SUVA, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The Fijian government is committed to addressing urbanization concerns through integrated planning, strengthening urban governance, balancing rural and urban developments and scrapping rural local authorities, a Fijian minister said on Monday.
Speaking at the Pacific Urban Forum in Nadi, Fiji's third largest city, Minister for Housing and Local Government Premila Kumar said in Fiji, people know that without long-term Urban Master Plans, the island nation will continue to have a piecemeal approach, an approach that does not match the National Development Goals and the dreams of its people.
Fiji was therefore working with the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise in creating the urban Master Plans for Fiji to guide the urban transformation, he said, adding that facilities are located for ease of access by residents, jobs are nearer homes, there is well planned public transportation, shorter travel times, free flowing traffic and a greener environment.
Kumar said Fiji has recently signed a Financial Advisory Services Agreement with International Finance Corporation (IFC) to assist in the design and implementation of apartments with strata titles.
The Fijian government in the last five years has upgraded five informal settlements and over 400 households received their land titles, which is the first step in home ownership, Kumar said.
He also said the Fijian government is currently engaged in developing 10 informal settlements, where over 2,000 households will receive land titles.
Fiji is the most urbanized state in Melanesia, where 55 percent of the population is urban and it is estimated that two in three Fijians will be living in urban centers by 2030.