• Cover, Table of Contents, and Introduction   (18 pages, 1.2 MB PDF)
    1. Read/download Full LED Guide (148 pages, 10.4 MB PDF)

      This publication is also available in French 


      The Cities Alliance has released a new publication, Understanding Your Local Economy: A Resource Guide for Cities, that addresses the challenges of analysing local economic conditions and a city’s comparative and competitive advantages. Funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Guide presents practical approaches to conducting citywide and regionwide economic and competitive assessments. It includes advice on how to choose local economic development (LED) indicators and tools that can assess a local economy’s competitiveness.

      The role of local authorities in developing and delivering sound LED strategies, often as part of city development and slum upgrading strategies, is crucial. Cities can better perform, and provide an environment conducive to employment and productivity, through strategies that are attuned to local economic circumstances. To design efficient city strategies, it is essential to understand a city's economic base and its constraints, as well as its competitive advantage.
      Drawing on 15 case studies, and the methods and experiences of Cities Alliance members and partners, this publication offers practical guidance to the basic components of local economic assessments and how to undertake them. It should promote the development of better informed city strategies, and help improve the economic performance of cities.

      This Guide was made possible through the insights of 15 cities that shared the experiences of analysing their economies to design effective development strategies. Cities Alliance members the World Bank, UN-HABITAT, and the United States Agency for International Development also contributed to this publication.