ADB invests in urban infrastructure Singapore
ADB and Singapore Working Together to Address Asia’s Urban Crisis
Manila, Philippines – In Asia, as much as 60 percent of the urban population lives in sprawling slums and squatter settlements. At least half the people in major cities live without adequate supplies of clean water or access to sewage connections.
“The rate of urbanization that Asia is experiencing is a phenomenon that is unprecedented in human history,” said Shyam Bajpai, Deputy Director General of ADB’s Regional and Sustainable Development Department. “The challenge is to achieve more balanced and sustainable urban development in Asian countries.
ADB has signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore to establish the Asia Training and Research Initiative for Urban Management (ATRIUM) to share knowledge on good practices, as well as success and failures in urban planning in the region. The initiative will also address the organizational, legal and financial challenges in urban planning and management in the developing countries.
“The initiative will share knowledge through well-designed training and research programs for key decision makers concerned with policy formulation, planning and high level coordination of urban development,” said K. E. Seetharam, a Principal Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist with ADB.
ADB will work with the government agency, International Enterprise Singapore, to cooperate on policy planning workshops, pilot projects and study visits to Singapore for urban sector policy makers from developing countries.
“Singapore is a success story in many ways, especially demonstrating the fact that cities and dynamic urban areas are central to the economies of nation states and to future economic growth,” said Mr. Bajpai.
The Singapore government will provide $1 million to support the joint cooperation programs to be carried out under the new initiative. ADB expects to make available grant contributions up to $2 million.
ADB estimates that $60 billion per year is needed to meet the demand for urban infrastructure services between 2006 and 2010. This includes water supply, sanitation, solid waste management, slum upgrading, urban roads and mass transit systems.
Over the next 5 years, ADB expects to invest about $1 billion in urban water supply and sanitation, under the water financing program. The total investment by ADB for urban infrastructure from 2007 to 2008 is more 3.4 billion.