to sustain economic growth and the well-being of its citizens. This Review therefore focuses on the spatial implications of demographic change and the response of spatial policies to it, particularly as these interact with other policies aimed at sustaining the productivity growth that a "super-ageing" Japan will need in order to maintain its future prosperity. The Japanese authorities have recently put in place a complex package of long-term spatial and structural policies aimed at meeting this challenge. Their experience should be of first-order interest to other OECD countries, as most face the prospect of rapid population ageing and many are also projected to experience significant population decline over the coming decades.
The Slovak Republic joined the European Union in 2004, the Schengen area in 2007 and the euro in 2009. These events, coupled with decentralisation reform and the creation of administrative regions, have brought significant change. While overall growth has been impressive compared to OECD countries overall, benefits have not accrued equally across the country. Public investment could potentially improve regional conditions and attract private funding, but governance bottlenecks stand in the way. This case study shows that the main obstacles to effective public investment are linked to high local fragmentation as well as the challenges national and subnational administrations face in designing and implementing investment strategies that correspond to local needs. Drawing on a detailed set of indicators, the study provides recommendations to address these challenges and make the most of public investment in the Slovak Republic.
Urban, demographic and climate trends are increasingly exposing cities to risks of having too little, too much and too polluted water. Facing these challenges requires robust public policies and sound governance frameworks to co-ordinate across multiple scales, authorities, and policy domains. Building on a survey of 48 cities in OECD countries and emerging economies, the report analyses key factors affecting urban water governance, discusses trends in allocating roles and responsibilities across levels of government, and assesses multi-level governance gaps in urban water management. It provides a framework for mitigating territorial and institutional fragmentation and raising the profile of water in the broader sustainable development agenda, focusing in particular on the contribution of metropolitan governance, rural-urban partnerships and stakeholder engagement.
This report examines the Netherland’s new Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam-The Hague (MRDH), drawing on lessons from governance reforms in other OECD countries and identifying how the MRDH experience could benefit policy makers beyond Dutch borders. Long in search of ways to strengthen urban areas, the Dutch government has recently undertaken the development of a National Urban Agenda known as Agenda Stad, in parallel to a series of broad institutional reforms. This included abolishing the country’s traditional eight city-regions, which led Rotterdam, The Hague and 21 smaller neighbouring cities to form the Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam-The Hague (Metropoolregio Rotterdam Den Haag, or MRDH). This report analyses the emergence of the MRDH both as a geographical area that spans 23 municipalities in the southern Randstad region and as a new metropolitan authority with transport and economic development responsibilities. One of the challenges the MRDH faces is how to bring the economies of Rotterdam and The Hague closer together while generating growth and well-being.
The report provides a comprehensive picture on the territorial differences in many well-being dimensions across the 31 Mexican states and the Federal District. It represents a sound base for state and local policy makers, political leaders and citizens to better understand people’s living conditions, gauge progress in various aspects of economy and society and use these indicators to improve the design and implementation of policies. It is a part of the “How’s Life in Your Region?” work produced by the OECD Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate at the behest of the Regional Development Policy Committee.
This review finds that while Mexico has taken important steps in addressing the urban challenges in the Valle de México, Mexico’s largest metropolitan area, there is a need for major metropolitan governance reform. Serious urban governance failings are inhibiting adequate responses to critical urban development priorities - regeneration, access to adequate housing, reliable and safe public transport, and environmental protection. Several measures are currently being implemented. However, these tools and reforms will not produce the desired solutions to urban problems in the absence of metropolitan thinking, strategic regional planning, and improved co-ordination and collaboration across levels of government.
Water is abundant in Brazil, but unevenly distributed across regions and users. Remarkable progress to reform the sector has been achieved since the 1997 National Water Law, but economic, climate and urbanisation trends generate threats that may jeopardize national growth and development. The consequences are particularly acute in regions where tensions across water users already exist or are likely to grow. The report is the result of a policy dialogue with more than 100 stakeholders at different levels in Brazil. It assesses the performance of Brazil’s water governance and suggests policy recommendations for strengthening the co-ordination between federal and state water policies and for setting up more robust water allocation regimes that can better cope with future risks. The report concludes with an action plan, which suggests concrete milestones and champion institutions to implement those recommendations.