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‘Design cities with the long term in mind’ 

KUALA LUMPUR: Cities and territories should be designed innovatively with a long-term vision of a sound green economy, protection of cultures and inclusive cities for all, says Tan Sri Noh Omar. 

The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister said urbanisation had been recognised as one of the 21st century’s most transformative trends and would have a great effect on the social, economic, political and environmental aspects of society. 

“Presently, more than 50% of the world’s population now lives in cities and urban areas. 

“The fact that urbanisation is the agenda for this forum acknowledges that cities are important engines of growth,” he told participants of the 9th World Urban Forum (WUF 9) assemblies at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday. 

Image credit: The Star

Noh also hoped that the assemblies would come up with practical and strategic actions to improve living and working conditions in informal settlements and economies, as well as ensure that urban poor communities were well organised and taken care of.

Officiating at the joint opening of the WUF 9 assemblies for Women, Business, Children and Youth, Noh said Malaysia was committed to supporting and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals objectives and the New Urban Agenda (NUA) action plans to ensure that cities were safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable with good efficient urban governance. 

He said all implementing agencies must understand their roles in achieving a common goal and coordinate their efforts through inter-­ministerial, regional and local government committees. 

Noh said the assembly would be a legacy of WUF 9 as it offered space to grassroots leaders to champion the delivery of NUA in their cities and communities around the world. 
  
“The Grassroots Assembly is the first and I am happy it is birthed in Kuala Lumpur. 

“The Joint Assembly is a pivotal activity intended to showcase and accelerate leadership in grassroots communities to improve the quality of life in their settlements and cities,” he added. 

Noh also hoped that the assemblies would come up with practical and strategic actions to improve living and working conditions in informal settlements and economies, as well as ensure that urban poor communities were well organised and taken care of. 

WUF 9 brings together thousands of stakeholders to share practices and knowledge on how cities are built, planned and managed. 

About 25,000 people from 194 countries have gathered in Kuala Lumpur for the week-long forum. 

The biennial forum is also a platform to discuss and present commitments, strategies and innovations, identify institutional roles, as well as pursue partnerships in the implementation of the NUA. 

During the opening ceremony earlier, Noh and United Nations Human Settlements Programme executive director Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif witnessed the raising of the Jalur Gemilang and United Nations flags. 

WUF 9, which ends on Feb 13, is being held for the second time in Asia and will hold over 500 events, including assemblies, high-level roundtable talks, dialogues and special sessions. 

Themed “Cities 2030, Cities for All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda”, the forum hosted by Kuala Lumpur will focus on implementing the NUA. 
Source by: 
The Star
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