New Delhi: Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) today said it is committed to supporting India's ambitious plan to build 100 smart cities in the country.
ADB President Takehiko Nakao said the agency will continue to play an important role in the development of inclusive, green and resilient cities and for the success of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the global climate change agenda.
"ADB is also firmly committed to supporting India's 100 smart cities initiative. The use of technology and intelligent systems will improve urban services for the poor, including sanitation and affordable transportation," he said at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2015.
To make cities greener, they must become more energy and resource efficient through promotion of low carbon development and smart use of land and water, he added.
"They need to invest more in mass public transport systems and better waste and wastewater management. Transport systems need to be better integrated."
He said to make cities more resilient decision makers should consider natural hazards and climate change risks when designing cities and urban infrastructure.
"Relatively small up-front investments can save lives and avoid large scale infrastructure rebuilding and rehabilitation costs later," he said.
Asia, Nakao said, needs to invest more in climate resilient infrastructure such as enlarged drainage systems in cities, elevated roads, and bigger storm-water retention reservoirs to accommodate variations in rainfall.
At ADB, all investment projects are screened for climate risks.
"...Inclusive, green and resilient cities need better governance and more effective institutions. Greater use of integrated urban planning, better use of land, and more timely investments in sustainable and resilient infrastructure, are all essential," he said.
For example, they can consider development of new finance instruments to better mobilise local resources-- such as municipal bond mechanisms and public private partnerships (PPPs), he added.
The ADB President said further said 2015 will be a milestone for international development.
An agreement on SDGs and the post 2015 agenda is expected at the September United Nations (UN) summit in New York. In December, a new climate deal is also expected to be agreed at COP 21 in Paris.