Govt taking necessary steps to get accurate knowledge of urbanization: Zahid Hamid

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 29 (APP): Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid Monday said that the government is taking all necessary initiatives to get accurate knowledge of urbanization, one of the challenges being faced by the country.

Addressing a press conference along with Australian High
Commissioner Margaret Adamson and Minister of State Marvi Memon, he said, “Urbanization is as one of the challenging issues faced by Pakistan. Yet,at the same time it also offers immense opportunities for investments in
addition to climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

He was commenting on the State of Pakistan Cities Report, being compiled by the Ministry in collaboration with the Australian High Commission and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

The minister said that only far-reaching and calculated measures are the means to tackle it and for this purpose, the government is leading the development of the State of Pakistan Cities’ Report to ensure that vital information can help planners, decision makers and society to produce better and improved urban solutions.

To a question, he said that the government is committed to conduct population census by March next year. He said to ensure transparency, army personnel will be deployed during the census.

He said Pakistan’s population is expected to reach 230 million from 190 million by 2030 while urban with about 17 cities have population of more than one million.

The report aims to contribute to the strategic initiatives of Pakistan Vision-2015 and would help make cities as hubs of economic growth and implementation of the sustainable development goals, particularly Goal 11 on making cities and human settlements inclusive safe resilient and sustainable.

“This report aims to present a well-informed analysis of the state of urbanization across Pakistan with quantitative and qualitative city-based data and takes a broader view that incorporates the economic alongside social, demographic, political and cultural aspects. It will support planners, administrators, and decision makers by provision of sufficient information to help them design effective urban solutions without leaving out vital segments of urban society” the minister said.

Minister of State Marvi Memon commented “Cities and urban areas are becoming increasingly important for our environment, economic development and security, welfare and quality of life for a growing share of the world’s population. I am glad to be a part of this initiative which will surely provide holistic knowledge for sustainable urban planning that is needed to meet both present and future challenges of Pakistan’s growing cities.”

The State of Pakistan Cities Report will provide urban information and updated data on first level major cities of Pakistan, establish appropriate key urban indicators and baseline, analyses development trends and challenges and present potentials for investment and growth. It will build the capacity of relevant stakeholders for evidence-based decision making and monitoring in urban sector.

The report will have an extensive policy impact created at city, provincial, and national levels particularly in relation to urban service delivery, land and housing, role of cities including their potential growth capacities and challenges, and will support the development of National Urban Framework or Guidelines and provincial level urban policies, and investment plans.

Australian High Commissioner Margaret Adamson underlined that the Australian government was pleased to support access to accurate and timely information upon which to base policy and planning decisions.

“The development of the ‘State of Pakistan Cities’ report comes at a time when Pakistan’s cities, and many cities throughout the world, are under increasing pressure from population growth and environmental concerns,
including as a result of climate change”, Adamson said. “The report will provide vital data for planners, policy makers and legislators in responding to these challenges and equip Pakistan’s cities to play their future role at the centre of the nation’s economic and cultural activity.”