Nairobi, 9 April 2018 – A new information portal on municipal finance has been published by UN-Habitat [ ] providing experts’ in-depth analyses, presentations and training materials on key issues related to municipal finance.

“Finance for City Leaders Handbook,” highlights the importance of municipal finance for implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), especially SDG11 – to make cities and communities safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable.

The realization of sustainable urbanization goes hand in hand with a need for infrastructure investment that many cities around the world are hampered to meet due to a lack of financial capacity. In this regard, the biggest challenge that cities face, is the increasing gap between availability of financial resources and municipal expenditure needs. This trend is exacerbated by a rapid population growth that puts more pressure on urban authorities to deliver services and infrastructure.

Hence, finding ways to increase the financial capacity and financing instruments of cities around the world appears as a critical issue that needs to be addressed to achieve these global agendas. In this sense, increasing own-source revenues is key to improve cities’ capacity to meet the increasing demand for services. Currently, most cities depend largely on central transfers or revenue from property taxation and other service fee charges, while more lucrative sources of revenue are collected by the central government.

Intended as a practitioners’ handbook, “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.

The information is presented in an interactive way serving urban authorities and practitioners as a training tool for strengthening municipal finance. Experts’ in-depth readings are combined with more practical training materials such as presentations and guidelines that can be easily used for trainings and workshops. This can facilitate the mainstreaming of municipal finance into capacity building exercises at municipal level.

Considering that capacity building is key to address the challenges that municipalities face, this is a strategic tool for many cities around the world that aim to implement the global agendas for sustainable urbanization.