City2City
Roundtable on the World Cities Report 2020: The Value of Sustainable Urbanization

This roundtable is a substantive discussion of the World Cities Report 2020 titled: The Value of Sustainable Urbanization. It takes places after the official launch of the Report. Urban experts and policymakers from different regions will debate and provide greater insights on the most important components of the value of sustainable urbanization.

Roundtable on the World Cities Report 2020: The Value of Sustainable Urbanization

This roundtable is a substantive discussion of the World Cities Report 2020 titled: The Value of Sustainable Urbanization. It takes places after the official launch of the Report. Urban experts and policymakers from different regions will debate and provide greater insights on the most important components of the value of sustainable urbanization.

In the context of the disruption and uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, sustainable urbanization and the value it generates is critical for the effective implementation of the global urban agendas.

The development clock has undoubtably been turned backwards by the ongoing pandemic. The World Cities Report 2020 makes the case for cities to remain central in the pursue of sustainability. The New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals are both timely and relevant to fundamentally reforming planning, policies, strategies and budgets for cities to create value. This value relates to the economic, social, environmental and intangible conditions—such as institutional, governance, political, cultural and civic perception and outcomes—needed to improve quality of life of residents in meaningful and tangible ways.

Findings from the World Cities Report 2020 reaffirm that sustainable urbanization is integral to sustainable development and for the fight against poverty, inequality, climate change and other pressing global issues that afflict humanity.

This simple, but powerful message should guide development efforts during the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drawing on case studies and examples across the world, the roundtable will discuss the key findings and messages of the World Cities Report 2020 and the role of innovation and technology, as well as local governments in fostering harmonious growth and development through sustainable urbanization.

Date: 31 October 2020

Time: 16:00 to18:30 East African Time / 13:00-15:30 UTC

Moderator

Eduardo Moreno, Head - Knowledge and Innovation Branch, UN-Habitat

Speakers

  • Dr. Remi Jedwab, George Washington University
  • Professor. Vanesa Castán Broto, University of Sheffield
  • Dr. Taibat Lawanson, University of Lagos
  • Dr. Jackie Klopp, Columbia University
  • Edgardo Bilsky, United Cities and Local Governments
  • Dr. Godwin Arku, University of Western Ontario
  • Professor David Simon, University of London

Lead Discussants

  • Dr. Matt Benson, ThinkCity, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Dr. Ryan Centner, London School of Economics, London, UK
  • Christine Platt: President of Commonwealth Association of Planners
  • Pontus Westerburg, UN-Habitat
  • Professor Bharat Dahiya, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Professor Yu Zhu, Fujian Normal University Fuzhou, China
  • Professor John Ebohon, London South Bank University, London, UK

Register here: https://urbanoctober.unhabitat.org/register-for-wcd-2020

For more information contact:

  • Ben Arimah (Chief, Global Reports and Trends Unit, UN-Habitat) at ben.arimah@un.org

Downloads:

Concept Note | Programme Save the Date flyer

Market Cities: How public markets can pump life into regional food economies and forge social cohesion?

We will explore not only how to ensure that these long-overlooked institutions thrive, but explore creative measures to bring public markets to the next level — as civic conveners to connect rural to urban, social life to commerce, and behavior change into everyday people’s lives.

You are cordially invited to participate in the webinar "MARKET CITIES: How public markets can pump life into regional food economies and forge social cohesion?", to be held virtually at 17:00 East Africa Time (EAT), 27th October 2020 (Verify your time zone here).



We will explore not only how to ensure that these long-overlooked institutions thrive, but explore creative measures to bring public markets to the next level — as civic conveners to connect rural to urban, social life to commerce, and behavior change into everyday people’s lives.



Amidst the COVID-19 lockdown, some markets fight to be recognized as essential services, whilst others perform remarkable heroics to relaunch as safe and social places (from Hanoi to Dhaka, Lima to New York).



Join us at this special session of the UN-Habitat “Strengthening Communities for the Future we want: urban-rural linkages policy, legislation and governance” webinar series, broadcast in partnership with Slow Food International, as part of the Terra Madre 2020 Worldwide Slow Food Festival.

Online registration is available here.  

