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International workshop “Improvement of the Urban Infrastructure Management in Uzbekistan”

05.07.2011

International workshop “Improvement of the Urban Infrastructure Management in Uzbekistan”

A two-day international workshop “Improvement of the Urban Infrastructure Management in Uzbekistan” was launched on July 5, 2011 at 9.30 a.m. in Tashkent organized by the Center for Economic Research (CER) in partnership with UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and UN Development Programme (UNDP). The workshop is attended by specialists, who represent stakeholder ministries and agencies, international organizations, the private sector, and expert community.

The analysis of long-term development perspectives in Uzbekistan shows that there are two long-term trends that will ascertain development perspectives for Uzbekistan: (1) demographic trends (population growth, internal migration); (2) increasing water and land scarcity. According to various estimates, the country’s population is to exceed 33 million people as early as in 2025. Population growth coupled with limited cropland and irrigation water restricts agrarian development of the country and presents the main challenge in the medium- and long-term perspective.

A meaningful response to existing development challenges comes down to promotion of industrial and innovative development and urbanization processes in the country. Development of cities as centers of industrialization and development of industrial production through concentration of capacities of the government, business, science may become a pillar of economic and political modernization policy of the country and social transformation of the public.

Uzbekistan managed to preserve the potential of cities as centers of industrial development as a result of pursuing a balanced strategy of socioeconomic reforms despite all problems that had arisen during the transition period. The country does not appear to face a phenomenon of “dying out cities” and no cities show a reduction in the amount and growth rate of urban residents.

Cities are primarily the infrastructure, sustainable water, gas, and electricity supply, sanitation, and city transportation. It is this developed infrastructure that underlies urban development, increases their competitive ability as points of growth of industrial and innovative development. Therefore, issues pertaining to the development of urban infrastructure are key priorities of the urbanization policy and of modernization in the country at large.

Issues concerning the improvement of municipal management system in Uzbekistan, strengthening the role of municipal budgets in the implementation of infrastructural projects, enhancement statistical data collection at urban level, role and place of housing cooperatives in the improvement of urban infrastructure, and creation of an effective market of housing services and others were addressed during the workshop.

The purpose of the workshop is active exchange of opinions and experience among national and foreign experts in comprehensive urban development and identification of urbanization perspectives for Uzbekistan. It is hoped that recommendations of the workshop will contribute to the development of the comprehensive long term vision for urban development in Uzbekistan.

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