Urbanization is a growing trend that has been witnessed in the past few decades. According to the United Nations, more than half of the world’s population currently lives in cities, and by 2050, it is projected that two-thirds of the human population will be living in cities. Pakistan is one of the fastest urbanizing countries in South Asia, with a rate of 3% per year. Due to this rapid urbanization, it is estimated that 50% of Pakistan’s population will be living in cities by 2025. This trend highlights the need for new sustainable cities that can cater to the growing population’s needs and reduce mass urban migration.
D.I. Khan New City is a prime example of a sustainable city in Pakistan that is addressing the challenges of urbanization. This city is an integrated development project that is being developed to provide economic opportunities to the less privileged areas, mitigate the impacts of climate change, promote cooperation and collaboration on sustainability issues, and improve the quality of life for its residents.
New Sustainable Cities – Need of the Hour
The creation of new sustainable cities is the need of the hour to address the growing population’s needs and reduce mass urban migration. Sustainable cities can help spread economic opportunities across less privileged areas, mitigate the impacts of climate change, create new industries and job opportunities, level up economic growth, encourage the development of infrastructure in less developed areas, and contribute to the energy security of the country. Moreover, sustainable cities can protect biodiversity, promote a circular economy, and ensure a more resilient and sustainable future.
Integrated Approach for a Sustainable City
To achieve sustainable development, an integrated approach that considers the environment, economy, community, resilience, and risk reduction is essential. D.I. Khan New City is following an integrated approach to ensure the development of a sustainable city. The city is focusing on the following areas:
D.I. Khan New City is focusing on improving air quality, water management, biodiversity conservation, and energy use. The city is promoting the use of renewable energy sources and water conservation practices, such as rain harvesting systems, rain gardens, drought-tolerant plants, and natural water drainage channels.
D.I. Khan New City focuses on providing high-quality education, healthcare, and housing facilities. The city is also supporting local businesses and community initiatives and promoting gender equality. To ensure a safe and smart environment, the city is promoting justice through dispute resolution and conflict councils.
Resilience and Risk Reduction
The city is adopting disaster risk reduction measures and contingency planning. The city is also developing emergency response systems such as an emergency office, rescue team, fire brigade, emergency medical services, and security forces. The city is a pandemic-ready city with pandemic preparedness and response protocols.
Promotion and Use of Renewable Energy
D.I. Khan New City is promoting the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and hydropower, to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. The city is also using energy-efficient technologies and practices to reduce energy consumption. The use of renewable energy sources is not only environmentally friendly but also economically beneficial in the long run.
D.I. Khan New City is promoting water conservation practices to ensure sustainable water management. The city is promoting rain harvesting systems, rain gardens, drought-tolerant plants, and natural water drainage channels to conserve water. The city is also promoting the reuse of treated wastewater for non-potable purposes, such as irrigation and industrial use.
IMPLEMENTATION OF SUSTAINABLE WASTE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
Effective waste management is one of the key components of building a sustainable city. The New City in Dera Ismail Khan is implementing a comprehensive waste management system to ensure that waste is properly disposed of and recycled. The city is using public waste and recycling bins throughout the city, as well as hazardous waste disposal sites, to ensure proper disposal of hazardous waste materials. This helps to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills, which can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
50% OPEN SPACES
The New City in Dera Ismail Khan is designed with the concept of open spaces, community parks, urban gardens, and urban agriculture. The city is dedicated to providing 50% open spaces, which includes a minimum street size of 40 feet. This helps to promote the community’s health and well-being, as well as providing space for social interaction, physical activity, and relaxation.
The city focuses on developing infrastructure, creating employment opportunities, promoting trade and innovation, and using technology for economic development. The city is promoting sustainable economic development by developing greenfield cement industries, special economic zones, and special technology zones.
D.I.Khan New City in Dera Ismail Khan is positioning itself as a new economic hub, attracting investments from both domestic and international investors. The city has already seen a $1 billion investment in the construction of three new Greenfield cement plants, including Cherat Cement, Premier Cement, and Fatima Cement. These new industries are expected to generate more than 15,000 new jobs, which is significant for the local economy.
