Project overview

Cities that Work is an International Growth Centre initiative that builds on work to translate economic research and practical insight into clear urban policy guidance.

Policymakers across the developing world are at a critical juncture, where well-implemented, evidence-based urban policies have the potential to unlock a process of sustainable economic growth that can rapidly lift millions out of poverty.

A new body of economic research and data is enhancing our understanding of the policy choices which shape this process. This research must be harnessed for practical application, providing clear policy solutions to the pressing issues governments face surrounding rapid urbanisation.

Cities that Work combines new evidence and analysis of urban economics with the hard-won knowledge of urban planning practitioners and policymakers. Our aim is to develop a policy-focused synthesis of research, and a global ‘network’ of individuals with a shared vision for urban policy.

Research results and the practical knowledge of practitioners and policymakers are synthesised and presented in a manner that can inform decision making in four key areas:

  • Urban land use
  • Firms and employment in cities
  • Housing, infrastructure, and public services
  • Municipal finance and urban governance