The World Bank has launched a programme to help cities in developing countries achieve economic growth and high quality living standards without damaging the environment using the experiences from Singapore and Stockholm to show best practice.
With around 90 per cent of urban growth worldwide taking place in developing nations and at a rapid pace, city planners are in a race against time to put in place the right policies that will benefit future generations, the bank said.
‘Urbanisation in developing countries may be the single greatest change in our century,’ it said in a book outlining how the bank can help cities achieve economic growth and still have clean air and water and expansive greenery.
The programme was developed by an international team of experts from urban planning, transport, energy water and waste management and draws from the experiences of well-managed cities around the world. It incorporates the best practices from model cities such as Singapore and Stockholm
In cooperation with the bank, other cities in developing countries can implement these practices, principles and other practical methods and tools in accordance with their own local conditions.
The programme complements the bank’s efforts to promote sustainable development and help cut greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change.
Entitled ‘Ecological Cities as Economic Cities”, the book cites projections that developing countries will treble their entire built-up urban area from 200,000 square kilometres (77,220 square miles) to 600,000 square km (231,661 square miles) between 2000 and 2030. ‘One could say we are building a ‘whole new world’ at about 10 times the speed in countries with severe resource constraints,’ says the book, launched in Singapore at the weekend.