Growth is a priority for all economies. For the many high-income countries that are struggling to distance themselves from the Great Recession, reviving growth has never seemed more urgent. Likewise, developing and emerging market economies are eager to accelerate or maintain their growth rates so as to satisfy popular demands for a more rapid improvement in living standards and in order to reduce poverty.
Throughout the developing world, people are voting with their feet and heading citywards. The future looks increasingly urban, and economic growth, employment prospects, and the quality of life are coming to depend upon the dynamism and health of cities. If urban economic engines falter or fail, both local and national consequences could be severe. Hence, a wealth of recent research is devoted to the key facets of urban development and to the crafting of policies that can make it more rewarding.
The greening of urban development is finally receiving increased attention. This is long overdue, as the globe’s burgeoning urban population is using ever more resources and energy, which intensifies environmental pressures. If the demands on the biosphere’s resources are not to exceed the limits of sustainability, major changes are needed in the design and growth of cities. Urban industrialization, transport,and energy use, and urban lifestyles more broadly, will need to change markedly and rapidly. The sustainable city of the future must be green.
In Ascent after Decline, more than a dozen distinguished contributors scan the economic horizon, spell out the new fiscal reality, and highlight the policy choices on which economic regrowth will depend.
This book has been prepared by the Commission on Growth and Development to evaluate the prospects for economic growth in developing countries in the wake of the world financial and economic crisis of 2008–09. It considers a range of questions, particularly with regard to the future of globalization and the policy implications of the crisis. It considers the important issues pertaining to short-term, medium-term, and long-term growth and puts forward the latest policy ideas for fostering sustained economic growth in the developing world.