Apur'Labo #5 - Financing the city over a 2040 time horizon: What are the prospects?

February 2022, last updated 09 May 2022
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© Isabelle Baraud-Serfaty

Taking into consideration local authorities as one of the key players in the ecosystem of urban services, Isabelle Baraud-Serfaty, founder of the urban economy consultancy agency Ibicity, proposes going beyond a strictly accountancy approach to the financial structure of a city. She suggests an approach in terms of “economic models” where expenditure and revenue would be established according to a “value proposition” attributed by local authorities to each of the services they provide for inhabitants and users. This implies new modes for delivering services, because the value proposition of the organising authority would be linked to the partners, ressources and key-activities which take part in providing the service in question. Isabelle Baraud-Serfaty also proposes that assets  held by an authority be valued to the level of the strategic importance they represent for other players in the ecosystem. 

This document is a contribution to the Forecasting Lab of the Observatory of the Parisian Economy.

The Observatory, which is run by Apur in partnership with the City of Paris’ Department of Attractiveness and Employment (DAE), is dedicated to analysing specific aspects of the Parisian economy and assessing the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on companies, employment, job demand and the effects of support measures. This process takes into consideration the monitoring and analysis of data on the current economic situation (Part 1) and carries out in-depth thematic studies in conjunction with the Observatory’s partners (Part 2).

The Observatory also aims to develop forward-looking thinking to support recovery, to anticipate changes in the economy and to imagine developments geared to the future. In this spirit, the Economic Forecasting Lab (Part 3) is based on the contributions of researchers and experts.

It is in the context of this third part that a first series of contributions has been established around three main themes: the financial structure of a city over a 20 year time horizon, new, strategic economic sectors and the fight against inequality as a factor of development in territories. This contribution is included under the first theme.

Isabelle Baraud-Serfaty is the founder of Ibicity, the urban economy consultancy and expertise agency which she founded in 2009. After starting off as a consultant in local finance, she then worked as a public interest investor at the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and then as a promoter for a Dutch bank. She has also been a lecturer at the École Urbaine de Sciences Po since 2004, a member of the Lyon Metropolis forward thinking network, on the Steering Committee of Fabrique de la Cité, and a member of the Futuribles Scientific Council. Since 2015, she has been conducting a study with Espelia and Partie Prenante on new urban economic models, financed by ADEME, the Banque des territoires and PUCA.

Presentation of the contribution :

Presentation of the February 18th 2022 :


Documents to download

  • Contribution

    The financial structure of a city over a 20 year time horizon

    Format : pdf, 3.54 MB
  • Contribution

    Apur'Labo #5 - Financing the city over a 2040 time horizon: What are the prospects?

    Format : pdf, 1.59 MB

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