27 Apr 2007

Conference says political commitment needed to ensure access to low cost housing

6:11 pm on 27 April 2007

The Pacific Islands Forum says financing for low cost housing, secure land tenure for urban residents and enforceable building codes are essential for addressing pressing urban development concerns in the Pacific.

This was concluded by Pacific urban management practitioners and experts at the 2nd Pacific Regional Workshop on Urban Management held this week in Nadi, Fiji.

Commenting on the critical urban issues facing the Pacific, the Forum Secretary General, Greg Urwin, noted that urbanisation and urban management are increasingly becoming critical areas of focus for Pacific countries and Development Partners.

Mr Herve Berger, Head of the UNESCAP Pacific Operations Centres, expressed concern at the rapid rate of urban growth in many Pacific island countries and noted that urban populations may double in a very short time.

Mr Berger added that political commitment is essential, as often urban issues are not attractive enough to warrant additional attention or resources.