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BRIEF November 21, 2023

TDLC at the World Bank Resilient Urban and Regional Development Project (RUTDP) Workshop

Group photo of RUTDP workshop participants
Group photo of RUTDP workshop participants

The World Bank’s Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) participated in the "Urban Resilience Forum: Advancing Strategic Planning and Development" workshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh, September 24 to 26, 2023. This was a jointly organized workshop by TDLC, the World Bank Bangladesh Urban Team, and the Bangladesh Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), which aimed to share Japan’s knowledge on urban development.

As part of the World Bank’s Resilient Urban and Territorial Development Project (RUTDP), a workshop was held on how to ensure integrated urban planning and infrastructure development in and around 14 cities across three economic corridors in Bangladesh. About 50 local government officials, including mayors from the 14 cities participated and discussed challenges and opportunities in their respective cities as well as strategies to strengthen inter-city networks.

A day-1 workshop featured Mr. Shoichi Tawaki from the Sendai City Emergency Management Bureau, where he gave an overview of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction, along with the city's policies and initiatives to enhance urban resilience. Mr. Tawaki stressed the importance of creating a disaster preparedness plan based on experiences and lessons learned from previous calamities to develop resilient cities. He also highlighted the need for increased investment, stronger political commitment, and improved governance to manage not only disaster risks but also emerging risks such as climate change and pandemics. Representatives from each city also presented on infrastructure and waste challenges, included lack of human and financial resources in municipalities, as well as environmental challenges.

On the workshop’s second day, participants joined the World Bank’s session "Towards Integrated Urban Planning and Development: Dialogue between Urban Practitioners in Japan and Bangladesh" as part of the 3rd International Conference on Urban and Regional Planning (ICURP 2023). This helped to deepen their understanding of Japan’s urban planning, public transport-oriented development (TOD) and waste management.

During the session, Mr. Toshimichi Totake (UR Linkage), an expert in urban planning, first explained the site optimization planning methods in Japan, including examples from regional cities. Mr. Masato Saito (UR Linkage), a TOD expert, also shared the positive effects of TOD on cities, the development process of TOD in Japan, and a case study of re-development in Shibuya, Tokyo. Mr. Saito explained that the public, private, and academic sectors have been working together on policies related to urban development in Tokyo and, stressed that the TOD project in Shibuya for example has been implemented through continuous consultation and coordination with developers and with Shibuya’s private businesses and public organizations. These efforts, he said, have led to economic benefit, such as new community development and higher land prices not only for the area around the station, but also in Shibuya Ward as a whole.

Urban planning expert, Mr. Toshimichi Totake, UR Linkage Inc, explains site optimization plans in Japan
Urban planning expert Mr. Toshimichi Totake (UR Linkage Inc) explains site optimization plans in Japan

Mr. Yasuo Furusawa of the Renewable Energy Institute/ Tokyo Environmental Public Service Corporation, who is an expert on waste management, presented the history and legal system of waste management in Japan, and the current processed involve from sorted collection to final disposal in municipality landfills, specifying Tokyo as a good case study. He also emphasized the importance of considering the social background of each region in waste management, listening to the voices of the people on the ground, and engaging in waste management with a sense of mission and a sense of fun.

On the final day of the workshop, representatives from each municipality presented their own action plans, based on what they had learned. Many mentioned the importance of comprehensive urban planning, the need to strengthen cooperation with neighboring cities and towns, the importance of understanding the functionality of facilities located in city centers, and the value of dialogue and cooperation with citizens. Additionally, he concluded that he felt the workshop was a major step toward the success of the RUTDP.

More workshops such as the RUTDP will be organized by the TDLC with its counterparts in developing countries to widely share Japan's urban development expertise and enhance the Bank's regional urban development projects.

Mr. Masato Saito, an expert in transit-oriented development, commenting on participants
Mr. Masato Saito, an expert in transit-oriented development, commenting on participants' action plans (UR Linkage, Inc.)