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BRICS countries call for a new ‘Social Contract’ to address urban transition challenges

The Minister of State for Planning (Independent Charge) and Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Shri Rao Inderjit Singh at the valedictory function of the 3rd BRICS Urbanization Forum, in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh on September 16, 2016.
The Minister of State for Planning (Independent Charge) and Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Shri Rao Inderjit Singh at the valedictory function of the 3rd BRICS Urbanization Forum, in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh on September 16, 2016.

5 Dariya News

5 Dariya News

5 Dariya News

Visakhapatnam , 16 Sep 2016

Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh urges BRICS to step up cooperation to enable urban renaissance, 3 day Conference on ‘Urban Transition in BRICS’ concludes The member countries of BRICS have called for a new ‘Social Contract’ among the governments at all the three levels, people and other stakeholders to mount collective efforts to address various challenges associated with urban transition and enable urban renaissance. Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa stressed on such an integrated approach during the three day BRICS Urbanisation Forum on ‘Urban Transition in BRICS’ that concluded in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh today.Ministers, policy makers, experts and members of academia from member countries during detailed discussions on challenges of rapid urban transformation in member countries stressed on the need for inclusive and sustainable urban development approaches based on people’s participation in managing urban affairs.Expressing concern over the consequences of unplanned and unanticipated urban expansion in member countries, delegated from member countries called for enhancing planning, technical and financial capacities of city governments. 

They stressed on the need for coordination of policies of federal, provincial and city governments for an integrated approach to urban development and for forging effective partnerships with private sector for resource mobilisation in an enabling environment.BRICS countries who are at different levels of urbanisation shared their experiences and approaches to emerging challenges and agreed on the need to enable planned and guided urbanisation to take advantage of urbanisation. They have taken stock of deficiencies in urban structure, various aspects of smart city development, expanding slums and the need for ensuring liveable and sustainable human settlements, financing urban infrastructure and reforms required to enable urban renaissance in member countries.Addressing the closing session of the three day conference, Union Minister of State for Urban Development Shri Rao Inderjit Singh urged the BRICS nations to step up cooperation to effectively address the new urban agenda focussing on inclusive urban development. He said that member countries should ensure effective follow up actions in pursuance of new urban agenda to be finalised at the HABITAT-III Conference to be held in Quito, Eucador next month.

Shri Inderjit Singh said that there is immense scope for cooperation among BRICS grouping on matters of urbanisation based on respective experiences and shared goals. Appreciating the intense three day deliberations, he stressed on the need to enhance capacities of urban local bodies.

Dr.P. Narayana, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Urban Development, Government of Andhra Pradesh gave an account of the initiatives of State Government to enable transparent urban governance and better service delivery.Ministers, experts, members of academia, representatives of agencies and organisations working in urban sector from member countries attended the three day BRICS Urbanisation Forum.Perspectives of members countries on various issues concerning urban transition, common concerns and positions there on would be placed for consideration by leaders of member countries at the ‘BRICS Summit’ to be held in Goa next month.

BRICS countries call for ‘zero waste’ approach in water and sanitation management 

China cites the case of Shenzen city producing 4,300 MW of electricity for municipal solid waste 

Experts suggest promotion of new cities based on ‘economic logic’ to avoid poverty traps 

South Africa’s Minister calls for liveable and sustainable human settlements in urban areas 

Placing water and sanitation management in urban areas among the most daunting challenges in the context of rapid urbanisation, BRICS countries have called for a ‘zero waste’ policy through reuse and recycling in a focussed manner. Participating in a discussion on ‘Resilient Water and Sanitation Management’ at the BRICS Urbanisation Forum in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, policy makers and experts from the member countries stressed on waste reduction and reuse.China has showcased the city of Shenzen where in only 6% of municipal solid waste is being dumped in the open. Mr.Xu Hayun, Chief Engineer, China Construction Group informed that daily 2,10,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste is being recycled to generate 4,300 MW of electricity. He said that waste-to-energy conversion of the city has been substantially enhanced since 1988 when only 150 tonnes of such waste was converted into power. He further informed that 94% of solid waste being generated in Chinese cities is being recycled.Experts have stressed the need to step up the capacities of cities to ensure such zero waste approach. Dr.B.Chandra Mohan, Revenue Secretary of Tamil Naidu said that Chennai is a leading example of resilience in water management being the first city in the country to set up a desalination plant enabling use of 200 million litres of sea water per day. Rain water harvesting is ensured in all the buildings in the city to meet water needs of citizens, he said. Tamil Nadu Government is taking measures to supply 240 million litres of Treated Reusable Water per day to industrial units which could give more revenues than the income from supply of regular water, he added.

Ruth Jurberg of Brazil called for proper date generation by cities to ensure effective water and sanitation management besides involvement of people in these critical areas.Noting that only 1% of readily usable water is available for use of humanity with 97% of water being in seas and another 2% being locked up in deep acquifers, Ms.N.A.Buthelegi of South Africa called for adoption of appropriate technologies and response mechanisms to meet water needs of people. She called for a holistic approach to water management given the linkages with various other utilities. She informed that in South Africa, 15,000 water ambassadors are pressed into service to educate people about proper water use.Ms.Karuna Gopal, President, Foundation for Futuristic Cities said that the Government of India, under different new urban missions has launched concerted efforts to ensure proper water supply and management in urban areas.During a discussion on ‘New Towns and Regional Planning’, the experts called for developing new urban habitations based on sound economic logic so that the inhabitants of such new locations are not pushed into ‘poverty traps’. This needs to be ensured through necessary linkages with other centres of production and consumption for employment generation on a sustainable basis. Experts from Brazil, China, India and South Africa voiced concern over unplanned and unanticipated urban expansion resulting in social and economic inequalities. Some of the experts called for ‘extended urbanism’ based on the principle of effective regional planning.

The experts unanimously called for augmenting the capacities of cities to promote effective urban planning and management besides ensuring wider participation of people in urban affairs.Ms.Zou-Kota Fredericks, South Africa’s Deputy Minister for Settlements, while expressing concern over the growing slums and informal settlements in urban areas called for ensuring liveable and sustainable human settlements in urban areas.

The BRICS nations during today’s deliberations stressed on ensuring urban renaissance to stimulate economic growth besides enabling decent living for all sections of the society.Dr.Jagan Shah, Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs, Ministry of Urban Development informed that urban renaissance in India are based on the five pillars of empowering urban local bodies, citizen participation, capacity building of stakeholders, effective urban planning and augmenting financial resources of cities and towns.

 

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