Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Urban harmony essential, UN says

Urban harmony essential, UN says

Urban harmony essential, UN says

THE slogan of this year's UN-sponsored World Habitat Day was "harmonious cities", a message especially appropriate for Cambodia, organisers say.

"Right now there is a strong focus on rural development, but while you invest a lot of money in the rural areas, you do not stop people from moving to the city ... urbanisation is a very important issue," said UN-Habitat Executive Director Din Somethearith.

At a news conference Monday, Din Somethearith urged the government and donors to focus on Cambodia's urban challenges, particularly as the Kingdom's most recent census showed that one in five people now lives in a city - and UN documents predict that this figure will increase to some 37 percent of the population by 2030.

How to live together

UN-Habitat suggested three ways to a more harmonious urban future. Firstly, investment in residential areas in other cities such as Siem Reap and Sihanoukville should be encouraged as a means of preventing Phnom Penh from growing too fast.

 Secondly, poor people in inner-city slum areas should be given better access to sanitation, job opportunities and security of tenure to prevent forced evictions. Thirdly, economic development and environmental concerns must be balanced.

Yap Kioe Sheng, chief of the Poverty Reduction Unit at the UN's Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific,  said the government must recognise the fact that cities are for all - not just the wealthy.

"Cities need different kinds of workers, and authorities should make housing also for poor people," he said. 

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Ranariddh 'seriously injured', his wife dies in accident in Preah Sihanouk

    THE wife of former first prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh has died. Ouk Phalla succumbed to injuries sustained in a traffic accident on National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk’s Prey Nub district this morning. She and the prince were immediately rushed to the Preah Sihanouk

  • US slammed over BGU head as Foreign Ministry says sanctions violate international principles

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFAIC) has condemned the US Department of Treasury for its sanctions, announced on Tuesday, against Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang for his alleged role in infringing human rights. In a statement, the ministry said it is disturbing