Headline September 16, 2019/ '' 'CITIES! LIVABILITY? CURSE!' '' : O'' DEAR - STUDENTS



THE ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT a global monitor that studies the livability standards in 140 cities - gives some very, very striking figures and comparisons............................

The global perception towards the functions of a city has significantly transformed. Today, the world stands at a unanimous belief that a city should be meant and designed for people and not for cars or  concrete.

Realisation of the perception is what makes a cities livable. Backed by strong institutions and  accountable governments, livable cities are are proactively sensitive to ever-changing world needs and emerging challenges.

They are sensitive to local values, culture and history associated with places. They give identity to people, which they take pride in, and create a sense of belonging to the environment where generations thrive, rejoice and socialise with each other.

They ensure no segment of the society lives without basic necessities of life. Their systems of governance embody equity, justice and inclusiveness. The offer convenient choices for people of all age, race and gender.

They prioritize people's happiness, considering that our surroundings have impact on our moods, emotions, and mental well being. Above all, they aspire for ambitious goals and become an inspiration for others to follow.

[O'' DEAR] : KARACHI, PAKISTAN'S LARGEST METROPOLITAN, the world's fifth largest city, and the hub of economic activities, was listed the least livable cities with rank of 136 and a score of 40.9 out of 100.

RECENTLY A UK BASED think tank made news when it called for strict enforcement on car idling practices to curb air pollution in cities.
This implied that drivers who leave their car engines running while doing s school run or going to the shop should be should be subjected to hefty fines..

A 'citizen based reporting scheme' was launched in which people who identify cars that have been for at least a minute get a 25 percent cut of the fine paid by the motorist.

The basic premise of this initiative was to minimise the environmental externalities by the surging consumption of fuel in cities.

New York City was among the first to act, and how big the social impact it created, describes a public service message along of the NY streets intimidating, ''Turn off your engines! Children breathe here''.

This is one of  the many stories from the developed world that enlighten the sensitivity of those governments towards socio-environmental challenges of cities by making them human friendly and socially responsive.

Putting these practices in the developing world perspective, say Pakistan's perspective, will have,  finding it as fairy tale in the backdrop of premordial hassles we've ''learned'' to live in.

A recently published report by the Economist Intelligence Unit a global monitor that studies the livability standards in 140-cities gives a striking comparison.

Where cities like Vienna and Melbourne were well eulogised and crowned as the most attractive choices for living, the report also raised red flags to many large metropolitans.

Karachi, Pakistan's largest metropolitan, the world's fifth largest city, and a hub of economic activities, was listed among the least 10 livable with the rank of 136  and a score of 40.9 out of 100.

The performance score was evaluated against the five main indicators : healthcare, stability, culture and environment, infrastructure, and education.

The report may not be a perplexing picture to many on account of what we we routinely witness in  our city life, i.e traveling delays, scarcity of parks, flocked spaces, criminal threats, dilapidated roads and structures, epidemics, bogged walkways, and cluttered streets, to name just a few.

On such grounds, while Karachi is the only Pakistani city ascribed among the very low performers  across all livability parameters, many of our metropolitan cities suggest a similar dismaying reality.

A research done by the International Growth Center points to some alarming facts:

.- In Pakistan, 1 in every eight urban dweller lives below the poverty line.

.- In most cities, only half of the population has access to clean drinking water coupled with the fact that 90 percent of the water supply arrangements were declared unsafe for drinking by the Asian Development Bank.

.- Poor water sanitation costs around 3.9 percent of the GDP and billed as the major cause of diarrhea related deaths.

 .- Transportation is often as a city's backbone, however, Karachi is the only megacity in the world without a mass transport system, doubling the congestion of private cars over the past 20 years.

.- In three mega-cities : Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar about 10 percent of children remain out of school.

.- Only 36 percent of the population of Pakistan's largest city resides in formal settlements.

.- A large number of urban settlements are also becoming increasingly vulnerable under the surging threat of climate change.

The Economist factsheet didn't hit the news stories, as for many it does not equate to a crisis, However, we cannot get away with snubbing the reality to our incompetence, which will only exacerbate the problem that has already come to our heads.

Given the evidence, we should question before it's too late:

What's going to the the future of our cities, and while the world strives for a healthy and friendly urban environment, why is it that our urban areas are becoming less human.

The honor and serving of bringing to light the Quality of Life  and Living in the world, continues. The World Students Society thanks authors Bilal Saghir, Urban Policy Researcher,and Sarosh Shahid, University of Maryland.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Grandparents, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all on Facebook, prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Crime & Curse '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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