ISLAMABAD - The estimated population in urban areas has been witnessing an increase from 37.9 per cent in 2013 to 40.54 per cent in 2017 and expected to touch 50 per cent mark by 2030.

In comparison, the population in rural areas is decreasing from 62.1 per cent in 2013 to 59.46 per cent in 2017. Population of the country is expected to reach 242 million by 2030. 

The official facts and figures showed on Sunday that urbanisation has potential to drive the country towards prosperity and competence but this process needs effective tackling of critical issues like improvement in service delivery, provision of infrastructure and housing, laws and regulations related to land use, planning and observing building code and solid waste environmental problems.

In Pakistan, the urbanisation trend is not different from other countries of the world, as Pakistan is also facing a rapid increase in urbanisation caused by population growth, urban migration, and refugees migration.

Due to this, there is an expansion of under-resourced urban settlements, which caused unprecedented levels of economic, spatial, social, and infrastructural challenges and climate change impacts.

The government is well aware of this issue and making sincere efforts to improve quality of life of population living in urban cities through planned urbanisation.

For this purpose, Ministry of Climate Change and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in Pakistan have been working closely on various initiatives related to sustainable urbanisation and climate change. These include policy formulation and implementation of climate change vulnerability and adaptation assessments and urban-related initiatives that contribute to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with focus on social, environmental and economic development.

The Parliament has become the first entity to adopt the SDGs, and has established exclusive SDGs Centre in National Assembly.

The government has shown its commitment by setting up SDG units with its own resources in Federal, Punjab while process of establishing units in other provinces is under process.