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Integrated Transport Development Experience in Global City Clusters Roundtable

Summary and Conclusions

Connectivity and City Clusters

Roundtable Report, 29 October 2018

Connectivity and City Clusters

This report presents international experience and lessons learned from integrated transport development in large-scale urban regions and city clusters. It serves as an input to discussions around city cluster development in China and other emerging economies. First, it assesses how regional urbanisation delivers socio-economic benefits via both agglomeration and network externalities. It then examines differences in how these benefits are delivered in single versus clustered city networks. The role of governance structures and how they might best be adapted to ensure positive outcomes is also discussed. Finally, the report addresses the potential for reforming local government financing mechanisms in China in order to guide urban growth in a sustainable manner.

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Chairs Summary from Zhi LIU

Welcome from Honorary President ZHANG Baosheng

Welcome from Vice President ZHANG Xiaojie

José Viegas Welcome

Increasing urban concentration and the development of city clusters will pose formidable challenges regarding governance, financing of infrastructure and the delivery of satisfactory life conditions. These challenges will be particularly acute in the realm of urban transport. Investments in improved access and better quality transport services can greatly improve economic and social conditions for city dwellers but how these investments are linked to overall agglomeration benefits is not always straightforward and is oftentimes highly context-dependent. One complicating factor in assessing the links between transport investments and wider economic and social benefits is that urban regions spanning several jurisdictions, rather than individual cities, are emerging as the most relevant spatial scale for measuring the economic productivity effects of transport investments. 

This Roundtable investigated international experience and lessons learned from integrated transport development in large-scale urban regions and city clusters and discussed how these may be relevant, or not, to the Chinese and other emerging economy contexts. In particular, it addressed whether there are limits to the scaling-up of these lessons since plans for urban development in China are unprecedented in terms of size and complexity.