Research and analysis

Urban finance: rapid evidence assessment

How cities can cope with the financial demands of rapid population growth.

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By 2050 the global population will have grown to over 9 billion, at least 70% in urban areas and virtually all growth occurring in low and middle income countries. Part of the fiscal challenge facing cities is to meet new and more acute needs created by the pressures of urbanisation. Informal settlements and underserved slums dramatically increase infrastructure and service deficits in poor cities.

It becomes harder for these cities to attract the kinds of workers and economic activities needed to compete in the global economy and produce the revenue required to support continued growth. The defining challenge for medium and large cities in developing countries is how to raise and deploy resources to fund the huge expenditure needs created by rapid growth, while contributing to continued economic growth and employment.

Published 28 July 2015