10 June 2014, OECD Conference Centre, Paris
The development of Asian cities is characterised by rapid and continuous urbanisation on an unprecedented scale, with rapid economic growth led in most places by the manufacturing industry and rapidly increasing motorisation. The result has been escalating greenhouse gas emissions, sprawling urban development and local environmental impacts, as well as disparities in income, education levels and job opportunities in urban populations. These trends call for a green growth model that differs from those identified in previous OECD studies and one that addresses the specific circumstances of Asian cities.
The OECD project, Urban Green Growth in Dynamic Asia explores ways to achieve green growth in Asian cities. Specifically, it examines ways to promote greening and competitiveness in a fast-growing economy, to improve environmental performance in cities and urban quality of life, and to increase the institutional capacity to achieve green growth. The project has three complementary elements:
- The conceptual framework, which proposes an analytical framework for assessing policies for green growth in rapidly growing cities in the emerging world.
- Case studies of four to six Asian cities to assess the impact of urban green growth and sustainability policies on economic performance and environmental quality. These studies will build on the analytical framework developed in the concept paper.
- Knowledge-sharing activities for mutual learning among cities and national governments in Asia, OECD cities and international organisations. The project can then serve as a “platform” for Asian cities and OECD cities across the world to build partnerships.
The three main elements of the conceptual framework are: i) identification of the key policy strategies for urban green growth in fast-growing Asian cities, highlighting similarities to and differences from OECD cities; ii) opportunities for green growth; and iii) enabling strategies for implementing urban green growth.
Objectives and key questions
The policy forum officially launched the conceptual framework to the public and offers an opportunity for participants to discuss the key issues. It also aims to expore how to maximise opportunities for urban green growth in fast-growing Asian cities. The results will make a valuable contribution to the next steps – the case studies and the knowledge sharing activities that will be conducted in 2014-15.
The forum was organised around four sessions, each of which focused on the areas of opportunities that the conceptual framework has identified for emerging Asia: i) housing, buildings and energy; ii) land use and transport; iii) water and waste management; and iv) green goods and services. For each session, senior national and city officials from Asia and international experts will present their experience and views on the topic. The participants discussed the following key questions:
- What are the similarities and differences in policy contexts between OECD cities and fast-growing Asian cities, as well as among different Asian cities?
- What are the major obstacles to capitalising on urban green growth opportunities (e.g. capacity of government, finance, etc.) and what good practices exist to address them?
- What are effective ways for the OECD (and the member countries and cities) to support urban green growth in dynamic Asia?
- What kind of knowledge sharing actions and/or network of cities can effectively enhance urban green growth in dynamic Asia?
- National governments in dynamic Asia and in OECD countries
- Cities and city networks in dynamic Asia, in OECD countries, or from other parts of the world
- Institutions for development co-operation
- Experts on green cities
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