Six Innovations That Will Promote Sustainable Urbanization in Uzbekistan

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CDIA is supporting the government of Uzbekistan to achieve its priority agenda of sustainable urbanization. Through its ongoing project preparation study (PPS), CDIA’s development experts have identified infrastructure investment projects that can be piloted in the cities of Khiva, Djizzak, Yangiyer and the urban village of Havas.

These proposed infrastructure investments will help improve urban livability, provide tourism-based infrastructure, and improve water supply, wastewater and solid waste services. The project will likewise help strengthen the government institutions providing these services.

To ensure more successful results for the proposed investments, CDIA recommended the following innovative measures:

1. Apply a holistic, integrated approach to urban development. To promote sustainable urbanization in the four urban areas, government agencies must aim for integrated city-level development.

With this in mind, CDIA experts proposed investments that aim to promote city cluster development, transition responsibilities to the provincial and city level governments, and improve urban services in various sectors based on specific needs, aspirations and opportunities.

2. Advance technology and innovation in infrastructure planning and service delivery. CDIA suggested applying modern utility concepts in water supply and sanitation planning, operations and management. It introduced the SCADA automated water distribution and metering systems, non-revenue water reduction, hydraulic modelling and asset management initiatives. It likewise proposed international best practices in waste minimization and recycling, and intermediate disposal remediation.

3. Enable more effective, smart urban governance. CDIA integrated a focused capacity development program in its PPS, which aims to strengthen the capabilities of government agencies in the sectors of water supply and sanitation, solid waste management, urban renewal and urban management. Doing so will ensure that rapid urbanization and the corresponding urban services will be managed in an integrated and sustainable manner.

CDIA also introduced e-knowledge and management information systems that project implementers can capitalize on to facilitate coordination and decision-making among the various players.

4. Pilot cross-subsidy mechanisms for financially viable urban upgrading. Some beneficiaries have limited financial resources to devote to urban upgrading. To address this, CDIA recommended for cities to identify cross-subsidy mechanisms to augment the limited revenue that governments can receive from service charges. Some potential sources of cross-subsidies for the cities include lease revenue from serviced commercial spaces operated by the private sector, and income from local events and festivals.

5. Apply a place-based approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Public spaces will be designed with the participation of community groups and businesses to ensure that they take into consideration the local community’s assets, potential and inspiration, which are elemental for attracting investments and business enterprises.

6. Integrate climate-friendly urban planning and design. CDIA recommended the adoption of climate resilient features in urban upgrading. These include setting up of natural landscapes and flood prevention infrastructure projects such as bioswales and flood retention ponds.

Meanwhile, CDIA proposed that for drier climatic areas such as Khiva, they should make use of “hard” landscape designs that can reduce maintenance cost. It also advised low carbon urban enhancements such as solar-powered street lamps and motion-activated lighting.

“We devoted a significant amount of time early on for sectoral reviews and consultations before arriving at the proposed investment projects and the innovations that go with them,” says Neil Chadder, CDIA Program Manager.

“We believe that only after having a thorough understanding of the city and their needs – what matters to them most and what the real challenges are – can we come up with interventions that can effectively work to the advantage of our city partners,” Neil adds. “It becomes extremely important for this particular project in Uzbekistan, as we expect the measures and investments to be replicated nationwide.”

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