Integrated planning for sustainable urban development

16.07.2015 – The urban population in Asia is growing rapidly. Most people already live in cities. GIZ is promoting an interrelated approach to energy, water and food in medium-sized cities.

The urban population in Asia is growing by 44 million people every year. The cities face major challenges in providing people with a secure supply of food and drinking water, disposing of wastewater and establishing an efficient and environmentally friendly energy supply.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is supporting sustainable development in selected cities with up to three million inhabitants. In a project being carried out on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ is aiming to improve coordination in the planning, construction and operation of supply and disposal facilities in six Asian states. Ruth Erlbeck, who is responsible at GIZ for the project in China, Indonesia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam, says: 'We want to link the areas of energy, water and food supply in the cities to improve the sustainable development in urban areas.' This work benefits around 15 million people. As part of this process, GIZ is cooperating with municipal administrations, city associations, training institutions, the national governments of the countries involved and international organisations.

In ten cities, 14 pilot projects that will form the basis of an integrated resource management system have been identified and tested for feasibility. Among the questions addressed were: How can wastewater be used for irrigation and how can we treat wastewater using renewable energy? The lessons learned are collected in a regional dialogue and learning platform and then made available to other municipalities. A policy dialogue at different levels ensures that exchange takes place between national policy and local implementation. This multi-level approach enables the municipalities to coherently manage water, energy and food supply, thereby contributing to sustainable climate change mitigation and environmental protection.

GIZ is currently working in around 150 projects in the area of urban planning and development.