Public participation pivotal for cities’ wealth, power

TEHRAN, Aug. 29 (MNA) – Tehran’s mayor has addressed the executive board of the Asian Mayors Forum which kicked off in Tehran on Saturday.

Mohamamd Bagher Ghalibaf believed that ‘the dream of justice, progress, and spirituality’ would only be fulfilled when only the public know and attend to their heavy duties and rights in running city, communities, and the family; “the law will only rule when all citizens understand and acknowledge it and participate in implementing the law as the major stakeholders,” told Ghalibaf to the meeting. “We have come together here to strongly support and push forward, based on common interests and values, a movement started 7 years ago, which initially sought to bring to reality ‘Asian convergence’ through cooperation and sharing and learning of successful experiences by all city magistrates,” he said.

“The world is just passing a historic turning point; the urban development brought about conurbation in historic scopes, giving birth to megacities teeming with life; the highest growth in urbanization now occurs in developing countries; this transformation is opportunity for the world and a threat as well,” Ghalibaf told the meeting. “In this historic moment, as city managers, we should attend to our critical role in safely avoiding conflicts and ethnically motivated prejudices and provincialism, to provide a safe human ecosystem where underprivileged and downtrodden citizens of little means to live,” he emphasized.

“All of you come from cities which take pride on their historical and cultural heritage; this is one of the advantages cooperation and convergence provides the Forum members in addressing common issues and hitting positive strategies,” Ghalibaf directly addressed the Forum; “I hope to have your company in believing to this fact that a safer way for convergence of Asian cities is establishing of a strong bond drawing upon the history of megacities and their anti-colonial sentiments and culture; Asian cities, from Mesopotamia to Iranian plateau and Indian sub-Continent to Far East have inherited a legacy of ‘historically continuous damages,’ part of which are deeply rooted in unjust relations with colonialist, either old or new, powers, and blind copying of their examples,” he added.

Ghalibaf also believed that to the testimony of the history, “in a time of European colonialist powers domination over sea routes, centrality and the burgeoning spirit abandoned the Asian cities altogether, creating a disproportionate relation with the colonialism, with Asian cities affected by ‘a sea of problems and issues of development’.”

“The same relations during post-colonial times, exacerbated the already poor conditions, despite the extravagance and rapid advancement of physical features along with population growth; the undeniable reality is that bringing in the other alternatives than cooperation and convergence would translate into the same movements and forces which contributed negatively to our problems in any form or the other,” said the Tehran mayor. “We should improve the continental potentials to change the equation of opportunity and progress for the benefit of constructive forms,” he added.

Ghalibaf called for creating cities where human values of justice and cordial feelings rule through best management practices, and where any citizen, including vulnerable and unprivileged groups, the elderly, children and the physically disabled could participate in their cultural, economic, and social life.

“Through cooperation, the splendid past of Asian cities would come to reality; a constructive cooperation would be turn of the situation for Asian cities where they would embrace boom in the time when the present century have dubbed the century of Asia,” Ghalibaf proposed.  

News Code 109608

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