Green Growth in Cities

Green growth has been a strategic pillar of the OECD’s work since 2009, when OECD member countries mandated the organization to develop a Green Growth Strategy. Green growth has entered almost all areas of work across the OECD, including the Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development. The directorate’s mission is to help governments at all levels design and implement strategic, evidence-based, and innovative policies to strengthen public governance; respond effectively to diverse and disruptive economic, social, and environmental challenges; and deliver on governments’ commitments to their citizens.

This publication is the final report of the OECD Green Cities Programme, initiated by the 2010 OECD Roundtable of Mayors and Ministers in Paris, and presents the project’s main findings and policy recommendations. The aim of the programme is to better understand the concept of green growth in cities; the potential of urban policies for urban and national green growth; and to inform national, sub-national, and municipal governments as they seek to address economic and environmental challenges by pursuing green growth. This report also contributes to the OECD Green Growth Studies series and joins a thematic work stream that includes the recent publications Linking Renewable Energy to Rural Development (2012), Compact City Policies: A Comparative Assessment (2012), and Cities and Climate Change (2010). The focus of this study is on OECD member countries, and recommendations are primarily addressed to policymakers in OECD countries. Numerous findings and recommendations are nonetheless valuable for non-member countries, notably for those with high levels and rates of urbanization.

Green Growth in Cities synthesizes findings and evidence from six in-depth case studies of urban green growth policies carried out in 2011 and 2012: four at the city level (Paris, Chicago, Stockholm, and Kitakyushu) and two national studies (China and Korea). It also draws on data from the OECD Metropolitan Database. The analytical approach for the case studies was developed in the OECD Regional Development Working Paper, “Cities and Green Growth: A Conceptual Framework.” The work of the OECD Green Cities Programme benefited from guidance by the OECD Territorial Development Policy Committee and its Working Party on Territorial Policy in Urban Areas, and profited from the active cooperation of the local and national government teams for the Green Cities Programme’s case studies.


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