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About the Program

Sustainable Rural and Urban Development


The research program on rural development reflects key operational areas of the World Bank: agricultural development in Africa, community-driven development, diversification of nonfarm rural income, land policy, rural microcredit, rural infrastructure, and water resources management.

  • The climate change research program investigates impacts and potential responses at the local, regional, and global scales.
  • Urban research examines linkages between energy consumption, and pollution and carbon emissions in large cities.
  • Rural and regional research evaluates adaptation policies in agriculture (in Africa and Latin America), possible scenarios for expanding renewable electricity supply in underserviced areas in Africa, as well as potential adaptation options for water allocation treaties in international river basins.
  • Global work focuses on flexible coordination mechanisms among countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve energy efficiency in transportation systems.
  • Research on sustainable energy production includes tradeoffs among nonrenewable and renewable resources and the implications of biofuel production on environmental pollution and global food supply.
  • Planned environment research deals with indoor pollution, public disclosure policies on environmental performance, and the health effects of pesticides.
  • The infrastructure and urbanization research program highlights spatial linkages. It focuses on the role of externalities (such as agglomeration effects), public infrastructure investment, and urban management in addressing issues of lagging economic growth and urban poverty. Results from this research program have been center stage in the 2009 World Development Report entitled "Reshaping Economic Geography."

Last updated: 2009-05-27

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