Shahid Farooq is a civil officer from the Punjab province of Pakistan. He joined the Provincial Management Services in 1999 and worked at national, sub-national, and local tiers of government in Pakistan. Before joining UNU-EGOV, Farooq served as Chief (Governance & IT) at Planning & Development Department, Government of the Punjab. He also served at key positions in Punjab Social Protection Authority, Lahore Waste Management Company, and Punjab Information Technology Board.
He holds a MPA (Global e-Policy & e-Government) from the Sungkyunkwan University, Republic of Korea with an award-winning thesis on Citizens’ Factor in the Success of e-Services. He also remained associated with country’s premier e-Governance development institution, the National Information Society Agency, and won the Global Cooperation Program Excellence Award 2012. Farooq is also an Open Government advocate and Focal Person for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Punjab, Pakistan.
The Smart City concept is being universally adopted as a solution capable of dealing holistically with all city problems in a very integrative way. The success of ICTs-based urban solutions around the world has made the Smart Cities transformation an ‘imperative’, instead of an ‘option’, especially for countries with rapid urbanization. This also applies to Pakistan, the world’s sixth most populated country, where management of rapid urbanization is becoming a challenge. A growing realization already exists among researchers, urban planners, and policy makers in Pakistan, particularly in Punjab, about the benefits of smart city transformation.
The seminar aims at developing an understanding of what a smart city would be in Pakistan context. First, a holistic view of the prospects of transforming Pakistan’s cities into Smart & Sustainable Cities will be presented against the country’s current economic and social conditions, particularly improved law & order, enhanced energy production, ICTs development and the opportunities offered by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Secondly, case scenarios of two selected cities from Punjab province, Lahore and Multan, will be presented, examining the world’s best Smart City practices against the diversity of the geographical, political, governmental, economical, infrastructural and socio-cultural contexts of both the cities. The analysis would help contextualize the dimensions of smart cities transformation in Pakistan.
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