Urban governance: Topic Guide

This topic guide introduces the literature on urban governance and its relationship to growth and poverty reduction

Abstract

This topic guide seeks to answer the questions:

  1. What is urban governance and why does it matter?
  2. How can important urban policy issues be addressed?

The author introduces the literature on urban governance and its relationship to growth and poverty reduction. He considers the key debates and issues, and sets out some implications for practice on specific urban governance challenges. Some of the elements that contribute to effective governance include:

  • the city-national interface
  • municipal capacity
  • the role of the private sector
  • political systems and institutions

Some of the main messages in the guide include:

  • urban governance is often neither inclusive nor participatory.

  • urbanisation in developing countries has involved the growth of informal settlements and informal economies

  • urban authorities often fail to provide access to services for the poor

  • urban conflict and violence are significant global phenomena, affecting national and metropolitan level economic development, and the livelihoods and well-being of the poor

  • urban migration is a defining trend of the 21st century, though migrants are often overlooked in discourses on urbanisation and governance

  • urban areas are major contributors to and central in addressing climate change

Citation

Avis, W.R. Urban governance: Topic guide. GSDRC, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2016), 57p

Urban Govenance: Topic Guide

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