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Latino Daily News

Monday May 6, 2013

Four Colombian Cities Receive IDB Plans for Urban Growth

Four Colombian Cities Receive IDB Plans for Urban Growth

Photo: Barranquilla, Colombia

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today announced the completion of action plans for the Colombian cities of Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Manizales, and Pereira, providing them with powerful tools to prioritize their investments over the next decade.

The action plans provide preliminary estimates that the four Colombian cities require $2.2 billion in investments in areas such as urban development of socially vulnerable areas, expansion of public transport systems and provision of exclusive lanes for pedestrians and bicycles, renovation of historic centers, public safety, and strengthened fiscal management.

This marks the first time the IDB has simultaneously released four action plans in one country, an achievement that was carried out through a partnership between the IDB’s Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI) and Financiera del Desarrollo (Findeter), the Colombian state agency that supports development projects in the country.

Under the ESCI program, the IDB is working in partnership with banks and local investment entities as well as public and private international donors to achieve its goal of generating 50 action plans for high- growth intermediate-sized cities in Latin America and the Caribbean by 2015.  Each action plan costs about $1 million.

ESCI also works with universities and research centers and draws on the expertise of leading international urban planning professionals. The new initiative uses 140 indicators in areas such as fiscal management, water and waste management, energy, natural disaster vulnerability, land use and transportation.

The action plans, which identify areas that need improvement, are followed by a pre-investment stage that identifies specific projects, how much they cost and helps mobilize long-term financing. The entire process takes about four years.

In the case of Colombia, the government and the IDB have agreed on a $600 million credit line, subject to approval by the IDB’s Board of Executive Directors, to support fiscal strengthening and public investment expenditures for local governments.