Citywide Pro-poor “Ger Upgrading Strategy and Investment Plan (GUSIP)



Approval Date
Actual Completion Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type
Lesson Learned for Cities Alliance Members and Partners
Participation The project shows visible results of the participatory approach introduced in preparing the GUS as well as through peoples’ process introduced at the implementation level. Partnership Stakeholders such as national and local government, local leaders, community development councils and other development organizations have contributed to the development and finalizing of the outputs under GUSIP. In Ulaanbaatar, UN-Habitat successfully strengthened the collaborative partnership with Cities Alliance sponsors (World Bank, Asian Development Bank, JICA, GTZ, and the embassies of France, Japan and the Netherlands) working in Mongolia and with the GUSIP partners (MUB, MRTCUD and MAUC). In addition, as committed to the Cities Alliance project proposal, UN-Habitat has provided financial support through it Sustainable Cities Programme to the GUSIP project. Partnership with Private Sector Private sector is represented by the small entrepreneurs in the ger areas as well as ‘developers’ involved in the redevelopment of the central ger areas. The developers, who have acknowledged the benefits of community participation in decisions related to upgrading of ger areas, participated actively in refining and finalizing the upgrading and redevelopment guidelines. Partnership between municipalities and communities Pilot projects are useful for introducing mechanisms for participation of CBOs/Community Development Councils in decision making process at the Kheseg, Khoroo and Dureg levels. In addition the involvement of municipal and community representatives during the CP process contributes to better understanding of the situation and of the benefits of decentralizing and delegating some responsibilities and functions to CBOs/Community Development Councils. Scaling Up The functioning of the Government and the cooperation amongst development agencies in Mongolia in general and specifically in Ulaanbaatar provide a conducive environment for scaling-up of processes and approaches introduced under GUSIP and the Community Led Ger Area Upgrading Project in Ulaanbaatar. There is a need to work with GoM, MUB and MRTCUD leadership to support the scaling-up/replication of the approaches and processes that have been successfully introduced under GUSIP in other ger areas of Ulaanbaatar and urban areas of Mongolia. Financial Sustainability The systematic introduction of the Community Action Planning process, the participation of relevant Departments and Divisions of MUB and MRTCUD and validating of Community Action Plans, and of savings groups (under the Community-Led Ger Area Upgrading in Ulaanbaatar City Project) has enhanced financial viability of improvements in ger areas.


The city of Ulaanbaatar is facing a population explosion due to rapid rural-urban migration. Most of the migrants settle in informal ‘Ger Areas’ with sharply lower level of basic urban services. Although more than 50% of Mongolia’s urban population lives in Ger areas, they are not legally recognised as part of the planned urban settlements. These Ger areas pose unprecedented development challenges given their location, low population density, unique urban morphology and low level of services. Therefore, a strategic development approach is required for sustainable improvements in the quality of life of Ger area residents. Recognizing the need, the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar (MUB) seeks Cities Alliance support to develop a better-coordinated and more clearly defined Ger-area upgrading strategy and investment plan. It is expected that this exercise will provide a comprehensive overview of the challenge and a consensus will be reached on the future development and growth directions of the city. The project adopts a participatory approach by implementing Community Action Planning (CAP) while chalking out the Action Plans.
1) To develop a city-wide pro-poor “Ger-area Upgrading Strategy” in a participatory manner through sharing urban development information, reviewing opportunities and constraints and reaching a consensus on the future growth direction of UB; 2) To Prepare a City-wide Urban Development Guidelines that will summarize institutional linkages between planning and land management functions, proposed reforms, modern sub-division design approaches, land use regulations and servicing standards; 3) To prepare Ger Area Improvement Plans for prioritized areas to both test out guidelines as modern urban management tools and provide preliminary infrastructure and service delivery plan as a basis for follow up investment by MUB, GoM, the private sector and development agencies; 4) To design a long-term sustainable financing strategy ‘Ger Area Investment Programme’ to implement ‘Ger Area Action Plan’; 5) To develop and institutional strategy to enable MUB adopt new urban planning and management approaches; 6) To formulate and implement knowledge sharing and policy learning mechanisms for national replication
1) Establishment of Ger Area Upgrading Working Groups; 2) Geographic Analysis of Ger Communities and mapping of Community Based Organizations; 3) Review of land planning and management, environment, service delivery, financial management of MUB; 4)Preparation of Urban Development Guidelines, Ger-area Improvement Action Plans for prioritised areas involving community and other stakeholders and Ger-area investment programme to implement Improvement Action Plans; 4) Develop an institutional strengthening strategy to enable MUB to adopt new urban planning and management approaches to design and implement citywide Ger-area upgrading; 5) A national training, research and development institution will be engaged to review and adapt various participatory decision making manual and toolkits; 6) disseminate good practices and experiences and preparation of national replication strategy
Expected Impacts and Results
The structured consultative process adopted under GUSIP was instrumental in participatory development of the City-wide Pro-Poor Ger Area Upgrading Strategy of Ulaanbaatar. This has contributed to a shared understanding of the problem as well as possible solutions that can sustainably improve the quality of life of people in Ger Areas. The reviews, guidelines, action plans and toolkits developed under the project constitute valuable contribution to the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar, government organizations and development agencies. In June 2007, Mayor’s Council approved the City-wide Pro-poor Ger Area Upgrading Strategy of Ulaanbaatar City. Following this, In July 2007, Citizens’ Representative Council of Ulaanbaatar city adopted this strategy for its implementation. Since then, the strategy has been guiding the design and implementation of national and international programmes for upgrading and development of Ger Areas in Ulaanbaatar city. The involvement of multiple stakeholders in finalizing the Ger area Upgrading Guidelines had led to a request for including the upgrading strategy to the Annexure to Ulaanbaatar Master Plan.