Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno today announced a plan to partner with intermediate cities in Latin America and the Caribbean that aspire to set a new standard for sustainable urban development.
The plan would help cities analyze their development challenges in an integrated manner, prioritize investments, and identify funding from national and international sources.
There are more than 140 fast-growing cities in Latin America and the Caribbean with populations between 100,000 and 2 million people. Typically located near agricultural or manufacturing centers, these cities are growing two to three times faster than the region’s megacities. At that pace, these cities will double in size in just 20 years. Over three quarters of Latin American and Caribbean citizens already live in urban areas.
“We all know what happened in Latin America when we combined rapid growth with poor planning, lack of financing for infrastructure, and little regard for environmental and climate issues,” Moreno said. “No one wants today’s emerging cities to become tomorrow’s crowded and unhealthy megacities.”
Moreno said the goal of the Sustainable Emerging Cities platform is to help emerging cities avoid the mistakes of the past by crafting comprehensive plans that will harness sustainable solutions to housing, transportation, water and energy use, public services, and related areas.
A key part of the challenge will be adopt fiscal management practices that enable cities to finance such plans with a combination of local and central government revenues. The platform will also promote citizen participation in decisions about planning and budgets, along with measures to enable communities to monitor the outcome of public investments.