Urban and City Investment

Cities and governments are grasping the generational shift that has taken place with urban finances. The availability of national and provincial government transfers for urban infrastructure and development has diminished, exacerbated by frameworks that often constrain long-term whole-city investments or disincentivise inter-governmental co-operation. Meanwhile large-scale infrastructure development in both emerging and developed cities remains costly, requiring over $2 trillion of investment each year. In most cases cities therefore need urgent municipal finance innovation in order to increase flows of public and private investment in accordance with growth projections. Nation-states retain decisive control over the fiscal balance, taxation and labour market flexibility. But cities can also adjust and find solutions and instruments that can raise the investment rate. The Business of Cities helps clients understand their fiscal and financial context, make better use of existing assets, develop new value capture mechanisms, lobby for revenue retention deals, improve project bankability, and become more attractive, visible and ‘investment-ready’ to external capital. We also carry out valuable groundbreaking research on comparative urban fiscal and investment powers, and on the future opportunities for financial institutions to co-fund urban development.

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