WORLD PEACE CITIES NETWORK
First of all, a planet of six billion individuals cannot be a rural planet. For the first time in human history the majority of people live in urban environments.
Urban growth in the 20th century was, more often than not, polluting and ugly. Most cities were often grandiose machines that just increased the stress of daily life and encouraged antisocial behaviors.
Living in urban centers has been the basis of our civilization―the very word civilization comes from the word “city”. The World Citizens Organization seeks to create both a new vision and a practical way of living: a practical way to create a healthy environment, both socially and physically, in which six billion individuals can live a civilized life.
The WCO proposes to create a network of world cities that focus on the 5E principles: environment, ethical soundness, education, economy, and an enjoyable life.
New cities can be built, but existing cities can be reconfigured if there already exists an ambiance of harmony and justice.
- DMZ Peace Town
- Tromsoe (Norway), a strong candidate for the World Peace Cities Network.
- Tumen River UN City DRT (the District of Respect and Trust)
- Sinai Technology Valley (Egypt).
- Lumbini (Nepal)
- Penang (Malaysia), a strong candidate for the World Peace Cities Network.
The most recent project of the WCO involves the establishment of a peace town in or near the Demilitarized Zone, which has been dividing the Korean Peninsula since the Korean War in 1950. The DMZ is the symbol of the half-century old human rights violation that forcefully created 10 million separated family members.
The WCO has proposed to help construct a peace town for these separated families, as many have already passed away and even the surviving ones have reached an old age. The proposed peace city, once the proposal is accepted by relevant governments and implemented with support from international organizations, will certainly facilitate the reunification of the divided Korea.
Least of all, it will provide a residential town for many ageing separated family members to live together the rest of their life.
The peace cities of various shapes and designs that are proposed by the WCO may not solve all the urban problems, but they would certainly prove to the world what a small group of concerned people could do in order to create a sound environment and a culture of harmony and justice.
A variety of incidents in my life conspired to bring me in close contact with people of many creeds and many communities. And my experience with all of them warrants the statement that I have known no distinction between relatives and strangers, countrymen and foreigners, white and colored, Hindus and Indians of other faiths, whether Musalmans, Parsis, Christians or Jews. I may say that my heart has been incapable of making any such distinction.
A World City, a futuristic vision of holistic urban development. Is this a utopian vision, or a realistic prospect for the coming millennium? Sinai–virgin and unpolluted–may be one site where the dream is tested.
Al-Ahram Weekly, 25th November 1993
A city is a place where strangers meet.