Informed Decision Making

Reporting from Habitat III, Quito

On Wednesday 19th October 2016, I Am My City attended a side event on developing public policies based on evidence: Evidence-Based Policy Proposals for a Sound Urban Development in Latin America.

Making informed decisions, by good decision makers, is crucial for developing better cities as productive and economic opportunities generated by phenomena like globalization and technological change, accelerated urbanization and increased population density. The aim of this event was to showcase policy proposals based on evidence that express how the negative externalities of urbanization can be counteracted by capitalizing on agglomeration economies, in order to generate wealth and secure the well-being of citizens.

Greater urban density creates both opportunities and obstacles for economic development and social welfare. Among the positive externalities of density are job specialization, economic exchanges, and the dissemination of ideas and knowledge. These factors promote the accumulation of human capital, increased productivity and social stability. However, urban density also creates negative externalities like congestion, increased informal labor and housing, disorganized urban sprawl, segregation, pollution, crime, etc.