ADB chief backs India’s 100 smart cities project

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has committed to supporting India’s 100 smart cities project and urged Asian governments to focus on building inclusive, green and resilient cities, according to the bank’s President Takehiko Nakao.

India's government announced ambitious plans in August last year to spend US$1.13 billion (£690 million) on building 100 "smart cities" across the country.

The administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is following in the footsteps of other countries in Asia including China and Singapore.

Addressing ‘Solutions for Inclusive, Green and Resilient Cities’ at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, Nakao (pictured left) said: “The use of technology and intelligent systems will include urban services for the poor, including sanitation and affordable transportation. To make cities greener, they must become energy and resource efficient through promotion of low carbon development and smart use of land and water.”

Nakao called for governments in the region to invest more in mass transport systems and wastewater management particularly and to consider natural hazards and climate change risks in designing cities and urban infrastructure.

Relatively small up-front investment has the potential to avoid a significant amount of carbon emissions and infrastructure rebuilding costs and rehabilitation costs later, he said.

Outlining some of the challenges Nakao continued: “Rapid urbanisation also means urbanisation of poverty. Asia accounts for about 60 per cent of the slum dweller population. Second, environmental sustainability remains a major concern. Cities struggle with air and water pollution, solid waste management, among others. Third, vulnerability to climate change should also be understood.”


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