By Josep Roig, UCLG Secretary General
‘Smart ways to mobilise more efficient and effective longterm investment in city regions’ arrives at the ideal time to contribute to the discussions leading up to the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development. As the organisation that represents the voices of local and regional governments across the world, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) is convinced that investment, particularly in basic service infrastructures, is an essential condition for sustainable urban development.
However, it is essential to acknowledge that the aspirations of the Post-2015 Agenda will simply not be achievable if we rely on current public and private investment models. Systematic change and innovative new tools will be required, particularly at local level. This report is a welcome contribution to the debate.
The international community has recognised that backlogs in infrastructure, housing and service provision to the urban poor pose an enormous challenge to the cities of the global South. At the same time, there is a need to retrofit and rebuild aging or obsolete urban infrastructure, which is a ticking time bomb in many of the world’s industrial and postindustrial cities. These vast needs for investment in urban infrastructure coincide with unprecedented levels of global liquidity. However, this financing will only be mobilised if both public and private investors have confidence in the investment environment over the whole investment cycle, as well as in the households, local and national governments who will attract, manage and benefit from these investments.
This report presents suggestions of how new tools can be used to harness investment to finance urban development at household, municipal, national and global level. Of course, in the complex and often technical debates on investment mechanisms that will be had over the coming months and years, it is important to recall that financing for development, if it is to be sustainable, must be managed so that it meets both citizens’ needs for basic services and supports the four pillars of sustainable development (economic, social, environmental and cultural).
For more info, read the report: Smart ways to mobilise more efficient and effective long-term investment in city regions