As urban areas continue to experience rapid population growth, government attitudes around the world are changing from the desire to curb rural-to-urban migration, to accepting urbanisation as an inevitable and even desirable process. Cities are now seen as the engines of national development, job opportunities and a higher quality of life. UN-HABITAT’s Urban Economy and Finance Branch under the Monitoring and Research Division provides an analytical focus on the urban economy, its relationship with the national and global economy. It runs four special programmes.
The Municipal Finance Programme works with local authorities in the delivery of services to growing urban populations.
The Urban-Rural Linkages Programme, focuses on strengthening balanced development of rural and urban areas and the promotion of local economic development, by raising the awareness and enhancing the capacity of central and local government policy makers with respect to rural-urban development links.
The Housing Finance Programme supports the development of housing finance mechanisms for low-income households in developing countries.
The Urban Economic Development and Employment Programme examines of the impact of macro-economic factors on urban development and the role of the informal sector in urban economic development, employment generation and income enhancement.