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On-the-ground views

Your questions answered: living in rapidly growing cities

Huong Lan Vu's picture

 Last week I asked you to send us your questions about the challenges faced by rapidly urbanizing countries. Please see below my video with urban specialist Dean Cira, where he addresses 5 of the many questions received. Dean will follow up soon with a blog post tackling some of your other questions and comments. Thanks!

Wanted: Your questions on challenges and benefits of living in the city

Huong Lan Vu's picture
Dean Cira will answer some of your questions in a video

Urbanization itself cannot guarantee economic growth, but it does appear to be an inevitable process on the way to development: no country has achieved high income status without first urbanizing, and nearly all countries become at least 50% urbanized before fully reaching middle income status.

The trick is in how to manage this process in a way that plays up the benefits and minimizes the challenges it brings.

When I was a little child, we lived in a 30m2 house in the suburbs of Hanoi, Vietnam, with intermittent supplies of power and clean water. But I enjoyed playing on the quiet and clean street in front of my house. Twenty years later, my whole neighborhood has been nicely renovated; there’s enough electricity to run all appliances in my house, including two air conditioners. But I get stuck in traffic every day on my way to work, and the smog is so thick I can hardly breathe, even with a mask on my face.

Urbanization has arrived to my hometown with both advantages and challenges. However, noises, heavy traffic, and air and water pollution are not unique to Hanoi. They can be observed in many cities in emerging countries all over the world (such as China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, or Nigeria). The Vietnam Urbanization Review notes that if these challenges are well managed, they will allow cities like Hanoi to retain its unique charm and livability while enjoying the benefits that urbanization brings.   

Do you have any questions on how to ease traffic congestion? Or dealing with high housing prices in your city? Do you want to share your own experiences? What are your concerns when moving in or out of a city?

Our urban expert, Dean Cira, is here to answer your questions. 

Send your question now using the comment function below to ask him and he’ll address on video five of all the questions received. We’ll take questions until the end of Wednesday, June 20. You can also join the conversation on Twitter by sending your questions to @worldbankasia.

Urban population (% of total)


Data from World Bank

Answers to your questions on jobs and skills

Anne Elicaño-Shields's picture

 Earlier this week I asked you to send us your questions about the link between jobs and skills --which should I acquire to make it in the current job environment? Thanks for all the replies --there were so many and so interesting that Lars Sondergaard, our expert, will address in a separate blog post next week the ones that couldn't make it into the video interview. Stay tuned!


Wanted: Jobs –and your questions about how to find them

Anne Elicaño-Shields's picture
Lars Sondergaard will answer 5 of your questions in a video

Use social media to ask the World Bank about the type of skills and education that are needed in today’s global economy.

The global economic recession has made the search for a good, stable job even more significant.  In Asia, where I’m from, jobs have always been foremost in young people’s minds because of the harsh conditions brought about by social and economic inequality or, if you’re not from a developing country, the previous generations’ memory of it. We don’t have an equivalent to a “gap year” to take time out between the life stages of high school and university to travel.

What can make a person more employable? Policymakers say that having the right skills and good education largely have something to do with that. It’s not just about being able to go to school. In Thailand and some other countries, schools are linking with companies so that students can enhance the skills their future employers needs. A World Bank report, Putting Higher Education to Work: Skills and Research for Growth, also recommends investing more in research and scholarships, prioritizing underfunded but important subjects like engineering and sciences, and improving the management of public universities.

Have your say

Do you have a question about the effect of the recession on joblessness in your region? Or the type of skills most needed by the market?

We’re asking an expert on education, Lars Sondergaard, to take questions in a video interview that we’ll post at the end of this week. 

Here’s how to get involved:

Send your question using the comment function below to ask our expert. You can do it right now. You can also join the conversation on Twitter (send your questions to @worldbankasia) or on Facebook.

So what are you waiting for? Ask now and share with your friends!

Minh bạch tài sản ở Việt Nam – Cần hành động mạnh mẽ và quyết liệt hơn

Huong Thi Lan Tran's picture

Available in English

Nếu bạn hỏi ai đó là điều gì hấp dẫn anh hay chị đến với Bangkok, bạn sẽ thường nghe câu trả lời đó là những món ăn đậm đà gia vị ngon tuyệt vời, những người Bangkok vui nhộn và hiều khách và một thành phố sống động kỳ lạ luôn tràn ngập ánh sáng mặt trời. Nhưng điều gì nữa đã đưa gần 40 chuyên gia trong lĩnh vực phòng chống tham nhũng từ 15 quốc gia trong khu vực Châu Á – Thái Bình Dương, từ Bộ phát triển quốc tế Anh, từ các cơ quan của Liên hợp quốc và từ Ngân hàng thế giới, đến với Bangkok cuối tháng 3 vừa qua? Đó là sự quan tâm học hỏi xem việc kê khai tài sản công chức ở các nước trên thế giới được thực hiện như thế nào và làm thế nào để kê khai tài sản trở thành một công cụ hữu hiệu hơn trong phòng chỗng tham nhũng.

Cuộc hội thảo khu vực về minh bạch tài chính (minh bạch hóa tài sản) đã được Ban liêm chính thị trường tài chính và Sáng kiến thu hồi tài sản bị đánh cắp (Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR)) của Ngân hàng thế giới tổ chức. Hội thảo này đã tạo ra cơ hội để chuyên gia các nước tham dự chia sẻ thông tin về thực hiện kê khai tài sản trong khu vực công của mỗi quốc gia, từ các quốc gia đã xây dựng hệ thống kiểm soát việc kê khai tài chính tương đối phát triển như Hàn Quốc và Thái Lan, hay các hệ thống mới được xây dựng như Đông Timor, và các hệ thống đã đạt được môt số kết quả nhất định như của Việt Nam và Trung Quốc. Các đại biểu đã nhiệt tình chia sẻ kinh nghiệm của mình, những khó khăn mà họ gặp phải và mong muốn được học hỏi lẫn nhau. Đối với Việt Nam, cùng với việc đánh giá 5 năm thực hiện Luật phòng chống tham nhũng, có một số thông điệp bổ ích có thể được nghiên cứu và áp dụng. 

Gender in the Pacific: Can a report help improve equality?

Katherine Patrick's picture

As a junior member of the team who produced the forthcoming East Asia and Pacific companion to the World Development Report 2012 “Toward Gender Equality in East Asia and the Pacific”, I was excited to present its findings in the Pacific. After spending months reading, writing, reviewing and revising our findings and content, I had a plethora of questions waiting to be answered about the impact of our work:  How would our audience receive it? Will our findings, based on painstakingly collected data and research, be adapted to the reality of gender and development in their country?  Will they be able to use these reports to continue working toward gender equality in all aspects of life? Will our reports help people, namely women, lead more productive and fulfilling lives?

Last month I went to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Fiji with the rest of the team to share and discuss our findings with members of government, the media, civil society, students and our donor partners.

Indonesia: A return to Aceh amidst hopes for peace and prosperity

Dini Djalal's picture

Juga tersedia di Bahasa

My first trip to Aceh was in August 1998, four months after the resignation of former President Soeharto. It was the height of Indonesia's pro-democracy Reformasi movement, and many journalists thought that travel permits were still required, as it had been for decades. My friend and I were venturing as 'tourists'. In many villages, the legacy of repression remained: razed houses, shuttered schools, and households run by widows. Poverty was unavoidable; violence and economic growth are often incompatible.