The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and cofinancing partners’ investment to make Pacific towns and cities more livable through improved essential services is poised to reach $900 million by the end of 2022, according to a new report. ADB’s Pacific Urban Update 2020 details a raft of extensive investments across the region—both ongoing and upcoming—which will improve water supply, sanitation, and other municipal infrastructure and services in urban areas. The report highlights how integration and coordination, and an emphasis on building capacity to plan and manage urban development, are building urban resilience by addressing the root causes of vulnerability and fragility. “More people moving to cities and towns risks the growth of underserved informal settlements and increased spread of disease, but it also presents an opportunity to improve lives through the sustainable delivery of accessible services,” said the Urban Division director of ADB’s Pacific Department Jingmin Huang.
“By helping countries provide safe, efficient and reliable urban services, and by better managing the growth of towns and cities, we are building strong and healthy economies to better manage their isolation and limited resources.” The report states significant urban planning, investment, and institutional reforms are needed to improve access to, and the quality of, urban services in Pacific cities and towns. It says to build urban resilience today, and in the future, a focus on disaster preparedness and the impacts of climate change is needed.