Dialogue 3: Future Urban Economy and Finance - World Urban Forum 11th Session
Production Date
Video Length
Asset Language

Dialogue 3: Future Urban Economy and Finance - World Urban Forum 11th Session (WUF11, 26–30 June 2022, Katowice, Poland)



The classical view
on the role of the cities in economic development is that when firms and
people locate near one another in cities, agglomeration economies
occur. They benefit from density and resulting connectivity, thus
increasing the productivity of economic activity. In the last decades,
the role of cities as consumption centres have also been explored, and
important debates have centred around the growth of cities in Africa
without industrialization, and thus not contributing to increasing
productivity. The question arises on how urbanization can best be
harnessed for productive growth?

The global view on financing of
developments in low- and medium income countries is changing; the focus
is shifting from dispersed grants to supporting major investment in key
infrastructure in developing countries, as manifested by China's Road
and Belt, EU Global Gateway, and US/G7 B3W. This shift inevitably raises
a question of the role of cities and their development in the necessary
structural transformation underpinned by territorial dimensions of

Investments in infrastructure and services require
revenues to return the capital costs, support maintenance and operation,
and accumulate new capital for further expansions and improvement.
Here, the question of fiscal devolution in countries that have little
local capacity and a weak tax base due to poverty and low income comes
into the picture. In the handling of the COVID-19 crisis, it transpired
that those countries which managed to mobilize better coordinated
efforts in various sectors and levels of governance succeeded in
resolving emergent issues faster and with better impact. Hence, another
important dimension arises in achieving coherence of national,
sub-national and external finance to support investment in
infrastructure and urban development.


on this background, this Dialogue will explore how stronger links of
urbanization with structural transformation, underpinning more coherent
investments in urban development by coordinating national, sub-national
and external financing, can be achieved.

Sub Title

can national policies link urbanization with structural transformation
and coordinate national, sub-national and external financing for more
coherent investment in urban development

Guiding Questions for discussions

Panel One
How can urbanization serve as a vehicle for economic development of a
country? How to make sure that investment in urban infrastructure and
services underpin economic transformation?
- Can linking investment
in urban development, based on sound territorial planning and objectives
of structural transformation, lead to more synergies of investment in
various sectors of economy? How can governance and spatial and
investment planning go beyond their jurisdictional boundaries? Can we
think of innovative approaches to territorial governance that improve
horizontal and vertical coordination for sustainable urban

Panel Two
- How can developing countries
better coordinate investment opportunities and public revenues to
finance sustainable urban development at national and sub-national
- How can external finance be more effectively leveraged in
cities of the Global South  - particularly small and intermediary