ADB to improve pedestrian and cycling facilities in West China
Pedestrians, bicycle riders and urban wetlands are about to be promoted in two of the poorest cities in western People’s Republic of China (PRC) using a $100 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that will help the country’s green growth goals.
“Despite PRC’s robust economic expansion over the past few decades, economic development in the western region has lagged because of the harsh climate and lack of investment in urban infrastructure and transport,” said Raushan Mamatkulov, Senior Urban Development Specialist at ADB’s East Asia Department.
The project will benefit around 1 million people in the two cities by promoting pedestrian zones and walkways, segregated cycle paths, and park-and-ride car and bike parks; constructing and upgrading urban roads and bridges; building a water supply plant and stormwater drainage facilities; and improving drainage and sanitary sewerage networks.
The poorest travelers are the biggest users of non-motorized modes of transport, which can be dangerous because of poorly maintained footpaths, lack of lighting, poor security, inadequate road safety, and little protection from motorized traffic.
In addition, 1,400 hectares of wetland habitats near Zhangye city will be restored as a sustainable ecotourism site. The site is threatened by declining water sources related to unsustainable agricultural use, rising population, and industrial production.
Dingxi and Zhangye cities have two of the lowest per capita gross domestic product (GDP) among the cities of Gansu province, one of PRC’s poorest provinces, with provincial GDP ranking as second-to-last among all provinces and autonomous regions.
Zhangye will also improve its stormwater management in the upper reaches of the wetland area to control stormwater pollution, which includes surface runoff that is discharged into the wetland.