BOOK LAUNCH - Developing National Urban Policies: Ways Forward to Green and Smart Cities

The book "Developing National Urban Policies: Ways Forward to Green and Smart Cities" illustrates how a national urban policy and smart cities approaches can serve as a framework to address urban challenges such as increasing disparity, unemployment, growth of slums, lack of basic services and spread of violence and crime, many of which have emerged precisely due to the absence of or ineffective urban policies, and how such smart cities approaches can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on making cities and humans settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

You are cordially invited to participate in the Launch Event for the book "Developing National Urban Polices: Ways Forward to Green and Smart Cities", to be held virtually at 14:00 East Africa Time (EAT) on Tuesday, 20th October 2020. 

The book "Developing National Urban Policies: Ways Forward to Green and Smart Cities" illustrates how a national urban policy and smart cities approaches can serve as a framework to address urban challenges such as increasing disparity, unemployment, growth of slums, lack of basic services and spread of violence and crime, many of which have emerged precisely due to the absence of or ineffective urban policies, and how such smart cities approaches can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on making cities and humans settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The book brings together NUP experiences of countries across the globe which are at different levels of urbanisation and economic development with specific reference to National Urban Policies in 15 countries (India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Philippines, Iran, Singapore, Korea, Nigeria, Tanzania's Zanzibar Islands, Lusophone Countries, South Africa, Australia, Germany and France).

The virtual book launch will raise awareness on the existence and disseminate the latest contributions to NUP literature; present and share highlights of recent research findings on National Urban Policies that have adopted green and smart cities approaches as well as discuss use of NUPs in implementation of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda.

To download the book, please click here.

Online registration for the event is available at NUP Book Launch.

UN-Habitat is seeking partners for its Cities Investment Facility (CIF) through Calls for Expressions of Interest

The following Calls for Expressions of Interest are to partner with UN-Habitat on a number of elements of the Cities Investment Facility, an upstream urban impact infrastructure facility, with a pipeline of bankable sustainable urbanization projects, which UN-Habitat has been developing.

The following Calls for Expressions of Interest are to partner with UN-Habitat on a number of elements of the Cities Investment Facility, an upstream urban impact infrastructure facility, with a pipeline of bankable sustainable urbanization projects, which UN-Habitat has been developing.

1) Call for Expressions of Interest for the Cities Investment Vehicles (CI Vehicles)

Description: UN-Habitat Cities Investment Facility (CIF) programme is seeking partners to develop and manage one of a number of the City Investment Vehicles (CI Vehicles), one of the three instruments of CIF. Each CI Vehicle fund will act as a broker or fund within which diverse and blended sources of capital can be pooled to finance de-risked, bankable, and sustainable urbanization projects. CI Vehicles may have general, sectoral or geographic focus.  Each CI Vehicle may also be involved in project aggregation and advising appropriate product structuring, at the upstream stage. The CI Vehicle implementing partner is expected to act as the General Partner of the fund, and raise LP capital. UN-Habitat is able to support fundraising. Interested organisations are invited to express interest and commitment to this partnership.

Submission Period: Wednesday 16 September 2020 - Wednesday 14 October 2020.

Find more information and submission details here

​2) Call for Expressions of Interest for the Cities Investment Portal (CI Portal)

Description: UN-Habitat Cities Investment Facility (CIF) programme is seeking a partner to jointly develop and maintain the Cities Investment Portal (CI Portal), one of the three instruments of CIF, in order to provide a secure, up-to-date and accessible digital platform through which sustainable urbanization project promoters, investors, and other relevant stakeholders can interact. The CI Portal partner is expected to manage the content of proposed projects, manage the web portal, and scope possible philanthropic capital for projects. Interested organisations are invited to express interest and commitment to this partnership. More information can be found in the appended CIF brochure, and the BETA portal can be found here: http://cip.flywheelsites.com.

Submission Period: Wednesday 16 September 2020 - Wednesday 14 October 2020.

Find more information and submission details here

3) Call for Expressions of Interest for the Cities Investment Digital Backbone Infrastructure

Description: UN-Habitat Cities Investment Facility (CIF) programme is seeking a partner to jointly create a digital platform to underpin and create greater efficiencies for the UN-Habitat’s Cities Investment Facility. The Digital Transformation Partner (DTP) partner is expected to develop a digital backbone that will improve the service provision and analytics of the CIF, and in turn ensure that early-stage urban development projects, from emerging and frontier markets, are well supported in their journey towards financial close. The digital platform is expected to be developed incrementally and iteratively during the piloting of the CIF in 2021. Interested organisations are invited to express interest and commitment to this partnership. More information on the Cities Investment Facility can be found in the CIF brochure appended.

