World Urban Forum

According to the United Nations World Urban Forum (WUF) website, the World Urban Forum is “the world’s premier conference on urban issues.” Established in 2001 by the United Nations, The World Urban Forum analyzes rapid urbanization and its effects on communities, cities, economies, climate change, and policies. The World Urban Forum was organized and convened by UN-Habitat and allows for high-level participation that creates a premier international gathering about one of the most pressing global issues. The World Urban Forum has three objectives:

  1. raise awareness of sustainable urbanization among stakeholders and constituencies, including the generic public;
  2. improve the collective knowledge of sustainable urban development through inclusive open debates, sharing of lessons learned and the exchange of best practices and good policies; and
  3. increase coordination and cooperation between different stakeholders and constituencies for the advancement and implementation of sustainable urbanization.

The World Urban Forum meets every two years to work toward these objectives. Coming in February 2018, The WUF will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many people are excited about the WUF being held in Asia again as it accounts for about 65% of expansion in urban areas across the world. Hosting the forum shows a dedication to sustainable development that would benefit many locations in Asia as rapid urbanization is a heavy burden in many Asian countries. Those involved hope to see many practices and new knowledge being shared by all stakeholders involved in the World Urban Forum.

The relevant stakeholders span a wide range of actors. National and local governments, non-governmental organizations, business, and communities alI hold a large interest in the WUF and its policies to attain the goals of Habitat III. National and local governments will be required to offer much of the funding for sustainable urban development as they must provide infrastructure to accommodate any development. Non-governmental organizations will hold stakes concerning environmental and social concerns while development is under way. NGOs will likely be the ones to hold businesses and governments accountable for these concerns. Businesses will play a role when they invest in an area, creating much of the development through economic opportunity and therefore hope to see beneficial policies from the WUF. Communities will be affected by all of the above as they live in these areas. If the governments do not comply with the policies set by the WUF, businesses will be less likely to invest as there isn’t proper infrastructure, NGOs will continue to see social concerns and attempt to mend these, and these communities will lose economic opportunity and in turn a chance for development.