Regional, rural and urban development

Regional Development Policy Newsletter - March 2021


Previous newsletter

March 2021

We are pleased to share with you recently released publications of the Regional Development Policy Committee (RDPC) so far this year and invite you to also share widely with your networks!

Committee delegates can also download all publications either on the O.N.E. Members & Partners platform (filter by “books”) or from OECD iLibrary using the codes available on the ONE Community. Previous newsletter



Delivering quality education and health care to all: Preparing Regions for Demographic Change | 5 March 2021

COVID-19 has put renewed focus on the importance of addressing longstanding challenges that OECD governments face in delivering public services, especially in regions with people spread over a wider area where economies of scale are more difficult to achieve. The report examines the nuances specific to the delivery of education and health care to people everywhere, offering recommendations on how to better adapt provision to the realities of today and the emerging realities of tomorrow to face the challenges of distance, demographic change and fiscal belt-tightening.

Read the book | Policy Highlights EN | FR

The Toolkit for Water Policies and Governance | 22 March 2021

This report compiles policies, governance arrangements and related tools that facilitate the design and implementation of water management practices in line with the OECD Council Recommendation on Water. It is designed to inspire and support countries which have either adhered to, are considering adhering to, or aim to converge towards the OECD standard.

Read the book EN | FR

National and subnational

OECD mining regions and cities case study: Västerbotten and Norrbotten, Sweden | 27 January 2021

Sweden’s northern region, Upper Norrland, is one of the most important mining regions in Europe and has the potential to become a global leader in environmentally sustainable mining. Find out how Västerbotten and Norrbotten can build on their competitive advantages and address current and future challenges to support a resilient future through sustainable mining.

Read the book | Policy Highlights

Decentralisation and Regionalisation in Bulgaria: Towards Balanced Regional Development | 23 February 2021

Bulgaria has made solid progress in its territorial governance and socio-economic development. Yet, it has not been able to counteract large and increasing territorial disparities. Shifting from a centrally-designed approach to regional development policy to a place-based one coupled with a revitalised multi-level governance model, could generate more balanced regional development and inclusive growth in Bulgaria.

Read the book

Perspectives on Decentralisation and Rural-Urban Linkages in Korea | 4 March 2021

The economic development of Korea is widely considered as a success story. Yet, as the country joins the ranks of the world’s most advanced economies, its rapid pace of development has not fully reached every part of its territory. The study includes advice and recommendations on multi-level governance, rural-urban linkages and other issues drawn from the experience of OECD countries on how Korea’s efforts in pursuit of inclusive growth may be further strengthened to improve the well-being of the country's rural regions.

Read the book

Linking Indigenous Communities with Regional Development
in Australia
| 15 March 2021

Indigenous Australians play an important role in the development of regional economies. Compared to the non-Indigenous population, Indigenous peoples are more likely to be located in predominantly rural regions. However, significant gaps in socio-economic outcomes with non-Indigenous Australians remain and these gaps are larger in rural regions. The report provides three key recommendations to improve economic outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

Read the book | Policy Highlights

Water Governance in Cape Town | 24 March 2021

In 2018, the city of Cape Town, South Africa, was close to the “Day Zero”, requiring all taps to be shut off and citizens to fetch a daily 25 litre per person. It is estimated that, at the current rate, South Africa will experience a 17% water deficit by 2030 if no action is taken to respond to existing trends. This report assesses key water risks and governance challenges in Cape Town, and provides policy recommendations towards more effective, efficient and inclusive water management building on the OECD Principles on Water Governance.

Read the book

Water Governance in African Cities | 24 March 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a magnifying glass on pressing water and sanitation challenges in African cities, stressing and widening inequalities. Before the pandemic, African countries and cities were already facing mounting water challenges. This report provides a regional overview of the allocation of roles and responsibilities for water management as well as the critical governance gaps that need to be bridged in order to boost city government capacity to drive water security in the continent.

Read the book

Water Governance in Peru | 25 March 2021

While COVID-19 has hit Peru particularly hard, the pandemic further emphasised the importance of water and sanitation for health, the environment and the economy. The report provides an analysis of water governance in the country and policy recommendations to: strengthen the multi-sectoral approach to water; improve the use of economic instruments to protect and sustainably use water resources, its sources and related ecosystem services; and strengthen regulatory conditions to improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation in urban and rural areas.

Read the book

OECD Regional Development Papers

A comprehensive approach to understanding urban productivity effects of local governments: Local autonomy, government quality and fragmentation | 8 January 2021

This paper advances our understanding of the spatial dimension of productivity by investigating the link between subnational governance arrangements and urban labour productivity.

Read the paper

Towards COVID-19 recovery and greater resilience in Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands | 16 March 2021

This paper aims to provide guidance to the Zuid-Holland province (The Netherlands) and its partners on developing their post-COVID 19 Joint Growth Agenda. It draws on broader OECD analysis ofCities’ Policy Responses to the COVID-19 crisis, the OECD Principles on Urban Policy and the OECD Territorial Review of the Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam-The Hague (2016).

Read the paper

Water Governance in Asia Pacific | 25 March 2021

This policy paper uses the OECD Principles on Water Governance as an assessment framework to provide a regional analysis of the state of play of water governance in 48 countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

Read the paper


A territorial approach to SDGs in the framework of long-term COVID-19 recovery strategies | 3 February 2021

After the Boom? COVID-19 and European city labour markets shortage of lower paid and non-remote job postings risks widening urban inequality | 19 February 2021

Water Security for All: How can we achieve it? | 19 March 2021

How can cities get transport and cycling right to ensure a sustainable COVID-19 recovery? | 25 March 2021

Upcoming events

6 May 2021 | Webinar launch of the OECD Regional Outlook 2021

11:30-12:50 (CEST)

The 2021 edition of the OECD Regional Outlook: Resilience of rural and urban regions in the COVID-19 crisis and the transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions shows that a place-based approach is vital for resilience in the face of both these challenges. A panel of renowned experts will discuss the findings of the OECD Regional Outlook, followed by a Q&A session with participants.

Register here.

28 May 2021 | 5th Meeting of Champion Mayors

12:00-15:00 (CEST)

The 5th Meeting of Champion Mayors will enable Mayors to discuss a recovery process that reinforces inclusive growth and resilience. On that occasion, a new political outcome document will be endorsed by Mayors, alongside a 5th anniversary stock-taking document that will showcase the evolution of inclusive growth in cities and feature initiatives implemented by Champion Mayors.

Find out more

May 2021 (TBD) | 3rd OECD Roundtable on the Circular Economy in Cities and Regions

Time tbd (CEST)

The Roundtable will peer review the forthcoming case studies on the circular economy in Glasgow, United Kingdom and Ireland. It will highlight new case studies, such as in Tallinn, Estonia and it will launch the case study on the circular economy in Granada. It will be an opportunity to discuss indicator frameworks and the role of the circular economy in building back better.

Find out more

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