With increasing population and expanding demand for urban infrastructure services, the capacities of local governments in many developing and newly industrialized countries are overburdened. Adequate infrastructure is not only necessary for increasing productivity but also raising the general quality of living.
Given the primacy of municipal finances and the importance of public service delivery for cities to become engines of economic growth, this book answers two questions: Does finance, or more specifically low expenditure, explain the state of poor service delivery? If the answer to the first question is yes, how can urban local bodies have access to greater resources to enable them to improve their public delivery? Using case studies of four cities-Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Jaipur, and Bangalore-that are representative of various regions in the country, this book examines the relationship between spending and services. More specifically, it examines the role of land as a revenue-generating source in India’s cities.