Recipients of the 3rd ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable Cities Award 2014



Bandar Seri Begawan – Brunei Darussalam

Bandar Seri Begawan is the capital city of Brunei Darussalam, located on the northern bank of the Brunei River in the Brunei-Muara District. The city covers about 16 sq km with an estimated population of 140,000.

Bandar Seri Begawan has met the National Criteria for clean and beautiful cities:

Clean Land

  • Proper waste management system, which comprises several waste collection centres, house-to-house collection services and communal recycling bins within the commercial areas;
  • The land especially the green areas by the roadside, road medians and other landscape areas is clean from rubbish and litters;
  • More than 10% of the total area is covered with green; natural or manmade i.e trees, bushes and landscaped to balance development and optimise landuse and prevent heat effect of the urbanisation of the city area;

Clean Water

  • Clean water supply is accordance to the WHO (World Health Organization) International Water Quality Standards, through a water filtration unit system from the main reservoir located in the heart of the city;
  • Extensive drainage network and well maintained storm drains with adequate safety or guard railings to mitigate floods;

Modern sewerage system connected to a pumping sewage station with well-maintained manholes to ensure the hygiene, good sanitation and public cleanliness of public and private spaces. The wastewater in the treatment plant is regularly monitored and tested to ensure that the levels of substances in the water are safe before it is returned to the environment;

Clean Air

  • Clean air quality with PSI level of annual average below PSI 25. There are two air quality monitoring stations located strategically in the area of Bandar Seri Begawan. One station monitors the ambient air quality, operated since 2005 and one station monitors the roadside air quality, still under construction;
  • No localized of smoke haze or black smoke or emissions from open burning activities or emissions from vehicles;


  • Proper road networks, pedestrian pathways and bicycle tracks;
  • Proper road furnitures and fixtures e.g crash barriers, lamp posts, kerbs and adequate signages;

The city is clean, well maintained and beautifully landscaped. The city is currently in the stage of upgrading work under the Bandar Seri Begawan Master Plan. One of the focus areas is the extensive rehabilitation effort on the river of Sungai Kedayan aiming to transform the river to a riverfront eco-corridor.

The improvement work incorporates existing and new developments in a sustainable way. The design, construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure are carefully planned in order not to damage the landscape, environment or ecosystem of the city.

The impacts of development are minimized. Water, sanitation and public cleanliness are amongst the basic factors that are maintained in order to determine the health, development and prosperity of a country, and subsequently sustain the city’s standard of living.

Bandar Seri Begawan is known as one of the top ten most liveable cities in Asia (The Asia Week, 1996 – 1999).

The city has the image of a safe, friendly and liveable place. It is an attractive and beautiful tourist destination with its own unique characteristics such as its culture, national treasures and historical heritage.

Under the Bandar Seri Begawan Master Plan, the city in becoming a ‘City in the Garden’, aims to provide a clean and sustainable environment, free from pollution.



Battambang Municipality – Cambodia

Battambang Municipality was transformed over a rather short period of time from a small fishing village stretched along the banks of the Sangker River into a 19th-century Thai outpost, then a European-style planned city and finally, after Cambodia’s independence in the 1950s, into a major regional hub. This significant urban development history with its unique heritage can still be seen in the Battambang of today. Battambang Municipality has planned to submit to UNESCO for world heritage.

Battambang Municipality is located in the northwest of Cambodia, about 291 km from Phnom Penh Capital City, and is considered as the heart of Battambang Province. The Municipality borders on Thma Koul and Aek Phnum District in the north, on Sangker District in the east and on Banan District in the south and in the west. The total population of Battambang Municipality is 148,449 inhabitants in 2013. The average annual rate of population growth since 1998 is approximately 1.8 %.The Municipality covers a total area of about 115.44 km² of which more than 85.5km² is agricultural area (approx. 74% of the municipal territory), and is comprised of 10 communes and 62 villages.

A distinguished feature of Battambang Municipality is the Sangker River. Its origin is at the Krorvanh (Cardamon) Mountains; it further meanders through the south-western part of Battambang Province, flows from south to north through Battambang Municipality, continuously further northeast through the province and eventually flows into Tonle Sap Lake.

