Background and objectives:
Ulaanbaatar City faces a population explosion from rapid rural-urban migration that is threatening government and international efforts to more sustainably manage the city’s growth and development. While the Cities Alliance-funded City Development Strategy for Ulaanbaatar injected vision into the 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.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” through broad-based participatory processes. Based on the characteristics and development issues, the project envisaged three types of Ger areas:
- Central Ger areas, located near the built-up core of the city, with potential high access to infrastructure and services;
- Middle Ger areas that rely on ‘tinkered’ water supply, pit-latrines, poor roads and waste collection; and
- 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 was to help it to shift from a central planning paradigm to an approach that reflects economic realities and market demand for development investment, and in particular give MUB a better understanding of its role as an enabler of the urban economy that will improve the living conditions of the poor.
The main activities included:
- Developing “Ger-area Upgrading Strategy”.
- Urban Development Guidelines.
- An “Investment Programme” for three types of Ger areas and related issues in Ulaanbaatar.
- Ger-area upgrading strategies and guidelines tested through the preparation and implementation of “Ger-area Improvement Action Plans” in three pilot areas.
- Project will also develop and implement an “Institutional Strengthening Strategy” (with the involvement of Mongolian institutes and universities).
- Formulate and implement “Knowledge-sharing and Policy Learning” mechanisms for national replication.
The main results included:
- Prepared the first Citywide Pro-poor Ger-area Upgrading Strategy of Ulaanbaatar City that has been approved by the Ulaanbaatar City Citizens’ Representatives Council for implementation.
- Supported a training course on City Management for City Mayors in Mongolia organised by Mongolia Association of Urban Centres.
- Organised a training workshop on Environmental Management Information Systems.
- Preparation of Ger-area Upgrading Guidelines and an Institutional Strengthening Strategy is underway (when this OAR is written).
- A Ger Area Information System (GAIS) is being developed with the participation of MUB’s relevant agencies/departments/divisions/companies.