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$150 mln for Urban Development in Fast-Growing Ningbo, July 19, 2016 Adjust font size:

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved $150 million in financing for a $317.5 million project supporting urban development, urban transport and climate change resilience in China’s Ningbo Municipality, one of the nation’s fastest-growing urban areas.

The Ningbo Sustainable Urbanization Project is part of the Chinese government’s efforts to promote more inclusive cities for low-income people and migrant workers.

“Regenerating existing cities is the key to curbing urban sprawl and promoting sustainable development,” said Bert Hofman, World Bank Country Director for China. “This project fits both the government’s National Urbanization Plan and the World Bank Group’s twin goals of reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity.”

Economic prosperity has attracted migrant workers to Ningbo from all over the country, but the urban growth has been uneven. Urbanization rates in the three counties where the project is located -- Xiangshan, Ninghai and Fenghua -- are lower than the overall average of greater Ningbo Municipality.

The five-year project seeks to upgrade cities and towns in areas surrounding metropolitan Ningbo to improve quality of life and access to services and markets.

Under the project, World Bank financing will help regenerate urban zones of Xiangshan, Ninghai and Fenghua counties for the benefit of migrant workers and to prevent fragmented growth that sprawls through suburban and rural areas. The project will provide infrastructure and services such as public transit facilities, drainage, solid waste collection, as well as people-oriented public space and other benefits.

Investing in existing urban areas also will help reduce vehicle traffic and dependence on wide, multi-lane roads that further fragment the greater Ningbo Municipality and contributed to a 45 percent increase in accidents from 2010 to 2014. In accordance with China’s urban transport development strategy, the project seeks to better connect the road network and improve services for public transport as well as pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

The project will also help improve water management, roadway drainage systems and protection of green spaces to reduce flood risks in the typhoon-prone area, while supporting more fuel-efficient buses and promoting non-motorized transportation in renewed urban areas to reduce carbon emissions.

“Development in the 21st Century must address the multiple challenges of poverty eradication, sustainable growth and climate change,” said Alessandra Campanaro, the project Task Team Leader for the World Bank. “The Ningbo Sustainable Urbanization Project is a model for the kind of partnership needed among governments and development partners for sustainable solutions.”

The project includes $108.5 million for urban regeneration, $132.1 million for urban transport, $72.3 million for flood risk management and $4.6 million for technical assistance and capacity building. The Chinese government is providing the rest of the funding, and the Ningbo Municipal Project Management Office will coordinate and manage the project’s implementation.