National Road No. 5 crosses through Battambang Municipality from north-west to south-east, connecting to Benteymeanchey and Siem Reap Province in the north and to Pursat Province and Phnom Penh in the south. National Road No. 57 it connected with National Road No. 5 in the urban centre of Battambang Municipality and connects Battambang in south-west direction to Pailin Province. The National railway line from Phnom Penh to reach border to Thailand through the Benteymeanchey crosses the Municipality from south-east to north-west with a railway station in the urban centre of Municipality and have one airport is situated close to the urban centre.

Early this year, Battambang Municipality was awarded the first prize in a city competition as a clean city, with clean resorts and good service among the municipalities in the entire Kingdom of Cambodia. According to the national competition criteria, the Municipality received high score of total marks of its unique features. This included environment management, cleanliness, waste management, raising awareness, greenery system, health safety, security, public order, infrastructure and tourist facilities.

The Battambang Municipality elaborated on a long-term development vision with its strategies to guide, manage, and control city development, which is striving to achieve a socially responsible, environmentally friendly and economically successful future development whilst at the same time it wants to retain its unique character. Based on existing potentials, the vision comprises of six key elements (pillars), which are Green and Healthy City, Regional Centre of Commerce and Services, Regional Centre of Agricultural Product Processing and Trade, Regional Centre of Education and Knowledge, and Heritage Culture and Tourism City. With its vision, the Municipality is on track to reach its goal. There have been many projects focusing on each pillar. All the project development activity such as agriculture, tourism, Industry, and infrastructure section thus coming to invested in Battambang city have been require conducted Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for management of air, water and land qualities. From now and to future we need to know and how to adapt of climate change in the city so that we need to minimize of pollution like solid waste, wastewater and Clean Development Mechanic (CDM) practice in the city.

Furthermore, Battambang Municipality is one of the most popular and the second largest city in Cambodia. It has a very long history of city development since 18th century. Because of this, the city has a functional layout and very nice atmosphere for living, working and visiting. A good reputation of Battambang Municipality is spread across the whole country and many parts of world as well. Recently, more tourists are visiting attractive destinations such as historical and heritage buildings in the city centre, cultural village, temples and mountains nearby. The number of tourists visiting Battambang in the first quarter of 2014 increased by about 3% as compared to 2013.

An essential part of the appearance of the Battambang city is the provision of public green spaces. One important pillar of the development vision for the Municipality is to develop Battambang as a Green and Healthy City along the banks of the Sangker River connecting to the Tonle Sap great lake with good environmental and healthy living conditions being promoted in the town and surrounding villages. As a result, the Municipality defined an environment projection area, and developed public gardens alongside the Sangker River, which is defined as the backbone of the greenery system. The city is also working on developing more green areas such as planting trees alongside roads and creating more gardens. These areas are regularly maintained.

Apart from developing green areas, the Municipality also constructed a ring road which aims to avoid traffic congestion within the urban area. It connects National Road 5 and National Road 57 in the western part of the city.

Waste management is the main challenge the Municipality is addressing together with Department of Environment and Company are working with this matter. There is a waste disposal site located in the northern part of the city, about 6 km from the city centre and have total size 8 hectare. All the solid wastes in the city are dumped in this landfill. There is a company which regularly collects the solid waste throughout the city. Some of the waste is converted into composting for agriculture purposes and some is recycled.

The city also has a wastewater treatment plant in the northwest part. Its catchment areas are only on the west side of the Sangker River. However, on the east side, another big scale wastewater treatment plant is under construction. When the construction is finished, all wastewater in the city will be treated before it is released to the field.

Moreover, public awareness on waste management is campaigned at schools, markets, communities, universities, public institutions, and public areas. The main idea of the awareness is to keep the environment clean and people know how to reduce, reuse, and recycle their waste: “All living forms in the city depends on each other for clean air, clean water, and clean land in order to thrive.”

Battambang Municipality has the Master Plan and Land Use Plan which defined development vision and strategies for dealing with urbanization and guiding city development. Every year, Battambang Municipality campaigns on “no plastic bag” which raises public awareness of the environment. Battambang Municipality initiated an event so-called “Local Cleanliness Competition” which encourages citizens to keep their environment clean.


