World Town Planning Day (8 November) was celebrated in Kabul by a national urban conference addressed by the President.
Minister for Urban Development, Sadat Naderi, highlighted the Urban National Priority Programme as Afghanistan’s new framework for urban sustainability and planning according international planning standards, building upon the country’s first ever ‘State of Afghan Cities 2015 Report’, recently published with support from UN-Habitat.
However, the event had been opened by a group of local boys and girls giving their aspitations for the future. President Ghani referred to these hopes when he spoke. He called for a more just and social approach to urban development, including the urban poor and vulnerable groups in society, through better partnerships between public sector, private sector and civil society.
For UN-Habitat, Matthew French emphasized UN-Habitat’s commitment to building stronger urban institutions and supporting the government to improve tenure security for the millions of urban dwellers in Afghan cities. Earlier this year, UN-Habitt published a Discussion Paper on housing in Afghanistan which noted that over 70% of households in cities are living in informal housing with limited access to services such as water, sanitation, and electricity.
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