City Development Strategy Elaboration of a Full Scale Project Document
Actual Completion Date
Lesson Learned for Cities Alliance Members and Partners
Tajik cities are in a desperate need in to get more information about modern approaches related to sustainable cities development and implementation. They need assistance to better shape existing and/or new tools with regard to the condition of the country and focus their own vision and action on most urgent challenges. Capacity building at all levels (both for administration and civil society) is one of the top priorities on agenda. It should be done in a systematic way. Tajikistan remains highly centralize country and cities remain highly dependent on the decisions of the center. Thus the role of the center and relationship with them are important for success of any action in the country. Network of NGOs and civil society are not very strong. Country and city authority are still to learn how to work with civil society and private sector. PPP is at a very initial stage and a lot is to be done to achieve real partnership and enjoy benefits. Current involvement of citizens in decision making process in cities is at a rather low level. Tajikistan is a leading country in Central Asia supporting regional cooperation. Not all countries in Central Asian sub-region are favouring such cooperation. Thus, experience in Tajikistan and its experience might have broader impact by dissemination of its results in neighbouring countries.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union and Tajikistan's emergence as an independent state, the country faced a difficult economic and social situation following the damage caused by 5 years of civil war (1992-1997) and the transition period. Tajikistan is the poorest country among the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union, with predominantly rural population (77% of population live in rural areas). The per capita income is as low as in African countries (below 2USD per day). Economic growth resumed in 2001 and the government initiated a series of public sector reforms, although they have not yet been completed. The management of the country remains quite centralised and a majority of decisions are still done at the national level. The cities of Dushanbe, Kurgan-Tyube and Hissar have confirmed their interest and commitment to be pilot cities to demonstrate modern approaches to preparing city development strategies for cities of different rank. Cities are determined to acquire new more up-to-date kind of urban planning documents to guide them. Approaches developed in CDS would be disseminated and could be, adjusted accordingly, replicated in other cities of Tajikistan, other cities in countries of Central Asia region and other CIS countries.
The objective of this proposal is to develop comprehensive City Development Strategies for three cities of different size and rank (Dushanbe, Kurgan-Tyube and Hissar) with a focus on assisting them to identify and eliminate the bottlenecks to achieve their potentials as a Capital City, regional centre and small town. The seed funding would focus on four elements: (i) Basic infrastructure and services (water supply/sanitation/waste management); (ii) Urban planning and management including land use planning and management; (iii) Municipal finance; (iv) Affordable Housing policy. The full-scale proposal will be elaborated with regard to the existing situation and will address root causes of urban poverty and propose approaches to make cities and towns more attractive for investment, which would facilitate job creation and result in improved living conditions for citizens. It would also contribute to strengthening local authorities and enhancing cities potential in tackling urgent challenges including addressing the needs of the most vulnerable population groups.The proposal would also be aiming to maximise benefits from lessons learned in application and implementation of similar documents in other countries inside and outside Central Asia
In order to ensure that the development of the CDS addresses the most urgent issues, this seed funding would finance a participatory approach to the development of the CDS proposal by the Cities Administrations and its partners including NGOs and representatives of business and local communities. The methodology would thus rely on a participatory workshop approach and other meetings to confirm and/or adjust the proposal as advised by this series of meetings. Consultant(s) familiar with the issues of local government in general, and in Dushanbe, Kurgan-Tyube and Hissar in particular will take the lead in arranging and conducting the workshops and developing the CDS proposal with guidance from UN-HABITAT and World Bank inputs to reflect coordination of the full scale project document with the WB Urban Infrastructure Strategy.The document will welcome inputs from the the WB and ADB. All interested international organisations will be welcome to participate in the workshops and submit their comments and proposals. The workshops would include other towns representatives including from the cities that have benefited from participatory business plan developments sponsored by other donors if available.
Expected Impacts and Results
At the stage of the completion of implementation of this seed funding proposal, it is expected that: (i) a considerable exchange of relevant knowledge on developments in local government administration within and outside Tajikistan would be attained. This impact could be measured following workshops in requesting opinions of attendees on the relevance of the workshops. The first workshop will be opened to international participants, particularly from Central Asia and other CIS countries; (ii) The proposal for a city development strategy will result from consultation among stakeholders in a two way consultative approach between officials and the general population; (iii) The proposal would assist Administrations of Dushanbe, Kyurgan-Tyube and Hissar to better understand their needs and the Agency for Construction and Architecture to better respond to the needs of cities in Tajikistan through the participation of as many representative stakeholders as possible. This will lead to the development of a more comprehensive city development strategies than current master plans elaborated by planners and technicians; (iv) The proposal will contribute to improved understanding of urban development planning process by authorities of all levels (national, regional and local) and its practice, of relationship between currently elaborated master plans and city development strategies and distribution of roles of authorities of all level and civil society and other stakeholders including private sector in addressing the needs of cities and their citizens.