Getting Cities Right: William Cobbett featured in Handshake

In an interview with the IFC's quarterly journal Handshake, Cobbett reflects on the Cities Alliance’s experiences - and successes

The current edition of IFC’s quarterly journal Handshake is particularly relevant to the work of the Cities Alliance as it focuses on how public PPPs help cities improve their infrastructure in ways that would be impossible without private participation, making urban areas more efficient and raising living standards.

Cities Alliance Manager William Cobbett has the ‘last word’ in Handshake. In an article titled Cities as Development Partners, Cobbett reflects on the Cities Alliance’s experiences - and successes. He shares some ideas for making cities efficient, safe, environmentally and economically sustainable. Here’s Cobbett’s list of the ten “most promising ways forward” for policymakers:

  1. Urgently improve the policy response
  2. Pay far more attention to small and medium cities 
  3. Reject the urban-rural dichotomy 
  4. Focus on systems of cities 
  5. Increase cities’ autonomy and accountability
  6. Adopt a whole city, long-term perspective
  7. Recognise the permanence, and citizenship of the urban poor
  8. Unlock urban land markets
  9. Focus on women as development partners
  10. Engage the private sector as partner

Cobbett emphasizes that due to rapidly expanding population in developing country cities, policymakers have a “rapidly diminishing window of opportunity to allow their responses to catch up with the facts of rapid urbanization.” To read the full article, check out Handshake.