Urban Development Series Knowledge Papers

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Produced by the World Bank’s Urban Development and Resilience Unit of the Sustainable Development Network, the Urban Development Series discusses the challenge of urbanization and what it will mean for developing countries in the decades ahead. The Series aims to explore and delve more substantively into the core issues framed by the World Bank’s 2009 Urban Strategy Systems of Cities: Harnessing Urbanization for Growth and Poverty Alleviation. Across the five domains of the Urban Strategy, the Series provides a focal point for publications that seek to foster a better understanding of (i) the core elements of the city system, (ii) pro-poor policies, (iii) city economies, (iv) urban land and housing markets, (v) sustainable urban environment, and other urban issues germane to the urban development agenda for sustainable cities and communities.

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    Results-Based Financing for Municipal Solid Waste
    (Washington, DC, 2014-07) World Bank
    Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management is a crucial service provided by cities around the world, but is often inefficient and underperforming in developing countries. This report provides eight examples of RBF designs, each tailored to the specific context and needs of the solid waste sector in the specific city or country. These projects are currently in various stages of preparation or implementation; hence, lessons can be inferred only in terms of how solid waste projects can be developed using RBF principles. The eight examples could be classified into three main categories: (a) RBF to improve solid waste service delivery and fee collection: in Nepal and the West Bank, the projects use RBF subsidies to improve the financial sustainability of MSW services by increasing user fee collection while simultaneously improving waste collection services; (b) RBF to promote recycling and source separation: in the cases of China, Indonesia, and Malaysia, an incentive payment model is used to improve source separation and collection of waste through changes in behavior at the household level; and (c) RBF to strengthen waste collection and transport in under-served communities: in Mali and Tanzania, projects were designed to strengthen secondary waste collection and transport for under-served communities. In the case of Jamaica, the project was designed to improve waste collection in inner-city communities and to encourage waste separation as well as general neighborhood cleanliness. This report presents the challenges faced in the design and implementation phases as well as general recommendations on how to address such challenges in future projects. Some of the lessons learned and recommendations are generally applicable to the preparation of any MSW project, whereas others are particular to the design of RBF projects for MSW.
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    Urban Agriculture : Findings from Four City Case Studies
    (Washington, DC, 2013-07) World Bank
    Urban agriculture contributes to local economic development, poverty alleviation, the social inclusion of the urban poor and women, as well as to the greening of the city and the productive reuse of urban wastes. Urban agriculture encompasses a wide variety of production systems in both urban as well as peri-urban areas. This study examines the contribution of urban agriculture to livelihoods, food security, health, and the urban environment through an assessment of existing urban agriculture activities among poor households in four selected cities. Another important benefit from urban agricultural production is in the cash savings from self-produced food that would otherwise have to be purchased. The role and importance of urban agriculture will likely increase with urbanization and climate change, so the integration of urban agriculture into development strategies and policy decisions would be important for long-term sustainability. This report is structured according to the basic framework mentioned above. Chapter two then summarizes the key findings from the four city case studies, analyzing the profiles of urban agriculture in each city, including the agricultural practices pursued, access to and use of urban land, as well as examining the available data for evidence of the importance of urban agriculture for livelihoods and food security. Chapter two also discusses the main findings from the case studies on the constraints facing urban agriculture. Chapter three then provides various recommendations for strengthening urban agriculture and addressing these constraints, recognizing that these need to be considered in light of the broader urban development agenda and the many competing priorities that cities face. The annexes to this report describe the methodology used for the city case studies, and provide detailed information on each city, including a general city profile, the urban agricultural practices in each city, the inputs used and outputs produced, and the income, expenditure, dwelling and food consumption profiles of residents.
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    Cities and Climate Change : An Urgent Agenda
    (Washington, DC, 2010-12) World Bank
    The report discusses the link between climate change and cities, why cities should be concerned about climate change and adopt early preventative policies, and how the World Bank and other organizations can provide further support to cities on climate change issues. The report is one in a series of activities that explore the nexus of cities and climate change. This report, cities and climate change: an urgent agenda focuses on three broad issues pertaining to cities and climate change. This paper argues that climate change is an urgent agenda for cities for two reasons. First, climate change is a cumulative process. Second, embracing the climate change agenda now makes eminent sense from an individual city's perspective, be it economic, social, or political. It shows that the city is part of the global sustainable development agenda. This report presents an urgent situation. In rapidly growing cities, especially in Asia, current development paths are locking in emissions and lifestyles. Many people, particularly the poor, are already affected by climate change. The next decade will be particularly challenging. Cities will take a more active role in global dialogues and policy development as citizen's demand more comprehensive and immediate responses from all levels of government.