Conversations at WUF

The World Urban Forum was established in 2001 by the United Nations to create a dialogue of the ever-changing issues associated with urban life and development. The conference, which is organized by UN-Habitat is held every other year in a select city. The main goals of the World Urban Forum are as follows:

  • Raise awareness of sustainable urbanization among stakeholders and constituencies, including the general public;
  • 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
  • Increase coordination and cooperation between different stakeholders and constituencies for the advancement and implementation of sustainable urbanization.

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Monitoring Inclusive Sustainable Cities Through the WUF

Our class had the opportunity to further delve into inclusive, sustainable cities as we learned about the World Urban Forum, or WUF. The WUF is convened by UN Habitat and is a world conference on cities in a non-legislative forum. The last one, WUF9, was held in Kuala Lumpur in February 2018. WUF10 will be held in Abu Dhabi in 2020. This forum is crucial because it meets more frequently — every two years — versus Habitat where UNGA and all the participants involved with that meet every twenty years. Habitat III helped set the stage for the New Urban Agenda (NUA), where it has a series of long-term visions, commitments, and implementations countries will use to further develop of smart cities and ensure everyone has a right to the city. WUF acts as a checkpoint to see the progress of whatever happens at Habitat, and in this case, it is the NUA from Habitat III. Continue reading

World Urban Forum

The World Urban Forum (WUF) is a conference for urban issues surrounding rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. Established in 2001 by the United Nations, the WUF takes place every two years and is organized and convened by the UN-Habitat. The objectives of the WUF are to raise awareness of sustainable urbanization among stakeholders, to improve knowledge on sustainable urban development through discussions that are inclusive, and to increase coordination and cooperation between stakeholders for the advancement and implementation of sustainable urbanization. The most recent World Urban Forum 9 (WUF9) took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2018. It is exciting to see Malaysia as the host of the WUF9, specifically because my project focuses on inclusive education in Malaysia. Although the country has inclusive education embedded in its education policy frameworks, many schools still lack the necessary structures and amenities that allow students with disabilities to move and learn freely. Since Malaysia struggles with improving the infrastructure of schools and their accessibility, their role as hosts shows their commitment to building inclusive cities in the age of rapid globalization.

With the theme of Cities 2030-Cities for All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda, the WUF9 focused on strengthening and scaling up its implementation, learning how to engage within the UN system, and creating cities that are safe, inclusive, and sustainable. Primarily, the WUF9 provided a platform for stakeholders to discuss how they can develop cities that allow all persons to live with equal opportunity to live with dignity. The WUF9 is significant not only due to its large turn-out with approximately 23,000 participants, but because it gave a platform to local leaders through the first Grassroots Assembly. This is critical because it allows more voices to be heard and included within the sustainable development discussions. It also encourages greater cooperation between grassroots organizations and key country stakeholders. At the end of the WUF9, the Kuala Lumpur Declaration called for localizing and scaling up implementation initiatives. Ultimately, the WUF9 concluded with declaring the need to build inclusive partnerships and eliminate age and gender barriers to ensure that all are able to participate and engage meaningfully. Following the WUF9, the World Urban Forum 10 will be held in Abu Dhabi in 2020. After two years, it will be fascinating to see how these stakeholders have further implemented the New Urban Agenda, and to also see the next goals they set for themselves.

The World Urban Forum

The World Urban Forum, or WUF, is the global conference for urban issues. Created in 2001 by UN-Habitat, the WUF aims to address issues that are facing the world today: urbanization and climate change among others. The forum is known for being very open internationally and inclusive which is what makes it such an important conference for high-level participants to gather for urban issues. Continue reading

World Urban Forum

The World Urban Forum (WUF) was established by the UN in 2001 to examine rapid urbanization and its impacts on cities, economies, climate change, and policies. This premier conference on urban issues is held every two years for participants to share practices and knowledge on how cities are built, planned, and managed. The objectives of the World Urban Forum include increasing awareness of sustainable urbanization, improving collective knowledge of inclusive sustainable urban development, and increasing coordination and cooperation to advance and implement sustainable urbanization. Continue reading

WUF and inclusive, sustainable cities

More than half of the world’s population is living in urban centers. By 2050, this figure is expected to go up to 66%. The majority of this growth will take place in Asia and Africa, especially India, China, and Nigeria. Cities are growing bigger and bigger, but as they do so, they become more of a burden to the environment. In order to support growing populations as well as support the diverse populations already residing in cities, governments must make efforts to make cities inclusive, sustainable, and ready to support the influx of people coming their way. Continue reading