The FINANCIAL — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $150 million loan to improve basic infrastructure and living environment in the Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Changji, a prefecture surrounding Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi, is rapidly urbanizing, because of Urumqi’s strategic location as the gateway to Central Asia. Changji’s growth, however, remains constrained by significant challenges in urban infrastructure and urban services delivery, which need to be supported by good urban planning and environmental protection efforts. As a result, many people living in the urban area—a large portion of them migrants from rural areas—still lack access to safe and reliable basic urban infrastructure services. The project covers the city of Fukang and counties of Hutubi and Qitai, according to ADB.
“The project aims to help the government establish a livable environment and sound economic base in the Urumqi-Changji economic corridor by responding to economic and social development challenges,” said Hinako Maruyama, an Urban Development Specialist at ADB. “We look forward to working with our counterparts to improve urban infrastructure and services delivery supported by sound planning in Fukang, Hutubi, and Qitai, to help people, including rural migrants, take full advantage of growing opportunities presented by the economic corridor.”
Specifically, the Xinjiang Changji Integrated Urban-Rural Infrastructure Demonstration Project will help local governments better manage the water supply and solid waste in Qitai. It will also fund the planting of trees in Fukang, which will help preserve soil, reduce flooding, and form ecological protection shelterbelts. The project will also construct or rehabilitate roads and install utility pipes for water, wastewater, heating, and gas in the three project areas.
In addition, the project will help improve urban planning in Changji by introducing new approaches that consider the physical, socioeconomic, and livability aspects of urban planning. It will also facilitate the transition of rural migrants to the urban environment by enhancing the quality of their technical and vocational education and training. In Qitai, the project will pilot waste reduction, reuse, and recycling solid waste management to raise people’s awareness of environmental protection.
The total cost of the project is $255.42 million, with the governments of Fukang, Hutubi, and Qitai contributing $105.42 million. The project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023.