Just over half the world’s population now lives in cities, but by 2050, over 70% of the world will be urban dwellers. Most of the urbanisation and emergence of mega cities will be in the developing world. Climate change coupled with population growth and haphazard urbanisation at a rapid pace, particularly in the developing countries, has raised serious concerns for the long term sustainability of limited natural resources to meet basic human needs. Water, energy and food security has become a major issue and is triggering social unrest in many parts of the world. Pakistan is not an exception. Haphazard urbanisation, water, energy and food crises have led the country to adopt short term policies and supply driven approaches which undoubtedly are unsustainable both financially and environmentally. A paradigm shift is required in our conventional engineering and management approaches for the design, implementation and operation of urban infrastructure and social and technical systems. The provision of urban and rural systems and services has to be sustainable and resilient to manmade and natural disasters.
Realising the huge commercialisation potential and strategic benefits the domain of sustainable sciences can offer, most of the higher education institutions in the developed world have invested heavily in the programmes that deliver resource efficient sustainable solutions. However, in the developing world there is a very limited capacity to prepare for the existing and emerging challenges. To address these challenges, a focused indigenous capacity building environment which fosters resource efficiency, encourages innovation and promotes the implementation of smart sustainable solutions is required. A strategic paradigm shift is needed to set exemplar institutions of international standing which produce professionals who are able to respond to national and global needs and create business and employment opportunities on their own.
Having this context in mind, we have embarked upon a journey to establish an outstanding progressive institution in the form of the University of Sustainable Sciences (USS). USS has been conceived to deliver dynamic innovative solutions and meet industry needs in a rapidly changing global scene. The USS is aimed at offering world class specialisation tailored to the needs of the developing world, enabling Pakistan to prepare professionals to resolve local issues smartly and exporting high impact quality education in the region and beyond