by: World Bank
While the economies of Europe and Central Asia (ECA) have spiraled
downward over the past decade, they have made some progress in other
spheres. Civil liberties and democracy are taking root in many of the
ECA countries, and new opportunities are being created and exploited as
the region opens to the global economy. For most ECA countries,
however, the transition process remains fragile.
The urban areas have been hit hardest. The closing of state
industries and excessive urbanization have left cities impoverished in
many of the former socialist countries. This phenomenon contrasts
sharply with developing countries where poverty predominates in the
rural areas. With poverty reduction as the Bank's main mission,
focus on urban poverty in transition economies is imperative. From
Commissars to Mayors examines the effects of the past socialist
policies on the way the cities in transition economies function today.
It considers the principal concerns for city management and proposes
action plans to achieve a more equitable, sustainable economic
environment. It also identifies priorities and strategies for the
region and for the World Bank.
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