Harvard University professor Mehrotra to participate in ‘Cities and Us’ Pakistan Urban Forum South Asian Cities Conference ’14 in Karachi

Karachi, December 31, 2013: The organising committee of the upcoming ‘Cities and Us’ Pakistan Urban Forum-South Asian Cities Conference 2014 confirmed the participation of Harvard University professor, Rahul Mehrotra today.

The conference is scheduled to take place from 10th to 12th January 2014 in Karachi, with the inauguration ceremony to be held on 9th January. The mega event will bring together stakeholders from Pakistan itself, other South Asian countries and some Western countries also, in an effort to share experiences and learning relating to various issues and challenges pertaining to the development of South Asian cities. Participants will include relevant officials of government departments, architects and town planners, community-based organisations, urban activists, corporate leadership, academia and the citizenry.

In a bid to involve the top urban development and planning experts from around the world, the organisers confirmed that Mehrotra will be a participant at the mega conference. Mehrotra is the Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard University. The Indian is a practising architect, urban designer, and educator. His firm, RMA Architects, was founded in 1990 in Mumbai and has designed and executed projects for clients that include government and non-governmental agencies, corporate as well as private individuals and institutions.

Other dignitaries from Harvard University, who will be speaking at the conference in Karachi include Satchit Balsari, Justin Stern, Meena Hewett, Ruth Barron, Jennifer Leaning and Spiro Pollais.

Yawar Jilani, member of the conference’s organising committee, said that the involvement of officials from the Harvard University will add value and substance to the conference.

“The members coming from Harvard University are some of the best professionals in the world in the urban development and planning field,” he said. “Each of the members has vast experience and unparalleled achievements – something we can all learn from at the event. We are honoured to have them as participants at the South Asian Cities Conference.”

Further representation from the US was announced as Andrew Himes, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion also confirmed his participation. The author of The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family, Himes is also the founding editor of MacTech and later founded Project Alchemy which works for social justice in the Pacific Northwest. He is also the co-founder of the international movement, Poets Against the War and founded Voices Education Project.

The four-day conference is being organised by 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.

The unique event is expected to get participation from other South Asian countries, and aims to be a dialogue process to discussing and finding innovative solutions to common challenges for urban development.