Samoa City Development Strategy Programme



Approval Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type


The absence of a formal local government to manage the day-to-day demands of communities places much urban planning and management responsibility on central Government, that is, PUMA, which requires a significant increase in human and financial resources to effectively implement its mandate. In addition, there is little awareness and understanding by communities of standard urban planning requirements, which adds further to the challenges of effectively managing urban growth. As a result, PUMA requested urgent budgetary support to implement its 2008-2011 Capability Plan to rectify (i) the limited technical, administrative, policy development and decision making skills, as well as (ii) to strengthen legal support for its procedures, compliance and enforcement. Such systems must be proactive rather than reactive so as to better manage urban development. PUMA therefore see this Cities Alliance proposal as an opportunity to introduce innovative cutting edge proactive approaches like the CDS to address current urban management concerns.
The overall objective of the project is to prepare a city development strategy (CDS) for the greater Apia area with a focus on climate change risks. The strategy will define the strategic development thrusts and options for socio-economic and infrastructural development city-wide. Concurrently, this process will strengthen Samoa’s urban management institutional framework so it can better create more inclusive, participative, productive, liveable and sustainable towns. It is expected that by taking such action the outputs will collectively make a positive contribution to the social, economic and environmental quality of life of urban dwellers; and, at a broader level, contribute to Samoa’s achievement of the MDGs through 5 support components.
Component 1. Assessment, Analysis and Strategy. The component includes community assessments, urban profiles and vulnerability studies of the focus area. It develops the Vision for the development of the targeted areas, reflecting their comparative advantages (through SWOT analysis) and longer-term development including a strategy for addressing hardship(s) and climate change. Component 2. Supporting Infrastructure Investment Programme for Priority Projects. The component aims at identifying priorities and potential funding sources for infrastructure development to meet the long-term development objectives of greater Apia. Any follow-on infrastructure investments will undergo individual safeguard due diligence process. Component 3. Institutional Strengthening. This component aims at assessing the needs of local and national institutions including those identified in Planning and Urban Management Agency’s (PUMA) Capacity Building Plan, 2008-2011 and contributing to needs assessment for the next training cycle. The component will also develop a capacity action plan through a stakeholder participatory “learning by doing” approach. Component 4. Policy Learning and Knowledge Sharing. This component aims at the dissemination of some of the major project deliverables (the City Profile, CDS vision, and Investment Plan) to initiate a dialogue for policy reform at the national level on CDS and its relevance to planning and development. The component also includes documentation and sharing of the implementation process and the lessons learned. Component 5. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). This component establishes an M&E framework for monitoring the follow up process of implementation of the CDS, and evaluating its achievements and the eventual outcomes.
Expected Impacts and Results
The immediate outcome of the CDS will be targeted and prioritized investment for the identified urban centres from governments, the private sector, donor/aid agencies and financial institutions, which will contribute to and drive urban growth meeting the needs of the most vulnerable. The immediate outcome of the strategies for underserved villages will be a suite of target local investments to undertake, where possible with the villages themselves so as to encourage ownership and learn by doing (such as local drainage works and environmental mitigation). The investment strategy and priorities will be directed toward those areas which will achieve the most significant impact for city and economic development.