Chapter 13: Delivering and financing public services in metropolitan areas
The inadequate level of public services in the metropolitan areas of developing countries, and the prospects of continued high level of growth of city populations over the next three decades will almost certainly cause national leaders to revisit their urban strategy. The goal in this chapter is to support such efforts by reviewing the state of metropolitan governance and finance in developing countries, suggesting the lessons that might be learned from theory and from the international experience, and considering the policy reform choices that are open. There is a rich body of research literature on the subject of urban governance and finance in the industrial countries. But in developing countries, where the problems and reform options are fundamentally different, there is much less research, relatively little information that can be used to assess the success of policy, and almost no comparative data. We focus in this chapter specifically on the opportunities and challenges of metropolitan governments. We do so because the large cities around the developing world are where in the foreseeable future a large share of economic growth and its sources – innovation, competitiveness, skills, entrepreneurship, integration into global productive and knowledge networks and so on – will be located. Moreover, the special issues faced by metropolitan areas in developing countries are, if anything, even more neglected than the general urban management and finance issues.
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