ISHTIAQUE ZAHIR TITAS (International Union of Architects)

ISHTIAQUE ZAHIR TITAS (International Union of Architects)

Name : Ishtiaque Zahir
Organization : International Union of Architects (UIA)
Background :

I Md. Ishtiaque Zahir is a practicing Architect & Urban Designer from Bangladesh. I am the founder partner of Vitti Sthapati Brindo Ltd,  a leading practice for the last 30 years. I was graduated as an architect in Bangladesh and later attained my Masters in Computing & Design from London, UK. I was awarded the Honorary Fellow of American Institute of Architects (Hon.FAIA). My works has been recognized, awarded and published both locally and internationally. The recognitions include highest acclaim from IAB and regional awards like AYA from India, Holcim awards, IDA usa.  In 2010, one of our projects got nominated for International acclaimed Aga Khan Award. 

My projects ranged from small housing to large urban development projects. The noted urban design projects like hatirjheel and Baburail canal are out come of a unique participatory process between Local Authority and stake holders. The building projects like Dusai resort and Military staff collage are examples of responsive and sustainable development. I had the privilege to collaborate with internationally acclaimed architects like Moshe-Safdi from USA and Late Zaha Hadid from UK .

I  worked for the betterment of the profession locally and globally. I was the Chair of the Arcasia committee on professional Practice, ACPP of Architects Regional council for Asia, (Arcasia). Since 2007 I was the member of Professional Practice Commission (PPC) of International Union of Architects (UIA).  Presently, I am the Council member of UIA Region IV and the current Co-Director of UIA Commission on SDG ( SDGC). Our UIA SDG Commission in collaboration with Royal Danish Academy have accomplished some publications on projects related to each SDG  and a survey on SDG activities by architects on 124 countries in 2020. We proclaimed a Dhaka declaration on SDG along with ARCASIA and IAB in 2019

Since 2014 I had been representing UIA in UN-Habitat, advocating on professional’s interests in the New Urban Agenda (NUA). I also worked closely as Steering committee member of World Urban Campaign (WUC). I was Involved in many folds with the collaborative process of Habitat III. I was Co chair of PCG Professional of GAP, General Assembly of partner, representing stakeholders in the negotiation.  As the member of policy unit 6 of Habitat III conference 2016, I was involved in preparation of the policy paper and participated in the informal consultation with member states. As an Advisor I contributed to the thematic meeting on ‘Open space’ in Barcelona and gone through the process of negotiation in the Regional meeting, ‘European Habitat’ at Prague. More over I made statement in the plenary session in Prepcom 3, Surabaya on behalf of professionals and also made official statement at the 7th plenary meeting of Habitat III, in Quito, 2016. I spoke in several sessions of Professionals Round tables  and organized multiple side events in Habitat III, WUF9 in 2018, WUF10 in 2020. Lastly I participation as UIA representative in COP21 in Paris and COP 24 in Katowice.

Past role in constituency/WUC :
International Union of Architects (UIA) cherish the partnership with UN Habitat and its relevant activities. As the Lead Partner of World Urban Campaign (WUC), UIA contributed in all the meeting and activities held so far since 2014 1st UTC in Casarta, Italy to WUF10 Abu Dhabi, 2020. UIA renews its commitment to take the partnership further effective & strong during the decade of action by 2030. UIA organized side events in Habitat III, World urban Forum WUF 9 and WUF10, also actively engaged in all the professional roundtables along with other professional organizations, like ISOCARP, IFHP, IFLA, ICOMOS, UNMGCY, CSU, ico-D, CAP, FIDIC, FIABCI, City of Copenhagen. In 2017 UIA formed a permanent Commission on SDG (SDGC). UIA SDGC in collaboration with Royal Danish Academy have already published two editions of ‘An architecture guide to UN 17 SDGs’ that acts as the knowledge platform and show case the urban solutions and initiatives by the architects around the globe. This is the link ---
During WUF 6, UIA launched the book “Better Professionals!  Better Cities!”. Similar way we would like to host another publication during up coming WUF 11. The ideas, debates and case studies of experts, professionals will be showcased in the booklet. This will help the PCG Professional to disseminate the knowledge at the local level experts. UIA, as ECOSOC accredited organization will initiate a separate partnership with WUF 11 host city Katowice. This will capacitate PCG Professionals to organize events better during WUF 11.
Motivations :
In the process of implementation of new urban Agenda by 2030, a new set of planning standard is required. The out come will establish first, the Role of planning and design in building responsive design and resilient communities as a core component of good decision making and ensure a quality development. Second, the mapping of urban solutions and initiatives managed by researchers or global institutions. Third, the Strategies, Collaborations & partnership for Innovation through Urban labs by professional's practices
I commit to protect the interest of PCG Professionals and ensure that our activities will guide and support actions of stakeholder's contributing towards the sustainable urban development, through formation of a knowledge platform, an advocacy arm and an urban Lab for experimentation. Thus we the professionals would disseminate the idea of implementation of New Urban Agenda through peer to peer learning process up to grassroots level with in the time frame of a new decade of Sustainable urbanization by 2030.
The professionals of the built environment have an important  role to play in ensuring  the process  of making  better  cities in 2030,  by plan  making,  at all levels,  bringing  all the actors  together  and ensuring that citizens know how to act responsibly and take on a stewardship role within cities and their own neighborhoods in response to the citizen rights advocated in the New Urban Agenda.
I also commit to take this forward. Cities are result of interactions between human beings and their interrelations. That brings the requirement for a new school of thought, institute and the new forum of partnership among stakeholder, Professionals Govt. & NGO’s and develop the capacity through a rigorous participatory process & providing a platform for research & development.
I commit to make my time available for the PCG and members those are independent, non-profit and non-governmental organizations that are international or regional associations of Human Settlements Professionals supporting sustainable urban development. 
Vision :
We as a group will keep in mind that our actions follows the following four proposed domain of change of UN Habitat till 2023
  1.          Reduced spatial inequality and poverty in communities across the urban - rural continuum
  2.          Enhanced shared prosperity of cities and regions
  3.          Strengthened climate action and improved urban environment
  4.          Effective urban crisis prevention and response
As PCG Professionals Chair my vision is also to accelerate SDG by supporting the Global initiative of SDG cities, Promote the digital transformation through supporting people centric smart cities, work to eradicate inequalities by implementing inclusive vibrant neighborhoods and communities, adopt Climate change by introducing Climate resilience for poor and lastly Promoting Inclusive cities   enhancing the positive impacts of Migration.
On behalf of UIA, as an aspirant Chair PCG Professional I visualize the following activities in next two years:
  1.  An action-oriented roadmap of implementation for the next two years. Through this PCG Professional will try to compliment the achievement of the New Urban Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially Goal 11, of making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
  2. In first six months, PCG Professionals will form small work groups and initiate the dialogue on the Action Framework for Implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Thus will expand & organize human settlements professionals in the fields of architecture, planning, engineering, surveying, landscape architecture, water, housing and urban design. 
  3. With in the 2nd year we will develop a pool of experts to support government in an advisory role to improve green & public space, develop local renewable energy, upgrading of existing housing stock, generate local employment, better mobility options, mixed land use, compact and denser cities with efficient and sustainable use of the land by the End of year in October 2021