Sunday, January 19, 2014

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Pakistan Urban Forum South Asian Cities Conference (PUF-SACC) to promote Karachi’s soft image

Pakistan Urban Forum South Asian Cities Conference (PUF-SACC) was a 4- day conference that took place at Frere Hall Karachi from in January 2014.

The directorate of urban policy and strategic planning government of Sindh, Urban Unit government of Punjab, The South Asian Institute of Harvard University, and the Institute of Architects Pakistan put in a joint effort to organize this conference

Conference was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Qaim Alis Shah at a glittering ceremony at Mohatta palace Karachi on a cool evening on 9th January. Scrumptious Pakistani cuisine was served to all the delegates, speakers & guests who were present at this occasion. 

During the conference many issue pertaining to Urbanization, economy, environment, health, and transportation were discussed. The speakers during the sessions not only highlighted the issues faced by the cities of South Asia and Pakistan but also gave detailed solution to overcome the existing problems

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal graced the first session of this conference. Speaking at the first session of Pakistan Urban Forum — South Asian Cities Conference (PUF-SACC) at the Frere Hall lawns, he said that we in Pakistan are great in planning but we mess up in management and development.
During the conference total 24 sessions were held in which experts from 15 countries joined the experts from Pakistan and carry out in-depth discussion on various issues pertaining to unplanned urbanization being faced
Rahul Mehrotra, Professor and chair Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard University was one of the major attractions for conference participants. Rahul Mehrotra through his expert opinion enlighten the audience about the problems faced by the cities    was of the view that bad governance is the most crucial problem being faced by all the cities of South Asian region.



An exhibition area was also set up at the outskirts of conference venue where various organizations, educational institutions and sponsors set up stall to provide information about their activities. Out of many stalls at exhibition area, an organization named Brooks Pakistan caught my attention. This organization is working to create awareness about animal’s rights. They provide free medical treatment to ailing animals and also educate owners about the steps they need to take in order to keep their animals healthy. In Pakistan’s scenario I can say that their work is really unique. Although most organizations at exhibition area distributing brochures & pamphlets to highlight their projects, but national disaster management cell & world bank used technology to highlight themselves. National Institute of Disaster Management provide a CD containing their activities but World Bank went a step ahead and give out  a USB to the people visiting their stalls.
Conference proceedings get extensive coverage in print and electronic media. Three major English language newspapers of Pakistan that is Dawn, Express Tribune and The News through their coverage proved a point that they understand the problems caused by unplanned Urbanization and are ready to play a positive role in finding solution of these problems.

This conference I am sure will play a pivotal role in promoting Karachi’s soft image. The foreigners present at the venue were very excited about their visit to Pakistan. Commenting about Karachi Rahul Mehrotra, Professor and chair Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard University said that Karachi is a unique city and efforts must be made by city administration to maintain the uniqueness of Karachi.

Karchietes in large numbers attend this conference and learn from the experience shared by experts during the many sessions of Pakistan Urban Forum South Asian Cities Conference
I hope that in future various organizations and institutions will continue to organize more conferences, seminars and other similar activities.

1 comments:

  1. Nice one. A major issue all urban cities are facing is encroachments!

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