Mr. Sunghoon Kris Moon, ADB
Ms. Sarah Hui Li, ADB
Ms. Natalja Wehmer, Associate Economic Affairs Officer, UNESCAP
Ms. Soumya Chaturvedula, ICLEI
Ms. Puja Sawhney, EU-Switch-Asia Programme
Mr. Paul Martin, UNCDF
Considerable resources are required within Asia-Pacific cities to provide goods and services to growing populations and address existing infrastructure deficits. Cities generally contribute to 80% of global gross domestic product. However there are still many existing issues such as potable water accessibility, lack of basic sanitation and untreated wastewater. It is estimated that Asia-Pacific will need to invest $26.2 trillion during 2016–2030 towards infrastructure to maintain growth, eradicate poverty, and respond to climate change with majority of funds expected to be invested in cities. Furthermore, the quality of existing infrastructure and subsequent funding still requires urgent attention.
Finance plays a crucial role in urban transformation. Policies and institutional developments focused on inclusive growth defined the trajectory of city developments to act as enablers for cities to improve their livability. With the way in which infrastructure is financed has implications on urban access, participation, and equity. A multitude of financial sources exist to support urban transformation. Traditionally, the public sector funds urban development through mechanisms such as sustainable public revenue stream, private sector investments, and other alternative financial sources. All these pathways now require innovative thinking and varying sources of financing modalities in order to achieve successful outcomes for various urban situations (e.g. bridging the infrastructure gap, emphasizing quality infrastructure, sustainable operation and management etc..).