Greater Mekong Subregion Urban Development and Planning Training Program


Use PRC’s urbanization experience over the last 65 years as a case study to share urban development good practices and lessons with the GMS countries.


Over 30 senior urban development and planning officials from 6 GMS countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, PRC, Thailand and Viet Nam) participated.


The course comprehensively reviewed PRC’s urban development experience in terms of:

  • multi-scale urban physical planning system,
  • master planning,
  • evolution of building & urban design,
  • housing policy,
  • sustainability/resilience,
  • heritage/cultural preservation,
  • civil infrastructure,
  • special economic zones in the context of:
    • international best urban development practice,
    • ADB’s competitive, inclusive, green paradigm,
    • efficient energy conserving, pollution/GHG reducing urbanization.


  • learning from the PRC in terms of: (a) scale, speed & commitment to urbanization,
  • effective deployment of saturation mass transit & high speed rail;
  • role of special economic zones in supporting economic development (economic & geographic clustering; innovation, labor & environmental benefits);
  • housing delivery (ii) recognition of GMS - wide urban learning possibilities related to:
    • tourism -amenity driven development,
    • cross-border corridor urbanization,
    • human-centered sustainable city-building (new urbanism),
    • protection of places of high heritage & environmental value,
    • innovation supportive urban environments.


Evaluation shows that overall satisfaction rate is 95.4%. One hundred percent of the participants thought the trainers were well-prepared; training objective was clearly met and the training would be useful for their future work. Participants showed great interest in PRC’s best practice and site visit; and enjoyed sharing experiences and lessons among GMS countries. As a result of the training, participants hoped to improve their future work and apply experiences/lessons to their own countries by including innovative features in the urban comprehensive plan. Further topics they would be interested in are special economic zone development and environmental protection, private partnership in urbanization, practices in other developing countries, climate change adaptation and mitigation for urban development process, urban securities and poverty reduction.