Department for International Development Drivers of Urban Change
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Urban development finance
Informal economy
Labour market
Innovative financial mechanisms
Globalisation & SAPs
Urban - rural interactions
Participatory budgeting
Transparency & Corruption
Community activitism & CBOs
Democracy & empowerment
Participatory processes & tools
Social inclusion
Urban livelihoods
Violence & Human rights
Health Children & Education
Culture & Identity
Shelter & Settlement
City planning
Land tenure
Basic infrastructure
Appropriate technology
Transport & Mobility
Environmental planning
Health hazards & Pollution
Local Agenda 21

Cities are the driving forces of economic development. While their concentrations of industry, commerce and services contribute to the larger part of production and wealth creation in any national economy, their centrality in transportation links and distribution networks, and their sophisticated infrastructures and advanced forms of human capital are the foundations of continuing technological innovation and increasing productivity. Six clusters of innovative policies and practices contribute, together with their multiple interrelationships, to the ‘economic dimension’ of urban development. They are:

urban development finance

This cluster looks into macro-economic development and finance; including new analyses of relationships between urban economic growth and urban poverty, new assessments of urban competitiveness, and new guidelines for urban development strategies, urban taxation and financial improvements.

informal economy

The documents here collated discuss the theme of informal economy including measures to provide recognition of rights, regularisation of land and informal housing developments and street trading. In this section are also discussed matters related to conflict and confrontation over space use.

This section focuses on employment and labour markets, including small and medium enterprise development, income generation initiatives and opportunities, skills enhancement, and new directions in labour market segmentation.


The documents included in this section draw our attention to the achievements of the urban poor in developing resources directly by building up their own capacities. Examples of micro-finance initiatives include new practices in savings and loan schemes, community asset management, and finance facilities.

This cluster highlights a number of responses to current globalisation processes and structural adjustment programmes including new policy analyses of urban economies, new initiatives and practical measures to modify the impact of adjustment on poor communities.

This cluster reflects the increasing recognition of the significance of urban-rural interactions and interdependence for economic growth and poverty reduction. The documents included here highlight the importance of appropriate forms of peri-urban governance to manage the processes of urbanisation and to protect the rights of the rural and urban poor.

note: Click on any of the cluster headings to enter the individual clusters and access the pdf files

2003 Development Planning Unit | Sikandar Hasan | Anna Soave | Khanh Tran-Thanh || Tina Simon