Bursa becomes EBRD Green City with major water sector investment

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced €70m for water infrastructure in Turkey’s fourth largest city. 

Bursa, also known as Green Bursa due to its picturesque surroundings, has become the 60th member of the EBRD Green Cities programme and the fifth member from Turkey. 

Launching the partnership, the bank is providing a loan of €70m to Bursa Water and Sewage Administration to finance the construction of a new water transmission line, a drinking water treatment plant and three reservoirs. The loan will include a contribution of up to €5m from The Clean Technology Fund.

The project is seen as vital to providing the city not just with safe drinking water for its growing population and industry, but also with sustainable and energy efficient water resources. The bank will also help Bursa to develop a Green Cities Action Plan, which will identify environmental challenges and support the expansion of green policies and investments in the city.  

Sue Barrett, EBRD director for infrastructure in Turkey, Middle East and Africa, said: “We are pleased to be welcoming Bursa into our Green Cities programme. Bursa is a city rich in tradition and identity, with a dynamism that continues to grow each day. To provide Bursa with healthier, more sustainable options in water management will ensure a greener future for the city, allowing it to respond more efficiently to environmental challenges.”

Sule Kilic, EBRD deputy head for Turkey, added: “Sustainable infrastructure is key for a greener urban living. Our joint forces on this project and on Bursa’s upcoming journey as the fifth Green City in the country, will not only ensure cleaner and healthier resources for the city’s population, but will also usher in a new roadmap for Bursa towards sustainable living.”

Alinur Aktas, the mayor of Bursa, said: “As a city we have been taking important steps towards improving environmental performance in recent years by developing strategies and investing in green infrastructure, and waste and water management. We are looking to adopt a more synthesis-based approach to address the urban environmental problems we are experiencing. In this context, we aim to carry out a provincial-level analysis by participating in the EBRD Green Cities programme. The Green City Action Plan to be prepared will complement the previously prepared Bursa Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan and will form Bursa’s roadmap to tackle environmental challenges and climate change.”

EBRD Green Cities is a fast-growing urban sustainability programme with a financing volume of €5bn, launched in 2016 to address the enormous environmental challenges presented by urban conurbations. EBRD Green Cities has won support from multilateral donors and attracted significant levels of co-finance.