Many cities in the Asia Pacific region have experienced remarkable economic growth in recent years, with significant improvements in social infrastructure, living conditions, and standards of living, while at the same time experiencing rapid population growth that is mostly concentrated in cities and urban areas. The cities in this region face risks to natural disasters and regional conflicts, with most of the damage from climate oriented disasters such as torrential rains, floods, and landslides, caused by climate change. Furthermore, cities have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 90% of cases recorded in cities.
In order for the Asia-Pacific region to continue its stable economic growth, it is extremely important to tackle urban and environmental issues and create so-called sustainable cities and regions while pursuing economic development.
UN-Habitat has been implementing a number of urban planning and policy advocacy projects in the region, including rehabilitation projects after natural disasters and conflicts, climate change projects, and disaster prevention policies. However, the governments, local governments, universities and research institutes of these countries (which are the implementing partners of these projects), have often voiced their requests for Japan to share their know-how and experience at the local and community levels - especially in the field of environmental technology - to help reduce risks in cities. On the other hand, many of the excellent technologies accumulated in Japan, including those in Kyushu where UN-Habitat has its regional office, are owned by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which may not have many opportunities to expand into the Asia Pacific region on their own.
UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific organizes Expert Group Meetings to connect the needs of the region with advanced technology solutions from Japan. It is an opportunity to clarify the possibilities and challenges of collaboration and cooperation and to conduct small-scale pilot projects, in order to expand and replicate them in other countries and cities.
On this page, we will share presentation materials by Japanese local governments, private sector companies, and organizations that have attended the past Expert Group Meetings, as well as information on governments and cities in the Asia Pacific region, results of pilot projects, follow-up projects, and training programs that have been implemented so far.