Building Sustainable Cities with Public-Private Partnerships

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – According to the World Bank estimates, financing of $5 trillion per year is required globally for new infrastructure, including healthcare, clean water, transport, and access to energy for all. Given the limitations of government resources, a significant amount of private finance is necessary to fill the gap. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are seen as a viable modality through which additional resources can be attracted to create sustainable infrastructure.

Partnerships for Clean Energy

In 2015, Washington DC entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Iberdrola Renewables. The PPA prevents the release of air pollutants such as soot, smog and mercury that are harmful to human health. Wind power procured under the PPA will supply roughly one-third of the district government’s electricity from a 46MW wind farm.

The Institute for Market Transformation works with local governments committed to reducing energy and carbon emissions attributed to buildings. The cities participating in the City Energy Project are often motivated by energy and health benefits alike. Their private sector engagement is largely with the real estate community. This collaborative approach ensures the programs and policies are effective in reducing emissions, but are not overly burdensome for those who must comply.

Partnerships for Healthcare

The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed the Urban HEART tool that enables communities and cities to collect a limited set of health, governance and socio-economic indicators; to analyze it, and to translate it easily for decision makers. Using evidence from the WHO’s commission on social determinants of health, Urban HEART encourages policymakers to develop a holistic approach in tackling health equity.

Officials in nearly 50 countries have been trained on using Urban HEART. Detroit is the first American city to use Urban HEART. The critical ingredient is educating departments about where and how health needs to involved, usually much earlier and more critically. The program’s core efforts are directed at leveraging health to disrupt intergenerational poverty, focusing on those health outcomes that drive poverty among children.

Partnerships for Transport

Novo Nordisk built a research partnership with C40, the global mayor’s partnership on climate, to map the co-benefits of climate and health. For example, city bikes and bike lines can contribute to improving climate and improved health. But biking and walking must be made safer in order to increase their use.

The Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative for global road safety has created a network of 10 cities in Africa, Latin America and Asia that are actively working on improving safety.

Source: The Guardian

Image Credit: The Guardian / Shams Qari / Barcroft Images