GIZ Urban NEXUS Project Director Ruth Erlbeck moderated the session which focused on the application of the nexus approach to sustainable urban development.
By Bima Fitriandana
Parallel session B focused on cities as they share stories on urban resilience financing.
The increase of urban population has put more pressure on resources which are finite and limited. This gap highlights the cities’ vulnerabilities in sectors such as water, transport, energy, and others. To counter this, Asian cities have started initiatives to create enabling mechanisms for developing a more resilient city. The session also had secondary cities share their experience in urban development planning in the context of innate vulnerabilities, disaster risk reduction and management, and basic infrastructure.
One of the highlights of the parallel session is the vision of Jambi, Indonesia, to become an “ecologist city”. To achieve this, they are making reforms on waste management, green spaces, and green transportation. However, these initiatives are implemented on a small scale basis. Ms. Mariani from Jambi said that it is important to note that the projects do not have to be implemented widely as small-scale project can also produce great impact for cities. Similarly, Coimbatore, a city in India, is carrying out the installation of rainwater catchment system and high calorific waste to energy.
As promising as these initiatives may sound, financing is still a challenge for most cities. One of the solutions is project feasibility. Alexia Kelly from the Electric Capital Management proposed that there is a need to build capacity for project feasibility. In addition, Alexia Kelly also said, “creditworthiness is the important element for local governments to drive climate finance. Municipal authorities should explore opportunities that exist around blended capital and impact investing”
In another initiative under the Nexus project, some cities are financially assisted to promote resource efficiency or circular economy concept. The project’s objective is to improve city resilience through the integrated resource management on solid waste management, wastewater management, energy efficiency and urban planning and land use. Cities working on this project are Ulaanbaatar, Tanjungpinang, Naga, Nagpur, Korat, Chiang Mai and Da Naang.
Innovative technology is applied in the projects, such as wastewater management using vacuum sewer, thermos-technical retrofitting of the building, climate change resilient housing and maximum yield technology. To the success of this project, coordination is the key factor. Haryo from The Ministry of Public Works Indonesia said, “We need to create a better communication between national government, sub-national and local government and engineers”.
Highlighting the importance of vertical integration, especially the role of the national government in developing resilient cities, ICLEI Southeast Asia Regional Director Victorino Aquitania said, “If we do not communicate our problems to the national government, the problem will not be appropriately addressed.”