Urban and Regional Development

Urban and Regional Development

[Goal 9] Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
[Goal 11] Sustainable Cities and Communities
[Goal 13] Climate Action

Through strengthening the capacity of urban administration and working with diverse stakeholders, including private sector, academia, and the community, we promote livable cities.

Objectives of JICA Global Agenda

By realising autonomous urban and regional management in which a wide range of stakeholders and resources participate in development, and by contributing to formulate desirable urban and regional spaces in which a continuous development in a mutually beneficial manner, JICA aims to realise the new possibilities and wealth of people and society while avoiding and solving various problems caused by urbanisation.

Background and Challenges

(1) Urbanisation ~ It's impact and challenges ~

Rapid urbanisation in developing countries has led to an increase in the urban population from 680 million in 1970 (25% urban population ratio) to 5.23 billion in 2050 (66% urban population ratio). While urbanisation enriches people's lives through the development of tertiary industries and the creation of new jobs, it also causes various problems, including the degradation of the natural environment and living conditions, traffic congestion, increased disaster risk, social conflicts and deteriorating public security related to widening disparities among residents.
While the impact of the COVID-19 affects socially and economically, there remains a clear difference in economic concentration and employment opportunities between urban and rural areas in developing countries. The trend towards urbanisation will remain unchanged in the future.

(2) Impact and challenges beyond cities

Excessive concentration in central cities is occurring, while shifting the population from rural to urban areas. Due to the lack of economic opportunities and employemnet in rural areas, the disparities between urban and rural areas is widening. The situation lacks a nationwide, regional perspective in industrial development and infrastructure development, which needs to capture the benefits of globalisation.

(3) Digital Transformation (DX)

Geospatial information (G-spatial information) and other digital technologies including big data have transformed traditional role of maps and planning process. Clarification of land boundaries is the basis for property taxation. Planning various infrastructures by using G-spatial information, ICTs, and big data drastically shorten the traditional way of doing it. Utilazation of ICTs contributes to optimize energy consumption in a certain area. However, if we talk about G-spatial information in developing countries for example, there is a lack of uniformity with international location standards, compatibility between maps and location information from multiple agencies, and the development of an environment that allows the use of digital basic maps and high-precision positioning environments. As such, lack of standards, G-spatial information, and basic ICTs is a bottleneck for city DX.

(4) Significance of Japan and JICA's efforts

Japan was one of the first countries outside Europe and America to experience modernisation, industrialization and rapid urbanisation. In the post-war period, amidst industrialisation and urbanisation, the country overcame problems such as sprawl, housing shortages and environmental pollution, etc. JICA has a rich experience in formulating development planning, which becomes the sound basis for infrastructure development. In recent years, JICA has been paying more attention to vision setting and formulation of development strategies for cities and regions, with emphasis on public participation, efficient land use and effective development managemen. JICA's experience in Geospatial information sector, focuses on the preparation of basic maps in cooperation with the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, the world's highest density electronic reference point network, and the high-precision positioning services provided by the quasi-zenith satellite system MICHIBIKI, in order to provide basic information for development planning, infrastructure/facility location planning, and economic and social activities of people and business.

Focus Areas (“Cluster Strategy”)

(1) Cluster Strategy "Urban management and urban development/MACHIDUKURI"

Together with urban administrative bodies, the cluster promotes the formulation of urban visions, policies and plans (master plans), the development of development management systems, the introduction of new development methods, such as city planning with quantitative GHG reduction contribution, smart cities and TOD (urban development centred on public transport), and the deployment of citizens participatory measures, thereby helping to realise sustainable cities, improve the capacity of urban administrative bodies and developing the human resources of a wide range of stakeholders in urban management.
By improving urban management capacity, JICA will encourage to create business opportunities and reduce risks, and promote the participation of the private sector and communities to form an urban development ecosystem.

(2) Cluster Strategy for "City DX", with development and use of Geospatial information"

JICA supports on the acceleration and facilitation of City DX, by utilization of Geospatial information and Big-data, such as the introduction of the World Geodetic System, ICTs, mobile usage data, basic maps and GIS data (natinal, regional, city level), electronic reference point networks and NSDI (National Spatial Data Infrastructure), and promotion of collaboration with academic and private sector for widening apllication such technologies and strengthening of human resource development.

(3) Regional and corridor development.

Create new growth opportunities by providing guidance and planning and improving regional connectivity. The target region will be seen as one economic zone, with initiatives to build supply routes to market for rural areas, supply chains for industry and a sense of unity for the national land.