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Urban Development and Regional Disparities
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Urban Development and Regional Disparities

Is urbanization a necessary condition for subnational regional development?

Some economists have seen regional and urban growth as synonymous and based analyses and policy prescriptions on the concentration of investments in existing urban areas as engines of growth or on the creation of new growth poles in which industries would cluster together in an urban setting. Others have become concerned about the apparently uncontrolled growth of primate cities in some developing countries that seems to add little to local prosperity and generates negative externalities through congestion and pollution. For Bank economists, this debate is important when considering both subnational regional and urban strategies. In this section, we present some readings on various topics in this area, including:

the growth and dispersion of urban systems;
the measurement of agglomeration externalities;
the complications that the existence of a primate city pose for promoting more dispersed urban development; and
the experiences of different growth poles strategies in developing and developed countries.

We also include a link to TWU's current Global Urban and Local Government Strategy website.