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Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC)

Focus Areas

TDLC focuses on a range of urban development topics that best leverage local and global expertise to help maximize the impact of the Bank’s projects in developing countries. Key topics of the program are selected in accordance with developing countries’ needs and the World Bank’s own priorities.  

Key topics  

  • Urban development: This topic includes compact city planning and infrastructure and services, city and municipal management and governance, finance, land and geospace, territorial and regional development, housing, and community development.  
  • Urban transport: This covers transit-oriented development and future-proofed transport infrastructure such as urban mobility planning.  
  • Technology and innovation: This explores the development of smart cities that leverage the latest technologies—including artificial intelligence, robotics, and the use of big data—to drive improved decision-making. 
  • Urban Utilities and Public Services: This topic includes solid waste management, water supply management, waste and sewage management, and street lighting. It also covers universal accessibility, the evolving needs of an aging population, respect for diversity, and citizen engagement.  
  • Disaster risk management: This covers the provision of resilient urban infrastructure and protection from natural disasters such as flooding, landslides, or earthquakes. 
  • City competitiveness: This explores key aspects of the development of creative and competitive cities, including start-up ecosystems, value chains, tourism, and local economic development. 
  • Land: This explores the use of geospatial technology and other innovations in the governance of land development and territory demarcation. 
  • Environment: This promotes the reduction of land and marine pollution, the elimination of waste, and the efficient use of resources, as well as awareness of the dangers of global warming and other aspects of climate change. 

In addition to key topics, TDLC selects at least one new area of engagement annually to foster innovation that will advance the urban development agenda. These are selected on the basis of a number of criteria, including their impact on development, demand, potential to leverage Japanese knowledge and competitive advantage, practicality, and the availability of new approaches and solutions.    

New areas of engagement  

  • Aging Cities  
  • Creative Cities  
  • Healthy Cities  

*Non-exhaustive list  

Based on the priorities of the Japanese government and the World Bank, TDLC also selects “cross-cutting themes” which underpin all of our activities during the period in which they are adopted. The current cross-cutting themes are “Quality Infrastructure Investment” and “Disruptive Technologies”. TDLC applies quality infrastructure investment principles across all its activities—in particular in our Technical Deep Dive and Operational Support programs—to emphasize the need for good quality infrastructure in developing countries.  



Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries





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World Bank - Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC)
Fukoku Seimei Bldg. 14F
2-2-2 Uchisaiwai-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0011, Japan
Tel :+81-(0)3-3597-1333
Fax:+81-(0)3-3597-1311
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