Growing African cities: economic principles for functional cities Tony Venables Dept of Economics, University of Oxford Africa 1/3 of way through its urbanisation 500 mn Africans will enter cities in the next 30 years 350k per week Introduction Cities contain three types of structures: Commercial & industrial Jobs and income generation Residential
Well-being of households Want to be central and to co-locate Land becomes the scarce factor Public -- infrastructure Public goods and services necessary for the city to function This talk: Transport to relax the land constraint. How do these forces play out in successful cities? How do you get there?
Successful cities: employment density 3 Successful cities: employment density Features Clustering in central business district Sub-centres: Second level spikes of employment Driven by? Agglomeration forces: Double scale increases productivity 3 7% Business links: forward and backwards Intensity of competition Thick labour markets specialised skills, matching Knowledge spillovers What sectors are most subject to these forces? Services, innovation, creative & media sectors Finance: London, New York
R&D: silicon valley Hollywood Modern manufacturing: e.g. Garments: - Dhaka Engineering, automotive Sectors in developing economies? Successful cities: residential density 5 Successful cities: residential density. Broadly monocentric shape
Efficient use of land: Land occupied by those with highest willingness to pay Land can be developed investment in structures Market system achieves this: Rent gradient from centre to edge monocentric structure. High density near centre: NB: density can be achieved two ways Height / low-rise and crowding: As cities develop go from crowding to height (London: Old Nichol, St Giles Rookery, LSE) Level of density depends on transport, land availability Urban form: residential density 7 Urban form: residential density with non-market outcomes
Johannesburg Moscow Brasilia 8 Successful cities: Infrastructure Infrastructure & public finance High levels of infrastructure provision: Public goods:
Transport infrastructure Public services: Waste collection/ Security/ Education/ Health Utilities: Water/ Sanitation / Power Urban public finance: Much of productivity benefit of cities accrues to landlords land value uplift Strong case for land tax Ethical land value uplift created by city as a whole not particular individual
Relatively easy to administer if land records exist Economic efficiency lump-sum. Sufficient to cover (in present value) all urban public goods. (Henry George theorem). How to get there: Residential Challenge: - Provision of formal mass housing - In a way that delivers density. Is it technically feasible at low income levels and what form does it take? How to attract private investment? How to get there: affordable provision? London (1870) Mumbai
New York (1900) How to get there: affordable provision? Hong Kong (1960) South Africa Sao Paolo Dar es Salaam How to get there: attracting private investment in housing Need to get private investment but frequent obstacles: Lack of clarity (and enforceability) of property rights Inappropriate regulation Dar es Salaam, 92% of properties break plot size regulations
Lack of financial innovation Need for mortgage finance: long-term, low initial payments High cost building/ construction sectors Skills shortages: monopoly power. Provision of local public goods: sites & services: Increasing returns in public good & utilities provision: City-wide: Local: Street layout/ sanitation/ water/ power Public or private provision? Large developers How to get there: jobs, commerce and industry Challenge: How to create urban jobs and raise productivity? The business environment John Sutton
The urban trade-off: Cities are high cost but offer high productivity High cost: commuting, congestion, land values High productivity: agglomeration and clustering How to manage this trade-off? Illuminate a simple message with very simple model: Labour demand from
Non-tradables: diminishing returns to expanding the sector (price falls) Tradables: increasing returns agglomeration and fixed world price Labour supply from Immigration at fixed real wage PLUS urban costs that increase with city size. How to get there: jobs, commerce and industry Labour demand Non-tradables price falls wage Tradables productivity increases Labour supply, high cost city
Labour supply: outside wage w0 + urban costs (commuting, rent etc) ET wT Outcomes: EN: city with high costs and/or income from resources/ hinterland stuck with low real wages, high nominal wages, unable to attract tradable production. ET: Low cost city: both tradable and non-tradable sectors; urban costs offset by high productivity Multiple equilibria and low level trap,
EL: wN Labour supply, low cost city EN EL Labour demand (= value productivity) w0 CBD Population (=density x area)
How to get there: infrastructure, density and urban costs Attracting tradable activities: Urban costs lower if: Good infrastructure: Commuting, congestion, business costs Efficient land use: Cost-effective and high density residential development Infrastructure plays multiple roles
Direct user benefits Enables scale and density: Enlarges labour pool Coordinates expectations: Private investment depends on expectations about growth of particular places. Cannot contract on this.
Urban plans.. Not credible? Infrastructure as commitment Brings down urban costs indirectly, as enables efficient land use and the investments necessary for high density. Concluding Cities are potentially drivers of growth and job creation But must work well-enough to attract investment & create jobs Need to see the city as a whole: Decent (and dense) housing is valuable for liveability and for attracting investment. City can be self-financing: land value taxation
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