WASHINGTON, December 20, 2016—The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$132.7 million loan for the Sustainable Cities Project in Turkey. The project is the first in a series of projects aimed at improving economic, financial, environmental, and social sustainability of Turkish cities. Citizens will benefit from improved public transport, water and sanitation services, waste management, and energy services, as well as new jobs.
The Sustainable Cities Project will assist cities in laying the groundwork for sustainable infrastructure through comprehensive and integrated municipal plans, linking these to a robust Capital Investment Plan. The project is part of a Program for Sustainable Cities to finance a series of projects over several years, allowing interested municipalities to access financing for their investments even after the approval of this first project.
"Over the past decades, the urban population in Turkey has increased, cities have sprawled, exceeding their mandated boundaries. Although access to services have increased significantly, quality of services and long-term financial and environmental sustainability remain challenges,” said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Turkey, on the occasion of the loan approval. “As the World Bank we are happy to support Turkey’s urbanization process with this project to help it become more inclusive as it will contribute to the urban growth and job creation in the country’s smaller cities.”
The Sustainable City Planning and Management Systems component of the project will support reforms that improve sustainable urban development planning and enhance urban sustainability. This component will provide Technical Assistance support to municipalities/utilities for planning and management and for the preparation of feasibility studies, detailed engineering designs, and environmental assessments for municipal investments that could be financed in future projects. It will also help Ilbank for management of the grant and capacity building. This component would be funded in its entirety through a European Union-Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance Grant.
The Municipal Investments part of the project will finance municipal infrastructure investments in public transport, water and sanitation, solid waste management, and energy. The cities that will benefit from this component are Denizli and Muğla.
The project is consistent with and supports the Turkey Country Partnership Strategy of the World Bank Group for the 2012-2016 period, which includes the strategic objective of improved equity and public services, and deepened sustainable development.
The project is also consistent with the Turkish Government’s 10th Development Plan (2014–2018), under the "Livable Spaces/Sustainable Environment" pillar, particularly given that the Government of Turkey sees the global trend of rapid urbanization as one of its continuing challenges.
The lending instrument for the project is an IBRD Flexible Loan with a fixed spread and 30 maturity including 5 years of grace period, level principal repayments and a commitment-linked repayment schedule.
 Ilbank is a development and investment Bank in status of special-budget joint stock company set up in order to meet the financing needs of special provincial authorities, municipalities and their affiliated organizations and of local administrative associations.