Pakistan Urban Forum-South Asian Cities Conference to be held in Karachi in January, 2014

Karachi, November 28, 2013: The Planning and Development Department of the Government of Sindh, the South Asia Institute of Harvard University, Urban Unit, Government of Punjab and the Institute of Architects, Pakistan are partnering to hold the Pakistan Urban Forum -South Asian Cities Conference in January, 2014. Major Universities in Pakistan are collaborating at this Forum of discourse, deliberation and seeking innovative solutions to common challenges of urbanity in Pakistan and the region. This unique event is expected to get participation from Pakistan, South Asian countries and other parts of the world.

The Forum – Conference is scheduled to take place from 9th to 12th January 2014 and will bring together all stakeholders, including government departments, professionals, community-based organisations, urban activists, corporate leadership, academia and the citizenry, in an effort to share experiences and learning in the framework of strategic national urban development. The organizers believe such a Forum to be pertinent in the backdrop of the rapidly increasing urbanization.

The rapid growth of cities is a common and persisting phenomenon in most of the developing countries including Pakistan. These cities boast enormous history and culture, having gone through several transformations. The journey of the cities carry numerous stories of development. The Forum will provide a platform for an assessment and critique to develop a better consensus, going forward. It will provide an opportunity for the citizens to interact and dialogue with all stakeholders. . The first Pakistan Urban Forum in Lahore in 2011 had attracted more than 6000 participants and similar overwhelming participation is expected for the Forum-conference in Karachi

Thus the aim of the Forum is to formulate results in synthetic production of publications that provides a deeper understanding about explicit relationships, tangible and intangible networks that facilitate the flow of energy, information, goods and people for a sustainable urban scenario. It will also create future opportunities of cooperation and research between the government, academia, international organizations and various communities, so needed in finding solutions to the problems of our ever growing cities.

With 4 concurrent sessions being held each day, the Forum will examine a number of key areas. These will include city governance, urban economy and policy, urban infrastructure, histories of South Asian cities, conservation of the built environment, public health, water and sanitation, housing and many more.