More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities. Cities are seen as “engines of economic growth” by many observers. Yet the economic and employment growth trajectories of cities remain uncertain. Many cities struggle to generate economic growth and sufficient jobs for growing populations. The inability of cities to generate enough employment opportunities has contributed to widespread informality. Half of the global urban workforce is informally employed, more so in the global South (ILO 2018). In all cities, high and increasing inequality – in terms of incomes, wealth and opportunities – threatens economic growth and human development.


Chen, Martha, Jenna Harvey, Caroline Wanjiku Kihato, and Caroline Skinner. "Inclusive Public Spaces for Informal Livelihoods: A Discussion Paper for Urban Planners and Policy Makers." Cities Alliance and WIEGO, 2018.