July 11, 2014
A monorail. A zoo. Better waste disposal. A world class stadium. A larger airport.
At a workshop the Japan International Cooperation Agency held June 7 in East Timor's capital of Dili, teenagers contributed their suggestions for a 2030 master plan.
At the request of the government of East Timor, the city’s first master plan is being developed as part of JICA’s Project for Study on Dili Urban Master Plan. JICA is stressing the opinions of teenagers, who will be the main participants in the social economy in 2030.
The participants were members of the Youth Parliament, a UNICEF-backed system created to include the opinions of teenagers in national policies and services and to develop young East Timorese leaders.
A master plan is badly needed. Since East Timor gained its independence from Indonesia in 2002, JICA has provided continual cooperation with reconstruction and peace building. But now, East Timor has reached the stage of economic and social development to achieve independence, and in 2011 it saw growth of 10.8 percent. But natural gas and petroleum production that has sustained economic growth will go into decline around 2023, so an industrial structure that does not rely on it is needed. And with rapid population growth in Dili have come problems including disorderly urbanization, waste disposal problems, increased traffic congestion and a degrading living environment.