Dr. Fraser Thompson, Founder and Managing Director, spoke today at the ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Forum about how we can create scalable solutions for tackling urbanisation challenges in Southeast Asia. Some of the main insights included:
- 70 million more people likely to move to cities in ASEAN over the next 10 years
- The COVID-19 pandemic has altered urbanization models, but not slowed its growth
- The fastest growing cities are the “middleweights” (1-5m population), rather than the mega cities, such as Bangkok, Manila, etc.
- These middleweight cities are at crucial inflection points in their development and require strong strategy support to develop robust sustainable urbanization plans
- The ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Strategy (ASUS) addresses this gap by providing roadmaps for different projects, ranging from affordable housing through to integrated transport systems.
- Translating it into impact requires a massive scaling up in capacity building with city leaders so they can use these technical tools.
- While there are promising initiatives in play, most city-level capacity building programs cover 10-30 cities, but there are over 180 middleweight regions in ASEAN needing support