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Showing posts from 2012

Financing Green Urban Infrastructure

Cities play a critical role in planning and investing in urban infrastructure. In many cases, local governments have authority over the selection of infrastructure projects made at the municipal level. Therefore, they exercise influence over the nature of infrastructure renewal and expansion, and have the ability to promote greener and more sustainable urban centres.

Their leadership role extends to the kinds of investment mechanism selected to finance, for example, improvements in the transportation, building, waste and water and, to a lesser extent, energy sector. Because cities have revenue sources that are tied to many aspects of these sectors, their design can stimulate or dissuade the development of greener and more sustainable cities.

Click to view report (pdf)

The greening of municipal financial instruments, such as congestion charges, variable parking fees, toll lanes and split-rate property taxes, is an important first step toward achieving greener urban infras…

Cities and Climate Change Contacts

La Federación Latinoamericana de Ciudades, Municipios y Asociaciones de Gobiernos Locales, FLACMA es la representación regional de la organización mundial  de Ciudades  y Gobiernos Locales Unidos, CGLU.

Cumbre sobre Liderazgo de los Gobiernos Locales en el Cambio Climático
Hosted by the  Local Government Denmark (LGDK) which is the interest group and member authority of Danish municipalities.

Local Government Climate Change Leadership Summit
Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Summit sent a united message on the role of municipalities and regions throughout the world in combating climate change. The organizer – Local Government Denmark – would like to thank co-organisers, speakers, exhibitors and not least the more than 700 participants for all the contributions that resulted in a successful Summit.

The Local Governments for Sustainability
Climate Roadmap

Economic Development

Economic development is an elusive topic because it embodies various aspects of life. This essay will try to define the term, distinguish it from economic growth, and describe related theories and tools. Finally this essay will provide policy suggestions for specific target business and certain beneficiaries of South Florida’s low-income areas. Economic growth is centered on the short-term expansion of the local economy by creating jobs, adding additional business, and increasing the household median income (or GNP at the country level). In general, growth models are concerned with stimulating business cycles, attracting new business and creating employment. Tools used evaluate the industrial mix, the export industries and the rate of growth in a particular locality (Malizia & Feser, 2000, pg. 244). “Growth typically leads to more employment and aggregate income, a larger tax base, and higher property values,” (Malizia & Feser, 2000, pg. 248). Therefore, the role of instituti…

Miami-Dade County Government

Briefing Paper describing the basic structure of Miami-Dade County Gov.

On January 26, 2007, Miami-Dade County implemented the Home Rule Amendment and Charter, allowing the County to be managed by a Strong Mayor.This amendment, voted by the people of the County, radically revolutionized the potential for the Mayor’s role in advocating public policies for the regional area. This amendment passed changed 50 years of Council dominated management.This essay will attempt to explain how the mayor, commissioners, and the county manager are chosen and what powers and responsibilities they have in the new form of government. It is first noteworthy to mention, cities are not mentioned in the US Constitution. (Revell’s notes) Rather their autonomy and management is appropriated at the State level. Thus fulfilling the constitutional dreams of our Federalist fathers like Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay. The United States is just that, a unification of autonomist states that share th…

Effective Public Service Delivery in Latin America: Can it be done at the Local Level?

Local governments in Latin America are perceived to have low levels of autonomy, fiscal capacity and human resources, which apparently makes it difficult for them to deliver public services effectively and efficiently (Campbell 2003, Tulchin and Selee 2004). 

Yet increase devolution of authority has increased their necessity to effectively deliver public services. Countries in the region started to decentralize by entrusting state functions, like implementing social policies, managing local budgets and contracting out public services, to local governments in the early 1980s (Montero and Samuels 2004). 

This was coupled with various democratization movements throughout the same period, local elections became prevalent (Gibson 2004, Tulchin and Selee 2004). Increasingly, local governments have become a unit of analysis for research in the region, just as many academics have separated the decentralization movement into political, administrative and fiscal reforms (Falleti 2005, Tulchin a…

Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali

Successful Citizen Security Initiatives in Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali,
Colombia:  Are They Sustainable and Replicable?

Thursday, November 29, 2012
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sixth Floor Board Room
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.