Submission Period: Wednesday 7 October 2020 - Friday 6 November 2020.

Find more information and submission details here

The Cities Investment Facility (CIF) is a pioneering investment platform combining partners from the private and public sectors, to catalyse investments that will help achieve the urban dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The platform will mobilise US$500 billion for hundreds of SDG compliant municipal- and UNHabitat originated urban development projects in emerging and frontier markets. The CIF will target priority sectors in the post-COVID19 world such as affordable housing; informal settlement upgrading; water and sanitation infrastructure; urban mobility; and waste management. The facility follows the UN mandate to Leave No One Behind, and takes a whole-of-society approach when preparing projects. The blended finance structure of many of the projects is designed to catalyse and derisk low return projects in order to make a significant contribution to achieving the SDGs by 2030. 

Source: https://www.citiesclimatefinance.org/green-city-finance-directory/sustainable-urban-development-project-investment-pipeline-facility-the-cities-investment-facility/#:~:text=UN%2DHabitat-,About,Sustainable%20Development%20Goals%20(SDGs).

Global Observance Day 2 - World Habitat Day 2020

The second Day of the Global Observance of World Habitat Day 2020 on Tuesday 6 October coming from Surabaya, Indonesia featured 3 roundtables and a wide variety of guests from all over the world.

The second Day of the Global Observance of World Habitat Day 2020 on Tuesday 6 October coming from Surabaya, Indonesia featured 3 roundtables and a wide variety of guests from all over the world.

Post-Pandemic Cities: Planning for the Next 2.5 Billion Residents (World Habitat Day Conference 2020)

The conference is organized by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (CSU) in collaboration with the American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter.

Post-Pandemic Cities: Planning for the Next 2.5 Billion Residents

The projected increase of 2.5 billion people moving to cities over the next 30 years with the advent of climate change and the new threat of pandemics constitutes an unprecedented challenge facing the world today.

The transition in a world of finite resources calls for the re-thinking of many of the premises which have guided the development of human existence. The survival of Homo Sapiens is dependent on controlling global warming, infectious disease, making urbanization sustainable, housing affordable and accessible and working toward an equitable us of the world's resources for all. The pandemic of 2019 presents an opportunity to chart a new future.

The conference is organized by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (CSU) in collaboration with the American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter.

Programme:

OPENING SESSION

  • Mr. Chris Williams, Ph.D., Director, UN-Habitat, New York Office (Moderator)
  • Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations (video address)
  • Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, United Nations Under-Secretary-General & Executive Director, UN-Habitat H.E.
  • Mr. Michal Mlynár, Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the United Nations H.E.
  • Ms. Amal Mudallali, Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations
  • Ms. Susan Mwangi, Chargée d’affairs, a.i., Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations
  • Ms. Jane Frederick, FAIA, President, American Institute of Architects, Washington, DC
  • Ms. Kim Yao, FAIA, President, American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter
  • Mr. Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, President, Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (CSU)

SESSION 2: KEYNOTE ADDRESSES

  • Ms. Mary Stack, Executive Director of Cambridge Forum, Cambridge, MA (Moderator)
  • Mr. Jeffrey Sachs, Ph.D., Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Mr. Peter Calthorpe, Architect, urbanist and author, San Francisco, CA

SESSION 3: POST-PANDEMIC PERSPECTIVES

  • Ms. Mary Stack, Executive Director of Cambridge Forum, Cambridge, MA (Moderator)
  • Dr. Kamran Khan, Founder & CEO, BlueDot, Toronto, Canada
  • Ms. Karen Harris, Managing Director, Macro Trends Group, Bain & Company, New York, NY
  • Mr. Sam Lubell, Journalist & Author
World Cities Day 2020

World Cities Day 2020 is the seventh global celebration since the day was launched on 31 October 2014 in Shanghai, China. Under overarching theme of Better City, Better Life, the aim of the day is to focus the international community’s attention on urbanisation as a central issue for development and to encourage cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing urban challenges towards sustainable development.

World Cities Day 2020 is the seventh global celebration since the day was launched on 31 October 2014 in Shanghai, China. Under overarching theme of Better City, Better Life, the aim of the day is to focus the international community’s attention on urbanisation as a central issue for development and to encourage cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing urban challenges towards sustainable development.

