Green Cities, Urbanization and Municipal Development in Asia: 12 Things to Know

Urban expansion in Asia presents both opportunities and challenges for the region and the world, as it can help address some environmental problems if managed well.

  1. From 1980 to 2010, Asia added more than a billion people to its cities, with another 1.1 billion expected by 2040. Most of these increases will occur in the PRC, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
    Source: ADB. 2012. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
  2. Asia is home to more than half of the world's megacities - metropolitan areas with over 10 million inhabitants. By 2025, it will have 21 of the world's 37 megacities.
    Source: ADB. 2012. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
  3. Eleven of the world's 20 most polluted cities are in Asia. Air pollution contributes to the premature death of half a million Asians each year.
    Source: ADB. 2012. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
  4. Between 2000 and 2008, per capita average greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions grew by 97% in Asia compared to 18% globally.
    Source: ADB. 2012. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
  5. In 2010, more than half a billion Asians were living in slums.
    Source: ADB. 2012. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
  6. Urbanization, if carefully managed, could spearhead Asia's emergence as a green continent. The region's booming cities will provide huge markets for green technology.
    Source: ADB. 2012. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
  7. Urban productivity is more than 5.5 times higher than in rural areas - same level of output with fewer resources.
    Source: ADB. 2012. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
  8. Asian cities could facilitate the development of green technologies, leading in the production and export of renewable power generation equipment and electric vehicles. In 2008, PRC became the largest global producer of green technology.
    Source: ADB. 2012. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
  9. Developing cities resilient to climate change should be part of urbanization. This means building houses in safe areas, investing in drainage and flood barrier infrastructure, and setting up better forecasting and early warning technology.
    Source: ADB. 2012. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
  10. Policymakers need to prioritize efficiency and conservation to reduce existing urban energy consumption. For example, traffic congestion pricing in Singapore has cut traffic, as well as reduced pollution and fuel use.
    Source: ADB. 2012. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
  11. Mass transit systems are more efficient and faster than the private car. For example, PRC's Guanzhou bus rapid transit saves 30 million passenger hours per year.
    Source: ADB. 2012. Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific
  12. ADB's Strategy 2020 states that "livable cities" will be fostered through support for infrastructure, with programs that focus on water supply, sanitation, waste management, and urban transport; and urban shelter programs of slum upgrading, land development, housing, and housing finance.
    Source: ADB. 2008. Strategy 2020: Working for an Asia and Pacific Free of Poverty
 

 
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