BUENOS AIRES

ARGENTINA

South America

CONTINENT

Peso Argentino

CURRENCY

Spanish

LANGUAGE

In 2016, the city of Buenos Aires was selected by United Nations Habitat and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy to participate in a pilot project to develop the initial prototypes of a global municipal database that could present the first integrated view of urban planning and fiscal information for a global network of cities. The project was inspired by the realization that the fiscal health of municipalities, and the alignment of urban planning and public finance functions, are important to enabling the success of city leaders facing the challenges of sustainable urbanization.

The principal unit of analysis for this project is the city. An original data gathering effort documented the framework of fiscal governance for the city, its demographic profile, and then incorporated data on the quantity and quality of urban expansion occurring across the city’s jurisdiction, urban layouts, and key land-use planning indicators. External sources were also leveraged to incorporate a national macro-level context for the intergovernmental framework that each city operates in.

By starting with the city as the unit of analysis, the project is designed to fill an important vacuum and improve the micro-level understanding of a city’s framework of public finance and urban planning. Expanding access and transparency to this information will enable the appraisal of the strengths or weaknesses in the trajectory of a city, and help national, subnational, and local governments identify interventions that can improve the performance of core municipal systems. The initial presentation of select components being developed for this integrated approach for the city of Buenos Aires appear below.

Buenos Aires Summary

Buenos Aires is the capital of the country of Argentina. Argentina has several levels of government: federal, provincial, municipal, and has conferred a special status to the autonomous city of Buenos Aires since 1994. The country has 23 provinces and 2,294 local governments, half of which are considered municipalities while the other half are considered communes (comunas) or other forms of local government. Buenos Aires, unlike other municipalities in Argentina, does not belong administratively or fiscally to a larger province. Constitutional Article 129, for example, establishes that the city of Buenos Aires will have an autonomous government and its head of government will be elected by the city's people directly.

The Argentinian Constitution does not establish any responsibilities or attributions to municipalities. Article 5 of the Constitution of Argentina, however, determines that every province will have its own constitution in which its municipal regime should be established. This results in a variation

in expenditure mandates and revenue mobilization authority across municipalities. Municipal tax systems across Argentina are, thus, highly heterogenous. The sharing of revenues between federal and provincial governments is governed by Law 23548, Sharing of Fiscal Resources (Coparticipacion de Recursos Fiscales), which establishes the way federal revenue is shared between federal and provincial governments. The revenue sharing that occurs from provinces to local governments depends on the parameters established by the individual provinces.

Over the past few decades in Buenos Aires, the urban extent and its population has been growing. Urban extent is the combined built-up area and open space associated with a city (not limited to its administrative boundary). From 1989 to 2014, the urban extent of Buenos Aires has grown by over 60,000 hectares and the population in the urban extent has increased over 30%.

13,879,006

Population in the Urban Extent1

20,331 Hectares

City Area2

193,394 Hectares

Urban Extent3


Expenditure Mandates Framework

A qualitative framework for analyzing the expenditure responsibilities that have been devolved to the city from higher levels of government is presented here. Expenditure responsibilities by function are the core indicators of this framework. This is intended to enable an analysis regarding the suitability of the city's fiscal decentralization framework to generate the necessary resources to finance the city's service and expenditure needs. For expanded information on these indicators and the role they play in city analysis generally in the context of this project, read our Data Governance, Methodology & Sources Document.


Revenue & Resource Mobilization Fiscal Framework

A qualitative framework for analyzing how cities facing the challenge of providing public goods, citizen services, and maintaining public infrastructure can raise and diversify revenues and capital to manage their obligations is presented here. Own-source revenues, intergovernmental transfers, borrowing authority, select indicators of land value capture, and others, are at the core of this framework. For expanded information on these indicators and the role they play in city analysis generally in the context of this project, read our Data Governance, Methodology & Sources Document.


Urbanization Indicators Framework

A framework for analyzing the changing spatial character of urbanization, for the city and its surrounding jurisdiction, are presented here. The focus is on the city’s geographic urban extent – meaning the characteristics that are present within the relatively contiguous built-up areas (and their open spaces) extending over the formal administrative boundaries of the city into areas one might associate with a metropolitan area. Population, density, and other indicators are at the core of this framework. For expanded information on the indicators in this diagram from the Atlas of Urban Expansion, read our Data Governance, Methodology & Sources Document.


Urban Spatial Structure Indicators

A selection of indicators that can support leaders planning for future urbanization are presented here. The indicators enable an analysis of urban sprawl, city compactness, land use fragmentation, and other aspects of urbanization. Additional indicators (land ownership patterns, land-use planning practice indicators, prices, key attributes of different types of residential plots, houses, and apartments, among others) are also part of the framework. For expanded information on these indicators and the other Urbanization and Urban Planning indicators that appear in this diagram from the Atlas of Urban Expansion, read our Data Governance, Methodology & Sources Document.

1 Data is presented for 2014. Source: Atlas of Urban Expansion
Data is presented for 2017.
3 Data is presented for 2014. Source: Atlas of Urban Expansion
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