Improvements in citizen security in Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali, Colombia have been widely celebrated and these cities have become models of “best practices” for combating crime and violence in urban areas worldwide.  What explains these success stories and why have there been some setbacks?  A distinguished group of analysts and practitioners will identify the key policy initiatives undertaken at the municipal and national level in order to assess the sustainability of security gains and whether they are replicable in other settings.

9:00-9:15 a.m.:  Introductory Remarks                                     
          Cynthia J. Arnson, Director, Latin American Program

9:15 – 11:00 a.m.: Panel I – W…

Latin American Tax Reserach Centers

Revenue Statistics in Latin Americaaims to provide internationally comparable data on tax levels and tax structures for a selection of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries. Using the same methodology as the OECD Revenue Statistics database, this publication presents cross-country comparisons between LAC economies, and, between LAC and OECD economies. This work is part of the OECD LAC Fiscal Initiative, which aims to improve taxation and public expenditure policies to support stronger economic growth and fairer income distribution. This publication has been financially supported by the Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID) and the Fundación Internacional para Iberoamérica de Administración y Políticas Públicas (FIIAPP). For more information on Revenue Statistics in Latin America and the LAC Fiscal Initiative please consult and

The Inter-American Centr…

The Belly of an Architecture

November 6, 2012, 7:33 am The Belly of an Architecture By CLARISSA SEBAG-MONTEFIORE BEIJING - Late last month, I attended the opening of the British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid's latest work, the Galaxy Soho. A gargantuan structure of white curved orbs connected by sky-bridges, it towered over the squat, Soviet-style buildings nearby - like a spaceship just landed in downtown Beijing.

Thousands of people had turned up to see the new structure unveiled. They swarmed three floors of indoor balconies, straining to catch a glimpse of Hadid giving a talk in an inner courtyard below. Despite the crush, the atmosphere was giddy.

The people of Beijing seem excited about how their city is being shaped. And so they should be. Architecture in China today is bold and unapologetic.

But it embodies China's rapid growth in less positive ways, too. Although the industry is buoyant these days, its long-term benefits for the people who live here are questionable. Too often, form trum…

Mars and taxes

Mars and taxes

By Matt Miller, Published: August 8

“The rover ushers in a new era of exploration that could turn up evidence that the Red Planet once had the necessary ingredients for life — or might even still harbor life today.” — the New York Times, Aug. 6.

(A subterranean classroom on Mars. Life forms appear humanoid except for much larger brains. All wear white garments that look like silk nightgowns. Students gab before their professor shows up).

Student 1: This one seems bigger.

Student 2: Pretty fancy landing.

Student 3: But it still doesn’t know we’re here, right.

S1: It scoops soil. It can’t detect underground cities. They’re still pretty primitive . . .
(Snickers and nods all around. Professor enters.)

P: All right, gentlemartians. Enough about the rover. Welcome to Advanced Topics in Earthling Political Economy. If that’s not the seminar you signed up for, now would be a good time to leave. Has everyone done the reading for our first class?

S1: Yes, mentor, but something …

USG and Urbanization....

Urbanization, City Planning, Global Health and Economic Development: How these Policies Affect Local Governments
by Heidi Smith

The new office of Special Representative of Inter-governmental Affairs at the US State Department, which reports directly to Secretary Clinton, works to engage State and Local leaders across the globe as they are critical actors in the governance processes. Work done today, focusing on management and technical roles for local governments, is key to successful implication of international public policy and also helps lead to stronger national governments and economies. Simply put, our goal is to see more efficient and effective local governments.

Truthful community discussions about city priorities and gentrification will lead to more promising economic development. Clear understanding and knowing of what cities do and how they are run, may help create healthy relationships between different levels of government. The US applauds Latin America in its work …

A Call for Wilsonian Reform in Latin America

A Call for Wilsonian Reform in Latin America: Public administration as a reference for implementation of the Summit of the Americas agreements

ABSTRACT This paper is a theoretical and historical view of the field of American public administration. It describes how researchers have evaluated the governmental structures; sought after the implementation of efficient and equitable public policies; and inquired about the most effective political-administrative dichotomy. The study of Public Administration is the search for the best way to run public institutions. As an applied political science, this paper will call into question the promotion of democratic practices and ask: Who in Latin America is studying public administration?

