Mott MacDonald has been appointed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Pingxiang Urban Construction Investment and Development Corporation to help tackle existing imbalances in infrastructure development between urban and rural areas in Pingxiang, China.
Pingxiang is one of 12 cities that has been chosen to highlight industrial transformation, from an economy based on resource extraction to one that is more diverse. A mountainous city with a population of 1.87 million, Pingxiang has experienced significant economic growth over the last 40 years led primarily by the coal industry. However, it is now resource-depleted with development lagging significantly behind national averages.
The city is also prone to flooding and suffers from environmental pollution as domestic wastewater is discharged untreated into rivers, affecting downstream areas. Some rivers provide drinking water for local communities and with illegal solid waste disposal common along rivers, particularly in rural areas without regular collection, this pollution poses serious risks to public health. Rural areas also have limited access to markets, jobs, training, education and services in towns and cities. The lack of adequate roads and public transport limits rural development, jobs and livelihood opportunities.
The Jiangxi Pingxiang integrated rural-urban infrastructure development project will contribute to socially inclusive, environmentally sustainable and competitive urban-rural development, supporting towns and bringing services closer to people. It will combine flood risk management and environmentally sustainable river rehabilitation, improve wastewater management and rural-urban transport, while also developing institutional capacity to boost overall sustainability.
Mott MacDonald will provide project management, design and bidding documents review and project implementation coordination, supervision and implementation services, as well as quality management support. The consultancy will also assist with capacity development training and social, gender, resettlement and environment protection monitoring and evaluation.
Paul Lengthorn, Mott MacDonald’s China director, said: “As a leading international consultancy it is exciting for Mott MacDonald to support this project and be able to share our experience and expertise. We have been contributing to China’s development for 35 years and have cooperated with the ADB on many projects in the water, environment and flood prevention sectors. We are also active in supporting the principles of urbanisation and climate resilience in the country, initiatives which will both be important on this project.”
The project is due to run until the end of 2017.