In 2011, the World Bank initiated the Partnership for Sustainable Cities, a group of leading urban actors with a mission to collaborate on city development around the world and foster city-led sustainable development. This synthesis paper, Building Sustainability in an Urbanizing World, is a product of the partnership’s early discussions.
In this paper, members of the partnership have collaborated to identify and analyze the issues that guide their work together. The report summarizes the sustainability issues faced by cities and points toward the road ahead. It reviews successes in policy as well as investment and discusses what is needed to reach out to the rapidly growing cities of the developing world and make them effective users of existing knowledge. Examples of programs established by the partners are described in both the text and the Annexes.
This report aims to be useful to the partners who contributed with knowledge and experiences, to cities who may benefit from an honest discussion of what works and what needs improvement, and to businesses and development practitioners entering the wide world of sustainable cities.
The Large Urban Areas Compendium (Annex 10) is a first step toward identifying what data should be collected on a regular basis, in order to focus policy making on underperforming sectors. Currently, most statistical information is collected at the national level, whereas many relevant policy decisions are made and implemented at the local level.