FIRST MAYORAL CONFERENCE ON THE CITY PROSPERITY INITIATIVE, JULY 28TH AND 29TH 2015, UN OFFICE, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Over 100 participants from 12 countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Mexico, Palestine, Qatar, Republic of Korea and Turkey, participated in the first Mayoral Conference on the City Prosperity Initiative held at the United Nations Office in Vienna on July 28th and 29th 2015. Organized by UN-Habitat, the World Assembly of Islamic Cities (WAIC) and International City Leaders (ICL) the conference gathered more than 20 mayors and other high ranking municipal and national officials.

The Conference was opened by Ms. Masoumeh Ebtekar, Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who mentioned by video that, “… the City Prosperity Initiative is a very important initiative that looks into different issues from various perspectives: economic, social, political and also environmental… This synergy can create a lot of new opportunities that can enhance urban prosperity in both a holistic and an integrative manner”. Additionally, Ms. Ebtekar welcomed the creation of the High Level International Board of this global initiative. (The video of the Ebtekar’s address can be accessed at: https://youtu.be/almVY6WqUdM).  Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat welcomed the participants and congratulated them in their effort to promote south-south cooperation and knowledge sharing. Dr. Clos stressed that the CPI was an excellent tool to ensure the systematic monitoring of policies and understanding their impacts. (Dr. Clos’s address is can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/RGyil8M9lV4). In his opening address Mr. Nosrati, President of WAIC, stressed the importance of the CPI for cities in West Asia and the Middle East.  Finally, Mr. Omar Al-Rawi from the City Government of Vienna noted that much of Vienna’s international recognition as a prosperous city is due to its inclusive approach to local development.

The City Prosperity Initiative (CPI) is an innovative approach conceived by UN-Habitat to promote sustainable urban development and measures prosperity across six variables – productivity, infrastructure, quality of life, equity and social inclusion, environmental sustainability and governance and legislation. Indicators around these six dimensions and their intersection with each other establish the basis to map a city's path toward prosperity.

Photo caption (From left to right): Firat Anli, Mayor of Diyarbakir and Dr. Salina Hayat Ivy, Mayor of Narayanganj, Bangladesh

During this Conference, UN-Habitat and International City Leaders (ICL) launched the City Prosperity Initiative for Metropolitan Cities (CPI-MC). This partnership is supported by Shahr Bank, the City Bank from Iran.

The CPI-MC aims to promote innovative approaches to urban governance and management which will assist city leaders to guide their cities towards economically, socially, politically and environmentally prosperous urban futures.

Various city representatives and mayors expressed their interest to join the CPI; namely from Iran, Turkey and Qatar. The Province of Gangwon, Republic of Korea announced they are considering organizing a sub-regional CPI meeting and the Municipality of Tehran made it known that an international mayoral conference on this initiative will be held in April 2016 in Tehran.