Green Cities : Cities around Asia and the Pacific are identifying ways of making their environment healthier and more livable through the improvement of air, water and land.

People in Vinh Yen in Viet Nam are not unique in their aspirations for a livable city. Throughout Asia, people are recognizing that cities serve a function beyond business and economic growth. They are places where people live, children go to school, and families spend time together. The quality of the air, water and land in these cities has a direct impact on millions of people.

How can Asian cities be transformed from sprawling, gridlocked and polluted commercial centers into healthy, livable areas that can be sustained for decades? The transformation of Asia’s cities requires a complete rethink of the way urban areas are developed and managed. The cleanliness of air, water and land need to be pushed to the forefront and ideas about public space need to include to all residents of a city – including families, children, the elderly and the poor.

The Asian Development Bank has developed an operational framework that helps cities in the region realize their aspirations to develop greener, more livable environments.

This includes thinking differently about the way cities are managed, including blending urban planning and environmental management.

To achieve their goals, people living in urban areas have developed Green City Action Plans and new, innovative partnerships.

To make cities more livable, the focus is on improving air, land and water through management of the environment, economic competitiveness and equity.

Good planning and engineering design are being balanced with the efficient use of natural resources.

In many cities across the region, people and governments are taking the initiative to make the difficult changes needed to improve the environment in which they live. They are making plans, taking actions and sharing ideas and information.

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