Areas of Research

Financing the transformation
For governments wanting to transform towns and cities, the biggest challenge is often finding the finance for major infrastructure projects. Currently, the shortfall in global infrastructure investment is growing by more than US$1 trillion every year. If the funding gap is not closed, up to two billion people will live in informal settlements by 2030, lacking access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation or decent housing. It is also important to steer investment towards more sustainable infrastructure, favouring public transport rather than cars and compact growth rather than urban sprawl. There is no shortage of capital in the global economy. The challenge is directing it towards sustainable urban infrastructure projects. The Coalition has identified a number of promising finance instruments that are currently underutilised, and is now working with national governments to identify which options are best suited to their specific circumstances. The Coalition’s innovative ‘finance readiness framework’ is proving a particularly useful resource for governments to identify activities and reforms that they can undertake to increase public budgets and unlock new investment in cities.