Balikpapan – Indonesia

Balikpapan City has a total area of 503.3 km² and exclusive economic zone of 160.10 km². It has administrative borders with Kutai Kertanegara District in the north side, Makassar Strait in the south and east sides and Penajam Paser Utara District in the west side. Balikpapan City lies geographically between 1.0° – 1.5° south latitude and 116.5 ° east longitude – 117.5° east longitude and 116.5° east longitude – 117.0° east longitude. It has the tropical climate with rainy season and dry season. The main landscape is mostly hilly (85% of total width) and the rest are flat and located 45 km on the coastline. Its soil type is mostly red podsolic, yellow and quartz sand. The average temperature is between 26.8°C to 27.5°C and the average monthly rainfall was 242.23 mm with the highest rainfall of 515.9 mm in February 2013. The total population of Balikpapan City is 668,650 habitants in 2013 (small cities category).

Balikpapan City achieved successfully some respective national criteria and award for environmentally sustainable city since 15 year ago. It has passed some national indicators of clean land, air and water and as a positive feedback, it won Adipura Award for 15 times and Adipura Kencana Award for 2 times.

Furthermore, Balikpapan City has actively improved on public environmental and biodiversity education by having 90 Adiwiyata schools which consists of 6 Independent Adiwiyata schools, 10 National Adiwiyata schools, 18 Provincial Adiwiyata schools, 33 City Level Adiwiyata schools, and the rest are positively planned for becoming city level Adiwiyata schools.

There is also Botanical Garden supporting the marvelous collection of rare-origin jungle plants in Kalimantan / Borneo. Balikpapan City has also established some environmental and biodiversity programs such as an environmental-education-tourism area located 23 kilometers outside the city, Sungai Wain Protection Forest which has protected the city icon namely Honey Bear (Helarctos Malayanus), the Margomulyo mangrove conservation area with a total area of 25 Ha and also the habitat of Borneo Monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) / bekantan with population of about 1400 bekantans.

Balikpapan City also has a successful story of waste management. The total waste generated in 2013 was 163.269 tons per year with 123,644.87 tons (72.26 % of total waste) were transported to the final waste disposal area/landfill in Manggar based on 2011 – 2013 data (Figure 1 and Figure 2).

11.008 tons of waste (7%) were composted; and 16.552 tons (10%) were recycled; while about 20.443 tons (13.10%) were untreated. Even though Balikpapan city still has untreated waste, but it has proven that the city is clean from this kind of waste permanently and compared with other cities, this measurement is fair enough. In line with increasing population, the amount of the waste disposed to the final waste disposal area/landfill has also increased annually. While the composting activities relatively fluctuated, the amount of inorganic waste recycled and untreated slightly increased in 2013.

Balikpapan city has some innovative initiatives on clean air, clean water, and clean land indicators. The methane gas utilization unit installed in final disposal area/landfill Manggar; 3 units of continuous air quality monitoring tool (AQMT5) placed at trading, services, housing, and dense traffic locations; air quality monitoring in place at 6 locations, routine vehicles emission test, and Car Free Day Program are some of the best practices related to clean air indicators. Best practices related to clean water and land indicators are communal waste water installation (IPAL Margasari), small industrial waste water installation (IPAL Kuliner for traditional street traders), Water Front City Plan which has been in line with the draft of the Coastal Road Development Plan, and waste banks (65 waste banks in 34 sub-districts). Moreover, 7 riverbanks (upstream, midstream, and downstream) or 21 river sections have been closely monitored.


Luang Prabang – Lao PDR

Luang Prabang is a central northern Province of Laos that occupies 19,741 square kilometers of predominantly mountainous area and narrow strips of valley extended along the Mekong and its three tributaries, Nam Khan, Nam Xeuang and Nam Ou. The urban district of Luang Prabang, commonly referred to as Luang Prabang, with approximately 12,600 hectares with a hill on the center, sits on a peninsular at the confluence of two rivers, Nam Khan and the famous Mekong. The city changed its original name from Xiengdong Xiengthong to Luang Prabang in commemoration to the arrival of Phra Bang, a revered Buddha image, from the Khmer Empire, Angkor when it was proclaimed the capital of Lanexang Kingdom in 1353 until 1545 when the King moved the administrative seat to Vientiane. Today the city has been widely acknowledged one of Asia’s most pristine ancient capitals with its unique cultural and natural heritage that was designated as a World Heritage Site on December 9th, 1995.

