Asian Urban Forum 2011: Financing Future Cities


Asian cities, some already nation-sized in terms of their economy, will determine the future of the planet. They are the new workshops of the world: their economic growth has lifted millions out of poverty, although they are still home to more than two thirds of the world’s poor who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. They will make or break the battle against climate change, on the one hand being a significant contributor to environmental degradation through production, consumption and waste generation, on the other having the potential to become an engine for solutions that may turn around the disastrous path to climate change that the world is facing.

The key question is how, while maintaining economic growth, investments can be made to foster sustainable and inclusive development so all Asian urban inhabitants can enjoy a quality of life with access to basic services, shelter and employment that at the same time is resilient to the impacts of climate change.

How can these needed investments be financed? Globally, increased awareness on climate change has resulted in multitude funds for climate mitigation and adaptation – these are primarily available to national governments. But how can cities that are at the forefront of implementation of such measures, access these funds? What financing mechanisms exist at national and international levels for cities to tap?


The Asian Urban Forum aims to answer these questions and to increase insight in financing mechanisms currently available to promote green, competitive and inclusive cities through:

  • Sharing of experiences in new enabling frameworks and planning systems for urban infrastructure investment
  • Explaining and discussing the use of new financing structures and investments
  • Showcasing project proposals and discussing practical financing potentials

The overall focus of the Forum will be on financing, in particular financing of the three streams of investment that are the thrust of the new ADB Urban Operational Plan, which will be launched at the Forum. The Green Cities, Competitive Cities and Inclusive Cities themes of the Plan detail investments to improve the environment, support the economy and build equity in Asia’s urban areas.

Expected outputs

Delegates have:

  • Increased understanding of mechanisms available for financing green, competitive and inclusive cities
  • Awareness of innovative practices in financing green, competitive and inclusive cities in Asia and beyond

ADB has:

  • Identified core potential national funding partners, development assistance agencies and international private investors that may be linked to the planned Green Financing Network

Target participants

  • Representatives from DMCs of Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Urban Development, national/state level
  • Representatives from (inter)national financing agencies (public and private)
  • Representatives from (Inter)national contractors, infrastructure companies and consulting firms
  • City mayors, chief urban and financial planners, sector specialists
  • Representatives from partners (international urban development and financing institutions and networks) and AID agencies (bilateral, multilateral and international agencies)

Resource speakers

  • Mr. Jejomar Binay, Vice-President, Philippines
  • Mr. Jesse Robredo, Secretary, Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippines
  • Mr. Xu Xianping, Vice Chair of the National Development and Reform Commission, PRC
  • Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN-HABITAT
  • Mr. Jose Carrera, Vice President Corporation Andina de Fomento, Venezuela
  • Mr. Ek Sonn Chan, CEO Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, Cambodia
  • Ms. Mary Racelis, Professor Ateneo de Manila University, The Philippines
  • Mr. Michael Enright, Professor University of Hong Kong
  • Mr. Michael Redican, Managing director Global Credit Structuring, Deutsche Bank
  • Ms. Erna Witoelar, Minister Human Settlements and Regional Development (former), Indonesia
  • Mr.Konrad Otto-Zimmermann, Secretary General ICLEI
  • Mr. Edward Cameron, Director World Resource Institute, Washington
  • Ms. Manju George, Vice-president Intellecap, India
  • Mayors from several Asian cities
  • Representatives from Financing Agencies