World Bank supports urban services improvement

World Bank

The World Bank approved a credit line of $147 million to help rehabilitate basic urban services and improve liveability in two major cities Kandy and Galle.

The project seeks to produce a more spatially balanced distribution of economic opportunities, while reducing congestion in the capital and improving overall liveability. The bank’s urban vision is to develop more and better competitive, environmentally sustainable and well-linked cities, said Country Director Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Fran‡oise Clottes.

Well-functioning and productive urban centres are essential to put into motion and support the transformation of the Sri Lankan economy and efforts to translate economic growth into rapid poverty reduction.

Known as Strategic Cities Development Project, it will improve selected urban services and public spaces in Kandy and Galle. The project will focus on improving deteriorated municipal infrastructure and services such as traffic management and public transport, water supply system, and major public spaces in Kandy.

These improvements will enhance liveability for local residents and reduce congestion for commuters employed in the city. The project will also reduce flooding in Galle and create more public spaces to improve the quality of life for residents.

The most important consideration in the preparation of this project has been the sensitivity to the rich history and culture of both cities and fully understand the way their residents use urban services and spaces when enhancing them, said project leader of the World Bank, Zhiyu Jerry Chen.

This development work will further enhance the attractiveness and liveability of these two cities. Kandy and Galle not only have historical significance but also rich cultural and heritage value that needs to be protected and restored. While improving urban services and public spaces, the project will also focus on strengthening institutional capacities and work closely with partners to ensure a sustainable urban development process.

The project will be managed by a Project Management Unit (PMU) under the purview of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development (MoDUD).

Courtesy : Sunday Observer