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Financing Sustainable Urban Development as a vehicle for productive growth, driver of Green and Climate-smart Recovery

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Financing Sustainable Urban Development as a vehicle for productive growth, driver of Green and Climate-smart Recovery

Urban productivity, if unlocked, can be a catalyst for a green and climate-smart recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa

BRUSSELS, Belgium, January 11, 2022 / APO Group / –

Local and regional authorities from the European Union and its partner countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America recently attended a workshop, organized in part by UN-Habitat, in which participants discussed the challenges of implementing New Urban Agendas in economically affordable settings. sustainable.

Discussions at the workshop “Financing sustainable urban development as a vehicle for productive growth and as a driver of green and climate-smart recovery” focused on the ability of economies to increase productivity and equitable employment using sustainable urbanization as a vehicle. for growth in a broader context. of green and climate-smart structural transformation.

“Urban productivity, if unlocked, can be a catalyst for an ecologically and climate-smart recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa, but infrastructure deficits are one of the biggest obstacles to sustained economic growth,” said Katharina Rochell, Development Specialist. UN-Habitat urban area. workshop.

“To help alleviate restrictions on mobilization of financing by stakeholders at different levels, different sets of measures can be found to improve investment planning, increase local revenues and improve access to external financing,” he added. .

The meeting at the end of November, opened by the Head of the UN-Habitat European Union Office, Paulius Kulikauskas, was based on the ideas of the EU-funded initiative “Financing Sustainable Urban Development”, requested by Parliament European and implemented by the European Commission. , European Investment Bank and UN-Habitat. It was supported by the Center for International Growth, which helped identify measures that help mobilize financing for sustainable urban development in low-income countries.

The discussions were also based on the experience of local government representatives and development professionals, leading to an active and participatory debate in which the audience was encouraged to share their vision and opinion on the issue.

One example discussed was the city of Hargeisa in Somaliland, which plans forward-thinking urban investments by implementing a system of capturing land value “in kind”, or “levy” through land readjustment.

“Levy” is a monetary or non-monetary “payment” or service to the community that authorities require from a property owner in exchange for receiving a land development permit. The “levy” system helps the city access the land it needs to provide public infrastructure to service a growing city, while the land rent provides the city with a valuable source of income to pay for development. infrastructure.

Moderated by Ioannis Ampazis, Directorate General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission, the participants identified the key challenges in the implementation of economically sustainable New Urban Agendas such as the lack of a structural approach to investment planning to guarantee planned results, insufficient funds for urban development and inefficient use of available funds, insufficient cooperation between different levels of government and agencies, fragmented administration, as well as unclear and overlapping mandates.

Final recommendations from the workshop included: focusing on the central role of finance in green sustainability; include urban areas in national development and economic planning and use urban development as a vehicle to increase productivity; and sensitize cities and encourage societies to prioritize balanced investments to ensure the active participation of different stakeholders.

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