Why does the United Sates have a strong democratic government? Is it that the US has a stronger constitution than Latin American governments? Maybe in the US the political parties are less corrupt? Or does the US government have fewer predispositions ab…

Pragmatic Mayors in America

Mayors at the convention Urban nation Democrats give cities their due respect

Sep 8th 2012 | CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA | from the print edition

At last, a good Castro ONE, the grandson of an immigrant maid, delivered a moving keynote address centred on upward mobility, opportunity and education. Another praised the “black and white families [who] met and decided together to break down the barriers that had so long divided their children.”

A third recalled his widowed mother’s struggles to run an inner-city pharmacy. And a fourth introduced his party’s platform, which, he said, “is not about partisanship but pragmatism”. These four mayors—respectively Julián Castro of San Antonio, Anthony Foxx of Charlotte, R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis and Cory Booker of Newark—all spoke on the opening night of the Democratic convention. So did Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, now mayor of Chicago.

Three more mayors spoke the next night, including Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, w…

A comment on Napoles, World Urban Forum WUF 2012

URBAN WONK In Aiding Struggling Megacities, Can Any Conference Solve These Problems? ANTHONY FLINT9:00 AM ETCOMMENTS Reuters NAPLES, Italy – At the beginning of the World Urban Forum VI here last week, a conga line of sorts wound its way past the exhibits, from the solar-powered refugee shelter to the prototype gondola used as an alternate transport system in some favelas in South America. A large group, some in traditional African dress, chanted "Africa’s future is your future!" and "Toilets for all!" The boisterous invocation left no room for subtlety. Cities in sub-Saharan Africa are expecting an influx of tens of millions of poor rural migrants in the years ahead, flooding into already precarious conditions in sprawling megacities like Lagos. Overall, Africa will account for about half the total increase of urban population in the developing world, from 2 billion to 4 billion, over the next 30 years. Just picture these four billion people, living in cities …

Sub national Green Financing

Content Alert: The Avenue Blog
Banking on the States for Clean Energy Innovation
Posted: 12 Sep 2012 08:00 AM PDT

With Washington mired in unproductive argument this fall, it’s a great time to look elsewhere in America for smart, constructive problem-solving. Specifically, it’s a great time--in the realm of energy policy--to look at what’s going on in U.S. states, many of which have been at the forefront of implementing innovative clean energy solutions. Which is why my group at the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings (working with the team at Ken’s Coalition for Green Capital) just posted a new brief this morning on the growing interest among multiple states in state-level clean energy finance banking—a new innovation in U.S. energy finance and sub-national pragmatism.

Written by Reed Hundt of the coalition, Devashree Saha, and ourselves, the new brief (part of our Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation) describes Connecticut’s path-breaking design …



enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to...


something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...


a youth she's content to leave behind....


a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to
retelling it in her old age. ...


a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...


one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...


a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...


eight matching plates, wine glasses with ste ms, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her

guests feel honored...


a feeling of control over her destiny.


how to f…

13 lineas para vivir

1. Te quiero no por quien eres, sino....... por quien soy cuando estoy contigo.
2 Ninguna persona merece tus lágrimas, y quien se  las merezca no te hará llorar.
3. Solo porque alguien no te ame como tú quieres, no significa que no te ame con todo su ser.
4. Un verdadero amigo es quien te toma de la mano y te toca el corazón.
5. La peor forma de extrañar a alguien es estar  sentado a su lado y saber que nunca lo podrás tener.
 6. Nunca dejes de sonreír, ni siquiera cuando estés triste, porque nunca sabes quien se puede enamorar de tu sonrisa.
7. Puedes ser solamente una persona para el mundo, pero para una persona tú eres el mundo.
8. No pases el tiempo con alguien que no esté dispuesto a pasarlo contigo..
9. Quizá Dios quiera que conozcas mucha gente equivocada antes de que conozcas a la persona adecuada, para que cuando al fin la conozcas sepas estar agradecido.
10. No llores porque ya se terminó, sonríe porq…