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IDB and three regional development banks launch joint report on livable cities

The African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched a joint report titled, Creating Livable Cities: Regional Perspectives. The report looks at urbanization trends across emerging and developing economies across the world.

IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno took part in the launch event of the publication at IDB headquarters in Washington, D.C., with the presidents of the other three development banks: Mr. Akinwumi Adesina of AfDB, Mr.Suma Chakrabarti of EBRD, and Mr.Takehiko Nakao of ADB.

The world’s urban population has grown from just 750 million in 1950 (or 31% of the total population) to 4.2 billion in 2018 (55% of the total population)—a number that is estimated to reach 5.2 billion in 2030 (60% of the total population). While the majority of leading economic hubs are still in advanced economies, the center of economic activity is moving toward the developing and emerging markets, the report says.

The report also points out that cities need large scale investments to develop and maintain infrastructure and services such as urban transport, water supply, sanitation, and solid waste management. In the face of rapid growth, overstretched services, skills shortages, and increased vulnerabilities to disasters are adding to cities’ environmental stress. Realizing the cities´ potential requires flexibility, careful planning and good governance.

The publication also examines the types of policy interventions and approaches needed to promote competitive, inclusive, equitable, and environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient cities—four factors that taken together make cities livable. The regional development banks play an important role in identifying, distilling, and diffusing knowledge and actions that can accelerate progress toward creating more livable cities.

Latin America and the Caribbean is the most urbanized developing region in the world with 8 out of 10 people now living in cities. Urbanization has yielded many gains, including better economic opportunity and access to services. However, to reap the full benefits of urban agglomeration, there is a need to reexamine how urban leaders and institutions should nurture inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous cities for all.

The Inter-American Development Bank has partnered with governments and cities in the region for the past 60 years. This is consistent with the IDB Group’s Institutional Strategy and the four core areas of the Urban Sector Framework’s aim to promote livable cities in the region through solutions that target deficits in urban governance, urban infrastructure and public services, housing, and urban habitats. Therefore, the IDB is committed to promote the sustainable development of livable cities in the region through knowledge and investment that promote inclusion, productivity and resilience.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region. The IDB is the leading source of multilateral financing for Latin America and the Caribbean.