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Urban

Municipal bonds: Innovative mechanisms to finance smart cities in India

Municipal bonds: innovative mechanisms to finance smart cities in India
Reports from the United Nations estimate that India will add 404 million persons to its urban areas between 2014 and 2050 (UN DESA 2014) and that it will have seven cities with a population of more than 10 million by 2030 (UN DESA 2016). Currently, India is making an ambitious effort in its urban transformation under the “Smart Cities Mission” of the Union Government. With the guidance of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, India’s urban local bodies (ULBs) have been proactively working to achieve better efficiency and equity in the utilization of financial resources for developing municipal infrastructure. They have been augmenting their financial autonomy by developing data-driven and market-based financial instruments that attract investments to their projects.

Industry and Trade, Urban

High-speed rail investment: A butterfly effect for urban chaos

High-speed rail investment: A butterfly effect for urban chaos
In 1969, Professor Edward Norton Lorenz coined the term “butterfly effect” to state that subtle changes in conditions can influence or cause seemingly unrelated results elsewhere. The flutter of a butterfly’s wings at place A can eventually develop into a hurricane at place B even though A and B are not related. Almost two decades after the term was coined, Japan National Railways (JNR) was privatized and split into several corporations, and now JR East manages the largest network of railway lines in Japan.

Finance, Urban

New challenges, opportunities, and strategic choices for financing sustainable urbanization in the PRC

New challenges, opportunities, and strategic choices for financing sustainable urbanization in the PRC
In recent years, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has accelerated its urbanization process and increased its urbanization rate from 35.88% in 2000 to 56.7% in 2016, equating to over 1% year-on-year growth. The PRC proposed the “people-oriented” New-type Urbanization Plan in 2014 to definitively release further domestic demand potential, promote social equity and welfare improvements, and facilitate economic, social, and ecological integrated development.

Economics, Environment, Infrastructure, Population, Poverty Reduction, Social Development and Poverty, Urban

Housing policy in the Republic of Korea

Housing policy in the Republic of Korea
This article evaluates housing policy in the Republic of Korea over the past 5 decades or so, and describes new challenges arising from the changing environment. The most pressing housing problem in the early phase of development of the Republic of Korea was an absolute shortage of housing. The country addressed this problem with the pragmatic approach of engaging the market using government intervention as leverage.

Economics, Environment, Finance, Governance, Infrastructure, Regional Cooperation, Trade, Urban

The PRC’s international capacity cooperation exports both industrial capacity and financial risk

The PRC’s international capacity cooperation exports both industrial capacity and financial risk
International capacity cooperation (国际产能合作guoji channeng hezuo) was a 2014 addition to the “Go Global” policy suite that the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) central bureaucracy expanded throughout 2016. It is the result of seeking a way forward from “new normal” low industrial growth rates and is a novel solution to the industrial capacity utilization problems the PRC has suffered since the 2008–2009 spending stimulus flooded into traditional industries. Steel, cement, aluminum, paper, glass, and everything from pork production to robots are in 2017 mired in cyclical overcapacity.

Economics, Education, Environment, Health, Population, Social Development and Poverty, Urban

Pointers from Asia for urbanization in Africa

Pointers from Asia for urbanization in Africa
Africa and Asia are latecomers to urbanization. In these two continents, less than half live in urban centers, while elsewhere, more than 70% of people do. But Africa and Asia are now rapidly urbanizing, with Asian cities growing at an average of 1.5% per year and Africa’s at 1.1% per year.

Urban

Housing policies under the New Urban Agenda

Housing policies under the New Urban Agenda
The biggest intergovernmental conference on housing and urbanization, Habitat III, took place in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016. The main outcome of the conference was the adoption of the New Urban Agenda (NUA). The NUA does not consider urbanization as an obstacle to development but rather a key development driver. Providing adequate and affordable housing is one key theme in the NUA. It stresses the need to promote not only homeownership but also other types of tenure, such as cohousing.

Urban

Overcoming Asia’s housing challenge

Overcoming Asia’s housing challenge
Asia is urbanizing rapidly. Currently, about half of all of its residents live in urban areas, and the number of urban residents in Asia is expected to reach 3.3 billion by 2050. The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) estimated that at the current urbanization rate, 127,000 people are added to urban centers every day in Asia.

Population, Social Development and Poverty, Urban

Housing policies for the PRC and Hong Kong, China: One nation, two systems

Housing policies for the PRC and Hong Kong, China One nation, two systems
It has been reiterated that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Hong Kong, China are under different economic systems. The PRC is basically socialism with more planned economy features, while Hong Kong, China is basically capitalism with more free market features.

Urban

Housing markets and housing policies in India

Housing markets and housing policies in India
The cliché “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” from Dante’s Inferno appears more appropriate to the current housing situation in India than anywhere else. India is facing a daunting housing shortage of 49 million units (Tiwari and Parikh 2012) Going forward, with urbanization and growing economic disparity, the challenges associated with housing availability, provisioning, and use will be further extenuated if appropriate remedial measures through policies and programs are not undertaken.