Urban Economy and Finance Branch (UEFB)

Cities are the main creators of economic wealth, generating over 70 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Most industries and businesses are in or within immediate vicinity of urban areas, providing city residents with jobs. Since most employment opportunities are located within urban areas, cities attract large parts of a country’s job seeking population. This is especially true in developing countries where an increasing share of economic activities takes place in cities, and the differential between urban and rural wages is growing. Despite the economic importance of cities, city governments often lack the financial means to provide adequate public services to accommodate a growing urban population. As the gap between expenditure needs and generated revenue increases, cities struggle to create the necessary conditions for inclusive, sustainable, safe, and innovative and urban areas.

To counter the impacts of rapid urbanization, incomplete fiscal decentralization, and uncoordinated urban expansion, the UEFB works on three key clusters: Municipal Finance, Local Economic Development and Youth Empowerment.

Municipal Finance

UEFB assists local authorities in building their capacity for more efficient generation of revenue from existing local sources, and in developing necessary institutional and legal reforms for implementation of innovative land-based revenue-generating tools.

Local Economic Development

UEFB assists urban authorities in the design of local economic development strategies, provides technical tools and advisory services on spatial economic analysis, and promotes innovative policies and strategies for improving urban productivity, including the informal economy.

Youth Empowerment

Through the Youth Empowerment Programme, UEFB supports partners to provide urban youth, particularly those living in informal settlements and post-conflict countries, with opportunities for healthy and productive livelihoods by developing scalable best practices and cutting-edge research and policy for all levels of government.

Head of Branch: Marco Kamiya [ marco.kamiya@un.org]

Sub-units:

› Read more about our work at UEFB.
› Read more about urban economy issues.