New urban sustainability program targets 23 developing cities

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A view of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Vietnam is one of the countries selected to develop its municipalities through the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities. Image: Frank Fischbach /

A new global initiative coordinated by the World Bank aims to help city leaders in developing nations promote urban sustainability.

The Global Platform for Sustainable Cities, announced March 9 in Singapore, would team with a core group of 23 cities from the developing world. Via knowledge sharing and lessons learned, dozens more cities around the world could benefit, the sponsors say. The effort is part of a broader initiative funded by the Global Environment Facility.

The platform aims to tackle some of the toughest challenges facing cities in the Global South, including resilience to climate change and access to clean water.

More than US$1.5 billion would be earmarked for municipalities in 11 nations through 2021 for improved urban planning and solutions. They are: Brazil, Cote D’Ivoire, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Senegal, South Africa and Vietnam.

Another goal involves helping developing cities attract more funding for infrastructure improvements, public transit and other projects. Additional partners include multilateral development banks, UN organizations and city networks, the announcement says.

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