Developing the economic case for better urban development
Building a compelling economic and social case for more compact, connected and coordinated cities to secure high-level political commitment

Recognising the central importance of national economic decision-makers, the Coalition for Urban Transitions is working to assemble and communicate a body of evidence that will resonate with Heads of State, Finance Ministers, and other key sector Ministries. The Coalition coordinates a global programme of research exploring the economic and social case for sustainable urban development. This global programme focuses on the most rapidly urbanising countries that are the focus of the Coalition’s country programme, and those that offer valuable lessons about realising the urban dividend. It includes a wide range of case studies – showing both what works and what doesn’t work – spanning countries from India to Uganda to Germany.

Our Economics workstream currently focuses on strengthening the economic evidence base for different low carbon actions in cities. We analyse the real outcomes of investments in the buildings, land use, transport and waste sectors, including direct, indirect and distributional outcomes. These efforts have initially been based around preparing ex post success stories in cities in rapidly urbanising countries. This bottom-up approach allows us to estimate the scale of potential benefits available at a country level and highlight the preconditions for successful low carbon urban development, particularly in terms of policy support at the national level.