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New 'Urban Innovation and Investment' report released

1st December 2014

The Future Cities Catapult has published Urban Innovation and Investment, a new report explaining for the first time how International Financial Institutions (IFIs) are responding to the rapid rise in urbanisation and how they will help us build the cities of the future.

Based on case studies of 13 IFIs, combined with interviews with 21 representatives at 11 of the institutions, the report focuses on how the agenda for urban investment and innovation is evolving. It identifies that IFIs already contribute $30 billion of lending directly to urban projects each year and that 60 percent of total IFI lending has an impact on cities.

It also reveals that IFIs understand that investment alone is not enough, and that knowledge sharing, institution building, and wider governance support is vital for our urban environments.  These organisations explain that in the coming years they hope to supply cities not just with financing but knowledge, technical assistance and capacity building for urban strategy and projects, too.

The report describes how IFIs intend to support cities in this way in the future, encouraging more effective governance in cities, supporting the decentralisation of city finance, stimulating private-sector involvement in development projects and increasing citizen engagement.

Peter Madden, Chief Executive of the Future Cities Catapult, said:

“Institutions clearly play a vital role in shaping urban development in the future, and we’re keen to work with them in order to realise their ambitions. By encouraging financial organisations, business, academia and cities to work together, we can overcome the barriers that stand in the way of making our urban environments safer, cleaner, more efficient and easier to use.”

Greg Clark, Founder of The Business of Cities Ltd who were commissioned to write the report, said:

“Public Development Banks and IFIs are major providers of patient capital that have realised the potential of cites to solve development problems. They have started to innovate on urban solutions. If they can share their lessons more systematically they can lead the private and public financial system towards our shared city futures.”

Download the executive summary, the full report or detailed case studies from eight of the financial institutions studied.

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