‘Saturday City Dialogue Series 2018’ – a forum to discuss cities and citizens

LAHORE: The Urban Unit has initiated “The Saturday City Dialogue Series 2018” in partnership with, and at the Quaid-e-Azam Library Lahore to discuss the cities of Pakistan with a special emphasis on the roles of the citizens.

The first of the series was conducted by Dr Nadeem Haque, an eminent scholar writer and former deputy chairman of the planning commission of Pakistan. He discussed the planning of cities keeping in view the citizens’ perspectives and livability issues.

It was an informal interactive dialogue with some 100 participants questioning, cross-questioning and deliberating on various aspects of living in urban spaces. Dr Nadeem stressed the significance of policy work and research to achieve the targets of economic development in Pakistan. He added that cities are vital for being the centres for growth. He said that a planned land development and vertical growth of the cities can unlock the wealth for the country in the longer run.

“Government has a major role to develop planned cities and markets in order to achieve the goal of provision of quality life to everyone. The citizens have yet a bigger role in thinking and communicating with the planners for their good but this process will start when we start pondering on our issues,” he added.

Earlier, Dr Nasir Javed, the chief executive officer of the Urban Unit elaborated the purpose of choosing a public space to initiate a productive conversation for the citizens.

“Choosing an auditorium of a public library is an attempt to ensure the participation of public and discussing views on a larger scale for viable solutions and healthy discussions,” he added.

Renowned names like Dr Salman Shah former finance minister, Rafay Alam lawyer and environment specialist, Mohiuddin Wani DG Benazir Income Support Programme, Pervaiz Qureshi a well-known architect, Ayesha Zaman a master trainer at the PITB, Dr Amin A. Siddiq dean Imperial College Lahore and representatives from many other departments and companies also participated in the dialogue. A large number of students from various colleges and universities and scholars also came to attend the first dialogue of the series.

By introducing the City Dialogue, the Urban Unit is attempting to create an avenue for discussion through each dialogue – bringing to table some unique perspectives and experiences.

Through facilitating information sharing and face to face interaction, the Urban Unit aims to play a role in encouraging people to ponder, break down the barriers caused by stereotypes and discuss the dynamics of the country’s cities to transform into livable and lively spaces for everyone.

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