Saturday, February 2, 2013

Green Cities, Cities and Climate Change, Inclusive Cities

Green Cities

Date:November 2012
Series:Urban Development Series
ISBN:978-92-9092-896-6 (print), 978-92-9092-897-3 (web) 


Asia's cities have been the drivers of the economy and have lifted millions out of poverty. However, the environmental consequences of this rapid development are apparent, and the citizens of Asia’s urban areas are increasingly insistent that something should be done. And there is an investment deficit in Asian cities’ infrastructure spending, mostly in environmental infrastructure, of some $100 billion per annum.

ADB's Vice President for Knowledge Management and
Sustainable Development Bindu Lohani on COP18
Asian cities can be more environmentally friendly. The resources are there to achieve this. Up to 80% of gross domestic product today comes from urban areas in Asia, and its megacities are nation-sized in population and economic product. New cities, such as the innovative "eco-towns" in Japan and "eco-cities" in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), have begun to put into action a sustainable urban development model.
 ADB's Role
To support its developing member countries in more sustainable urban development, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), under its new Urban Operational Plan, will analyze the urbanization process in the context of a country’s economic development and identify the main environmental, social, and economic development issues relating to the urban sector—as well as how ADB can add value in the sector—and the proposed areas of investment focus.
ADB will endeavor to develop longer-term engagements in focus urban regions. This will provide the opportunity to develop an integrated plan based on assessments of the environmental, social, and economic priorities for these regions. The assessment process will identify the key environmental issues of a city and prioritize investments to address them in an integrated way across infrastructure sectors to achieve a Green City. ADB, together with public and private partners, will be involved in investments in water supply, waste water, solid waste, district heating/cooling, urban transport (including roads), and energy efficiency. Under ADB’s Urban Operational Plan (2012), a number of innovative financial products are proposed in support of the transition to Green Cities. These include:
  • guarantees for green investments to be used by national public or private financing institutions; and
  • preferential public sector lending in support of clean energy, green transport, and green buildings.


Currently, the notion of Green Cities exists in the real world in the form of individual experiments with Green City technologies that are more or less equally distributed across the world’s regions. This bodes well for the scaling-up of such technologies, particularly in rapidly urbanizing Asia. The fact that the region’s population densities are expected to grow substantially over the coming decades suggests that scale economies could significantly reduce the costs of transitioning to green technologies, thus incentivizing their uptake on a large scale.
Transformation of today’s cities will not occur overnight. Global-scale application of green technologies is thus likely to be an evolution rather than a revolution. But as the rapid spread of communications-based products has demonstrated, new technologies can spread very quickly, particularly when costs fall rapidly, thus enabling scale economies in production, and hence decrease in price to levels that make such products affordable on a mass scale. Furthermore, as the continuing transformation of the older industrial urban areas of Europe and the United States has demonstrated, industrial blight and dilapidated buildings can be replaced within a few decades. This suggests a similar trajectory of transition to green city status for Asia’s urban areas, once affordable green technologies come to market and consumer preferences turn toward products based on such technologies as a result of their quality, low cost, and inherent environmental benefits.


  • Preface
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Spatial Development and Technologies for Green Cities
  • Urban Metabolism and the Zero-Waste City: Transforming Cities through Sustainable Design and Behavior Change
  • Energy Strategy for Green Cities
  • Transport for Green Cities
  • Green Cities: A Water-Secure Future
  • Green City Solid Waste Management
  • Financing Sustainable Cities
  • Smart Concepts for Greener Cities
  • References
  • Conclusion: Green Cities Will Become a Reality

Inclusive Cities

Date:April 2011
Series:Urban Development Series
ISBN:978-92-9092-293-3 (print), 978-92-9092-294-0 (web)


" recapturing slum rehabilitation in its different forms as a core element of an inclusive urban development agenda, this book proves relevant for both Asia and other parts of the developing world facing similar challenges of improving the lives of slum dwellers..."
— Claudio Acioly Jr., Chief, Housing Policy Section, UN-HABITAT
Slums, informal settlements, and dilapidated inner-city tenements are problems that many cities in Asia and the Pacific struggle with while their economies try to modernize and develop. Their existence puts at risk not only these economies but also poor people occupying vulnerable areas that climate change and natural disasters will only make worse. Slums are being addressed in countries in Asia and the Pacific but not yet at the rate required to create livable cities. ADB’s Strategy 2020 aims for “livable cities” and will address the range of problems resulting from rapid urbanization and the limited capacity of basic service delivery associated with present and future urban growth. To accomplish the vision of livable cities, livelihood opportunities and shelter options of incremental land and housing development are important. ADB’s developing member countries will look for viable lending opportunities to finance inclusive cities.


