MANILA, PHILIPPINES  – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $150 million to address urgent infrastructure needs and implement municipal service best practices to transform two mid-sized cities in Jilin Province, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), into more livable and resource-efficient cities.

“The Jilin Urban Development Project will focus on Baishan and Baicheng, two medium-sized cities facing critical infrastructure gaps, to improve the quality of life of more than 786,000 residents,” said Arnaud Heckmann, an ADB Urban Development Specialist. “This project will promote people-centered urban transport; introduce integrated solid waste management based on the reduce, reuse, recycle (3R) principle; and improve water supply services, emphasizing water conservation, water supply safety and energy efficiency.”

In Baicheng, about 25,000 residents in the west of the city are not yet connected to the central wastewater treatment plant and discharge water into the surrounding environment or septic tanks. The area also lacks a road network to deliver adequate services, to properly connect residents with the rest of the city, and to accommodate future population and economic activities.

The project will construct 32 kilometers of urban roads, including dedicated bus and non-motorized transport lanes, two bridges, and a rail underpass. To address the water shortages, about 37 km of water piping will be installed, along with 63 km of sewer piping, pump stations, stormwater piping, and a heating network. All these facilities will be accompanied by communications, energy, lighting, and landscaping work.

The project will initiate a change in the transport planning system and promote the extension of low-carbon transport. It will also implement a traffic management and control system, traffic safety measures, and a public-awareness campaign to help improve traffic safety and reduce traffic congestion.

In Baishan, the water supply has reached full capacity and cannot deliver 24-hour service. Almost one third of the population—144,000 people—lacks full-time access to water. Meanwhile, a decline in the quality and quantity of the main water source, the Dayangcha River, is putting the city’s water supply safety at risk.

To address these issues, the project will construct water transmission lines; a new 50,000 tons per day water treatment plant with supervisory control and data acquisition system; more than 55 km of new or upgraded water supply pipes, and four pump stations.

It will also establish an efficient and safe water supply system by promoting reduction of non-revenue water and support improvements in operations and energy efficiency, the implementation of a water safety plan, tariff reform to achieve full cost recovery, and an education campaign to raise water conservation awareness.

Both cities are rehabilitating or constructing new landfills. But they “truck and dump” their solid waste with little consideration for recycling, resulting in pollution and inefficient use of waste. In Baishan, the project will construct a new sanitary landfill.

In both cities an at-source segregation system and recycling activities will be maximized by providing upgraded transfer stations and collection points for materials such as glass, metal, clothes, and construction waste. A kitchen waste collection, sorting, and composting program will be established. Education and public awareness campaigns, and community-based solid waste management will ensure the sustained operation and positive impact of the infrastructure improvements.

Underpinning the project will be support for implementation and management, strengthening the two cities’ institutions, training, and monitoring.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2013, ADB assistance totaled $21.0 billion, including cofinancing of $6.6 billion.

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