PRESS RELEASE December 20, 2017

World Bank: Urban Planning Can Improve Quality of Life and Opportunities in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, December 20, 2017—Rapid urbanization in Phnom Penh in the past decade has created jobs and reduced poverty, improved urban planning, management, and infrastructure are needed to avoid further sprawl, congestion and pollution, says a new World Bank report.

The report, entitled Urban Development in Phnom Penh, highlights mounting challenges in the provision of basic services, including drainage, wastewater treatment, public transport and solid waste management.  Managing and financing the planning, governance and delivery of services has also been strained. Despite an existing planning process, gaps in financing and technical capacity often lead to bottlenecks in the development of urban, spatial, and land use plans, especially at the Khan and Sangkat levels. 

Phnom Penh faces an important opportunity to positively shape its future, create more jobs, and enable better services,” said Inguna Dobraja, World Bank Country Manager for Cambodia. “Urban development that is well-managed and planned can make a world of difference in ensuring better living standard for generations to come.”

The report suggests policy reforms towards more competitive, sustainable and inclusive city growth in four main areas.  First, strengthen institutions and governance to enable more coordinated and efficient urban development. Second, improve urban planning and implementation, by issuing enabling regulations and codes. Lastly, invest in sustainable urban infrastructure to enhance livability and competitiveness, and implement inclusive policies to curtail inequality.

Well-planned cities allow the socio-economic benefits of urbanization to be fully harnessed and can create vibrant, livable, urban spaces.  This is fully possible for Phnom Penh, but it will be a long-term process and will require a strong commitment from government, citizens and the private sector,” said Judy Baker, World Bank Lead Economist, one of the report’s authors. 


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