Today is World Cities Day!

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In line with the theme of “Changing the World: Innovations and Better Life for Future Generations,” how does CDIA contribute to shaping the cities of tomorrow? What are some of its innovative approaches to address challenges and ensure a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable urban future?

“Stimulating innovation is a key objective of CDIA in working with cities,” said Neil Chadder, Program Manager. “We do so by going beyond introducing cutting edge technologies. It is more about addressing specific needs to ensure that benefits are optimized for the city residents,” he added.

Urbanization is transforming our world today. Half of the world’s population now live in cities, and the number is expected to double in 2050 (United Nations, 2018). While urbanization poses serious challenges related to infrastructure, basic services, climate change and the environment, etc.; it also provides a platform for achieving sustainable development.

Tailoring the way cities are planned, designed, developed and managed can propel cities as engines of growth and prosperity. CDIA, through its assistance in infrastructure project preparation can serve as the bridge through which cities can address their urbanization issues.

Guided by its Strategy 2018-2022, CDIA applies key innovations to respond more effectively to the needs of cities and funding agencies.

CDIA closely integrates capacity development with its project preparation studies (PPS). The value of this innovation to cities lies in the ability to not only plan for the infrastructure investment projects, but also prepare them to implement the proposed infrastructure investments.

During and after the PPS, we identify institutional, organizational and human capacity gaps which hinder implementation; and on this basis, craft capacity development roadmaps that define activities to be implemented in the short-, medium- and long-term horizons.

CDIA advocates holistic and integrated approach to development and to this end, it has broadened the depth and scope of its project development support. Unlike other project preparation facilities, cities may benefit from CDIA’s ability to work on various infrastructure sectors and address development objectives such as poverty reduction, environmental improvement, climate change mitigation and/or adaptation and governance.

It also provides a range of project preparation support based on the needs of the city and the requirement of downstream funding agency. And while we mainly work with secondary cities, we also apply “cluster approach” wherein an aggregate of cities are covered under one study.

Understanding cities as complex socio-economic systems, CDIA can engage with selected cities over a prolonged period of time to be able to align different investments to increase their development impacts.

Potential for financing has also now become mandatory for CDIA before commencing its PPS work and in this way, cities have better chances of project implementation.

Finally, CDIA works with national project development facilities with the objective of strengthening their individual and organizational capabilities to accelerate project preparation in their respective countries.

“In all of CDIA’s work, we take a ‘people-centered’ approach. We use tools, methodologies, and innovations to ensure that the positive contributions of our recommended infrastructure investments to gender equality, poverty reduction and improvement in the environment, resilience and governance are maximized,” said Neil Chadder.

“On World Cities Day, we renew our commitment not only in helping cities address their urbanization needs, but also in driving innovation towards a better life, where no one and one place is left behind,” he added.

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