Special Session: Prerequisites for Productive Investment in Infrastructure and Sustainable Urban Development - World Urban Forum 11th Session
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Special Session: Prerequisites for Productive Investment in Infrastructure and Sustainable Urban Development - World Urban Forum 11th Session (WUF11, 26–30 June 2022, Katowice, Poland)



For urbanization to serve
as a vehicle for economic development of a country, it is key that more
effective and productive investments in urban infrastructure and
services underpin structural transformation. Furthermore, the structural
transformation process and related investment should be conceived in a
way that enhances shared prosperity and improves quality of life, with
the aim of leaving no-one behind.

This session will attempt to
remove some of the bottlenecks within current multi-level governance
frameworks and the integration of spatial and investment planning and
public and private finance. Experts will share practical experiences
from around the world and discuss how to overcome the current

Sub Title

the nexus of functional multilevel governance, public finance, and
investment planning to harness the economic potential of urbanization
for economic development.

Guiding Questions for discussions

How can collaboration among various levels of government relevant to
urban and regional planning, public finance and investment planning be
achieved to lead to more effective outcomes of investment in urban
2. How can national policy levers and intergovernmental
transfers be used to strengthen the incentives of local governments to
effectively raise revenues and manage expenditures? Are
performance-based, asymmetrical transfers from national governments to
cities improving coherence and synergies of public investment in urban
3. How can creating an integrated ecosystem of
national, subnational and external finance help in unlocking access to
private finance? Can finance for sustainable development be upscaled in
cities through aggregated investment portfolios, managed by intermediate
financial institutions?
4. What are key challenges to the above? 
What are inspiring examples from different parts of the world (e.g., in
low-income countries versus high-income countries), and how can they be

This cannot be achieved by any
one level of government alone. Multi-level governance (MLG) approaches
leverage the interconnection between governance and spatial planning and
has contributed to achieve progress in the implementation of the SDGs
in an integrated manner. 

A functioning MLG framework can help in
harnessing the economic potential of urbanization. At the national
level, governments need to integrate sustainable urban development more
directly into national development policies and meaningfully connect
urbanization with priorities of structural transformation. Linking
investments in urban development based on sound territorial planning and
objectives of structural transformation can lead to more synergies of
investment in various sectors of the economy. Territorial analysis of
planned investments in infrastructure and urban development can help
achieve important synergies of large and medium-size investment
projects. A strategic long-term approach to development rests on a
functional interface of MLG, urban/spatial planning, investment
planning, and public finance. Such an approach enables effective
settings of coherent priorities, phasing of coordinated implementation
and embedding of long-term investment needs in the budgeting cycles of

National governments also need to fine-tune fiscal
decentralization frameworks, create the right enabling environments and
provide incentives for effective local governance. Thereby it is
important to customize and seek coordination mechanisms that work for
specific country contexts. In doing so one needs to consider the
tradition of governance, the administrative capacity at various levels
of government, and the degree and character of development. 

session will attempt to flesh-out some of the bottlenecks within current
MLG frameworks and the integration of spatial and investment planning
and public finance. Experts will share experiences from around the world
and will discuss how the challenges can be overcome.