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Regional Development Policy Committee Week at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

International & Philanthropic Spotlight
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Regional Development Policy Committee Week at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

U.S. delegates standing in front of a row of flags.United States delegates to RDPC Week, held in December 2022, included, from left to right: Bryan Borlik, U.S. Department of Commerce; Dennis Alvord, U.S. Department of Commerce; and Kurt Usowski, HUD. Not pictured: Karama Neal, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) hosted its semiannual Regional Development Policy Committee (RDPC) Week in Paris from November 28 to December 2, 2022. The gathering included meetings of the Working Party on Urban Policy (WPURB), Working Party on Rural Policy, Working Party on Territorial Indicators, Expert Group on Multi-level Governance and Public Investment for Regional Development, and RDPC. Kurt Usowski, deputy assistant secretary for economic affairs in the Office of Policy Development and Research, and staff from HUD’s International and Philanthropic Affairs Division (IPAD) were in attendance.

Usowski, who has served as the U.S. delegate to WPURB since 2019, was reelected as its vice chair. With representatives from more than 35 countries and multilateral organizations in attendance, the meetings hosted during RDPC Week provide HUD with an opportunity to engage with its international counterparts, garnering insights on shared challenges to inform the agency’s policy and programs.

From the COVID-19 recovery and the war in Ukraine to regional disparities and the need to respond to climate change through decarbonization and resilience efforts, policymakers face no shortage of challenges.

To address these issues, countries are implementing novel approaches and applying a fresh perspective to old ones. For example, Israel highlighted its neighborhood-level housing mix dashboard, a data-driven approach to addressing housing size mismatches, and France outlined its Third Places for Europe initiative to strengthen social cohesion and economic development. The term “third places,” first coined by sociologist Ray Oldenburg in the 1980s, recently has become the subject of research from the Brookings Institution and George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

IPAD staff also participated in “Decarbonising Buildings in Cities and Regions,” a closed-door policy seminar in which they discussed HUD’s Green and Resilient Retrofit Program. The meeting featured a presentation on Canada’s Green Buildings Strategy, an evaluation of Energy Performance Certificates, and a summary of a unique program that the Netherlands has undertaken in collaboration with local hardware stores to develop do-it-yourself guides and training programs for energy-efficiency retrofits.

With the next RDPC Week scheduled for late-April 2023, HUD will continue to leverage the experience and research of partner countries to address housing, economic, and urban policy issues in the United States.

Published Date: 7 February 2023

The contents of this article are the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the U.S. Government.