ECOSF participated in the International Workshop on Sustainable Cities: Issues and Challenges of Rapid Urbanization organized by COMSTECH

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COMSTECH organized Two-day International Workshop on "Sustainable Cities: Issues and Challenges of Rapid Urbanization" on January 28-29 to deliberate upon the challenges due to increasing urban population and highlighting best practices of transforming toward smarter cities. The workshop included a large number of local and foreign experts from academia and industry, company executives, and developers from OIC Countries to discuss how policies, technology, and best practices can trigger transformations towards smarter cities. Experts from Turkey, Malaysia, Oman, Jordan, Afghanistan and Egypt participated besides a large number of participants from local public and private organizations. On behalf of ECOSF, its President Prof. Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro and Engr. Khalil Raza Scientific Officer participated in the event.

During the inaugural of the workshop, Prime Minister's Adviser on Institutional Reforms and Austerity, Dr. Ishrat Husain emphasized that haphazard urbanization in developing countries is a result of the policies that left cities to grow organically resulting in huge slums, tangled traffic, large greenhouse emissions and sprawling suburbs. Dr. Ishrat Husain said once the required investments and partnerships are in place, sustainable cities have to be equipped to perform the five major functions to meet the challenges of the future including economic development, social development, urban governance and environmental management, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Acting Coordinator General of COMSTECH Dr. Tariq Banuri traced the history of the idea of sustainable development and the challenges the world now faces not only from finite resources but global warming. He pointed out that increasing urbanization was now an inevitable phenomenon of growth but there are various models to address the incumbent challenges.

Currently half of the world's population is living in cities and urban areas and the number is projected to increase to seventy percent by the middle of the 21st century. With the climate change and natural disasters posing new challenges, there is a growing market for smart, sustainable and resilient urban infrastructure planning and development. Information and communication technology can play a key role to facilitate city administrations for improvements in such areas as transportation, clean drinking water, water use, safe cities, location of social services, energy efficiency, green buildings and waste management.

Earlier, Dr. Khurshid Hasnain, Adviser COMSTECH welcomed the participants and appraised the audience of COMSTECH's efforts for capacity building and network formation between scientists and technologists of OIC member States. Dr. Kaiser Bengali a notable economist also spoke during thematic a session during the conference.

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