Announcement Archive

TDLC Hosted Technical Deep Dive on Managing Urban Expansion in Mega-Metropolitan Areas (MMAs)

Monday, December 18th, 2017

story from Tokyo Development Learning Center

December 11-16, 2017, Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, Korea- Today, over 50% of the population lives in urban areas, and by 2045, the world’s urban population will increase by 1.5 times to 6 billion. City leaders must move quickly to plan for growth and provide the basic services, infrastructure, and affordable housing.  These metropolitan areas with one or more cities along with their surrounding areas are now facing a common challenge of coordinating planning, infrastructure development and service delivery across multiple jurisdictions.

TDLC organized Technical Deep Dive (TDD) on Managing Urban Expansion in Mega-Metropolitan Areas in collaboration with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) and the Korea Research Institute on Human Resettlements (KRHIS), and Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG). A total of 60 participants including practitioners and decision-makers from 10 World Bank client countries, Task Team Leaders (TTLs) and senior project team members joined this TDD. The uniqueness of this TDD is that experts from Japan and Korea showcased Tokyo and Seoul’s distinctive experiences on metropolitan development especially on the management of urban expansion, density and livability in a manner that takes advantage of the benefits of productive agglomerations, while mitigating the disadvantages of congestion pressures, such as traffic, land use, and mass transit.

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“The challenge of the metropolitan development is how you organize the city to be able to manage its growth,” said Ming Zang, Urban Practice Manager of the World Bank, emphasizing the important role of cities, “the solution is that each city needs to find their solution to deal with the issues.”

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Dr. Tim Moonen, Managing Director of Research and Advice of the Business Cities Ltd, pointed out that metropolitan areas provide scale, clout, productivity, visibility, diversity, and coherence but only if they are organized well. He introduced an “Equation of Success: FUNDAMENTALS+ EXECUTION+ MOMENTUM” for successful mega-metropolitan area development.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) presented how the special wards and TMG share their role and cooperate with each other to administer the metropolitan, how financial resources are allocated, and how autonomous and systematic operations of the special wards are ensured. Participants visited Shibuya and Shinjuku to learn their redevelopment projects. Shinjuku is now planning its redevelopment aiming to complete it in the 2040s, and TMG introduced their “Grand Design for Urban Development” which was released in September 2017. The Grand Design demonstrates its strategies including creating vital hub areas, development of transport and road network, and creating livability and a sustainable environment by effective coordination and budget allocation among TMG and the Shinjuku Ward. The strategy underlines that each hub and region use its individuality and potential, and compete with each other to create new values. Therefore, it stresses the importance of participation of residents, municipalities, and private developers. Participants were impressed by the continuous redevelopment of the plan and strategy to meet city’s needs changing over time.

This was the first TDD offered in two countries, Japan and Korea. The delegation learned the Seoul Metropolitan area redevelopment from planning to implementation. Traditionally, a development has been centrally oriented, but it has gradually moved towards decentralization. The most common redevelopment method has been done by owners’ association jointly with developers under the supervision of the government. Several unique New Town development cases were introduced by Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG). An interesting feature of their redevelopment is that the New Towns are first planned followed by infrastructure and transportation development. SMG also introduced a case of ecological restoration of a landfill site, transforming it into a park. Here again, the importance of continuous rigorous effort to keep up with people’s demands was pointed out.
   
The participants developed practical action plans on the last day of the course containing key takeaways, approaches, and next steps to plan and implement effective metropolitan development in their countries. Among other key takeaways, involving private sector for financial sources, an effective land organization with land redevelopment, an adaptation of simple evidence-based monitoring and evaluation were the characteristic findings.

Participants also developed short, mid, and long-term action plans to take back to their countries. Effective coordination among related agencies, regulatory reforms, and capacity building were raised as common key actions to be taken.

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