Proposal approved for urban upgrading initiative in Rief Damascus
The Cities Alliance has approved a proposal for urban upgrading in Rief Damascus (suburban Damascus), Syria.
The Damascus metropolitan area has experienced explosive growth as people from rural areas migrated to the capital looking for jobs and investment opportunities. In recent years, between 500,000 and one million Iraqi refugees flooded Damascus in an effort to escape unrest in their home country.
The application was submitted to the Cities Alliance by the Syrian Ministry of Local Administration and Environment and the Governorate of Rief Damascus, and approved on February 13. It was sponsored by the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The Rief Damascus upgrading initiative is within the framework of the Syrian government’s efforts to address the issue of informal settlements and reform its outdated urban planning approaches. The Damascus initiative is expected to serve as a model for similar exercises in three additional Syrian cities: Homs, Al-Rakka and Lattakia.