Mongolia: Ulaanbaatar Urban Planning Improvement

Sovereign Project | 47039-001 Status: Approved


The objective of the TA will be to strengthen Ulaanbaatar''s development strategies and plans by building capacity and mechanisms of Municipality of Ulaanbaatar (MUB)' in urban planning based on international standards. Assistance will involve provision of training materials, working group, and workshops focused on disseminating methodologies for and experiences in strategic planning processes.

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Project Name Ulaanbaatar Urban Planning Improvement
Project Number 47039-001
Country Mongolia
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8467-MON: Ulaanbaatar Urban Planning Improvement
Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction US$ 1.50 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Public sector management - Public administration

Water and other urban infrastructure and services - Urban policy, institutional and capacity development

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming

The objective of the TA will be to strengthen Ulaanbaatar''s development strategies and plans by building capacity and mechanisms of Municipality of Ulaanbaatar (MUB)' in urban planning based on international standards. Assistance will involve provision of training materials, working group, and workshops focused on disseminating methodologies for and experiences in strategic planning processes. Improvement of master and local planning capacity will specifically emphasize (i) strengthening the critical links between (a) the urban infrastructure sectors -e.g., water, transport, and energy- in integrated urban planning and development processes; and (b) economic development and physical and infrastructure planning, urban laws and policies, poverty reduction, and environmental improvement; (ii) financing requirements of investment plans, revenue generation from different urban infrastructure services, and implications for local government debt, budget, and other key financing indicators; (iii) full engagement of government and nongovernment stakeholders, private sector, and communities in the planning process through participatory planning methods; and (iv) enhancement of environmental and safeguard skills and mechanisms to lay the foundation for green development as well as strategic environmental assessment with measurable indicators. The TA will have four components with the following outputs.

1. Enhancement of technical skills for urban planning and development of master and local plans. This will mainly target the staff of Master Planning Agency of Capital City (MPACC) and Urban Planning, Architecture, and Design Institute of Ulaanbaatar City (UPADI) but could be extended to other related institutions in the MUB. The TA will (i) analyze urban planning capacity and assess training needs; (ii) extend advisory services from a team of international and national consultants who will strengthen the current MUB urban planning teams at different levels of the planning process; (iii) provide training and materials on urban planning to introduce (a) modern, integrated, multisector, and sustainable urban planning practices and participatory approaches; (b) updated norms and standards for urban land use planning, urban design, green development, and construction; and (c) international best practices, lessons, and case studies from other overseas cities, particularly post-communist cities and cities with similar climate settings as Ulaanbaatar; (iv) provide training by inviting external speakers to increase the international exposure of municipal staff; (v) undertake case studies and workshops on concrete and agreed urban development plan scenarios or sector plans; (vi) launch a pilot planning program to apply the learned technical capacities and skills to the practical plan-making process; (vii) train trainers to ensure the sustainability of the technical skills enhancement; and (viii) produce knowledge products on strategic urban development and lessons learned from capacity building activities. MPACC and UPADI staff will receive certificates upon completion of the training programs.

2. Strengthening of urban planning function with a more participatory process and efficient organizational arrangement. The TA will (i) perform an in-depth assessment of the current institutional arrangements and decision-making mechanisms within urban planning and conduct case studies; (ii) develop with the key stakeholders a road map for organizational restructuring within MUB, and produce an agreed time-bound organizational development plan; (iii) introduce the participatory planning approach, build it into the decision-making process, and establish an action plan on a participatory, bottom-up approach; (iv) define and agree with key stakeholders a road map for master plan implementation and a step-by-step approach of establishing mechanisms to plan, manage, and promptly update master and local plans, policies, and standards in response to the changing demands of the growing city; (v) recommend links between urban planning, regulatory, and legal frameworks; and (vi) prepare an operations manual for departmental responsibilities with staff job descriptions and management processes.

3. Establishment of shared urban database. A properly functioning urban planning database will be established, with proper hardware and software and trained staff for database operation and maintenance. The TA will (i) propose specific solutions and protocols to ensure that planning activities by the municipality are prepared using the same base maps, with standardized coordinates and data sources; (ii) provide institutional and technical advice to install a GIS and a geospatial center within municipal departments and agencies to ensure that the items mentioned above are developed and implemented in a coordinated manner; and (iii) propose a step-by-step harmonization of all the geospatial tools now used by different agencies (e.g., Ulaanbaatar water and sewerage company, transport planning agencies) in a standardized and integrated system and platform. The shared urban database could be provided by establishing a one-stop shop containing all planning information of Ulaanbaatar, including maps, data, laws, and reports. A board of directors that will include representatives from municipal departments and agencies will manage the database.

