December 14, 2016 9:54:14 pm
Good governance is the key to ensure that gains of urban development reaches all, and in making the cities resilient and sustainable, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Wednesday. Inaugurating a conference here on housing and urban development in Asia Pacific region, he said, “Governance holds the key in ensuring that no one is left behind in benefiting from the gains of urban development and in making cities inclusive, safe, resilient to cope up with natural disasters and other risks and sustainable.”
Ministers and officials from 68 countries of Asia Pacific region are participating in the three-day ‘Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development’ which seeks to evolve plan for equitable urban development over the next 20 years.
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Naidu said given its importance, governance needs to be added as the fourth dimension to the three principles of sustainable development — equity, economy and environment.
Naidu said over the last two years, the government has taken several initiatives to improve technical, planning and managerial capabilities of city administrations.
This is being done through promoting e-governance, capacity building, enhancement of resource base of cities under different new urban missions, he said.
Naidu said the Asia Pacific region accounts for 55 per cent of global urban population with over one billion living in slums and accounting for 75 per cent of global fatalities due to natural disasters and urged the member countries to mount collective efforts to face challenges in the context of rapid urbanisation in the region.
Ten of the 15 largest cities in the world are in this region, which is set to become predominantly urban over the next two years, the minister said.
Ministers of member countries in their statements also gave accounts of levels of urbanisation, experiences and challenges being faced by them.
Poor urban infrastructure, unplanned and unregulated urbanisation, social and economic exclusion of poor and marginalised sections, lack of resilience to natural disasters and other risks are among the major challenges highlighted by various ministers, an official release said.
The sixth edition of the conference here is the first such meet after the New Urban Agenda for inclusive and sustainable urban development was adopted at the Habitat-III global conference in Quito, Ecuador in October this year. The Delhi Declaration and Implementation Plan will be adopted on December 16.
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