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  • Blog post

    Should I stay or should I go? Managing populations with urban to rural migration incentives

    Sydney you’ve got to let me know, should they stay or should they go. In 2011, Sydney, the largest city in Australia, asked its residents, should they stay or should they go? Despite regularly rated as one of the world’s top ten liveable cities, the government was offering residents AUD$7,000 (£4,500 or ~one month’s average wage) to move to the country’s rural...

    22 Jul 2019 | Oliver Harman

  • Blog post

    What do surveys and SMS data reveal about Kigali’s unplanned settlements?

    Households living in unplanned areas of Kigali make complex trade-offs in terms of where they work and live. We use face-to-face and SMS surveys to understand these trade-offs as well as general patterns in migration, employment, mobility, housing, and access to infrastructure and services. Building an understanding of these dynamics is key for urban upgrading and more...

    10 Jun 2019 | Anirudh Rajashekar, Dimitri Stoelinga

  • Blog post

    Getting the right institutions in place to run Africa’s cities efficiently

    Over the next 16 years, all of the world’s 10 fastest growing cities are going to be in Africa. If this growth is a process of people voting with their feet, as last year’s winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics Paul Romer once put it, these cities are winning. Yet urbanisation in many developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, is not delivering the...

    22 May 2019 | Astrid Haas, Shahrukh Wani

  • Blog post

    Urban density and the promises of proximity

    As an economist, an end of year tradition is to muse over The Royal Society of Statistics, ‘Statistic of the Year’. In 2018, the singled out stat was: 90.5% - the proportion of plastic waste that has never been recycled. An important statistic, but an area in which the International Growth Centre’s (IGC) ‘Cities that Work’ initiative has limited...

    16 May 2019 | Oliver Harman

  • Blog post

    Improving Tanzania’s power quality: Can data help?

    For many Tanzanians, the sun sets and it’s pitch black – in fact, according to government data at least two-thirds of Tanzanians don’t have access to electricity. For those who do, many experience problems with reliability and quality of service – i.e. power cuts, and fluctuations in power supply that can damage equipment. This affects people’s daily lives and...

    25 Mar 2019 | Ben Garside, Davida Wood

  • Blog post

    From transport to growth corridor: Do communities benefit from the Central Railway Transit Corridor in Tanzania?

    The government of Tanzania has embarked on a journey to revive the railways, through its investment in the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) on the central corridor. The 2,561 km Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line will connect the port of Dar es Salaam to Tanzania's land-locked neighbours (Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and Eastern DR Congo). The project is estimated to cost $14.2...

    12 Mar 2019 | Josaphat Kweka

  • Blog post

    Wage returns for work experience: Development and urbanisation

    Globally, on average, people spend ten years in school but work for 40 years. People learn valuable skills in school and at work. Students who advance on to employment have the opportunity to continue to accumulate human capital and wage increases in relation to their work experience. In developing economies, students face obstacles in accruing such employment...

    22 Feb 2019 | Remi Jedwab

  • Blog post

    Improving asset and debt management in developing cities

    Many developing cities have a large pool of wealth in their public assets, however they lack the inventory and strategic capacities required to untap the potential revenue. Well managed cities are able to harness their assets, ensuring they have predictable streams of finance that can be used to pursue inclusive and sustainable development plans. Strategic management of...

    9 Jan 2019 | Mihaly Kopanyi, Mila Friere

  • Blog post

    Data for decision-making: How spatial data is shaping the African urbanisation story

    Ahead of the 17th Urban Age Conference and the first to be held in Africa, Sebastian Kriticos and Astrid Haas discuss the need for better data to tackle some of Africa’s biggest urbanisation challenges. On a daily basis, city policymakers need to take decisions: where and how to deliver services, what rates to apply to taxes and where to make investments, amongst others....

    26 Nov 2018 | Astrid Haas, Sebastian Kriticos

  • Blog post

    Making room for Africa’s urban billion

    By 2050, more than a billion people will be living in African cities and towns. As more and more of the continent’s population – 60% of whom live in the countryside – move to urban areas, pressures on land can only intensify. How should we make room for this massive urban expansion? How will city structures have to change to accommodate Africa’s urban billion? And...

    22 Nov 2018 | Sebastian Kriticos