4. Upgrade of planning software. Geospatial systems will be established and used with proper software and trained staff for operation and maintenance. Up-to-date GIS, geospatial tools, as well as management and design software and their official licenses will be developed or purchased to support the daily planning activities and the shared urban database. When conducting technical analysis and feasibility work, where necessary, specialized software will be purchased and training will be provided.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Rapid urbanization is taking place in Ulaanbaatar, but strategic urban infrastructure and planning are inadequate. MUB needs to build its capacity to plan, regulate, and implement its urban development to overcome long-term economic, social, and environmental problems; and to improve the people's quality of life. Parliamentary approval of the Ulaanbaatar Urban Development Master Plan 2030 in February 2013 and adoption of new laws to regulate the urban development of Ulaanbaatar provided a framework for the city's development. However, the existing technical capacity and institutional arrangements for urban planning in the MUB make it difficult to implement the master plan effectively, and are inadequate for the urban development requirements of the rapidly growing city.

The proposed TA is directly linked to the two pillars of the country partnership strategy (CPS) 2012-2016 for Mongolia, competitive, sustainable and regionally integrated growth, and inclusive social development. The TA will also contribute to achieving targeted results in the CPS. The capacity of MUB to implement urban plans will be enhanced by the proposed TA, and the implementation capacity to achieve targets for water supply and other municipal infrastructure and services under the CPS, such as greater availability of municipal services and improved living conditions in urban areas will be supported.

Impact Improved living conditions in Ulaanbaatar
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Stronger capacity of MUB for urban planning
Progress Toward Outcome The TA was approved on 1 Oct 2013 and became effective on 13 Dec 2013. Consultants recruitment was completed for 3 international consultants and 1 national consultant. The consulting firm was mobilized on 10 Mar 2014.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Enhancement of technical skills of MPACC and UPADI staff for urban planning and development of master and local plans

Strengthening of urban planning function with a more participatory process, and efficient organizational arrangement

Establishment of shared urban database

Upgrade of planning software

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Three periods of Comprehensive Training Program for urban planners (1) Season 1 from September November 2014 and February 2015, (2) Season 2 from March July 2015 and (3) Season 3 from September December 2015. Within the training seasons, a series of training sessions and workshops organized.

After submission of the Inception Report including needs assessment survey results, training sessions of Season 1 were implemented from September 2014 to February 2015 (before lunar new year).

Initial study on GIS and Data integration mechanism.

Interim Report is being prepared for submission to ADB.

Geographical Location Ulaanbaatar
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design EA, master planning agency of Ulaanbaatar, UPADI, and other agencies in MUB related to planning were consulted during project design.
During Project Implementation Consultations with the EA and relevant stakeholders are ongoing and will continue throughout the TA implementation period.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services An international consulting firm will be engaged using quality and cost-based selection with a fixed quality-cost ratio of 90:10. Consultants will be recruited in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2010, as amended from time to time).
Procurement The proceeds of the CDTA will be disbursed in accordance with ADB's Technical Assistance Disbursement Handbook (2013, as amended from time to time). Goods including equipments and software will be procured under the proposed TA. All procurement under the TA will be carried out in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2013, as amended from time to time) and the policy guidelines of Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.
Responsible ADB Officer Arnaud Heckmann
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Urban and Social Sectors Division, EARD
Executing Agencies
Municipal Government of Ulaanbaatar
Sukhbaatar Square-11
Ulaanbaatar-46, Mongolia
Concept Clearance 14 Feb 2013
Fact Finding 01 Dec 2012 to 09 Dec 2012
Approval 01 Oct 2013
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 23 Sep 2015

TA 8467-MON

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
01 Oct 2013 13 Dec 2013 13 Dec 2013 30 Sep 2015 31 Mar 2016 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
0.00 1,500,000.00 200,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,700,000.00 01 Oct 2013 425,199.65
Title Document Type Document Date
Ulaanbaatar Urban Planning Improvement Technical Assistance Reports Oct 2013

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