Lee, Hyunji

Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice
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Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice
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Last updated: October 18, 2023
Hyunji Lee is an Urban Specialist at the World Bank based in Washington, DC. She works on various urban development projects across regions and leads global analytical works focusing on pressing urban policy issues, such as public space and asset management, healthy cities, result-based financing, among others. Before joining the World Bank, she worked at the United Nations in New York to research sustainable development topics and contributed to the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal indicators. At the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, she contributed to policy reports on national urban policies and urban green growth strategies, as well as to the OECD regional indicator development. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a master’s degree in civil engineering and urban planning from Seoul National University.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    Healthy Cities: Revisiting the Role of Cities in Promoting Health
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-10-18) Lee, Hyunji; Hasoloan, Jonathan; Chapman, Terri B.; Das, Maitreyi Bordia
    With most people already living in cities and the global urban population estimated to double by 2050, cities are central to human well-being and sustainable development. Whereas cities reap the economic and social benefits of agglomeration, proximity to services, and innovation, they also face significant health and environmental issues. The presence of urban poverty, complexity of urban systems, rapidity of often-unplanned urbanization, and certainty of unanticipated shocks complicate urban strategies for health and well-being. Indeed, COVID-19 revealed the significant vulnerability of global and urban systems to pandemics and the imminent climate-related impacts. Cities can confront these threats and support communities by integrating healthy city action with other urban development agendas and prioritizing human and ecosystem health in the design and management of urban environments. The Healthy Cities Report aims to provide high-level guidance to practitioners in green, inclusive, and resilient urban development while asserting the essential role of cities in improving human and ecosystem health. It introduces an action-oriented ‘TIP’ Framework for achieving healthy cities with three components: Targeted support, Integrated action, and Preparation for future challenges. It explores three pivotal modern issues—equity, climate change, and COVID-19—as they define the context for urban health policy and practice. The report suggests eight action areas for healthy cities, including adequate housing, public spaces, transportation systems, access to healthcare, water and sanitation systems, food systems, effective institutions, and sustainable funding.
  • Publication
    The Hidden Wealth of Cities: Creating, Financing, and Managing Public Spaces
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020-02-11) Kaw, Jon Kher; Lee, Hyunji; Wahba, Sameh
    In every city, the urban spaces that form the public realm—ranging from city streets, neighborhood squares, and parks to public facilities such as libraries and markets—account for about one-third of the city’s total land area, on average. Despite this significance, the potential for these public-space assets—typically owned and managed by local governments—to transform urban life and city functioning is often overlooked for many reasons: other pressing city priorities arising from rapid urbanization, poor urban planning, and financial constraints. The resulting degradation of public spaces into congested, vehicle-centric, and polluted places often becomes a liability, creating a downward spiral that leads to a continuous drain on public resources and exacerbating various city problems. In contrast, the cities that invest in the creation of human-centered, environmentally sustainable, economically vibrant, and socially inclusive places—in partnership with government entities, communities, and other private stakeholders—perform better. They implement smart and sustainable strategies across their public space asset life cycles to yield returns on investment far exceeding monetary costs, ultimately enhancing city livability, resilience, and competitiveness. The Hidden Wealth of Cities: Creating, Financing, and Managing Public Spaces discusses the complexities that surround the creation and management of successful public spaces and draws on the analyses and experiences from city case studies from around the globe. This book identifies—through the lens of asset management—a rich palette of creative and innovative strategies that every city can undertake to plan, finance, and manage both government-owned and privately owned public spaces.
  • Publication
    Performance-Based Fiscal Transfers for Urban Local Governments: Results and Lessons from Two Decades of World Bank Financing
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022) Lee, Hyunji; Steffensen, Jesper; White, Roland; Mahgoub, Ayah
    The ability of cities and municipalities to effectively deliver infrastructure and services and productively manage built environments and local economies depends on their institutional capabilities, quality of local governance, and financial resources at their disposal. Therefore, a core priority of governments is to strengthen the financial and institutional systems for cities and municipalities to enable them to perform these functions. One tool the World Bank has used to address this challenge over the past two decades is performance-based fiscal transfers to urban local governments - a type of financing mechanism designed to improve institutional and service delivery performance of these local governments. Generally known as ‘Urban Performance Grants’, these are fiscal transfers from a higher level of government conditioned on achieving performance in predetermined areas. The Bank’s Global Practice for Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land has implemented a large financing portfolio of such programs across several countries. This report takes stock of the results and implementation experience of these programs and identifies key lessons and good practices for the design of the next generation of such programs. Based on a review of nine financing programs across seven countries, it shows that they have generally been effective in delivering results in line with their development objectives and have improved the delivery of urban infrastructure and service delivery in their targeted areas. The report concludes by providing guidance on improving the sustainability of these programs within country systems and promoting local action for climate change mitigation and adaptation.