Lao People's Democratic Republic: Urban Development Sector Assessment, Strategy, and Road Map

Date: August 2012
Type: Country Planning Documents
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Urban development
Series: Country Sector and Thematic Assessments
ISBN: 978-92-9092-872-0 (print), 978-92-9092-873-7 (web)
Price: US$21.00 (paperback)


This sector assessment, strategy, and road map (ASR) documents current assessment and strategic investment priorities of the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in urban development in the Lao PDR. It highlights sector performance, priority development constraints, government plans and strategy, past ADB support and experience, other development partner support, and future ADB support strategy.

Over the last 2 decades, considerable investments have been made in urban areas in the Lao PDR by the government itself and through the assistance of development partners. These have resulted in significant improvements to urban environments and living conditions in many small, medium, and large urban centers. Nevertheless, further improvements are required, both to keep pace with urban expansion and to build on previous investments. ADB has been particularly prominent in urban development in the Lao PDR and intends to continue supporting this sector.

The primary challenges facing urban areas arise from inadequate urban infrastructure and the limited capacity of local governments to provide reliable and affordable urban services. Missing links in the road network, obsolete water supply pipes, flooding and clogged drains, and disposal of untreated waste constrain the productive capacity of urban areas and make them less competitive and livable. Inadequate urban infrastructure and poor management of urban services also discourage external investment, which is vital for economic development and growth. Infrastructure investments need to be more targeted and based on clearer strategies for urban development. Key needs are:

  • a clearer hierarchy and division of responsibilities for urban management;
  • more flexible and appropriate land-use plans to guide development;
  • improved data collection and management specifically for urban areas; and
  • better awareness of urban and environmental issues among key decision makers.


  • Introduction
  • Sector Assessment, Context, and Strategic Issues
  • Sector Strategy
  • Sector Road Map and Results Framework
  • Appendixes