Urbanisation in Papua New Guinea

20 September 2011

In Port Moresby, an estimated 50 percent of the population live in slums-like conditions.
In Port Moresby, an estimated 50 percent of the population live in slums-like conditions.

Max Kep, from the PNG Government, will talk at the University of Sydney on Wednesday 21 September, on the challenges in addressing planned urbanisation in Port Moresby, a society marked by extreme cultural and ethnic diversity.

Port Moresby, PNG, is ranked as the world's third worst city for liveability by The Economist magazine, with 50 percent of the estimated population of 700,000 living in slum-like conditions.

And yet the country is one of the globe's most resource-rich - "an island of gold, floating in a sea of oil, surrounded by gas" according to a recent Sydney Morning Herald description.

In 2010, the Government of PNG adopted the National Urbanisation Policy 2010-2030 and it will be working in close collaboration with Dr Paul Jones from the Urban and Regional Planning Program at the University of Sydney.

The PNG National Urbanisation Policy is intended to guide the urbanisation process in Port Moresby, as a model for the management of urban development in PNG over the next 20 years.

The research agreement was facilitated by Sydnovate and ratified in June 2011. Dr Jones has previously worked as an adviser in the Government of Papua New Guinea's Office of Urbanisation. He will be making regular trips to PNG over the next two years.

The components of Dr Jones's urban development project include the provision of primary and trunk infrastructure and services, such as water supply, power, roads, and sanitation among other things.

PNG towns and cities are under major stress from unmanaged urbanisation exacerbated by the major economic upturn generated by the multimillion dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) project located in the Southern Highlands of PNG.

Unless properly managed, quality of life issues including urban security, customary land development and affordable housing issues will further deteriorate.

Event details

What: Urbanisation in the PNG context, a public lecture delivered by Max Kep, Director of the Office of Urbanisation, Government of PNG

When: 1 to 2pm, Wednesday 21 September

Where: Wilkinson Building, City Road, Camperdown Campus

Cost: Free

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