For smart cities: Need for urban planning stressed

Recommend making civic education part of curricula


Our Correspondent January 16, 2016
Recommend making civic education part of curricula.

ISLAMABAD:


Experts have emphasised the need for urban planning in Pakistan to address issues arising out of unplanned unbanisation and growing population.


They were speaking at a dialogue organised here by Global Shapers Islamabad Hub in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms on Friday.

“We are establishing a center of excellence for urban planning at the Planning Commission in order to address issues related to urban regeneration, displacement, social housing, land use policy and economic revival,” said Malik Ahmad Khan, who is Member Infrastructure and Regional Connectivity at the Planning Commission.

Architect and Curator of Global Shapers Islamabad Hub Javeria Masood said the solution would require empathy and participatory approach as much as the hard infrastructure and planning.

Maliha Elahi, a project management specialist, stressed the significance of learning from the past and present in order to move forward. “The urgent need to work revolves around four main issues: traffic planning, waste disposal, development of common recreational green areas and development of an empowered institution for citizens’ voice and education system”, she highlighted.

Elahi said while the resolution of major issues is the responsibility of the government, citizens’ role is also important.

Umer Gilani from the Foundation for Fundamental Rights said, “Islamabad is a veritable beauty and I am proud to be one of her admirers. But like the poetical beloved, the city is also cruel — especially to the 80,000 people who live in its katchi abadis. I wish we could re-imagine it as a city for everyone, a city of the future”, he added.

The main recommendation of the session was to include civic sense modules in school curriculum so that children are made aware of these issues from an early age.

The Global Shapers Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, is a network of Hubs developed and led by young people working to make a contribution to their communities.

Director Islamabad Innovation Lab Asim Ghaffar said, “Islamabad started as the green city of Pakistan. So one goal could be to have 100 per cent wastewater management for the city. Imagine we are no longer polluting or even flooding Pindi.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2016.

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