KARACHI - City Mayor Wasim Akhtar said on Friday that unprecedented urbanisation had become one of the most profound challenges of the 21st century for the entire world.

He said that sustainable Karachi would provide space for research, dialogue and collaborative mobilisation. “The concept of futuristic and sustainable cities has been provided by the smart green city vision,” he said while speaking at the three-day International Mayors Forum in Vientiane, the capital of Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The subject of the forum was intergovernmental, regional and environmentally sustainable transport in Asia.

Participants from various Asian countries, including Japan, Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal and Lao, attended the forum from March 14 to 16.

The mayor of Karachi said that the sustainable cities movement was going to re-emerge in a host of cities around the world and it would involve social and environmentally sensitive actions by groups of citizens. In order to ensure sustainable development in mega cities, he said, “We need specific research for assessing needs and priority areas.”

He said that taking the stakeholders on board and bringing together a network of relevant national, regional and international individuals and organisations would be helpful in sharing experiences, adapting best practices and building capacities. “This model can be used effectively to overcome the issue of traffic accidents and violation of road safety rules,” he said.

The mayor said, “We also need to ensure participation of our youth, especially students and the civil society, in such a campaign that will bring sustainability in the development work and development schemes made for the city.”

He expressed the hope that the strategy for implementation of sustainable development goal-11 would prove a good initiative for solving mega city’s problems. He said that city administrators would be able to do work in the field of infrastructure development, urbanisation management and transportation.