The urban district of Luang Prabang has a total population of about 50,000 compared to the provincial residents of over 452,900 that consisted of 12 distinct ethnic groups. The Khmu, the Austroasiatic or Mon-Khmer speaking people are the largest ethnic group in the province and make up the majority (about 44%) of the provincial population, which are also believed to be the original inhabitants of Laos. The Hmong, the Seno-Tibetan group, are the second most populous ethnic minority (16%) and the Lao whose the language belongs to the Tai Kadai branch and have been assumed of migrating from their Tai dynasty in current Yunnan province of China as early as 7th century, comprise 39% of the population and live mostly in lowland valleys and Luang Prabang Town.

With its spectacular century golden Buddhist temples sit serenely amongst the charming combination of timber Lao houses and European colonial architecture, the town is opened its doors to tourists stimulating economic growth, revitalization, and preservation of the unique cultural and architectural attributes of the town. Measures have been underway to protect and conserve both the city’s traditional architecture, natural landscape and environmental ambient to uphold the essence of the personality and historical authenticity of the ancient capital. The major urban infrastructure improvement work started with the launch of the construction of the second bridge over Nam Khan followed by a consistent improvement of road network and other services provision such as garbage collection and disposal, street and public area cleaning, waste water treatment, maintenance of green area and other basis infrastructure.

The selection of town was carried out by comparing the performance results of 8 candidate cities base on clean air, clean water and clean land indicators identified by ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities. As indicated in annex C although the score in clean air in the town has not been satisfactory due to the absence of measuring equipment and professional skill among its local staff, in general sense, alike most smaller and rural cities of the country, the source of air pollution and consequently the climate conditions of the town have never been a subject for complaint by the residents of causing harm and trouble to health and daily life activities of the people.

The town of Luang Prabang is the only city in Laos where the enforcement of physical development plan has been achieved and the construction permit and design standards for all construction works are fully enforced and closely monitored by concerned local authorities, while in other cities it is very far behind and event out of control. By this the town has been ranked the first in preserving its cultural identity, national architectural uniqueness and protection of green zone, number of trees inside and in surrounded areas up to the required level. Currently the city is moving ahead in attempting to find out the solution to its waste water in a sustainable manner by developing a step-by-step investment plan that can fit with the town’s financial capacity.

In addition, over the last decade the city has been able to maintain and enrich its status of the World Heritage Site and a world pristine tourist destination and secure the town’s cleanliness, greenery, and safety combined with an effort to rely on economic potential to improve the living standards of the city’s diverse ethnic population by providing and exploring opportunity for income generation that is profoundly integrated with an attempt to reach the concept of “green growth” and transferred the town into a national center for international cooperation, human development and economic prosperity.

By the launch of model city programme, the city identified its commitments, as stated in 2011 during the 2nd High Level Seminar on Environmentally Sustainable Cities in Kitakyushu, Japan, that have been included as a part of its socio-economic development plan for up to the year 2015 by the following targets:

  • Reduce the proportion of the poor households to 1%;
  • Increase the access to safe water supply by households to 95%;
  • Increase the supply of sanitary toilets to households and schools to 100%;
  • Ensure the forest coverage area of 49.4%, an increase of 2.4%, by tree planting in the land area of 630 hectares;
  • Improve the waste collection and disposal system by:
    • waste segregation,
    • upgrading strong containers
    • rearrangement of public area collection points; and
    • Improving the operation and maintenance of landfill sites.
  • Improve the town basic infrastructure through:
    • Resurfacing 95% of collector and distributor roads by DBST (double bitumen surface treatment) or concrete.
    • Upgrading the existing urban drainage system and improving the natural water ways.
  • Develop the town periphery in order to relieve the tension in the city center;
  • Limit the development of hotels, guest houses and other hospitality facilities in the protected areas in line with the world heritage requirements;
  • Ensure sound and adequate public campaign on environmental protection and people participation in the heritage protection;
  • Improving the quality and teaching standards of existing educational and training centers;
  • Maintain an active collaboration and partnership with local and international counterparts.

To date significant achievement has been made in the area of environment improvement and urban services. The area coverage in water supply services has been increased to the maximum limits, alike waste collection scheme that combined with technological and methodological improvement in disposal site. The green area protection, including the so-call the buffer zone around the city historical area has been officially confirmed as part of the world heritage protections and many more attempts in the field have been put forward.

More detail about the city and flight connections with the town can be obtained from the following sites:

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