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World Bank invests $150m for green project

China Daily, July 20, 2016 Adjust font size:

The World Bank approved $150 million in financial support on Monday for a $317.5 million project supporting urban development and improving climate change resilience in Ningbo, Zhejiang province.

The five-year 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, according to the bank.

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.

The project will help improve infrastructure and public facilities in the city, where urban growth has been uneven between the municipal regions and in surrounding rural regions, according to Alessandra Campanaro, the project task team leader for the World Bank.

Bert Hofman, the bank's country director for China, said the project fitted both the central government's urbanization goal and the bank's goal of poverty reduction, supporting sustainable growth and tackling climate change.

China has ambitious urbanization goals to move more than 100 million people to cities by 2020, pushing the urban population to 60 percent, according to the National New Urbanization Plan (2014–20), while many cities face challenges in city planning and infrastructure construction amid the fast urbanization process.

World Bank financing will help regenerate urban zones in the Xiangshan, Ninghai and Fenghua counties, as part of efforts to prevent fragmented growth that sprawls across suburban and rural areas.

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