Blog article on the complex and multi-dimensional challenges faced by city policy-makers in addressing urban issues at all levels of government.
Since 1950, the number of urban agglomerations in West Africa increased from 152 to almost 2 000, and today towns and cities are home to 41% of the region’s total population. Cities and their inhabitants are increasingly shaping West Africa’s economic, political and social landscape. Yet there is little up-to-date data available for analysis and the formulation of development policy at the local, national and regional levels.
Africapolis, a comprehensive and homogenous dataset on urbanisation, is a significant step towards closing this data gap. The 2015 update covers 17 West African countries spanning the period 1950 to 2010. Its original methodology combines demographic sources, satellite and aerial imagery to provide population estimates and geolocation at the level of individual agglomerations. The morphological approach adopted by Africapolis helps identify territorial transformation processes which are at the core of West Africa’s complex urbanisation dynamics and can be observed at several levels: metropolises, secondary cities, the merging of villages and the formation of conurbations.
The identification of cities with fewer than 100 000 inhabitants is a major contribution of Africapolis – 90% of West Africa’s cities, or a combined population of 45 million people, fall into this category – a figure which underscores the important role of small cities within the urban system. This edition also includes new measurements of urbanisation in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, constituting the most complete dataset on urbanisation dynamics in this country to date.
The tourism industry in OECD countries continues to grow strongly despite economic weakness in advanced economies, and outperformed tourism globally in 2014. However, active, innovative and integrated policies are needed to ensure that tourism remains a competitive and sustainable sector, says OECD.
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.
The webinars will enable serious discussion on the concept of ‘local economic resilience’ in an informal setting that facilitates interaction and questions. The format will feature presentations from policy experts and a roundtable discussion with the audience.
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.
Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events, notably of droughts and floods to which the agriculture sector is particularly exposed. While agricultural productivity growth and policy development have allowed to better cope with these risks and reduce overall impacts on the sector and commodity markets, there is substantial room to improve policy responses and co-ordinate across policy domains, including with respect to water rights and allocation, weather and hydrological information, innovation and education, and insurance and compensation schemes. Indeed, drought and flood risks are likely to become a major policy concern as increasing population will increase the demand for food, feed, fibre, and energy, not to mention the competition for water resources, and urbanisation will increase the demand for flood protection and mitigation, raising the issue of the allocation of flood risks across sectors and areas.
The Regional Development Policy Division was honoured to have been selected by the Regional Studies Association (RSA) to receive the Institutional Ambassador Award 2015 on 18 November. The award is in recognition of the high calibre of reports and measurement tools produced by the Regional Development Policy Committee and its supporting Working Parties.
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.
Mayors and ministers gathered for the 6th OECD Roundtable concluded that the solution to climate change will happen in cities. National governments alone will not be able to tackle environmental challenges, sustainable development should include cities and their governments as main stakeholders. Creating sustainable cities is a global agenda and Habitat III is an opportunity to shape the global urban agenda for the next 20 years.