On 29 March 2016, at the Ford Foundation in New York, Mayors, experts and leaders in the business sector and philanthropy came together for a conversation about Inclusive Growth in Cities. The meeting was a chance to look at ways of measuring and achieving inclusive growth and to the launch Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign.
Inclusive growth constitutes a system where people both contribute to and share in rising prosperity. Currently in OECD countries income inequality is at its highest level in thirty years and the gap between rich and poor has widened dramatically. In the current climate education, employment and life expectancy are disproportionately determined by socio economic status. Now is the time to start promoting growth and equity as mutually re-enforcing goals. This is why UCLG is supporting the Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign an initiative of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Ford Foundation. This campaign aims to increase awareness of rising inequalities, refocus the debate on concrete solutions, and empower local governments as leaders in the transition towards more inclusive growth.
Cities and metropolitan areas have a crucial role in making inclusive growth happen by creating opportunities for citizens and pioneering efforts to overcome inequality and boost growth. Urban settlements are major generators of growth and economic opportunity and economic and social mobility has historically been higher in large cities. However, rising inequalities, poor quality of services, fragmented labour markets, and non-inclusive institutions challenge the capacity of cities to grow inclusively. Local leaders must find effective responses to the most pressing consequences of inequalities, like unemployment, spatial segregation and social unrest.
In the end, on so many issues of inequality and so many economic isues, cities have to innovate solutions, because no level of government above us has the political will or takes the responsiblity for those issues, even though it should be their natural responsibility,”
Bill de Blasio, during the launch of the Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign
At the heart of the Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign is the creation of a global coalition of mayors who will promote the issues and solutions central to the campaign.
See the full list of Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth here.
Along with the launch of the Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign, the New York Proposal for Inclusive Growth was presented. The proposal outlines the first steps toward a global policy roadmap for tackling inequalities and fostering inclusive growth in cities.
Read the full proposal here.
The Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign will benefit from ongoing OECD research on how to make inclusive growth happen in cities and regions, which was made possible with support from the Ford Foundation.