Planners plan for rapid growth in National Capital

 BY ALU ALUVULA

The National Capital District Commission representatives were able to sit in as observers in the board meeting of the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) meeting recently in Sigatoka, Fiji.

Deputy City managers Kenneth Atasoa (regulatory services) and Lulu Ted (community and social services) were grateful for the privilege of attending.

One of the highlights of the conference was the invitation by CAP president Ms Dyan Currie for PNG to register, paving the way for Papua New Guinea to become a full member of CAP accessing relevant expertise and resources from more than 40,000 planners in the Commonwealth countries on city planning, particularly in planning for the poor and underprivileged.

According to Mr Atasoa, this was important because PNG had a severe shortage of planners in comparison to the national population. He added that major towns and cities were witnessing a high and rapid rate of urbanisation and therefore it was crucial that “we network and learn from other countries with similar situations like ours to address this now before it is too late”.

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He called on those state agencies and development partners in PNG to be proactive and utilise such platforms to develop realistic and achievable policies to attain sustainable urbanisation. This, he says, will be beneficial for cities like Port Moresby in the long-term.

The meeting was then followed by two days of the CAP conference attended by other senior managers of NCDC, which kicked off with a video cast address by Prince Charles highlighting the need for immediate and pragmatic approaches to dealing with rapid urbanisation.

“It is essential that we plan ahead to avoid the uncontrollable sprawl that will disadvantage so many,” he said.

The Prince of Wales then introduced a Practical Toolkit for managing rapid urbanisation prepared by the Prince’s Foundation and invited the participants from around the world and the south pacific numbering over hundred, to utilise the toolkit to prepare spatial plans to address urbanisation growth.

According to Mr Atasoa, the CAP conference was timely especially in light of the recent NCDC Roadshow – Innovative Urban Planning for a Sustainable Port Moresby which was launched by NCD Governor Powes Parkop and City Manager Leslie Alu. This also come at the time that NCDC is reviewing and preparing the NCD Urban Development Plan for the next 20 year

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