Regional Development

Urban policy and metropolitan reviews


Cities are home to roughly two-thirds of the OECD’s population and account for an even larger share of output. They are hubs for job creation, innovation and growth.

If governments “get cities right”, they can create conditions for a better life for most of their citizens and facilitate the achievement of national goals with respect to growth, inclusion and environmental sustainability.
OECD national and metropolitan level peer reviews can help enhance:

  • Policy dialogue – information exchange between countries and further co-operation.
  • Transparency –national rules, practices and procedures shared with OECD member and partner countries through the OECD reports and website. 
  • Capacity building – peer review is a mutual learning process both for the country under review and examiners.
  • Compliance –monitoring and enhance compliance of countries with internationally agreed policies, standards and principles.

The OECD has applied its method of peer reviews in more than 25 cities and metropolitan regions and 7 countries. 

OECD National Urban Policy Framework


National GDP growth contributed by metropolitan areas (2000-13)

Source: OECD Regions at a Glance (2016).

National-level Urban Policy Reviews

The OECD series of national-level Urban Policy Reviews evaluates the role of central government in urban policies and provides recommendations to assist policymakers in achieving their policy objectives. They:

  • focus on national policies designed and introduced explicitly to address urban development policies and other national policies with an urban development impact;
  • analyse how interactions among national-level sectoral policies may have unintended yet profound impacts on urban development; and
  • address issues of governance, including inter-governmental fiscal relationships and the various institutional, fiscal and policy tools designed to foster co-ordination on urban development among different levels of government and different central administrations.

Reviews of cities and metropolitan regions

Reviews of cities and metropolitan regions are carried out in collaboration with local (cities, regions and other subnational levels) and central governments with the goal to:

  • enhance economic competitiveness and attractiveness;
  • improve the policies put in place to strengthen social inclusion and environmental sustainability;
  • assess environmental performance and vulnerability to climate change and explore ways in which policies can foster more sustainable development; and
  • identify obstacles to competitiveness and sustainable development within the spheres of governance and local finance and make recommendations for overcoming them.


National Urban Policy Reviews Metropolitan Reviews
OECD Urban Policy Reviews: Viet Nam OECD Urban Policy Reviews: Kazakhstan OECD Urban Policy Reviews: China 2015  OECD Territorial Reviews: Valle de México, Mexico OECD Territorial Reviews: The Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam-The Hague, Netherlands  OECD Territorial Reviews: Puebla-Tlaxcala, Mexico 2013

The OECD Urban Policy Reviews flyer is available here

For more information about OECD urban policy and metropolitan reviews, please contact:

Aziza Akhmouch, Head of the Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development Division :[email protected]



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