Task: Study the World Bank’s project report and videos (Appendix 2)and answer the questionsbelow

Questions to discuss:

1. What are the reasons for rapid urban development all over the world?

2. What are the positive consequences of city growth?

3. What are the main dangers and threats of city growth?

4. What are the prospects of future urban life?

5. Describe five key business lines of the World Bank’s urban agenda.

6. Which of them do you find the most and the least efficient and why?

7. Watch video#1. What recommendations would you give to the cities of China?

8. Suppose you were a World Bank’s executive, what project in Urban development would you offer to support? Give your reasons.

9. Watch video#2. What do you think about the development of Moscow?

10. Choose any Russian city or town. Which strategy would you implement for its development if you were its mayor?

Urban Development: challenges and prospects

April 11, 2014

As cities grow at unprecedented speed, the World Bank has significantly increased its technical and financial assistance for urban development, contributing to the Bank’s goals to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. The Bank’s urban strategy aims to ensure that rapid urbanization is managed well for resilient, inclusive and sustainable growth, with greater emphasis on addressing climate risk and improving services for the urban poor.


The world’s urban population is expected to double in 30 years (2000-2030), adding 2 billion more people. Built-up urban areas will increase by 1.2 million square kilometers, nearly tripling the global urban land area in 2000. Most of this growth is happening in developing country cities, which are challenged by the need to meet increasing demand for basic services, infrastructure, jobs, land, and affordable housing, particularly for the nearly one billion urban poor who often live in informal settlements, to enable more inclusive development while preventing some of the negative impacts of rapid expansion.

More than 80 % of global GDP is generated in cities. If managed well, urbanization can promote sustainable growth by increasing productivity, allowing innovation and new ideas to emerge, saving energy, land and natural resources.

Cities consume about 2/3 of the world’s energy, and account for about 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cities are both direct contributors to our growing climate challenge and a necessary part of any solution. As cities develop, their exposure to disaster risk also increases. Almost half a billion urban residents live in coastal areas, increasing their vulnerability to storm surges and sea level rise. Other shocks and stresses to urban systems, including economic downturns, crime, public health epidemics or social upheaval can impact a city’s ability to meet the most basic needs of its citizens, and reverse decades of economic development gains especially in small, fragile states.

Building cities that “work” – green, inclusive, resilient and competitive, supported by strong city systems and governance – requires intensive policy coordination and investment choices, and lies at the core of the World Bank’s work.

Infrastructure and policy decisions made today will lock cities into urban development patterns for decades to come. The Bank aims to utilize this “window of opportunity” to make sure urbanization spurs sustainable growth, delivering affordable and reliable basic services, housing, transportation and jobs, and improving quality of life for all, especially the poor and vulnerable.


The World Bank’s urban strategy focuses on equipping city leaders with strong systems to enable urban growth to contribute to poverty reduction and shared prosperity. The Bank completed “Planning, connecting, and financing cities-now : priorities for city leaders” in January 2013 to provide mechanisms to plan, connect and finance cities, supporting the Bank’s urban agenda which is structured around five key business lines:

  • Green cities: providing technical and financial expertise to help cities plan for low-carbon, climate resilient growth and access the necessary financing, improve solid waste management systems, and address pollution and livability challenges.
  • Inclusive cities: improving access to land, affordable housing, jobs and basic services, economic opportunities and scaling up efforts to upgrade slums, enhance community participation, and tackle urban poverty and social exclusion.
  • Resilient cities: strengthening cities’ multi-dimensional resilience and ability to cope with shocks and better manage climate risk, disaster risk, economic shocks and social conflict.
  • Competitive cities + urbanization and growth: helping cities attract investment and jobs by improving land markets, connectivity and regulation at the sub-national level, create an enabling environment for business, and better leverage land and real estate assets.
  • Strong city systems and urban governance: supporting the urban agenda through strengthening land and housing markets, enhancing municipal finances and service delivery, and increasing the capacity to carry out integrated territorial development policies and land use planning.



Carry out a comparative analysis of the policy pursued by the Russian Federation and one of the other Arctic coastal states—the United States, Canada, Norway, and Denmark (of which Greenland is a territory)— concerning changes in the Arctic and write a 1500 word research report.

Appendix 1

Useful links











Appendix 2: https://yadi.sk/d/GiasK6WQjb8es



[1]United Nations Environment Programme - "The emissions gap report 2014. A UNEP synthesis report" 

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