Urban Development

The Greater Mekong Subregion is working to improve the quality of life and economic vibrancy of its cities and towns by using global best practices in urban development.

The Urban Development Working Group oversees urban development and economic zones as new areas of cooperation in the subregion.


By 2050, the Greater Mekong Subregion is expected to be at least 50% urbanized. This will bring vast changes to the economies of the subregion. What was once a primarily agricultural area is transforming into a place where cities and towns are the main drivers of economic growth. Careful planning is needed to balance urban growth with environmental protection and economic equity so that healthy cities can be enjoyed by all residents.

The Greater Mekong Subregion is working to improve the quality of life and economic vibrancy of its cities through the development of national strategies and projects that incorporate global best practices into the subregion’s urban development. This work has included the first and second Corridor Towns Development Project, which is developing competitive and environmentally friendly cities along vital economic arteries in the subregion. Cross-border economic zones are also being developed.

The COVID-19 pandemic inevitably will leave its mark on cities, physically and socially, echoing for generations to come. This is already evident in terms of urban life. The GMS Program will focus on these effects with measures to respond to current and future crises. The GMS Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework 2030 (GMS-2030) will encourage a holistic approach to the future planning of cities so that they are green, smart, competitive, resilient, safe, and inclusive. It will also promote linkages between cities to develop new urban clusters and maximize economies of agglomeration, develop cities in border areas, create linkages with special economic and industrial zones, and improve waste management and pollution in cities located close to GMS rivers and seas. GMS-2030 was endorsed and adopted at the 7th GMS Summit of Leaders in September 2021. It aims to provide a new setting for the development of this subregion for the next decade.

Related

Urban Development in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Greater Mekong Subregion Urban Development Strategic Framework

Second Greater Mekong Subregion Corridor Towns Development Project

Urban Development Working Group

Focal Persons at the Asian Development Bank

  • Alan Baird
    Urban Development and Water Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Andrew McIntyre and Hinako Maruyama
    Public Management, Financial Sector, & Regional Coop Division,
    East Asia Department

Other Concerned Staff & Consultants

  • Antonio Ressano
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Alma Canarejo
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department/GMS Secretariat

Send inquiries to GMS Secretariat.

Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor and What It Means for the GMS

The BTS Skytrain arrives at Asoke station, one of Bangkok’s busiest business districts. The Eastern Economic Corridor project includes high-speed trains to link international airports and doubletrack railways to connect Laem Chabang port to other ports. Photo: ADB.

Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor and What It Means for the GMS

Thailand is rolling out an ambitious plan to transform the eastern part of the country into an investment, technology, and transportation hub, where all the economic corridors of the Greater Mekong Subregion converge.

Articles

The road project is expected to improve travel between Yangon (in photo), Myanmar’s largest city, and Mae Sot in western Thailand.

The road project is expected to improve travel between Yangon (in photo), Myanmar’s largest city, and Mae Sot in western Thailand. Photo credit: ADB.

Thailand to Support Upgrade of Key Road Link in Southern Myanmar

The Myanmar government recently approved a project that will ensure the completion of the Greater Mekong Subregion East-West Economic Corridor, which stretches from Danang, Viet Nam to Yangon, Myanmar.

Articles

The project will improve cross-border connectivity in the Greater Mekong Subregion. This will help create jobs and raise incomes for local residents. Photo: ADB.

ADB to Support Cross-Border Economic Activities Between Viet Nam and Guangxi, PRC with $450 Million Loan

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (8 December 2016) – The Asian Development Bank has approved a $450 million investment program to promote cross-border economic activities between Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China and northern Viet Nam. The program will focus on developing the North-South Economic Corridor under the Greater Mekong Subregion Cooperation Program.

News Releases