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 challenges in an integrative way. The success of smart urban solutions around the world has made Smart Cities’ transformation an “imperative” instead of an “option”, especially for countries with severe urban issues. This also applies to Pakistan, the world’s sixth most populated country, where management of rapid urbanization is a big challenge. Although 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 linking to the practice is still missing.
Farooq’s earlier research at UNU-EGOV on “Smart Cities Context in Pakistan” also leads to the conclusion that citizens’ centric Smart City transformation is imperative for addressing numerous urban challenges of Pakistan. However, the research also suggests that the governance component is critical factor for the success of Smart Cities in Pakistan.
Within this background, the seminar aims at developing a deeper understanding of what could be a suitable governance model for Smart Cities in Pakistan against the world’s best practices, as well as current institutional and legislative arrangements in Pakistan. The importance of smart governance for cities would be discussed followed by a critical analysis of current practices of cities’ governance in Pakistan against the universal principles of Smart Governance. Finally, a suitable model for Smart Cities in Pakistan would be presented, which would help policy makers steer a smooth smart cities transformation in Pakistan.
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