How to plan, and fund, sustainable cities

A view of Tianjin, a metropolis in China. Photo by: Yang Aijun / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

With cities growing at an unprecedented rate, new investments in infrastructure, housing and public services are needed, the World Bank says in a new report that hints at new avenues of engagement for the international development community.

Many aid groups have for years worked to remedy the ills of the urban poor, but few have engaged systematically with local governments to tackle the root causes and plan for sustainable change.

The World Bank’s newly released “Planning, Connecting, and Financing Cities – Now: Priorities for City Leaders”  report is meant as a guide for local officials and others to create jobs and help with other necessities to turn “secondary” cities into major hubs.

The report includes a section on successful programs in South Korea, Singapore and Japan that illustrate the importance of excellent coordination in financing and planning public transport as early as the design phase “both to connect people to jobs and preserve a green urban footprint,” the World Bank argues.

The report is part of the World Bank’s Urbanization Reviews program, co-financed by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the Cities Alliance, which aims to assist national and local officials make informed policy and investment decisions.  

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About the author

  • Louie-An Pilapil

    Louie-An is a former senior development analyst at Devex Manila. She has held consulting and editorial positions at the Asian Development Bank in Manila and a business-to-business media company in Hong Kong and mainland China.