In France, cities and the infrastructure and services structuring them have always been “free” (in the sense that access has not required payment at the point of use) or cheap (charged at a rate far below their real cost), as Isabelle Baraud-Serfaty reminds us at the beginning of this article. Nevertheless, this free provision, which users of cities enjoy, is the product of an economic model funded mainly from taxes (and tax payers) and capital gains (paid by the end-owners of property), a model which, she argues, is currently under threat. The crisis of the public finances, the fact that value-creation is proceeding more slowly as cities are increasingly renewed “out of themselves”, a shift in mentalities away from things systematically being free and a change of scale in the production of various urban goods and services represent the four main threats to the “free” city identified by Isabelle Baraud-Serfaty.
However, information technologies and the digital revolution they have spawned show that new economic models are emerging, which could give a new meaning to the notion of towns and cities being “free”: the freemium model, two-sided or multi-sided models, the “load management” model, para-market models etc. As the author shows, various innovative economic models have appeared in recent years and could find applications in towns and cities, enabling a re-think about the connection between, on the one hand, the demands and needs of users and, on the other, the provision and responses forthcoming from public services and from other city operators (including private ones) or even from the users themselves. We are indeed at the dawn of the era of the smart city, but defining its shape and the ways it will be financed is still very much a work in progress.
India is, along with Brazil, Russia and China, one of the so-called emerging countries likely to play a crucial role in the international economy in the future. Quite apart from its geographical size (a subcontinent) and its huge population (more than a billion inhabitants in 2004), India's rapid growth comes from the opening up of the economy and its strength in the key sector of information technologies.
However, as Joël Ruet shows in this article, India remains a two-tier economy, with a (tiny) minority benefiting from development while the vast majority - rural and poor - is still largely left behind. The much-hoped for middle class, which would be the key to moving to a higher level of development, is slow in emerging, mainly because of problems with the central government system, which is struggling to modernize the infrastructures required and to make allowance for the country's enormous diversity.
After a brief sketch of this vast country, Joël Ruet points out what the current structural constraints are and shows how the private sector (whose features he describes in some detail) could intervene - not to supplant but to complement the public sector. He argues that such a public-private partnership would make a crucial contribution to promoting economic development in India.
Le premier rapport annuel du Comité de la gestion publique de l'OCDE intitulé Évolution des rémunérations du secteur public dans les pays de l'OCDE décrit les diverses réformes et innovations intervenues dans les politiques de rémunération du secteur public, et met en évidence les évolutions importantes. Le rapport compare des agrégats tels que le taux de croissance des dépenses publiques et le PIB (produit intérieur brut) pour 19 pays et examine les politiques de rémunération du secteur public ...
(292 more words)