WCR 2016 launched in Geneva
The European Launch of the World Cities Report 2016 was held in the UN Headquarters, Palais des Nations, on July 5th.
The launch, which was hosted by International City Leaders and UN-Habitat with the support of City Bank of Iran, was presented to a European and international audience, with members of the diplomatic community, mayors, urbanists and experts on municipal financing in attendance.
UN-Habitat’s Head of Research and Capacity Building, Dr. Eduardo Lopez Moreno, presented the key findings of the World Cities Report 2016. He outlined how the report takes stock of twenty years of urbanisation in the world, and how ways of production and consumption changed drastically in these twenty years. He highlighted that today 70% of urban space is consumed by housing and that 75% of the growth of cities was done out of the planning process. He stated the need for a renewed focus on urbanization in the new urban agenda at Habitat III later in 2016, and how this report can assist in the discussions.
"The report is a result of numerous discussions, expert consultation, and critical review. We are confident that the technical discussions that are taking place, in view of the the preparations of Habitat III, could hugely benefit from the findings of this report. This report can particularly make a positive impact on housing and slums, risk reduction and basic urban services" , said Alioune Badiane, Director of Project Office at UN-Habitat.
Reza Pourvaziry, President of International City Leaders discussed the importance of addressing the challenges facing cities and sustainable urbanization, and how this report can play an important role in informing policies and actions taken by cities and their leaders.
Other speakers at the launch included: Mohammed Hossein Pourzarandi, President of City Bank of Iran, and Farrokh Derakhshani, President of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
On May 18th 2016 The World Cities Report 2016, Urbanization and Development: Emerging Futures was launched in the Ford Foundation, New York, to an audience of partners, government representatives, stakeholders and the media.
During the launch, which was supported by International City Leaders, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Dr. Joan Clos addressed the audience about the progress made in urban development in the past twenty years and the significance of the release of this report in the run up to Habitat III in October 2016.
Mr. Reza Pourvaziry, President of ICL, who worked as one of the main partners in the production of the World Cities Report 2016, highlighted that the plea of this report for inclusion is critical to advance a human rights agenda. In addition, Elin-May Stener, Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN, Josep Roig, Secretary-General of Cities and Local Government (UCLG) and UN-Habitat Head of Research and Capacity, Dr. Eduardo Moreno addressed the audience and the importance and significance of this report.
The World Cities Report 2016 shows that a New Urban Agenda is needed to unlock the transformative power of cities. With the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, Habitat III, taking place in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016, there is a unique opportunity to set the urban agenda on the path to prosperity and equitable growth.
The full report can be found here.
SECOND EXPERT GROUP MEETING, WORLD CITIES REPORT
Recognizing the significance of this global effort, the International City Leaders in partnership with UN-Habitat held the second expert group meeting in New York, United States of America from June 30 to July 2, 2015 to advise UN-Habitat on the substantive content and organisation of the WCR 2016. The meeting was composed of distinguished international experts, and members of the World Cities Advisory Board, with considerable human settlements expertise. As with the first expert group meeting which took place in Toronto on September 25 to September 26, 2014, International City Leaders facilitated the consultations and presentations of the first draft chapters, thereby providing a platform for dialogue and debate.
FIRST EXPERT GROUP MEETING, WORLD CITIES REPORT
On 1 March 2012, the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 66/207 decided to convene in 2016, in line with the bi-decennial cycle (1976, 1996 and 2016), a Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development (Habitat III) to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable urbanization that should focus on the implementation of a ”New Urban Agenda”. The objective of Habitat III will be to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable urban development, assessing accomplishments to date and identifying and addressing new and emerging challenges. With the first Preparatory Committee (Prepcom) meeting planned to take place in New York 17-18 September 2014 preparations at local, national, regional and global levels are required to undertake an assessment of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda adopted by Governments at Habitat II in 1996, as well as of other internationally agreed goals and targets relevant to housing and sustainable urban development. The World Cities Report 2016 (WCR 2016) will be the first publication of its kind, providing rigorous analysis on progress made and emerging trends, with a view to formulating an urban agenda for the 21st century. Recognizing the significance of this global effort, the International City Leaders in partnership with UN-Habitat held the first expert group meeting in Toronto, Canada from September 25 to 26, 2014 to advise UNHabitat on the substantive content and organisation of the WCR 2016. Draft overviews of the chapters were presented and discussed, the revised outcome of which will form the basis for the individual chapters of the WCR 2016. Subsequent meetings will take place in Nairobi, Kenya (April 2015) and most probably in Europe (June 2015). The World Cities Report 2016 will serve as a major background document for Habitat III, which is scheduled to be convened in 2016.