Each year a different sub-theme is selected, to either promote successes of urbanization, or address specific challenges resulting from urbanization. The sub-theme for this year is Valuing our communities and cities, and the Global Observance will be hosted in Nakuru, Kenya.

World Cities Day seeks to promote global interest in urbanization and engender international cooperation to address the challenges of urbanization, thereby contributing to sustainable urban development.

This World Cities Day is a moment to reflect on our cities and consider their future. In the last 12 months, city life has changed dramatically. The health impact of COVID-19 alongside the social, political and financial upheavals, is reshaping urban life around the world in an unprecedented manner.

Urbanization has the potential to create opportunities for a better life, provide pathways out of poverty and act as an engine of economic growth, but the contribution of diverse communities within cities is often only recognized to a limited extent if at all. Yet it is increasingly clear that communities are the lifeblood for cities and are part of the essential building blocks providing the economic, environmental and social value that leads to an improved quality of life for all.

As national and local governments adopt various responses to COVID-19, the role and value of communities in urban settings has been brought into sharp focus forcing us to reconsider the importance of local actions for urban resilience and recovery. The pandemic has highlighted the core weaknesses in many urban systems, such as economies that rely too heavily on global and national markets, without sufficient recognition of the contribution and significance of local, social and economic actors and networks.

Communities are innovative, creative, resilient and pro-active in terms of finding solutions particularly during crises. How cities manage to mobilize their various communities, in terms of different identity groups, location and economic status, to address challenges like COVID-19, climate and inequality, will contribute to their success. This World Cities Day reflects on community value ranging from local volunteering and people organizing themselves in their own neighbourhoods to social movements that challenge poverty and racism.

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the role of community work in making cities resilient and functional. Communities have organized to respond to the disruption of food and economic supply chains and to support many vital city functions. In informal settlements and slums, communities are grappling with the additional hardships created by COVID-19 but still make a significant contribution to local responses. At the same time, individual households also contribute by providing an enabling environment for work and study in the home. The challenge is to ensure communities’ value is maintained beyond the virus outbreak, so they are at the heart of building sustainable cities.

On this unusual World Cities Day and as we launch the 2020 World Cities Report, it is more important than ever, to consider how diverse urban communities can be better recognized, supported and their qualities maximized in new ways that move beyond token engagement or minimal resource support. It is important to look at how the value of communities can be strategically utilized through policy engagement with a central place both in decision-making and in implementation. Doing so will better address the current COVID-19 responses, and make a significant long term contribution to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 11.

Information on the previous World Cities Day celebrations is available here.

Please feel free to contact us on our email: unhabitat-wcd@un.org

For more information, download the full concept note and key messages here: https://urbanoctober.unhabitat.org/wcd

World Habitat Day 2020: Launch of the Urban Agenda Platform

The Urban Agenda Platform is an online portal facilitated by UN-Habitat for sharing progress and knowledge on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Launch of the Urban Agenda Platform will take place on Tuesday, 06 October 2020 from 14:45 - 16:00 hrs (Surabaya Time) as part of the Global Observance of World Habitat Day celebrations.

The Urban Agenda Platform is an online portal facilitated by UN-Habitat for sharing progress and knowledge on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Many of you are key internal partners in the development of the Platform so far, which we look forward to continue to build on in the coming months as we continue to grow the Platform.

Join us at this event to get a glimpse of the Platform, which will be presented through a virtual tour to showcase its key components. 

The event will bring together national and local government representatives, civil society, knowledge partners and the UN System to discuss evidence-based policy making, reporting on progress and accelerating actions through multi-stakeholder engagements. 

To visit the platform, please go to www.urbanagendaplatform.org

More information on the Launch Event can be found in the Concept Note attached. The final Programme will be posted on UN-Habitat’s World Habitat Day website.

Participation

To register as a participant please go to https://whd2020.surabaya.go.id/. The deadline for registration is Friday, 02 October 2020. For more information, please contact Asa Jonsson - asa.jonsson@un.org.

We encourage you to share the flyer below with your networks and partners working towards achieving sustainable urban development.

Nairobi City County: Public Space Inventory and Assessment

Public space has emerged as a critical lifeline for cities and their residents.

