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Experts Mull Urban Development in Baku

Experts Mull Urban Development in Baku

International urban planners, experts, key government officials, donors and civil society representatives gathered in Baku for the National Urban Assessment for Azerbaijan, a stakeholder workshop organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to discuss the country’s urban system, development priorities and urban investments in a challenging economic environment.

The workshop shares good practices on integrated urban development as a key driver of Azerbaijan’s transition to a diversified economy, said Kathie Julian, ADB’s Officer-in-Charge, Azerbaijan Resident Mission.

“Currently, ADB’s support for sustainable urban development is guided by its Urban Operational Plan 2012–2020 with a focus on inclusiveness, competitiveness, and environmental resilience,” said Sanjay Joshi, senior urban development specialist at ADB.

The National Urban Assessment (NUA) will be aligned with the priorities of ADB’s Azerbaijan Country Partnership Strategy for 2014–2018, the Country Operations Business Plan for 2016-2018 and the Government of Azerbaijan’s, Azerbaijan 2020, vision document. The NUA for Azerbaijan will provide a cross-sector analysis of urban development in the country and identify strategic priorities for targeted investments for regionally balanced urbanization to support the delivery of Azerbaijan 2020, said Ramola Naik Singru, urban development specialist, ADB.

ADB’s urban sector assistance to Azerbaijan is in the form of approved loans and technical assistance grants. Total lending for the sector includes a first urban water supply and sanitation project ($30 million), and the ongoing $600 million multitranche financing facility for the water supply and sanitation investment program.

Technical assistance (TA) includes ongoing project preparatory support for the Solid Waste Management Project for Intermediary Cities, and a recently completed TA for the Sustainable Urban Transport Program. ADB is also planning another TA grant in 2017 to prepare the second multitranche financing facility for the water supply and sanitation program.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. ADB assistance to Azerbaijan totals nearly $2.0 billion, comprising approved loans and technical assistance grants.