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PRESS RELEASE July 27, 2017

China’s Cities to Provide More Mobility with Fewer Cars through GEF Grant

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 27, 2017—The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a grant of $32.73 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to support China’s pilot project for transit-oriented development (TOD), an urban planning concept that integrates land use and transportation.

Chinese cities have experienced unprecedented growth. Urban residents account for 57% of China’s population today, and are expected to increase to 70% by 2030. While the growth of cities has raised living standards and contributed to economic growth, it has also brought negative consequences such as traffic congestion and air pollution. Reforming China’s city planning system is essential for building livable, sustainable and inclusive cities for a growing urban population.

“This pilot project focuses on compact, mixed-use, pedestrian and bicycle-friendly development around transit stations that can help reverse the trend of car-dependent city sprawl, improve air quality, reduce road congestion, and make it easier for people to get to jobs and access other opportunities,” said Wanli Fang, World Bank’s Urban Economist and the project co-team leader.

The China Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach Pilot Project will support the application of TOD principles in seven major cities across the country including Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Ningbo, Nanchang, Guiyang, and Shenzhen. The cities will be guided on how to integrate land use and transport planning at the local levels by developing and implementing TOD strategies.

In parallel to the city-level support, the project will assist the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in creating a national TOD platform as a resource to help cities strengthen their ability to develop policies, guidelines and strategies for integrated urban planning and TOD.

“This project directly supports the implementation of China’s new guidelines for people-centered and integrated urban development,” said Joanna Masic, World Bank’s Senior Urban Specialist and project co-team leader. In the long-run, technical support provided to participating cities will help create urban spaces that reduce the need for cars and ensure that cities are built with environmentally sustainable, vibrant, and socially-inclusive communities.”

The project is part of the GEF Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach Pilot (SCIAP), comprising 27 cities in 11 countries under the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities (GPSC). The GPSC promotes shared learning among participating cities and the development of tools and methodologies for integrated approaches to urban planning, financing and implementation.

The GEF Trust Fund was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since its establishment in 1991, GEF has provided integrated global environmental benefits across World Bank programs through more than 790 investment projects and programs in 120 countries.


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Beijing, China
Li Li
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Livia Pontes
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