Skip to main content

page search

Library The Great Recession and the Future of Cities

The Great Recession and the Future of Cities

The Great Recession and the Future of Cities

Resource information

Date of publication
August 2014
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID

This paper describes the serious fiscal
crisis faced by cities around the world following the Great
Recession of 2008. Five years later, the after-effects of
this major crisis continue to be felt and limit economic
opportunities in cities. Section 1 summarizes how the crisis
was triggered and how it unfolded in the US, then spread to
the rest of world -- highlighting the links between
financial sector and housing sector. Section 2 discusses the
impact of the crisis on urban revenue and expenditure, and
the stimulus programs and recovery plans devised as a short
term response by cities around the world. Section 3 then
discusses longer term strategies to ensure the financial,
social and environmental sustainability of cities. The
authors make the point -- and back up our assertions with
specific examples -- that urban decision-makers must take a
long view and find ways to create opportunities for their
citizens, making sure that their decisions are financially
sustainable in the long term. Today's decisions should
not lock cities out of options tomorrow, and cities must be
managed with flexibility so as to adapt to unforeseen new
circumstances. The authors also argue that, while there has
been a lot of talk about "smart cities" and new
technologies among urban specialists and urban planners, it
is ultimately the focus on basic economics (sustainable
financing, providing good services to consumers and
incentives for providers), good governance and good
institutions that will create sustainable, dynamic and
livable cities.

Share on RLBI navigator

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

Dethier, Jean-Jacques
Morrill, Curtis

Data Provider