Cities will grow by 2 billion residents between 2000 and 2030

Cities account for 70% of global GDP - and as much as 80% of Green House Gas emissions

The developing world will account for 95% of urban growth

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Welcome to the new Urbanization Review website.

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Download the Flagship Report: Planning, Connecting, and Financing Cites-Now

Three step framework: Planning, Connecting, Financing

The Urbanization Review focuses on a three-step framework: Planning, Connecting, and Financing.


PLAN: Charting a course for cities by setting the terms of urbanization, especially policies for urban land markets.


CONNECT: Making a city’s labor markets accessible, to other cities and to other neighborhoods in the city.


FINANCE: Finding sources for large capital outlays needed to provide infrastructure and services as urbanization picks up speed.


CASE STUDIES: Click here to view the case study presentations made during the World Bank's 2012 Urban Sector Day.

The Urbanization Reviews

plan, connect, and finance cities

The growth of cities is driven largely by the economic prosperity that they help create. But today cities are growing at unprecedented and challenging speeds. The World Bank's Urbanization Reviews offer a framework for city leaders to make tough decisions on development in their cities by providing diagnostic tools to identify policy distortions and analyze investment priorities. What must be done to improve living conditions, especially in slums and hazard-prone areas? To create jobs? To expand the coverage and quality of basic services? The Urbanization Reviews help answer these critical questions.


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recent presentations

Presentations delivered at Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, Washington, DC, March 24 - 27, 2014.

key documents

The Framework: Planning, Connecting, and Financing Cities-Now

What City Leaders Need to Know

The Urbanization Review operationalizes the World Bank’s Urban Strategy and provides a policy framework and diagnostic tools for assessing the complexity of the urbanization challenge that countries face during their economic evolution from low to middle incomes.

country reports

Country Studies

A series of prototypes have been piloted under the Urbanization Review, which seek to build a body of knowledge on urbanization challenges and public policy implications in a variety of country settings. Pilots in Colombia, India, Indonesia and Vietnam have already generated considerable traction with counterparts in national planning agencies and line ministries.

  • Vietnam Urbanization Review
    This report is dedicated to understanding the key dimensions and aspects of Vietnam’s urbanization process to identifying trends, opportunities, challenges and core policy priorities. (Also see a short presentation and local online news coverage).
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    Sri Lanka: Connecting People to Prosperity
    This report provides new insights into geographic transformations in Sri Lanka and identifies public policy priorities for connecting people in economically lagging areas to places that are prospering.
  • Indonesia: Rise of Metropolitan Regions
    This report provides a comprehensive assessment of the country’s spatial patterns of urbanization and economic development and identifies key issues, constraints and opportunities for promoting faster and more inclusive growth.
  • Brazil
    Brazil’s cities generate about 90% of GDP and are home to 82% of its population. This Urbanization Review helps policy makers manage planning and connecting across the city system and address key urban challenges such as access to services, housing, and connective infrastructure.
  • flag of china
    This Urbanization Review helps policy makers answer key questions concerning the urbanization process that has accompanied China's dramatic economic transformation by diagnosing the health of China’s urban economy and by highlighting how policy challenges vary across the urban portfolio.
  • Colombia
    This Review examines how Colombia can amplify the gains from urbanization by enhancing coordination, deepening economic connections, and fostering efficiency and innovation in financing. (Available in Spanish.) (Also read the Phase 2 report and publications on Inter-jurisdictional Coordination and Infrastructure Finance).
  • India
    The India Urbanization Review focuses on identifying options for accomodating India's rapid urban expansion, with the goal of nurturing metropolitan economies and connecting per-urban areas.
  • flag of korea
    To extract lessons learned, the Korea Urbanization Review examines how, through coordinated planning and connecting policies, Korea successfully managed its journey from incipient to advanced urbanization. (Also see slides on housing policy).
  • Uganda
    Uganda has started its journey into urbanization and economic development. This report outlines the policy priorities to harness economic and social aims from urbanization.

Upcoming Studies

Building from the experiences and lessons learned of past Urbanization Reviews and guided by the framework developed in the Flagship Report, the World Bank is currently engaging with clients in every region to improve the development outcomes of urbanization by applying the Urbanization Review diagnostics.

  • Turkey
    The Turkey Urbanization Review will focus on options for further strengthening the global competitiveness and environmental sustainability of Turkey's cities (Turkish version). Also read about the outcomes from the recent workshop held in Ankara.
  • Georgia
    This study will document the pace and patterns of the urban and territorial transformation unfolding in Georgia, and examine associated economic, social and spatial implications -- particular options for enhancing rural-urban linkages. (More info coming soon).
  • Other Urbanization Reviews
    Additional Urbanization Reviews are being planned in Senegal and South Africa (Africa); Tunisia, Morocco, and Lebanon (Middle East and North Africa); Mexico (Latin America); and the Philippines (East Asia).

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