While South Asia is among the most densely populated regions in the world, it is also one the least urbanized. As rural to urban migration increases in South Asia, its cities across all countries increasingly face development stresses in terms of congestion, pollution, and quality of life issues. In the spirit of the theme of Towards a Green South Asia at the 9th South Asia Economic Students’ Meet (SAESM) held in Nepal last week as well as in preparation for the upcoming 2014 World Bank regional flagship on urbanization, the World Bank asked the emerging economists from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to share their ideas about how they envision Green Growth in South Asian cities of the future through a writing competition.
Padam Raj Panaru from Nepal stressed that developing countries need technology transfers from more industrialized countries to promote green investment and entrepreneurship. Fostering greater interaction around green ideas with create opportunities for knowledge sharing.
From India, Shruti Lakhtakia noted that individual energy use in industrialized countries is still much greater than in South Asia countries. In terms of urban planning, she recommended that urban design and allocation of resources should be decentralized to be tailored to the needs of local communities. However, she stressed urban planning needs to be professionalized so that policies are consistent over time and can be implemented.
Sunera Saha Khan from Bangladesh encouraged social forestry in which residents are encouraged to plant trees as well as promoting urban agriculture and help South Asia realize it’s green dreams.
Emerging Economists Envision Green South Asian Cities of the Future