MALACCA: Cities must be inclusive and offer adequate opportunities for low-income households to improve their livelihoods, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
This, he said, would ensure that inequality and poverty, which are the two issues often associated with urbanisation, were effectively managed.
In his keynote address at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation in Bandar Hilir here yesterday, the Deputy Prime Minister said the effort to build resilient cities must start from the people.
“Resilience is not just being able to bounce back. It is also the ability to grow and prosper despite the shocks and falls. Resilience should be integrated and inclusive,” he said.
More than 100 people from 31 countries are taking part in the three-day forum.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said achieving an inclusive and equitable society was among the aims of the 11th Malaysia Plan.
As such, the Government needs to ensure that it provides enough opportunities especially to low-income urban households to fully participate in economic growth.
To become more productive and prosperous, urban communities must strengthen the family institution, nurture the potential of its youths, and enhance the role of women in development.
Cities must also uphold the needs and interests of children, improve the living environment for the elderly and empower persons with disabilities.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said climate resilience and biodiversity protection were also important factors in developing good urban resilience, and that the concept was not new to Malaysia.
“The past five years have seen the implementation of 194 flood mitigation projects which shielded nearly one million people, and 34 hazard maps were developed to facilitate disaster prevention and development in major risk areas,” he said.
He said flood mitigation efforts would be further improved through innovative solutions, taking into account the intensity and frequency of extreme weather.
“An action plan for generating investments from flood mitigation is already in place.
“Long-term flood mitigation solutions will be strengthened through the implementation of integrated water resource management, river basin management and flood management,” he said. — Bernama