Ulaanbaatar, 8 March 2010 - Cost and benefit implications of development options for the city’s poor outer-lying ger areas have been discussed at a series of consultation seminars and high-level meetings during the week of March 01. Discussions will continue this week, with approximately 1,000 ger area residents.
Future development scenarios, detailed in The World Bank’s Enhancing Policies and Practices for Ger Area Development in Ulaanbaatar report, outline the potential results and consequences of particular policy choices.
Donors, policy makers, non-government organizations and ger area residents attended the meetings. This strong show of support and interest reinforces the importance and need for tested and reliable development strategies that will improve the living conditions of the city’s peri-urban dwellers. Ger area residents now represent 40 per cent of Ulaanbaatar’s population.
"The population of the city's ger areas has increased by approximately 70 per cent over the last twenty years. Unfortunately the infrastructure has not been able to keep up with the rapid growth.
"This report provides rich information on the costs and benefits of policy choices and plans for ger area development. We hope this report becomes a useful instrument for ger area communities and policy makers," said Takuya Kamata, Task Team Leader, Ulaanbaatar Service Improvement Project.
The report provides insight information and cost estimation regarding land and housing, water supply, municipal road and public transport, solid waste management, heating, electricity, education and health services in ger area in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
"Smart-growth is a very good strategy: but moving ger area residents into apartment buildings will take long time because of the cost implications. To make it a real possibility, a lot of work will have to be done in relation to developing the real estate market and mortgage financing options. In the mean time, affordable and gradual service improvements will be essential for many ger areas," said Kamata.
Findings in the report were compiled from a range of sources including the Government of Mongolia, the municipality of Ulaanbaatar, representatives from utility companies, khoroo, kheseg and community leaders and residents as well as international donors and a series of reports and project experiences on Ulaanbaatar.