In order to prevent unmanageable and unsustainable urban expansion, Asia pacific countries have resolved to adopt ‘Urban Plus’ approach taking urban planning and development beyond city limits.
This was contained in the ‘New Delhi Declaration’ adopted on Friday on the conclusion of three-day deliberations of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD). The theme of the conference was ‘Emerging Urban Forms-Policy Reforms and Governance Structures in the Context of New Urban Agenda’.
The member countries have also strongly recommended formulation of national human settlement policies to promote inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable city and human settlements.
Minister of state for housing and urban poverty alleviation Rao Inderjit Singh said that the New Delhi declaration has strongly advocated planning for urban and adjoining rural areas in an integrated manner instead of looking at them as independent entities. The Declaration also called for a thorough review of existing policies and formulation of new policies to promote New Urban agenda adopted at the united nations conference on housing and sustainable development in Quito, Ecuador in October this year.
The implementation plan further recommended land regulation policy mechanisms such as land pooling to ensure inclusive and participatory planning, integration of land use and transportation planning across defined boundaries of cities and mixed land use, enforcement and incentivisation of timely execution of infrastructure projects, formulation of comprehensive urban parking policies and community participation in urban planning and service delivery.
In view of the vulnerability of most of the Asia-Pacific countries to natural disasters and other risks, the Implementation Plan has recommended urban resilience as a criteria for investment. Resilience is the ability of cities to withstand and absorb disasters and shocks and maintain normal services and quickly return to normalcy.
The minister said that the Asia Pacific countries committed themselves to take forward the new Urban agenda through necessary policy initiatives and by strengthening respective and joint actions besides ensuring housing for all in the framework of sustainable urban development. He said that India has assumed the leadership of APMCHUD for the next two years by when the Asia Pacific Region would transform into predominantly urban from being rural now and accordingly has a major responsibility in fostering collaboration to forge the emerging challenges.