GrEEEn Solutions for Livable Cities

Publication | March 2016

Practical ways on how urban managers, development practitioners, businesses, and citizens can engage to make cities more livable by building on the city’s unique physical, social, cultural, economic and human resource assets.

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The scale of urbanization in Asia today is unprecedented in urban history. Asia stands apart from other regions in terms of the absolute growth of the urban population as well as the number of densely populated megacities. Asia’s urban challenges are characterized by (i) increasing household consumption, (ii) rising demand for urban services, (iii) depletion of natural resources, (iv) increasing levels of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and (v) increasing vulnerability to natural hazards and risks from climate change. As a result, the quality of life for many residents in Asian cities is declining. The book addresses the urgent need to provide workable solutions for creating livable cities.

GrEEEn Cities Operational Framework

Building on the global research and advocacy around sustainability and green growth in cities, and on ADB's initiatives including its Urban Operational Plan 2012–2020 and Strategy 2020, the GrEEEn Cities Operational Framework (GCOF) was developed to ensure a balance of the 3Es of economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability, and social equity in development. As a flexible and scalable approach to address urban Asia’s livability challenge, the GCOF embraces the concept of “doing things differently” through integrated urban development and environmental planning.

Test in pilot cities

The GCOF, was pilot tested in three cities in Viet Nam where GrEEEn City Action Plans (GCAPs) were developed. In Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand, scoping studies for GCAPs with varying technical scopes and levels of institutional engagement were conducted. The GCAPs consist of a shared development vision, and prioritized and timebased investment programs for initiatives with short-, medium-, and long-term actions for improving environmental quality and achieving competitive, inclusive, and resilient growth in cities.

Key insights

This book suggests a way forward to improving the quality of life for all and shares key insights and learning for “doing things differently”:

  • Learn from current conditions and approaches;
  • Unbundle the 3Es at the city-region level to internalize risks and capture opportunities;
  • Recognize the fourth E: enablers—harnessing the power of partnerships;
  • Use decision support systems for informed decisions;
  • Promote asset management as a platform for sustainability and resilience; and
  • Partner for better ways of green infrastructure financing.


  • Foreword
  • Messages
  • Preface
  • Executive Summary
  • Green Growth and Cities
  • The GrEEEn Cities Operational Framework
  • Preparing a GrEEEn City Action Plan
  • Designing GrEEEn Solutions
  • Creating Urban Management Partnerships
  • Key Enablers for Achieving Livable Cities
  • Toward Livable Cities
  • References
  • About the Authors and Contributors
  • Glimpses of the First Regional Conference on Enabling GrEEEn Cities

Additional Details

  • Climate change
  • Promoting climate resilient development
  • Environment
  • Urban environmental improvement
  • Urban development
  • BKK157697
  • 978-92-9257-350-8 (Print)
  • 978-92-9257-351-5 (e-ISBN)

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