The first two-day Sherpas meeting of the U20-Urban Summit under the G20 kicked off in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel inaugurated the Summit and underlined the need to design the urban development plans with a view to bring significant solution to the problems arising from unbalanced development, traffic congestion, environmental imbalance and in catering public services.

Gujarat, Patel said, has accorded priority to research and e-governance in public infrastructure facilities for cities. Referring to the development of Ahmedabad, the Chief Minister said, the 15th century medieval city of Ahmedabad has transformed into a modern metropolis today.

He also cited examples of future cities like GIFT City and Dholera-SIR-Smart City project based on green mobility.

Twin city projects

Satellite townships and twin city projects in the state are moving forward with new dimensions of urban development, he further added.

“The meeting will provide a platform for current urban issues to unlock the most potential opportunities for inclusive-long-term economic benefits,” said Patel.

This U20 engagement meeting is expected to prove to be important in realizing the mantra of ‘Sarvajan Hitaya, Sarvajan Sukhai’ (welfare and prosperity of all sections of society.)

India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant highlighted the need for cities to play a central role in development in the coming decade.

Planned, innovative and sustainable urbanization is essential for the development of any nation. Professionalism and use of technology should be increased in city development and management. Cities need to be developed in a scientific manner, added Kant.

People’s participation is important in urban development. Villagers come to cities for employment for better living standards. As the burden increases, only by raising the capacity of cities the benefit of urbanisation can be seen. Water recycling alongwith water management is essential for cities, he said.

Under U20, C40 includes cities like New York, Kyoto, Mexico, Barcelona, Port Louis, Los Angeles, Milan, Riyadh, Jakarta, Lagos, Johannesburg, Durban, Madrid, Rotterdam among others.

The sherpas from 40 cities of India were present.