Monday 02 October 2023 - 9:10:03 am

Prince Rahim calls for sustainable approach to city design at the World Government Summit 2023

DUBAI, 13th February, 2023 (WAM) – Prince Rahim Aga Khan, Chair of the Aga Khan Development Network’s Environment and Climate Committee, delivered, today, an address touching upon urbanisation set against the backdrop of global warming, at the World Government Summit 2023 taking place in Dubai.

Speaking to an audience of distinguished guests representing government, business, academia and civil society, Prince Rahim highlighted the need for urgent action to advance progress and tackle climate change, specifically through the sustainable design of cities.

It is estimated that 80 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by the middle of this century. “Much of this urbanisation is taking place in Asia and Africa,” explained Prince Rahim. “How we plan, design, and manage cities will therefore be of vital importance for our fragile planet and for humanity.”

While cities occupy only 3 percent of the Earth’s land, they account for 80% of energy consumption and more than 70% of greenhouse gas emissions. “Because cities will play such a massive role in the coming decades, they need not only to anticipate and adapt to climate change as it worsens, but they must also contribute to its mitigation,” stated Prince Rahim in his address.

Citing AKDN’s work over many decades, Prince Rahim highlighted its first-hand experience in preserving, restoring, and developing the built environment in ways that not only honour cultural heritage, but also lay environmentally sustainable foundations for economic and social progress. Moreover, AKDN’s efforts demonstrate the value of successful partnerships between government, business, and civil society to improve wellbeing.

Omar Sultan Al Olama Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and Managing Director of the World Government Summit Organisation warmly welcomed Prince Rahim’s participation at the Summit.

He stated “Now in its tenth year, the World Government Summit, established under the dynamic leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, is a global knowledge exchange platform dedicated to shaping the future of governments. Its activities focus on harnessing innovation and technology to solve the universal challenges facing humanity.”

“The World Government Summit provides a platform to discuss global trends and future scenarios. Furthermore, it is ideal to deepen the long-standing relationships between the UAE and global governments," he continued.

Al Olama added that the UAE’s relationship with Switzerland goes way back in its history, accumulating more than 50 years, in the trading field, as the UAE was the most important partner for Switzerland in this field as well as the establishment of Switzerland's businesses in the UAE to thrive its regional activity from the UAE.

Tariq Al Fahaam