Technical assistance, knowledge and analytical services
Understanding urbanization: The World Bank is conducting research on urban spatial development, housing, and urban environment, focusing on regional, as well as country specific Urbanization Reviews that aim to support national and city-level policymakers in thinking strategically about the opportunities – and addressing the challenges – of urbanization.
Other recent analytical work and tools to help cities manage urbanization and support sustainable, inclusive growth include:
Resilience: The World Bank Group (WBG) is helping cities adapt to a greater variety of changing conditions and withstand shocks while maintaining essential functions through urban resilience programs. For example, the City Resilience Program (CRP) is an effort to support the Bank’s city-level engagements by providing a platform to support the development of comprehensive resilience-building investments, while crowding in a range of sources of private and official capital to finance these investment programs. Similarly, the CityStrength Diagnostic enhances cities’ resilience and has been successfully implemented in 28 local governments in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Vietnam.
“Investing in Urban Resilience: Protecting and Promoting Development in a Changing World” discusses the urgent need to scale up the amount of financing that flows to cities and toward projects that increase resilience of urban areas. The report discusses constraints that currently limit the amount of private investment in this space, and makes the case that the World Bank Group can and should deploy its various analytical tools and powerful financing products to attract more private capital into projects that increase resilience of urban infrastructure.
Finance: The City Creditworthiness Initiative provides local authorities with comprehensive support to promote urban infrastructure investments. The engagement begins with learning programs for leaders called “City Creditworthiness Academies.” The Academies have provided training on fundamentals of creditworthiness and municipal finance to over 600 officials from 240 cities in 25 countries, including Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Rwanda, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, and West Bank & Gaza.
Cities in a changing climate: The World Bank’s work on urban development has been instrumental in advocating for addressing climate change issues during COP21/22/23 and the One Planet Summit. In recent years, the World Bank has worked in cities and towns across over 140 countries, investing $5.3 billion during fiscal year 2018 in disaster risk management.
Sharing city experiences: The Global Platform for Sustainable Cities (GPSC) is a knowledge platform established in partnership with development banks, UN organizations, city networks, think tanks, and local agencies. It is a new initiative that helps increase cities’ overall capability and “readiness” for attracting investment and preparing bankable projects. It aims to promote an integrated approach to urban planning, financing, and implementation.
Metrolab is a World Bank-convened partnership in which metropolitan cities from all over the world share action-oriented knowledge on urban and regional strategic planning and management through peer-to peer-learning.
In Belize, the Bank supported the national government in developing and implementing the National Climate Resilient Investment Plan (NCRIP) through the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project, which helped position the country to leverage additional climate financing from international financing institutions. In the Eastern Caribbean countries, the Bank has mobilized over $200 million for enhancing climate resilience and strategically reducing their vulnerability to climate change and disasters caused by natural hazards, including $83 million from the Strategic Climate Fund, and immediately following disasters (e.g., Saint Lucia Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project).
In Colombia, the national government has put forward a series of institutional and policy changes to promote the peace building process. With the support of the World Bank, these efforts focus on strengthening institutions for land management and territorial planning, as well as improving subnational financial management and investment prioritization.
In East Africa, the World Bank has an operational portfolio of almost $1 billion in urban projects focused on improving financial and institutional performance in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
In Georgia, the Regional Development Project assists the country’s regions in improving their infrastructure in order to capitalize on a growing tourism market; thus assisting in improving their local competitiveness and economic development. In Azerbaijan, World Bank loans supported the rehabilitation of the main landfill site and establishment of a state-owned waste management company, increasing the population served by the formal solid waste management to 74% in 2012. Support also led to further sustainable waste management practices, helping achieve a 25% recycling and reuse rate.
In Indonesia, the Indonesia National Slum Upgrading Program, which includes substantial additional finance through co-financing from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), is improving access to urban infrastructure and services in targeted slums. In Argentina, the Metropolitan Buenos Aires Urban Transformation Project is supporting the improvement of living conditions for around 48,000 residents in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area.
In Jordan and Lebanon, two related projects are supporting local authorities and communities hosting Syrian refugees, and include strong consultation and feedback mechanisms. The Jordan project to address the urgently needed rehabilitation of municipal infrastructure has benefitted about two million people, including 250,000 Syrian refugees. In Lebanon, interventions to release tensions reached 250,000 people within a year – three times the initial target – particularly those in the host communities close to refugee camps, and also improved service delivery to more than one million Lebanese people.
In Kenya, the World Bank is supporting devolution through lending and technical assistance programs, most notably the recently approved Kenya Devolution Support Program (KDSP) and the Kenya Accountable Devolution Program (KADP). Through both projects, the Bank is playing a key role in supporting the implementation of the National Capacity Building Framework (NCBF) to bring about enhancements in local accountability and basic service delivery. In the North and North Eastern regions of Kenya, the Bank has launched the North & Northeastern Development Initiative (NEDI), a multi-sectoral program consisting of projects in transport, water, energy, agriculture, livelihoods, and social protection to connect the region to national and global markets.
In Casablanca, Morocco, a EUR 172 million World Bank loan aims to improve the city’s investment capacity by improving the municipality’s revenue management systems, and attracting private investment in municipal infrastructure and services through public-private partnerships.
In Pakistan, the World Bank is helping the five largest cities in the province of Punjab improve their systems for planning, resource management, and accountability through a $150 million results-based financing. The city governments are developing and implementing medium-term, integrated development and asset management plans with evidence-based prioritization for municipal infrastructure and services, resulting in increased revenue collection and reduced expenditures, providing financial headroom. Automated systems for public access to information and grievance redressal, as well as updated websites with information on budgets and procurements, are ensuring greater accountability.
In rapidly urbanizing Vietnam, the Vietnam Urban Upgrading Project – with $382 million financing from the World Bank – improved the lives of 7.5 million urban poor with better water and sewage connections, as well as improved roads, sewers, lakes, canals, and bridges.
Last Updated: Oct 05,2018