Cities Development Initiative for Asia

Project description

Title: Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Member states of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), headquarters in the Philippines
Overall term: 2007 to 2018


Asia's cities are changing rapidly. Over the next 20 years, they will have to expand their infrastructure and services to cater for another billion people. In order to be able to meet the growing development needs in the long term and in line with the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, cities will need extensive support with the planning, financing, construction and maintenance of the necessary infrastructure. The aim of the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) is to provide support for cities by way of pre-investment feasibility studies and the prioritisation of projects. Potential financing institutions for such urban infrastructure initiatives are often confronted with the fact that the relevant infrastructure projects are not sufficiently ready for financing. The CDIA project bridges precisely this gap between the planning and financing sides of infrastructure projects.


To improve living conditions in medium-sized Asian cities through sustainable urban development measures.


The CDIA will be demand-led in its assistance with the prioritisation and development of investment projects for the expansion of urban infrastructure which meet at least two of the following criteria:

  • Improvement of environmental conditions
  • Reduction of poverty and promotion of inclusive economic growth
  • Measures designed to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change
  • Good governance

CDIA will provide know-how and experience for this purpose. One of the ways in which the project will ensure that the most effective measures are promoted will be to support the prioritisation of investments with the aid of the CDIA toolkit ‘City Infrastructure Investment Programming and Prioritization’ (CIIPP). Another strategy will be to carry out feasibility studies in cooperation with consultancy firms for the investment projects which have been prioritised. The plans for the infrastructure measures which have been prioritised and elaborated will be communicated to potential financing partners by the CDIA. In addition, the CDIA will join forces with partner organisations to offer training in planning and project development.

The project will be financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Further financial backing for the project will be sourced from Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, the Nordic Development Fund and Shanghai city council.


From 2007 to June 2018, the Cities Development Initiative for Asia worked with 143 cities in 20 Asian countries.

The CIIPP analysis tool was used to prioritise 52 projects. This enabled the relevant cities to identify the promising projects from several alternatives and to prioritise them in the budget planning process. The 92 project feasibility studies which have been carried out to date have resulted in 147 projects which promote integrated, inclusive and sustainable approaches. Financing has already been found for 71 cities. The CDIA has supported urban development measures with an investment volume of some USD 7.7 billion.

The CDIA has organised 116 courses in recent years, attended by roughly 3,000 representatives from local and regional governments, civil society organisations and other cooperation partners, with a view to improving the inner workings of institutions and more generally, promoting cooperation and knowledge-sharing. Most of these activities were carried out in cooperation with partner organisations. The focus is on the financing of infrastructure projects and climate-change adaptation and resilience measures in cities, the development of models for possible public-private partnerships, and the inclusion of disadvantaged groups of people.

On 23 November 2017, the CDIA celebrated its 10th anniversary with its partners. Some time was spent revisiting earlier projects which have already been completed, with reports also featuring videos from Yogyakarta, Indonesia (local public transport) and Yangzhou, China (monument conservation). The festivities were also used as an opportunity to present the plans for the coming years. Having formulated the ‘CDIA Strategy 2018-2022’ within the new trust fund model, the CDIA has plans to continue getting sustainable infrastructure projects off the ground and to improve the effectiveness of the methods adopted in the projects against the backdrop of its many years of experience. The gradual transition to the new trust fund model under the umbrella of the ADB while retaining the previous functions is therefore a result of the successful cooperation between the ABD and GIZ in the 10 years since the foundation of the CDIA.