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Cities in Transition : World Bank Urban and Local Government Strategy

By Hammam, Sonia

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Book Id: WPLBN0000231023
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 1.3 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: Cities in Transition : World Bank Urban and Local Government Strategy  
Author: Hammam, Sonia
Language: English
Subject: Economics, Finance & business, World Bank.
Collections: Economics Publications Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: The World Bank


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Hammam, S. (n.d.). Cities in Transition : World Bank Urban and Local Government Strategy. Retrieved from


Executive Summary: Winds of change affecting urban areas and local governments? At the threshold of the 21st century cities and towns form the frontline in the development campaign. Within a generation the majority of the developing world?s population will live in urban areas and the number of urban residents in developing countries will double, increasing by over 2 billion inhabitants. The scale of this urbanization is unprecedented and poses daunting requirements for countries to meet the needs of their people at relatively low levels of national income. The urban transition offers significant opportunities for countries to improve the quality of life for all their citizens, and for the Bank to realize its core mission of reducing poverty. But whether this potential is realized depends critically on the quality of urban management and on the national and local policies affecting it. Cities and towns not only are growing in size and number, they also are gaining new influence. Political and fiscal decentralization, under way in all regions, means that municipal authorities now have greater authority?if insufficient capacity? to take charge of the local services that affect the daily lives of residents. Participatory local democracy is providing fertile ground for innovations in the ways that people?s demands are articulated and satisfied. Globalization is leading to major restructuring within countries, shifting trade and production away from many traditional urban centers toward cities and towns that can demonstrate mar ket advantage. The role of national governments is being refocused to facilitate markets, promote economic and social stability, and ensure equity. But reforms of public sector management or private sector development will not do what is desired for national development until they are adapted and implemented appropriately at the municipal level. Local government remains the everyday face of the public sector? the level of government where essential public services are delivered to individuals and businesses, and where policy meets the people.


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