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Ideas for Developing Asia and the Pacific

Making Cities More Livable

Urban populations have increased sharply and now comprise half the world's population. The United Nations projects that they will grow to about 6.4 billion in 2050, comprising about 70% of the world's population. This rapid urbanization is pronounced in developing nations in Asia, giving rise to environmental and urban problems such as the spread of informal settlements. In countries such as India, rapid urbanization is a major strain on infrastructure such as water and waste management systems. Many countries in Asia are soon expected to face the challenges of an aging society. The challenge is to ensure that urban people’s lives are fruitful, healthy, and secure. Capacity-building and training programs will concentrate on making cities more livable by addressing topics such as inclusive and participatory urban planning, integrated solutions and funding for livable cities, and climate resilience and disaster management in urban areas.


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16 April 2020 The tip of the iceberg for COVID-19 cases in developing Asia? - Asia Pathways

The number of COVID-19 cases in many Asian developing countries is surprisingly low, but this may simply reflect inadequate levels of testing. The high correlation between rates of testing and per capita GDP strongly suggests that lower-income countries face a number of barriers to carrying out adequate testing.

24 March 2020 Improve handwashing access to combat COVID-19 - Asia Pathways

Medical experts and institutions tell us that a critical but simple lifesaving action to reduce vulnerability to COVID-19 is literally in our own hands—regular handwashing with soap. Public awareness efforts underscore the need for greater behavioral compliance.

11 March 2020 Recovering from shocks is what Asia knows best - Asia Pathways

Unimaginable setbacks to Japan nine years ago from the triple disasters of the earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima emergency were used to pioneer new approaches to regional development and integrated reconstruction to build back better, safer, and greener.

19 February 2020 Measuring the economic and social impacts of high-speed rail - Asia Pathways

The scale of investments in high-speed rail (HSR) raises questions about the most appropriate methods of appraisal. Increasingly the reliance on conventional cost–benefit analysis, based essentially on the direct benefits to users and the direct costs to operators, has been questioned.

8 November 2019 Land readjustment in Japan: Beyond the myth of Japanese consensus and harmony - Asia Pathways

The landscape of Misato City in Japan has changed drastically in the last 35 years. In the 1980s, Shin-Misato Station was the Mushashino marshalling yard for freight services. Most of the land near the station was used for agriculture, but once residential houses increased and more people came to settle in the area the government built a passenger train station.

3 October 2019 Thinking beyond the suitability of high-speed railway in India - Asia Pathways

In India, the project to build the country’s first 500-kilometer high-speed railway (HSR) from Mumbai to Ahmedabad is underway. For comparison, all top 10 economies in the world except the United States have constructed several HSR lines in the past 30 years.

16 August 2019 Delivering safety for high-speed rail - Asia Pathways

As we are increasingly relying on technical innovations to solve some of society’s most complex problems, technological advancements such as artificial intelligence are contributing to new, modern modes of transportation, especially to enhancing safety.

5 July 2019 Do the socioeconomic spillovers from sewage treatment plants in developing countries justify heavy investment in them? - Asia Pathways

Decent sanitation for all is crucial for rapidly urbanizing developing countries, such as India. As large volumes of wastewater in developing countries remain untreated, the investments in treatment facilities have not kept pace with the steady increases in population and urbanization and the resulting increases in wastewater volumes.

18 March 2020 How will the novel coronavirus impact the trajectory of Asian high-speed rail? - Asia's Developing Future

The novel coronavirus is affecting transportation connectivity worldwide. In this podcast, ADBI’s KE Seetha Ram and Shreyas Bharule, co-editors of the new Handbook on High-Speed Rail and Quality of Life, discuss the sector’s development prospects and socioeconomic effects in the fast-changing and uncertain environment.