AIA CES: 2.5 LU
When: 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM FRIDAY, ARCHTOBER 31
Where: Offsite Public Program
ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York
In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population was recorded to be living in towns and cities. This number is constantly on the rise and is expected to reach almost five billion by 2030 (6.3 billion by 2050).
Cities have increasingly become concentrations of peoples with diverse backgrounds - different cultural and ethnic origins and beliefs. The challenges that this new identity anddiversity poses for countries and, more broadly, regions, are today heightened when concentrated in extremely reduced geographical spaces. Cities of all sizes often struggle to find resources and apply good practices to respond to the magnitude of this change.
In fact, cities are faced with the end results of transnational and internal migration that further exacerbate challenges already faced by cities in providing equitable access to urban services and infrastructure, including housing, services and employment, and ensuring adequate planning for accelerated urban growth. Yet, local authorities have little if any say over international and national migration policies and have little capacity to control migratory flows into their cities.
As urbanization develops in many parts of the world, to ensure its sustainability, balance between economic growth and social progress and harmony between man and nature have become more important. Education, employment, the social safety net, and public health services are very high on the urbanization agenda. In this regard, a more people-centred urbanization is necessary whereby social networks can be maintained and supported, and where economic development is balanced with social development and environmental protection. It is also very important for the international community to carry out urbanization cooperation, such as on improving urban and rural planning, strengthening social protection measures and promoting green cities.
While global public debate has addressed the environmental, economic, and demographic sustainability of cities, cultural and ethnic dimensions must also be taken into consideration to preserve rights and the well-being of cities and towns.
National and local authorities need policies that raise urban productivity and foster economic growth, but they also increasingly need policies that manage diversity and promote cohesion among residents. Local authorities play a key role in promoting civic engagement, social cohesion, participation, and representation. It is increasingly important to make cities more socially, culturally and economically vibrant, including migrants as an integral part of their citizenry and urban wealth. Sustainable cities have the potential to empower migrants by offering equal opportunities and support for integration, broadening the horizon for all of the various groups sharing a common space.
On the occasion of World Cities Day, the Permanent Missions of Italy and of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations, the Alliance of Civilizations, and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) invite you to join a dialogue between international organizations, governments, mayors, and civil society representatives on the need to pursue people-centred urbanization and manage social inclusion in today’s cities. This event also aims to contribute to the ongoing discussions on the Post-2015 development agenda.
The event will focus on sharing experiences and ideas on how to enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization, how to empower migrants for effective integration in cities, how the international community can address common challenges, how to facilitate the exchange of best practices, and what role civil society can play in this context.
For more information, contact Francesca De Ferrari (firstname.lastname@example.org) and check http://unhabitat.org/wcd/.