Planning boost for Indonesian cities

13 Jun 19

Indonesia, one of the world’s most rapidly urbanising countries, has been given $50m to help it devise better ways to manage its cities.

The World Bank loan could benefit about 12.5m people living in 13 cities in a country whose urban population soared by nearly 59m between 2010 and 2018.

The finance will support an Indonesian government project to help cities integrate plans and strategies for transportation, housing, economic development and the environment.

“Helping municipal governments integrate spatial planning with capital investment planning will help cities become drivers of prosperity for the country’s fast-growing urban population,” said Rudy Prawiradinata, deputy for regional development at Indonesia’s National Development Planning Agency, BAPPENAS.

Indonesia has been urbanising at a rate behind only China and India and, according to United Nations’ estimates, 137m of its people live in cities (54%) – a proportion set to grow to 68% by 2025.

However, gaps in infrastructure and inadequate attention to how investment is allocated has meant that the country has not fully benefited from the positive effects of urbanisation.

The $49.6m loan will finance Indonesia’s new National Urban Development Project to improve the capacity of cities to formulate and analyse infrastructure investments in order to achieve sustainable urban development through integrated planning and management.   

It aims to strengthen the link between medium-term capital investment and infrastructure prioritisation, improving the capacity of municipalities to manage urban growth and finances by integrating spatial and development planning.

The NUDP will also help urban planners to improve the quality of data and academic studies in this discipline.

“This project will cause more effective financing of infrastructure to make cities more liveable and productive,” said Rodrigo A. Chaves, World Bank Country Director for Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

“Indonesia is vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. This project will improve links between urban planning and infrastructure development to make the investments more efficient and reduce the vulnerability to climate-related hazards by directing development towards lower risk areas.”

  • Gavin O'Toole, expert on Latin America
    Gavin O'Toole

    A freelance journalist. He has written six books about Latin America and taught the politics of the region at Queen Mary, University of London.

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