Finance for City Leaders Handbook

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Cities are a driving force of the 21st century. Through bringing large numbers of people into close proximity, they spark economic growth, foster innovation, and generate prosperity. But they face the pressing challenges of creating a livable environment for their residents, enabling economic activity that benefits all citizens, and fostering urban development that is environmentally sustainable, equitable, and resilient to disruptive forces. Finance for City Leaders presents an up-to-date, comprehensive, and in-depth analysis of the challenges posed by rapid urbanization and the various financing tools municipalities have at their disposal. By providing city leaders with a wide array of financing solutions that emphasize sustainability, inclusion, and financial autonomy, this publication contributes to the growing conversation on how cities can look inward to finance major capital expenditures, infrastructure maintenance and operation, and public services.



Principles of municipal finance: Introduction

The world’s population is becoming increasingly urbanized, with estimates suggesting that by 2050, two-thirds of humanity will live in cities and towns. This shift will require governmental reforms—particularly on the part of local governments, which will be responsible for managing many of the socioeconomic consequences of large-scale urbanization. The scope and complexity of this transformation precludes a fully accurate prediction of the changes it will require of a particular local government. Nonetheless, by comparing experiences and discussing strategies, it is possible to establish principles that can serve as general guides for reform. It is crucial that this reform process remain grounded in formulating and implementing policy changes that benefit citizens.


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