How to Generate Inclusive Growth

Reporting from Habitat III, Quito

The second event I Am My City attended on Monday 17th was at the Urban Library room. Why did we choose this event?

We believe that it is not possible for our cities to keep growing the way we that it is happening now. We need a change. We, the people, need to start thinking of out of the box solutions to improve urban and economic growth, by putting quality of life at the center of our thinking. Moreover, we believe that research on urban topics is vital if we want to reach our newly-established Sustainable Development Goals. Research can effectively contribute to policy development by creating relevant knowledge and unveiling conceptual frameworks of appropriate governance. Academic and research institutions play their role by sharing knowledge, information, data, materials and experiences. In this way, they are able to strengthen and enhance the collaboration between government officials and decision makers.

Along this train of thought, the theme of the event was presented through academic research from The Growth Dialogue, a network that seeks to connect high level policymakers and thought leaders with those whose policy decisions can benefit from practical experience and the latest research work on economic growth.  Two papers were presented: the first one, Cities as growth accelerators: Fostering national and urban development policies for success focusing on how national development policies must be aligned with urban policies; in other words, only with coordination policies between cities and national government on vital issues, such as infrastructure investment, employment and skill development, and basic service provision, can real progress be achieved; the second one, Inclusive growth in cities: Challenges & Opportunities focusing on how inequality harms cities as it erodes the essential ingredients of city progress; this is the main reason why, for the benefit of all citizens, it is necessary to extend the benefits of urban life to the so called slum dwellers or to new migrants.

For us the most important ideas of the discussion were the following:

  • Cities need to understand how inequality is affecting their economic dynamics and what are the main constraints for inclusion.
  • Cities need to learn to think ahead and play a major role in ensuring a sustainable future, in terms of their knowledge, proximity to tax payers and to economic agents.