The economic case for greening the global recovery

Launched in September 2020, the report by the Coalition for Urban Transitions, supported by The Resilience Shift, highlights the economic case for greening the global recovery through cities to explore seven priority areas for national government investment. These priority investments can yield substantial economic dividends, rapidly create and protect millions of jobs for vulnerable population groups and deliver quick and durable health and environmental benefits for citizens, all whilst contributing to long-term urban resilience.

Cities have been at the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they also offer an opportunity to accelerate the transition to a resilient, equitable and low-carbon future whilst responding to the crisis and its economic consequences. National government leadership is critical for realising the low carbon investments that mayors and local governments are making, or plan to make, within their urban recovery strategies.

This paper analyses seven key areas of investment for national government decision-makers and key urban stakeholders to shape fiscal stimulus packages for a green, resilient and inclusive economic recovery in the aftermath of the global health pandemic.

These areas are:

  • Green construction and retrofits
  • Clean mobility
  • Renewable energy
  • Active transport
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Waste and resources
  • Research and development for clean technologies

Chosen using criteria such as the potential to generate jobs and social, environmental and health co-benefits, investments in these areas are financially sustainable beyond initial stimulus efforts.

The report is co-authored by prominent experts from around the world: Manisha Gulati, Coalition for Urban Transitions, Renilde Becqué, Coalition for Urban Transitions; Nick Godfrey, Coalition for Urban Transitions; Aziza Akhmouch, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); Anton Cartwright, African Centre for Cities; Jason Eis, Vivid Economics; Saleemul Huq, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD); Michael Jacobs, Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, University of Sheffield; Robin King, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and Senior Advisor to the Coalition; Philipp Rode, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science. The paper was funded by The Resilience Shift.


Publication date: 9 September, 2020
Authors: Manisha Gulati, Senior Advisor, Coalition for Urban Transitions Renilde Becqué, Senior Consultant, Coalition for Urban Transitions Nick Godfrey, Director, Coalition for Urban Transitions Aziza Akhmouch, Head of Division, Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Anton Cartwright, Economist, African Centre for Cities Jason Eis, Executive Director, Vivid Economics Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) Michael Jacobs, Professorial Fellow, Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, University of Sheffield Robin King, Director of Knowledge Capture and Collaboration, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and Senior Advisor to the Coalition Philipp Rode, Executive Director, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science