The Sixth Regional Workshop under the project “Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: the Urban Nexus” was organized in Santa Rosa, Philippines from June 22 to 23, 2016. The two-day workshop was conducted as a part of the project, Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: the Urban Nexus (thereafter called “Urban Nexus”), financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) along with ICLEI South Asia and ICLEI Southeast Asia in 12 Asian cities.
The project aims to introduce and promote the adoption of Nexus approaches in urban development planning processes in Indian cities, specifically focusing on the Nexus sectors like water, energy and food security. The Urban Nexus calls for an integrated approach to planning and management, fostering inherent synergies between sectors to mitigate trade-offs, promoting circular economy and thereby ensuring sustainable urban development. The ultimate goal of the project is to provide policy and action recommendations to motivate and capacitate project cities and other partners to start using integrated Nexus approach in their urban planning thereby resulting in optimized resource management, circular economy and improved institutional performance.
The GIZ Urban Nexus team along with ICLEI South Asia will provide technical support to the project cities. Local, regional and national contexts will be considered to identify drivers and institutional frameworks that could influence the adoption and functioning of a Nexus approach in urban development processes to realize cross-sectoral synergies.
Five earlier workshops have been conducted in the first phase of the project. The primary objective of the Sixth workshop was to:
• Kick start the Second Phase (2016-2018) of the “Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: the Urban Nexus” project
• Review and discuss various experiences and lessons learnt from the First Phase by the partner cities
• Recommend measures to integrate the urban nexus initiative in national policies to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development (Habitat III)
• Develop policy recommendations for overcoming barriers to the adoption of Nexus approaches at the local level and for the institutionalization of the Nexus approach into urban planning and management
The workshop was attended by more than 130 local and international participants including the partner cities — Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Santa Rosa and Naga City in the Philippines; Chiang Mai and Korat in Thailand; and Da Nang, Vietnam. Since the Indian Cities were not finalized, only ICLEI South Asia was represented in the workshop. However, two cities from India have now been finazlied.
How teams zeroed in on cities
In May this year, the GIZ Regional Project team from Bangkok had made initial visits to a few cities who had expressed their interest to participate in the project. Following the visits made to the city, 2016 GIZ Regional Project team was back to India in July, 2016 for final round of discussion with the cities. Based on the information provided in Expression of Interest, along with discussions with the cities and the state governments, Nagpur from Maharashtra and Rajkot from Gujarat have finally been selected as “Nexus Cities” for the implementation of the two year project focusing on building and promoting circular economy where resources (water, food, energy) could be used more effectively and efficiently.
The Nexus cities will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GIZ Regional Project and ICLEI SA to ensure commitment of all the three parties to commonly defined project activities and outputs.