It has proven to be a timeless risk-reducing infrastructure, an essential urban service and an infrastructure of opportunity especially in times of crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has exposed critical gaps in the accessibility, flexibility, design, management and maintenance, connectivity and equitable distribution of public space in Nairobi. These need to be addressed incrementally in order to improve health equity across the city, help the city build-back better and future-proof itself and its citizens. This report highlights the gaps in the distribution, accessibility and quality of public open spaces in Nairobi, and provides a starting point to develop an evidence-based strategy and policy for the protection, revitalization, creation, management and enjoyment of public spaces, and restoration of the city image as the ‘Green City in the Sun’. It covers distribution, types and typologies, and access and inclusivity at the city scale. It also shines light on activities and uses, landscape furniture and amenities, safety, diversity, and custodianship and management at the site scale.  

+ NAIROBI CITY COUNTY: PUBLIC SPACE INVENTORY AND ASSESSMENT

+ NAIROBI PUBLIC SPACE INVENTORY AND ASSESSMENT: OVERVIEW AND KEY FINDINGS

UN Secretary-General’s latest Policy Brief calls for urgent response and recovery action in cities

July 28 2020 – Around 90 percent of all COVID-19 cases are found in urban areas according to the latest Policy Brief by the UN Secretary-General. The Policy Brief COVID-19 in an Urban World, outlines ideas for governments to address the pandemic, particularly in the areas of inequalities, building local capacities and ensuring a green, inclusive recovery.

July 28 2020 – Around 90 percent of all COVID-19 cases are found in urban areas according to the latest Policy Brief by the UN Secretary-General. The Policy Brief COVID-19 in an Urban World, outlines ideas for governments to address the pandemic, particularly in the areas of inequalities, building local capacities and ensuring a green, inclusive recovery.

The Brief praises the front-line role of local government and the mobilization of local government networks to share the wide range of solutions emerging from cities. It outlines immediate and long-term action needed in three areas: tackling inequalities and development gaps, strengthening the capacities of local actors, particularly local governments and working towards a green, inclusive and resilient recovery.

The Policy Brief describes how the pandemic has exposed deep inequalities in how people live in cities and the services available to them and finds that the vulnerable have suffered the most. It says that overcrowding, poor infrastructure and housing are key contributing factors to this.

COVID-19 shutdown measures have had far reaching economic impacts according to the Policy Brief which calls for national COVID-19 stimulus packages to be designed to boost the capacity of local actors, including the budgetary capacity of local governments, to quickly respond to and recover from this crisis.

In a recorded video statement to launch the Policy Brief the UN Secretary-General António

Guterres called urban areas the “ground zero of the COVID-19 pandemic” but added that this was an opportunity to "reset how we live, interact and rebuild our cities".

During a virtual Press Briefing to launch the Policy Brief, the UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif told reporters: “The Secretary-General’s Policy Brief is a powerful instrument to put us on the right path to deal with the crisis and also to seize the opportunity to do things differently in the recovery, so that we can create greener, healthier and more resilient cities. The transformative potential of urbanization towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be lost. This moment cannot be missed.”

There are a number of key actions to tackle inequalities suggested in the Brief including providing access to safe shelter and moratoriums on evictions along with longer term policy shifts and investments in adequate housing, slum upgrading and public housing.

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner told the press conference: “Our programmes continue to address the complex root causes as well as the manifestations of development deficits that destabilize countries and cities. In alignment with the UN’s socioeconomic response framework, UNDP has quickly made available significant resources, technical as well as financial. We have repurposed some projects to support urgent needs where they are deployed and have just launched a USD 100 million financing support mechanism to build on progress from funds we made available to countries when the pandemic hit.”

A resilient, inclusive, gender-equal and green economic recovery is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals according to the Brief which sees COVID-19 as an opportunity to rethink our cities to address the climate crisis and adapt to the reality of the current and future pandemics.

The Policy Brief is part of a series being issued by the UN-Secretary General to provide ideas to governments on how to address the crisis as part of the UN Comprehensive Response to COVID-19 to save lives, protect societies and recover better. UN-Habitat led the collaborative work to provide inputs into the Brief with a wide range of UN agencies including UNDP, UNDESA, UNEP, UNICEF, UNODC, ILO, WHO, along with Regional Economic Commissions and local government networks.

Read the

LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE: https://unhabitat.org/un-secretary-general%E2%80%99s-latest-policy-brief-calls-for-urgent-response-and-recovery-action-in-cities#

Image by UN-Habitat - Kirsten Milhahn