Background and Objectives:
The Ulaanbaatar city is facing a population explosion from rapid rural-urban migration that is threatening government and international efforts to sustainably manage the city’s growth and development.
Whilst the Cities Alliance’ funded City Development Strategy for Ulaanbaatar injected vision into “Master Plan 2020” preparations and leveraged significant follow-up investments, the supporting legal and administrative framework to manage urban growth and development remained firmly rooted in traditional urban design and regulatory approaches. Whilst the Master Plan does refer to “Ger area redevelopment”, the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar (MUB) sought funding support from Cities Alliance and technical assistance from UN-HABITAT to better define the options, opportunities and management arrangements for “Ger area Upgrading”.
Based on the characteristics and development issues, the project conceptualises 3 types of Ger areas: (i) Central Ger areas, located near the built-up core of the city, with potential high access to infrastructure and services; (ii) Middle Ger areas that rely on tinkered water supply, pit-latrines, poor roads and waste collection; and (iii) Peri-urban Ger areas characterised by day-to-day spatial expansion at the urban periphery with little or no access to infrastructure or services.
The overall objective of this Cities Alliance support to the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar is to help it shift from a central planning paradigm to an approach that reflects economic realities and the market demand for development investment.
In addition, it gives the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar a better understanding of its role as an enabler and not a controller of the urban economy that will improve the living conditions of the poor. This project specifically targets support to the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, in particular those relating to shelter upgrading, water supply and health; it will also include mechanisms to ensure that gender issues are considered and addressed.
This project aims to develop “Ger-area Upgrading Strategy” (Objective/Activity 1), “Urban Development Guidelines” (Objective 2) and an “Investment Programme” (Objective 3) for three types of Ger areas and related issues in Ulaanbaatar.
The Ger-area upgrading strategies and guidelines will be tested through the preparation and implementation of “Ger-area Improvement Action Plans” in three pilot areas (Objective 4). The project will also develop and implement an “Institutional Strengthening Strategy” (with the involvement of Mongolian institutes and universities - Objective 5) and; formulate and implement “Knowledge-sharing and Policy Learning” mechanisms for national replication (Objective 6).
A resolution passed (by the Ulaanbaatar’s Citizens Representative) recognising two of the three types of Ger-areas – Central and Middle Ger-areas, and selected a few pilot areas to focus the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar urban upgrading and development efforts.
With the help of Ulaanbaatar city mayor, an “Information Sharing Protocol” was established with 31 Municipality of Ulaanbaatar agencies/departments/divisions/companies that now freely share data with the GUSIP project for the preparation of project outputs.
The Ger-area Upgrading Strategy was prepared.
National-level policy dialogue on “Ger-area Upgrading” completed in December 2006.