Nairobi 22 May 2015 – Republic of Korea will host the First International Conference on National Urban Policy at Songdo in Incheon City 23-24 November 2015. The announcement was made by Dr. Kyung-hwan Kim, President of Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements (KRIHS) when he recently met with Dr. Aisa Kacyira, UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director.

Discussing the socio-economic transformation of Korea, Dr. Kacyira, outlined how developing countries need to harness urbanization to achieve wellbeing of people. Dr. Kacyira commented that in the last five decades, Korea experienced one of the most rapid transformations in the world, thanks to a forward urban looking and implemented urban policies.

She noted that Korea’s rapid urbanization and economic development experience can inform urban policy in other rapidly urbanizing and developing countries. She also underscored that KRIHS and UN-Habitat share the similar goals and responsibilities for improving the life of all citizen.

Mr. Kim recalled his experience at UN-Habitat as a staff member between 1994 to 1996 in preparation for Habitat II and emphasized the importance and relevance of Habitat III. He has also introduced research areas of KRIHS which include national territorial planning, housing and land policy, transportation infrastructure policy, and urban environments.

In the area of National Urban Policy (NUP), he emphasized the importance of spatial strategy in terms of key infrastructure investment. UN-Habitat and KRIHS agreed to develop a Memorandum of Understanding that would cover areas of mutual interest. Dr. Kacyira met with Dr. Kim during his visit to participate at steering committee of World Urban Campaign in Nairobi.

KRIHS is a Government-Sponsored Research Institute which was established in 1978 to address national spatial policy issues of Korea, and has joined the campaign as an Associate Partner. Dr. Kim renewed the commitment of KRIHS to continue providing inputs and expert contribution to the up-coming Habitat III related activities.