Wednesday, February 06, 2013

New money to study urban infrastructure

Integrated approach to planning and financing needed for urban infrastructures

Bern, 22.01.2013 - Cities in the developing world are set to grow by some 2.7 billion people between now and 2050. Integrated planning and financing is essential to ensure that the necessary infrastructures can be made available in a sustainable manner. A study on sustainable urbanisation compiled by the World Bank in association with SECO will be presented at the Global Energy Basel Summit.

Beatrice Maser, Head of Economic Cooperation and Development at SECO, opened the conference on Tuesday at Congress Center Basel together with Mahmoud Mohieldin, the World Bank Group President's Special Envoy for the MDGs. In her speech and the ensuing panel discussion, she highlighted the role cities play in the climate change discussion.

"We cannot tackle the problem of climate change without steering the rapid expansion of urbanisation along sustainable paths," she stressed. Decisions on urban infrastructures should thus be taken in an integrated way, i.e. coordinated dynamically across different sectors and users, based on a thorough analysis.

This is a viewpoint also shared by the World Bank, which, together with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, has studied the urban systems in 12 different countries over the past two years. Their findings and recommendations have now been compiled in an "Urbanisation Flagship Report", presented and published at the Global Energy Basel Summit.

The event also serves as a springboard for furthering cooperation in urbanisation-related issues between the World Bank, SECO and other donor countries. Investments in sustainable urbanisation between now and 2016 will reach up to CHF 16 million (of which CHF 10 million will come from SECO).

Further information

Global Energy Basel Summit on Sustainable Infrastructure Financing
Global Energy Basel (GEB) is primarily a platform to promote sustainable urban infrastructures. Sustainable infrastructure projects totalling more than USD 4 billion will be presented at the Global Energy Basel Summit. A proprietary GEB tool has been used to assess the sustainability of these infrastructure projects, helping to mobilise investors interested not only in economic gains but also the ecological and social aspects of such projects. The Global Energy Basel Summit is being held on 22 and 23 January 2013 in Congress Center Basel.

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Global Energy Basel and the World Bank
As part of infrastructure financing within its Economic Cooperation and Development Division, SECO focuses on sustainable urban infrastructures and utility systems. It thus contributes to the Global Energy Basel platform and the urbanisation partnership with the World Bank.

Address for enquiries:

Dagmar Vogel, Economic Cooperation and Development, SECO
Head of Infrastructure Financing, Tel. +41 31 323 92 28

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs

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