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CDIA Offers Blueprint for Building Sustainable Cities in Uzbekistan

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CDIA held a final workshop on December 17, 2020 to present the outputs of its project preparation study (PPS) in the cities of Djizzak, Khiva and Yangiyer and the urban village of Havas. It proposed an integrated approach to encourage economic growth and livability in the four urban areas, which can be replicated nationwide to create more sustainable cities in Uzbekistan.

“This is now getting to the end of the CDIA input which we started over a year ago, when we spoke with the cities and put the project together,” said CDIA Program Manager Neil Chadder during his opening remarks. “We had interruptions as a result of the pandemic but I am highly appreciative of the way everybody on the [consulting] team and our colleagues in the cities and the MIFT have worked together to keep the project going forwards,” he added.

Members of the CDIA consulting team presented the investment subprojects that will altogether improve the infrastructure and environment in the four urban areas; enhance their water supply, sanitation and solid waste management (SWM) services; and strengthen the capacity of institutions that will manage the investments.

The proposed projects will be considered for Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) loan program.

Pursuing area-based holistic development in Djizzak

The mahallas (communities) of Ittifoq, Dostlik and Yoshlik have pockets of decaying or underutilized areas. To provide better economic opportunities and living conditions for the residents, CDIA proposed investments within the 24 km of mahalla road corridors to incorporate better road surfaces, drainage, pavements, lighting and pedestrian access. It likewise offered plans for developing green open spaces with provisions for parks and recreational facilities for the residents.

“The Djizzak work covers a total area of 309 hectares and accommodates 21,000 people so it’s important! This is the most comprehensive upgrading of the three mahallas,” said CDIA expert Mike Sharrocks.

As the current water supply, sanitation and SWM services in the three mahallas are deficient, investments are needed to set up new or improve conveyance pipelines and household connections. The operation and management of the water supply itself needs support to increase its efficiency. Similarly, a whole range of SWM measures is necessary, from minimizing waste and encouraging recycling at the household level to enhancing municipal collection, transfer and disposal systems.

Enhancing tourism and quality of life for residents in Khiva

Khiva has significant potential for tourism; however, its narrow and largely disconnected tourism value chains constrain its broad-based economic growth and diversification.

CDIA proposed invigorating the south-eastern road corridor to have better access to some of the tourist spots within the area. The environment along the Polvon Canal will also be upgraded to include better landscaped pedestrian routes, open spaces and recreational areas; and a new visitor center will be built as a multi-functional tourist facility which will include a digital museum.

Khiva’s SWM program can be improved through measures such as an awareness campaign as well as the expansion of waste collection, transfer and waste disposal systems. Similar interventions are needed in Yangiyer and Havas.

Providing city cluster benefits for Yangiyer and Havas

For Yangiyer and its adjoining urban village Havas, CDIA proposed to have a linear park. Incorporating a new 900m long section of the park along the southern bank of the Sarkisov Canal, the park will be located in the central part of Yangiyer with good access from Havas. It will further link up with the recently constructed ‘Youth Park’ and provide an attractive route between two pedestrian bridges that cross the canal in central Yangiyer.

Being a high-quality landmark attraction, the park will serve the twin settlement areas and accommodate various recreational and open space features. A small training center/business services and co-working facility will also be developed adjacent to the linear park.

Strengthening urban governance and institutional capacity

CDIA’s proposal includes a comprehensive support program to strengthen Uzbekistan’s urban sector institutions. At the local government level, CDIA proposed measures to improve their operational, financial and asset management capacities.

CDIA likewise recommended conducting skills enrichment activities for the vulnerable groups to increase their employability; and augmenting the capacity of service providers of water supply and sanitation to enhance their operations and customer services.

With the onset of COVID-19, CDIA incorporated a hygiene promotion program to be implemented in the three cities. It will include targeted public awareness campaigns and the provision of handwashing facilities in key public areas.

Aside from the proposed subprojects, the CDIA team also presented the key innovations it introduced through the project; as well as the results of its initial poverty and social assessments, and environmental and social safeguards study.

The CDIA experts further provided the cost estimates and financing plans, and deemed the proposed projects financially and economically sustainable based on their assessments.

Next Steps after the CDIA study

The ADB is expected to take forward the recommended projects and start preparing the loan documents. Building on the work of CDIA, it will mobilize three teams to conduct due diligence work, prepare the National Feasibility Study, and conduct surveys, engineering designs and procurement activities.

“I’m very happy to see all the active participation and interest to the project and I really acknowledge the hard work and the good quality that CDIA has produced during this difficult time. I very much appreciate that,” said ADB Principal Urban Development Specialist Ron Slangen.

The virtual workshop was attended by 64 government partners from national, regional and local levels as well as key development partners in various countries.

“I just want to take the opportunity to say a really big thank you to Murat [Mirzaev] and all the MIFT people, your support to CDIA over the last year has been tremendous,” said Neil. “It’s highly appreciated and I sincerely hope this is not the last time we work together. My thanks to the entire [consulting] team and thanks to all the cities and their contributions over the recent months,” he concluded.

 

Photos during the final workshop:

 

Featured image from: https://flypigs.com/uzbekistan/

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