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OECD Territorial Review of the GCR (2011)

The OECD Territorial Review of the Gauteng City Region involved a two year research and consultation process, starting in late 2009. It concluded at the end of 2011 with the publishing of a comprehensive report on the challenges and opportunities facing the city-region in comparative perspective with 90 other metropolitan regions across the world. The Review was formally launched by the Gauteng Provincial Government at a well-attended launch in Sandton on 30 November 2011.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international association of developed nations, with headquarters based in Paris, France. It provides a forum where the governments of 30 developed world democracies work together to address common economic, social and environmental challenges.

The OECD is known as a premium statistical agency, publishing comparable statistics on a wide array of subjects, including over 200 books each year in economics and public policy. It applies this wealth of information to help governments foster prosperity and fight poverty through economic growth and financial stability. It also helps ensure the environmental implications of economic and social development are taken into account, with a recent emphasis on 'green growth'. Mutual examination of governments by one another is pivotal in the work of the OECD.

The work of the OECD focuses mainly on its member countries. However, in recent years the OECD has been in discussion with a number of developing world countries, including South Africa, with a view to establishing deeper relations, leading perhaps ultimately to membership.

Over the last decade, the OECD has developed a particular focus on sub-national development policies that enhance competitiveness, equity and sustainability of cities and regions that stretch beyond the official boundaries of cities. As part of this aspect of its work, the OECD has conducted so-called Territorial Reviews in some of the largest metropolitan regions in the world.

What is an OECD Territorial Review?

An OECD Territorial Review is an in-depth research exercise that benchmarks the city or region against peers internationally, and examines development strengths and weaknesses in the target area. Territorial Reviews are based on research conducted jointly by teams of international and local experts. The core work is undertaken by the Urban Development Unit, a section within the OECD's Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development.

During the Review process a number of evaluation missions are undertaken by international experts and high-level officials and elected representatives from peer countries/cities. This mixing of thorough research with peer review by politicians and public officials from other countries ensures that a Territorial Review combines reliability of data and analysis with realistic and practical policy recommendations reflecting the challenges of implementation facing governments worldwide.

The output of a Territorial Review is a formal publication, distributed internationally.

It is important to note that while a Territorial Review is conducted at the request of a national, provincial or local government, it is not a report of or by government. It is an independent peer review, conducted and published under the auspices of the OECD.

More than 20 OECD Territorial Reviews have been conducted to date. Some of the Reviews completed include: Melbourne, Australia (2003); Montreal, Canada (2004); Mexico City, Mexico (2004); Seoul, Korea (2005); Milan, Italy (2006); Stockholm, Sweden (2006); Randstad Holland, Netherlands (2007); Madrid, Spain (2007); Cape Town, South Africa (2008); Istanbul, Turkey (2008); Copenhagen, Denmark (2009); Toronto, Canada (2010); Guangdong, China (2011).

The OECD Territorial Review of the Gauteng City-Region, and GCRO's role in the process

The OECD Territorial Review of the Gauteng City-Region was requested by the Gauteng Office of the Premier / Gauteng Planning Commission. The Review was seen as a mechanism for provincial and local government in Gauteng to assess economic and social performance in the province, benchmark the region against comparable areas globally, and allow peer review by other governments facing similar challenges elsewhere in the world. Because a Territorial Review always compares a region against 90 other regions in the OECD's remarkable 'MetroDatabase', it was hoped that the process would produce a rich store of new data on Gauteng's economic development, equity, urban/rural development, governance, sustainability and quality of life. And this in turn would provide insights and analysis responding to government’s key policy priorities, such as how to: achieve inclusive growth and decent work; promote the skills development required for a dynamic region; combat crime and manage its effects; build cohesive and sustainable communities, amongst other things by enhancing equity and eliminating poverty; and strengthen good governance within the framework of a developmental state.


  1. See the full OECD Territorial Review of the Gauteng City-Region.
  2. See a quick OECD summary of Review.
  3. Read about the launch of the Review.
  4. See the OECD's online MetroDatabase, with time-series data for 90 metropolitan regions around the world.
  5. Download the programmes for the two missions conducted by the OECD to Gauteng, the first in January 2010, and the second in July 2010.


OECD (2011) OECD Territorial Reviews: The Gauteng City-Region, South Africa. OECD

Last updated 18 October 2017.


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