The Productive Dimension Session - The EUKN-OECD Week of National Urban Policies

30 June, 2021


In this thematic session, representatives from Germany, Poland and Czechia presented how their NUPs are trying to stimulate more productive cities, and how the just and productive dimensions of citymaking overlap.

  • How can NUPs support the transition towards greener economies and enable cities to act in the swiftest way possible?
  • What could be the best NUP setup in this respect?
  • How can NUPs support both productivity and inclusion in cities?
  • How can the NUP framework enhance local governments’ engagement to foster balanced territorial development?
  • How can NUPs ensure that economic development will happen in the interest of the inhabitants, to avoid phenomena such as gentrification to emerge?

Key takeaways:

1. Urban economies and areas must diversify (cease to be mono-functional): In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, we have learnt that we need more economic diversity, mixed-use developments and an end to rigid zoning in order to make our urban economies more resilient.

2. Regulation can stifle innovation: again, the crisis has taught us the importance of urban experimentation and creativity to thriving urban centres. We should not lose these innovative approaches now.

3. Never waste a good crisis: national ministries in charge of urban matters can use the opportunities that COVID-19 presented to diversify local economies and make them more resilient.

4. Prioritising access to urban spaces (for work, leisure and living) is key: thus, affordability should be a top policy within NUPs.

5. Creative and cultural industries are key drivers of the urban economy: their value should be placed front and centre.

6. Urban economic development should be aligned with sustainability goals.

7. Digitalisation can improve the opportunities of smaller (peri-urban and rural) towns via reliable IT infrastructure and public transport to bigger cities.

8. Funding NUPs is a challenge in many countries: local revenue resilience and diversification is vital. Policies need the right, long-term finance to be properly implemented. Improving local revenue capture from non-traditional sources, for example public-private partnerships and crowdfunding, can be pivotal here.

Read more about the EUKN-OECD Week of National Urban Policies here