‘Half of Pakistan’s expected 260m population will live in cities’Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: By 2030, the population of Pakistan is expected to swell to 260 million, with half of that number living in urban areas.
This was discussed in a meeting held to discuss the New Urban Agenda in the country for making the country’s cities habitable and to trigger economic prosperity.
Speaking at the event, Federal Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid said that one of the ministry’s bigger responsibilities was to improve the quality of life for residents in urban areas,
“The development agenda includes the transformation of these areas into creative, eco-friendly, commerce friendly, sustainable, smart cities through improved city governance, effective urban planning, efficient local mobility infrastructure and better security to make urbanisation an important driver of growth,” he said.
“For this purpose, the Ministry of Climate Change and UN-Habitat have been working on various initiatives related to sustainable urbanisation and climate change. We are now working on preparing a State of Pakistan Cities Report, which will serve as an important tool for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, which was adopted at the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador on October 20, 2016,” he said.
UN Habitat Country Program Manager Bella Evidente said that within the UN, the UN Habitat is the focal agency for all urbanisation and human settlement matters.
“In Pakistan, the agency emphasises on improving the lives of people by carefully tapping opportunities in harnessing the economic and social potentials of Pakistan’s cities for growth and development and in promoting socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities,” she said.
Secretary for Ministry of Climate Change Syed Abu Akif said: “This year, around the World Cities Day is focusing on inclusive cities and shared development and as Pakistan is facing a rapid increase in urbanisation caused by population growth, urban migration, and refugee influx, which has resulted in the creation and expansion of under-resourced urban settlements, causing unprecedented levels of economic, spatial, social, and infrastructural challenges, and climate change impacts, it requires the attention and support of all sectors.”
Published in Dawn, November 1st, 2016