Thursday June 20, 2024

Seminar held on green solutions for cities

May 18, 2024
A delegation here from DePaul University, Chicago, USA. — APP File
A delegation here from DePaul University, Chicago, USA. — APP File

Islamabad: In order to strengthen international partnership for exchange of knowledge and promotion of youth-led green initiatives, Institute of Urbanism (IoU) and School of Leadership Foundation (SoLF), with support of the United States Embassy in Islamabad hosted a delegation here from DePaul University, Chicago, USA.

The representatives of DePaul University made this visit to strengthen Green Urban Development (GUD) programme. The delegation from the DePaul University led by John Zeigler, Director Urban Education & Community Partnerships, and Hiba Zakai, a distinguished PhD scholar, said a press release issued on Friday.

During a week-long visit, the delegation held several high-level meetings with important stakeholders including Rana Mashood, Chairperson, Prime Minister’s Youth Program (PYMP) and Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, chairperson Higher Education Commission (HEC).

"Through the Green Urban Development Programme, we are forging partnership with institutions like DePaul University to empower young leaders and foster sustainable solutions for our communities.

This collaboration embodies our commitment to nurturing the next generation of change makers in urban development,” remarked Mariyam Irfan, managing director, School of Leadership Foundation.

During these meetings, the Green Urban Development School (GUDS) model was recognised as a great initiative which can play a critical role in developing understanding and skills of youth to lead the transition towards a sustainable future.

Discussions were also carried out to explore opportunities for creating a synergy between GUDS and the Green Youth Movement (GYM) Clubs being supported by the government in 136 public sector universities.

Dr. Ejaz Ahmad, senior programme fellow, IoU said: “GUDS serves as an example of how providing the right kind of opportunities to aspiring young individuals who can lead to introduction of innovative solutions that have a multiplier effect in terms of tackling urban environmental challenges.”

To facilitate long term linkages between universities in Pakistan and the US, a series of engagements were organised between the representatives from DePaul University at GUDS education partners in Pakistan i.e., Comsats University, Islamabad and Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU).

A seminar titled ‘Green Solutions for Cities: Role of Academia & Exchange of Knowledge’ was organised at Comsats University, Islamabad. Speaking on the occasion, the Chairperson PMYP, Mashood appreciated the collaboration between GUDS and the GYM Clubs and highlighted how such cross-linkages can have a multiplier impact.

Representatives from the DePaul University and the US Embassy Islamabad appreciated the long-term impact which will be created by the four projects established by GUDS participants from QAU and Comsats for a liveable urban future.

The seminar titled ‘Role of Innovation & Youth in Advancing Green Urban Solutions’ at QAU explored the innovative approaches required to tackle urban challenges and the need to engage youth in shaping the future of cities.

John Zeigler, highlighted the need to foster an ecosystem that nurtures innovation and empowers youth to become agents of positive change in their communities. “The GUDS initiative celebrates the youth and partner organisations as true ‘Merchants of Green Development’, driving change for a sustainable future,” he added.

Addressing the gathering organised under this programme, Kelly Ryan, Public Diplomacy Officer at the US Embassy Islamabad, emphasised the critical need for mutual understanding and collaboration, adding that it is through these partnerships that innovation is sparked - inspiring positive change and collective action towards a brighter, more sustainable future.

The delegation also visited key institutions such as the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) and Haryali Hub to gain insights into best practices vis a vis sustainable urban development in Pakistan and to explore opportunities for international collaboration on water conservation and sustainable waste management.