The urban “nexus” in Asian cities is a concept for designing sustainable urban development solutions. The nexus approach was developed prior the Rio+20 conference and supports the actors in identifying potential synergies between the sectors water, energy and food security in cities. Integrated planning and management may substantially contribute to the long-term sustainable development of Asian cities.
In only a few Asian countries urbanisation and urban development are being addressed as individual policy areas. So far, Asian municipal administrations usually plan and manage along sectorial lines rather than in an integrated manner. Thus, synergy effects between the sectors water, energy and food security (NEXUS) are not being adequately utilised. Within the international debate on the “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDG), Habitat III (“3rd United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development”) agendas and the Paris Climate Agreement and their national implementation the topics of urbanisation and integrated resource management have become more important.
Furthermore, as a result of the green growth debate the partner countries have become increasingly more interested in integrated approaches for sustainably shaping growth. However, policies are only being formulated hesitantly.
“Nexus concepts are being increasingly taken into account in selected Asian cities and by relevant stakeholders.”
The measure contributes towards the sustainable improvement of the environment and resource situation in the vicinities of the cities. This is achieved through strengthening the relevant actors in the nexus partner cities in cross-sectoral planning competencies through concrete measures (area of intervention 1) and by promoting the nexus approach from national to local level through a multi-level dialogue (area of intervention 2). These measures, hence, widen the current sectoral perspective.
The key global development policy topics, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the “United Nations Human Settlements Programme” (HABITAT III) and the Paris Climate Agreement, are being utilised in order to mainstream the nexus approach into an international reference system (area of intervention 3). The utilisation of national multipliers further promotes the anchoring of the nexus approach at the local and national levels of the various countries (area of intervention 4). The implementation of global goals (regarding international Agendas, SDGs with focus on environment, land use, climate in cities and surroundings) is taken into consideration in national policies and development planning in India, Indonesia, Mongolia and Vietnam (area of intervention 5).
Through promoting cross-sectoral and, thus, transparent and effective action of the public sector the measure indirectly contributes to good governance. Furthermore, peer-to-peer learning formats strengthen the South-South cooperation. The involvement of the civil society and the private sector in the development of nexus pilot projects, which is being aligned to the respective context, is being promoted and institutionalised by the measure. The reduction of greenhouse gases and the adaption to climate change is being addressed through resilient housing and redevelopment programmes, the reduction of pollutants through wastewater treatment and peri-urban agricultural production.
The local and regional context is provided by the following partner cities / countries:
Rizhao (2,880,000 inhabitants), China
Ulan Bator (1,200,000 inhabitants), Mongolia
Weifang/Binhai Development Zone (9,000,000/ 1,000,000 inhabitants), China