Awareness Sessions on Green Urban Development organized by IoU

Islamabad, — Green Urban Development (GUD) is an initiative focused on life cycle approach to sustainable Urban Development through capacity enhancement and fostering partnership among multi-stakeholders including public sector, youth, policy makers and media.

Focused group discussion and awareness sessions were organized for students and subject experts of Quaid-e-Azam University. Dr. Sohail Rana, HoD Environmental Sciences Department of QAU, introduced the audience to the agenda of session and welcomed he guests. He said that the sessions were aimed to encourage students and experts to have understanding of GUD program and multiple activities in it.

Maryam Irfan, Managing Director SoLF, briefed the audience that GUD is a joint initiative of the Institute of Urbanism (IoU) and School of Leadership Foundation (SoLF) with the financial support of the US Embassy. She shared that the program has three key thematic areas; water conservation, green infrastructure and waste management in the urban developed landscape. The program is divided into two phases; research on urban development landscape, and establishment of platform for building capacity & facilitating synergies among relevant stakeholders.

While explaining the segments of GUD program, Ms. Maryam said that it has two segments; Green Urban Development School (GUDS) and Urban Co-Creation Hub (UCCH). At GUDS, knowledge of young people is being enhanced through action research and incubation of green ideas to business case, leading to green entrepreneurship. GUDS has been established in public university under the government led Green Youth Movement (GYM) Clubs.

After the awareness session, a focused group discussion was conducted by Ms. Ayesha Majid, Program Coordinator IoU. She explained that the program has three phases. In the first phase, 16 interactive sessions and 4 exposure visits will be organized for shortlisted students. In the second phase, students will be further mentored for three months for their research. In the last phase, research will be evaluated and winners will move to green startup phase. Winner will get another round of stipend to further work on the research and convert the idea into business and also establish market linkages for sustainable green urban development.

Ms. Ayesha further said that actors from various government institutions, policy makers, media, private sector and civil society working on urban environmental and climate related issues will be brought together in a co-creation space for dialogues, hackathons and seminars to discuss and work together on issues pertaining to urban development. She mentioned about the challenges faced by the young graduates to convert their ideas into a real time entrepreneurships and how they can deal with these challenges.

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