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    Cleveland and the World Bank Competitive Cities Program

    The World Bank's Competitive Cities Program: This is a multi-year research program that will result in a major report, and along the way a set of papers, including case-studies, data analysis, etc. 

    The purpose of the program is to provide practical knowledge to senior officials and Mayors in developing cities globally, to help them create and implement policies for sustained and inclusive economic growth in their cities.

    The program is advised by a "Practitioners' Advisory Panel", comprised of senior officials who have been part of notable successes in turning around or accelerating a city's growth, especially in the face of deep challenges.

    The panel is under formation, with an intended 3-4 other officials on this panel, from 3-4 cities/countries (such as South Africa, Malaysia and India). The panel will primarily be drawn upon virtually, with requests for responses and reviews as documents are produced. 

    There will however be reviews at key milestones, roughly semi-annually, which will involve a physical and/or virtual meeting. The first of these will potentially occur in mid-October.

    Johannesburg Partnership: Johannesburg is the largest economic hub in Africa, and the center of South Africa's economy. It is dealing with legacies of spatial and economic segregation, which have led to acute challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) recognizes the need to increase address spatial inequality and increase competitive local production as a basis for exports, jobs, and sustainable growth, to tackle these challenges. 

    To pursue this, the City hopes to draw on the experiences and learning of other cities that have faced and addressed similar challenges (facilitated by the World Bank but led and molded by CoJ and partner cities themselves). It intends to do so on two of its priorities: the "Green Economy", and spatial development, i.e., combining transport and other investments to generate economic activities and inclusion in low-income areas.

    The purpose of the partnership with Cleveland is to help the City of Johannesburg understand how Cleveland was able to address deep and intertwined spatial segregation and economic inequality, via spatial development, planning, and judicious use of incentives. 

    The City's group of partners is also under formation. As well as Cleveland, it includes, to date, partners in Austin, Texas, a partnership with Shanghai, China, and affiliates of research institutes in the US and Middle East. Other partners are under discussion in Europe and Asia. 

    Once the group is full formed, the partners will meet approximately once per quarter by video conference. The aim is also to have physical visits, from partnerships to Jo'burg or vice versa, roughly once a year. 

    The knowledge gained from the partnerships will inform ongoing policy discussions and implementation, and as such will produce reports and documents on an ongoing basis, albeit principally internal ones.