Port Moresby is undoubtedly the fastest growing and culturally diverse city in the South Pacific region outside of Australia and New Zealand.
The city’s growth and expansion is also marked by an increase in its population (due largely to in-migrations).
People come from all over PNG and from other countries to live and work, and do business in the city.
It is easy to see why because many educational and learning institutions, government departments, companies and businesses, NGOs and development agencies and donors are established in the city.
This automatically makes Port Moresby a potentially dynamic place, with the creative energies equal to any city in the world.
There is a huge promise for the cross-fertilisation of ideas, experiences, and resources to work collaboratively on some of the common challenges that face the city, and the country as a whole. However, harnessing these powerful and creative energies, is a target yet to be explored.
In the last few years, spurred on the by burgeoning economic activities and the importance of international events, the city has experienced significant physical infrastructure developments.
Given its strategic location between the Pacific and Asia, it stands to benefit from a confluence of ideas, concepts, experiences, and innovations to drive untapped areas such as tourism, small-to-medium enterprises, cultural preservation, the development of sports, and developing the creative industry among others.
With the physical growth have come typical challenges and issues associated with rapid urbanisation.
Overcrowding, sewerage and sanitation, reliable water and power supply, squalor conditions, inadequate and poor housing, unemployment, petty crimes, law and order and ethnic tensions are all part of this melting pot.
These are all consequences of concentration of people and their activities to forge their way in an almost growing metropolis-like environment.
Creating “opportunities” for people to use their labour, talents and time in gainful pursuits appear to be a more promising way to addressing some of these issues.
There are no strong and neatly demarcated lines between the supposedly inner affluent sections of Port Moresby, and the outer peripheral urban squatters of Morata, 8-Mile, ATS, 9-Mile, and so forth.
Each section of the city has its own challenges to deal with, but at the same time share similar issues and aspirations with all other sections.
There is an intricate web of connections between the outer sections and the inner and most affluent sections.
Port Moresby is like a one organism with different parts.
It is a city yet to be fully appreciated for its beauty and potential for many things positive.
But with its cultural diversity, strong commerce and government administration presence, rolling hills and a beautiful harbour with a growing skyline, its strategic geo-political location, the presence of international organisations and so on, its place in the world community is firmly cemented.
Others have New York, Sydney, Dubai, Tokyo, Shanghai, London and Paris.
Let’s embrace the fact that we have Port Moresby.
John K Kamasua,