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The great recession and the future of cities

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  • Dethier, Jean-Jacques
  • Morrill, Curtis

Abstract

This paper describes the serious fiscal crisis faced by cities around the world following the Great Recession of 2008. Five years later, the after-effects of this major crisis continue to be felt and limit economic opportunities in cities. Section 1 summarizes how the crisis was triggered and how it unfolded in the US, then spread to the rest of world -- highlighting the links between financial sector and housing sector. Section 2 discusses the impact of the crisis on urban revenue and expenditure, and the stimulus programs and recovery plans devised as a short term response by cities around the world. Section 3 then discusses longer term strategies to ensure the financial, social and environmental sustainability of cities. The authors make the point -- and back up our assertions with specific examples -- that urban decision-makers must take a long view and find ways to create opportunities for their citizens, making sure that their decisions are financially sustainable in the long term. Today's decisions should not lock cities out of options tomorrow, and cities must be managed with flexibility so as to adapt to unforeseen new circumstances. The authors also argue that, while there has been a lot of talk about"smart cities"and new technologies among urban specialists and urban planners, it is ultimately the focus on basic economics (sustainable financing, providing good services to consumers and incentives for providers), good governance and good institutions that will create sustainable, dynamic and livable cities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6256.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6256

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Related research

Keywords: Banks&Banking Reform; Debt Markets; Access to Finance; Municipal Financial Management; Subnational Economic Development;

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  1. Francois Bourguignon & Francisco H.B. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2005. "Inequality of Opportunity in Brazil," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 133, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Hallegatte, Stephane & Shah, Ankur & Lempert, Robert & Brown, Casey & Gill, Stuart, 2012. "Investment decision making under deep uncertainty -- application to climate change," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6193, The World Bank.
  3. Otaviano Canuto & Lili Liu, 2010. "Subnational Debt Finance and the Global Financial Crisis," World Bank Other Operational Studies 10186, The World Bank.
  4. Daniel J. Wilson, 2012. "Fiscal Spending Jobs Multipliers: Evidence from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 251-82, August.
  5. Canuto, Otaviano & Liu, Lili, 2010. "Subnational Debt Finance and the Global Financial Crisis," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 13, pages 1-7, May.
  6. Puffert, Douglas J., 2002. "Path Dependence in Spatial Networks: The Standardization of Railway Track Gauge," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 282-314, July.
  7. Nicholas Stern & Jean-Jacques Dethier & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Growth and Empowerment: Making Development Happen," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262693461, December.
  8. Ethan Ilzetzki & Carlos A. Vegh, 2008. "Procyclical Fiscal Policy in Developing Countries: Truth or Fiction?," NBER Working Papers 14191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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