The conference was attended by Chairwoman of Senate Committee on Climate Change, the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission and senior officials from Ministry of Climate Change, Housing and Planning, the Planning and Development departments, various national and international non governmental organizations, architects, academia and other.
Mr. Siamak Moghaddam, UN-Habitat’s Country Programme Manager in his opening remarks acknowledged Government of Pakistan’s efforts to build a disaster resilient city. He was of the view that Pakistan had been forced to drain significant resources to humanitarian efforts, ignoring development programmes. He also cited the development of a National Urban Policy and well planned city extensions.
“UN-Habitat has just launched the Resilient Cities project in 31 cities of Pakistan. Our aim is to address urbanisation and risk reduction. With regard to urban national policy, our role is to facilitate dialogue among national, provincial and district management authorities,” he said.
The country’s Chief Housing & Physical Planning, Mr. Anwar Hussain Chaudry highlighted the challenges of inadequate or absence of comprehensive policies and mechanisms for reforms and intervention.
The Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Mr. Nadeem-ul-Haq, opened the forum for discussion. He shared his opinion that the country is treading fast towards Urbanization, hence the speed of response needs to be in proportion. Growth needs to be well accumulated and accommodated within the planning mechanisms for better result.
Participants of the conference were allowed to share ideas, opinions and participate in the discussion.
Mr Ayub Qutub, Executive Director - PIEDAR, concluded the conference by suggesting that the values of democracy will lead the way to make cities a better facilitator for its inhabitants. Inclusivity shall ensure ownership and will reduce disparity and elements of segregation.
Lastly Mr. Anwar Hussain Chaudhry, Chief Housing and Physical Planning of Planning Commission delivered a vote of thanks.
Members of the conference wished to bring together expertise and professional viewpoints in order to implement the Creative Cities concept, offering better economic growth and better quality of life for the urban dwellers.
The meeting was the first in a series of conferences scheduled in coming months, bringing experts and stakeholders from provinces together so as to continue the dialogue with the ultimate goal of concluding at the National Urban Policy for Pakistan.