I don’t know if it’s because I’m looking or because the interest level is rising, but lately I’m seeing lots of information and concern about the condition of urban habitats. I’d love to have known about this World Urban Forum conference sooner — I might have arranged to go. This meeting just reinforces for me that urban issues are not just U.S. issues, they are global. The problems are not the same everywhere, and neither are the solutions, but there are clearly opportunities out there to change all regions for the better. I’m sure that most of the attendees at this conference will be representing governments and NGOs and academic institutions, but for-profit businesses have a role to play, too. Perhaps the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative will be represented at the next WUF meeting two years hence.
See the information below to learn more about WUF7 – the World Urban Forum Meeting taking place next month in Medellin, Columbia.
Follow the link to the World Urban Forum web site: WUF7 UN-Habitat
The World Urban Forum
The World Urban Forum (WUF) is a non-legislative technical forum convened by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), hosted in a different city every two years, to examine the most pressing issues facing the world today in the area of human settlements, including rapid urbanization and its impact on cities, communities, economies, climate change and policies. It is the World’s Premier Conference on Cities.
The Forum gathers a wide range of experts from every walk of life. Participants at the Forum include, but are not limited to, national, regional and local governments, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, professionals, research institutions and academies, professionals, private sector, development finance institutions, foundations, media and United Nations organizations and other international agencies.
The WUF promotes the strong participation of Habitat Agenda partners and relevant international programmes, funds and agencies, thus ensuring their inclusion in the identification of new issues, the sharing of lessons learned and the exchange of best practices and good policies.
Urban Equity in Development – Cities for Life
It is estimated that two-thirds of the world’s urban population live in cities where income inequality has increased since the 1980s. In many cases, this increase has been staggering.
Inequalities are present in urban spaces, with cities divided by invisible borders that take the form of social, cultural and economic exclusion.
Slums, the face of poverty and urban inequality, continue to increase in most countries of the developing world, perpetuating the lack of access to basic services and political representation to the most vulnerable communities.
Gender inequality persists, preventing women from accessing secondary education, decent employment, political representation, and reproductive health care. Moreover, youth inequalities manifest in discrimination in access to education, differentiated levels of employment and livelihood opportunities, lack of participation in decision making, and prejudice against sexual preferences.
Cities, then, are a critical component in addressing the inequality problem. Their design, governance, and infrastructure have direct impact on the lives and opportunities of their inhabitants.
If you are unable to participate in the WUF7 Medellín, you can also contribute to the discussions starting February 25, 2014, in the WUF7 E-Debate, whose outcomes will also substantively feed the consolidation of the Concept Paper.