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Third G20 infra working group meet focuses on 'creating liveable cities'

A "high-level seminar on creating liveable cities", organised by the Indian presidency and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, complemented the meeting


The delegates shared a unique perspective on launching one of the world’s most ambitious new city developments, Nusantara in Indonesia

Sarthak Choudhury Rishikesh
The third and final infrastructure working group (IWG) meeting under India’s G20 presidency began in Rishikesh on Monday, with a focus on “creating liveable cities”.

A number of delegates participated in the two sessions and an event on the sidelines. The delegates discussed two work streams under the theme, “Financing Cities of Tomorrow: Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable”.

Australia and Brazil chaired the first and second sessions respectively.

A “high-level seminar on creating liveable cities”, organised by the Indian presidency and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, complemented the meeting.

The discussions allowed G20 decision-makers to learn and deliberate on key challenges — from climate change to infrastructure resilience, fast urbanisation, and inclusiveness — besides exploring the role of technology and digitisation.

The delegates also shared a unique perspective on launching one of the world’s most ambitious new city developments: Nusantara in Indonesia.

Last year, the Asian nation decided to move its capital city to Nusantara after several studies showed that its current capital, Jakarta, is sinking at an alarming rate due excessive groundwater extraction. The decision to move the capital about 1,000 kilometres away in the rainforests of Borneo was also influenced by the fact it has the lowest incidence of earthquakes among major Indonesian islands. The projected cost of building the city is nearly $32 billion. Indonesian officials have also said that Nusantara will be a “sustainable forest city”, a factor that has been among the top priorities of the IWG.

A panel discussion on “The Voice from Cities” was also held on the sidelines of the event. The participants deliberated on fundamental questions regarding challenges faced by mayors, city executives, and citizens on achieving a sustainable and inclusive future. The event had representatives from Harvard University, World Resources Institute, C40 Cities, and the University of Cambridge. Atiqul Islam, the mayor of Dhaka, Bangladesh, also shared his views on ways to support municipalities and cities in making them sustainable and inclusive. The other panelists were Shruti Narayan, C40 regional director, and Yin Jin, director of research, architecture and urbanism, University of Cambridge.

The delegates were also hosted for “ratri bhoj par samvad” (conversation over dinner).

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, who was present at the dinner, said: “The experiences and ideas being shared in the G20 meeting will pave the way for the welfare, development and prosperity of the entire humanity, and the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the world is one family) will be further enhanced.”

Meanwhile, rain continued to play spoilsport. A flight carrying four delegates, scheduled to arrive in Dehradun earlier on Sunday, had to be diverted to Lucknow because of the onset of monsoon in the state. The flight reached Dehradun in the afternoon. A number of other delegates also reached early Monday morning, after their flights were similarly diverted. Nearly 37 delegates reached Dehradun on Sunday morning, and were welcomed by local artists with Gadhwali, Jaunsari and Kumaoni folk songs.

The second day of the IWG meet, scheduled on Tuesday, will have three sessions with the primary objective being “furthering work on the implementation of QII indicators”.

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First Published: Jun 26 2023 | 9:45 PM IST

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