The Asia-Pacific region is experiencing rapid urbanization. By 2030 2.6 billion people, or 50% of the population in the region, will be living in cities and towns – twice as many as in the year 2000. Just to put this number into perspective, we need to provide jobs, housing, energy, water, transport, education and health infrastructure for an additional 120,000 people – every day – for the next 20 years. This is a daunting challenge, considering that many governments are finding it difficult to meet even the needs of existing urban populations. At the same time, urban governance landscapes and institutional requirements are evolving. Local authorities are now required to cover a broad range of specialties, including housing, infrastructure, social and community services, local economic development, environmental protection and even climate change.
Prepared jointly by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) in partnership with the Urban Design Lab of the Earth Institute, Columbia University, the Guidelines for developing eco-efficient and socially inclusive infrastructure provide practical tools for city planners and decision-makers to reform urban planning and infrastructure design according to the principles of eco-efficiency and social inclusiveness.
Built on knowledge accrued and lessons learned through case studies and pilot projects conducted in cities across Asia and Latin America, the guidelines show how political leaders can use the concept of eco-efficiency as a tool to expand the access to and quality of services (such as housing, mobility, energy, water and waste treatment) while reducing costs and environmental problems (such as inefficient energy use, pollution and traffic congestion). The complete guidelines show city planners how to development eco-efficient infrastructure in practice by following a strategic planning cycle. The guidelines are accompanied by a set of tools that support and guide planners throughout the strategic planning cycle.
Training courses are organized yearly in partnership with UN-Habitat, the International Urban Training Centre (IUTC) and Ecoplan International (EPI).
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