In addition, two new Special Economic Zones have been approved, providing incentives for businesses to invest in the area. A greenfield International Airport has also been announced, which will help to improve connectivity and facilitate international trade. Furthermore, the groundbreaking of over Rs. One hundred billion in infrastructure development projects in D I Khan were done by PM Shehbaz Sharif in Dec 2022, which is expected to further boost economic growth and job creation in the area.
The New City in Dera Ismail Khan is partnering with other organizations, businesses, and government agencies to promote economic growth and job creation. These partnerships are helping to foster innovation, create new industries, and attract investment to the area. The city is committed to working collaboratively to promote sustainable economic development for the benefit of all stakeholders.
PROMOTING ECO-FRIENDLY TOURISM
The New City in Dera Ismail Khan is also promoting eco-friendly tourism through the establishment of premier winter destinations. The city’s natural beauty and unique cultural offerings make it an ideal destination for eco-tourists looking for an authentic and sustainable travel experience.
Quality affordable housing:
D.I. Khan New City is prioritizing affordable housing in its planning and development process. This is aimed at providing comfortable, safe, and affordable housing for all residents. The city is creating diverse housing options for different income levels, including low-income families. This will help ensure that everyone has access to quality housing.
Accessible high-value healthcare:
The development of Kulsum International Hospital, a state-of-the-art medical facility, is planned to serve the residents of D.I. Khan New City and surrounding areas. The hospital will be equipped with modern medical equipment and will employ qualified and experienced medical professionals.
The city’s development plan includes the establishment of new schools and educational institutes. The goal is to provide high-quality education to all residents, regardless of their background or income level. This will help to promote literacy and access to education, which are important factors in a city’s overall development.
Supporting local businesses and community initiatives:
D.I. Khan New City aims to promote and support local businesses and community initiatives. This is aimed at creating an inclusive environment where everyone has equal opportunities to succeed. The city is developing business-friendly policies to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation.
Safety-assured environment (Smart & Safe City):
The city is implementing a range of measures to ensure a safe environment for residents. This includes the deployment of advanced security technologies such as CCTV cameras, facial recognition systems, and emergency response systems. The city also plans to establish dispute resolution and conflict councils to promote justice and peace in the community.
Promoting justice through dispute resolution & conflict councils:
The establishment of dispute resolution and conflict councils is a key feature of DI Khan New City’s development plan. The goal is to promote justice and peace in the community by providing residents with a platform to resolve disputes and conflicts in a peaceful and amicable manner.
D.I. Khan New City is committed to promoting gender equality and empowering women. The city is implementing policies and initiatives aimed at promoting equal opportunities for women, including access to education, healthcare, and employment.
Flood Free Zone:
The city is located in a flood-free zone, which means that the risk of flooding is significantly reduced. This is an important factor in ensuring the safety and security of residents.
Low Seismic Zone:
The city is located in a low seismic zone, which means that the risk of earthquakes is minimal. This is an important factor in ensuring the safety and security of residents.
Adoption of disaster risk reduction measures:
D.I. Khan New City is implementing disaster risk reduction measures to mitigate the impact of natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes. This includes the development of early warning systems and emergency response plans.
The city has developed contingency plans to respond to any emergency situations. This includes the deployment of emergency response teams and the establishment of emergency offices.
Emergency response systems (Emergency office, Rescue team, Fire brigade, Emergency medical services, Security force):
The city has established a range of emergency response systems to ensure the safety and security of residents. This includes the deployment of rescue teams, fire brigades, emergency medical services, and security forces.
Looking forward, the city has several planned initiatives from 2023-26, including the planning and development of the state-of-the-art Kulsum International Hospital, the development of schools and educational institutes, and the establishment of a special technology zone. The city is also planning to establish an eco-friendly health and adventure sports park, which will provide a unique recreational and wellness experience for residents and tourists alike.
The D.I. Khan New City sets an inspiring example for sustainable city development, showcasing a unique approach that prioritizes the environment, economy, community, and resilience. By emphasizing the adoption of renewable energy, water conservation, eco-friendly tourism, and green technologies, the city demonstrates that economic growth and sustainability can go hand in hand. With a strong commitment to collaboration among stakeholders and the adoption of innovative solutions, the city is paving the way for a more sustainable future. The D.I. Khan New City is not only a model for sustainable city development in Pakistan but also an inspiration for cities worldwide to follow.