  • Foreword
  • Toward Livable Cities through Inclusive Urban Redevelopment: An Introduction
  • India: ADB’s Involvement in Slum Rehabilitation
  • Indonesia: Neighborhood Upgrading and Shelter Sector Project—Toward Cities without Slums
  • Philippines: Strategic Private Sector Partnerships for Urban Poverty Reduction in Metro Manila
  • Inclusive Urban Redevelopment: Toward Livable Cities

Cities and Climate Change

International Financing Options for City Climate Change Interventions
An Introductory Guide
This study offers a structured overview of financial instruments available to cities to fund climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. By doing so the assignment contributes to:
  • Raising awareness in relation to climate change funding for senior local government administration officials and consultants in the field of urban development and environmental management;
  • Providing practical suggestions and ideas to local governments on how to use existing financial instruments as well as generating new financial resources for climate change adaptation and mitigation;
  • The International Financing Options for City Climate Change Interventions-An Introductory Guide is co-financed by the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) and Policy Advise for Environment and Climate Change (PAKLIM).
    To download a copy of the publication, please click the following link:
    International Financing Options for City Climate Change Interventions-An Introductory Guide

    Climate Change Plans and Infrastructure in Asian Cities
    Climate change is an urgent issue that affects cities and its people across the globe. Growing cities in Asia are faced with one of the biggest environmental challenges in urban development. Unstable weather patterns, immense flooding, landslides and extreme temperature changes are but some of the results of climate change that threaten socio-economic and environmental sustainability.
    The Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) in collaboration with the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), conducted a survey focusing on the following three main questions:
    1. Is climate change given priority in policies, plans and investments of Asian cities?
    2. Where does the focus lie in relation to climate change mitigation and adaptation?
    3. Are there already infrastructure investments made or planned in relation to climate change?
    The objectives of this baseline survey were to determine:
    • The status of climate change and other relevant plans for Asian cities and their focus on climate change adaptation versus mitigation
    • Where demand for climate change related infrastructure projects exists, based on these plans
    • The role of development agencies and other development partners in prioritizing, planning and investing in urban infrastructure
    To download a copy of the report, please click on the following link: Climate Change Plans and Infrastructure in Asian Cities

Competitive Cities in the 21st Century: Cluster-Based Local Economic Development

Date:October 2011
Series:Urban Development Series
ISBN:978-92-9092-430-2 (print), 978-92-9092-431-9 (web)
Price:US$40.00 (paperback)


Economic challenges in developing Asian countries have become more complex: urban populations are growing at great cost to the environment, climate change has increased risks of natural disasters, and income gaps within and between developing countries are widening. These factors threaten the sustainable growth and development of urban areas, the drivers of Asia’s economy. A strategic approach for inclusive growth is needed. The City Cluster Economic Development approach provides a strategic framework and a set of analytical tools, which governments, businesses, and communities can use to support the inclusive and sustainable development of competitive urban economies in Asia. Said approach was developed and tested by the Asian Development Bank to improve the basis for integrated planning and development of urban regions in Asia and the Pacific. It also helps urban managers and other city stakeholders identify action plans and determine priority investment areas.


  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Contributors of Case Study Reports for the Asian Development Bank’s RETA 6337
  • City Competitivenes sand Cluster-Based Economic Development
  • Factors Shaping the Spatial Agglomeration of Asian Cities
  • Emerging Factors Accelerating Urban Economic Growth
  • The Cluster: Theory, Analysis, and Experience in Agglomerated Asian Cities
  • Building Competitive Local Economies: Approach and Analytical Steps
  • Cluster-Based City Economic Development in Bangladesh
  • Cluster-Based City Economic Development in India
  • Cluster-Based City Economic Development in Sri Lanka
  • Insights Gained from the Three Country Case Studies
  • A New Paradigm of Local Economic Development for Growing Asian Cities
  • References