Roundtable on the World Cities Report 2020: The Value of Sustainable Urbanization

This roundtable is a substantive discussion of the World Cities Report 2020 titled: The Value of Sustainable Urbanization. It takes places after the official launch of the Report. Urban experts and policymakers from different regions will debate and provide greater insights on the most important components of the value of sustainable urbanization.

In the context of the disruption and uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, sustainable urbanization and the value it generates is critical for the effective implementation of the global urban agendas.

The development clock has undoubtably been turned backwards by the ongoing pandemic. The World Cities Report 2020 makes the case for cities to remain central in the pursue of sustainability. The New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals are both timely and relevant to fundamentally reforming planning, policies, strategies and budgets for cities to create value. This value relates to the economic, social, environmental and intangible conditions—such as institutional, governance, political, cultural and civic perception and outcomes—needed to improve quality of life of residents in meaningful and tangible ways.

Findings from the World Cities Report 2020 reaffirm that sustainable urbanization is integral to sustainable development and for the fight against poverty, inequality, climate change and other pressing global issues that afflict humanity.

This simple, but powerful message should guide development efforts during the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drawing on case studies and examples across the world, the roundtable will discuss the key findings and messages of the World Cities Report 2020 and the role of innovation and technology, as well as local governments in fostering harmonious growth and development through sustainable urbanization.

Date: 31 October 2020

Time: 16:00 to 18:30 East African Time / 13:00-15:30 UTC


Eduardo Moreno, Head - Knowledge and Innovation Branch, UN-Habitat


  • Dr. Remi Jedwab, George Washington University
  • Professor. Vanesa Castán Broto, University of Sheffield
  • Dr. Taibat Lawanson, University of Lagos
  • Dr. Jackie Klopp, Columbia University
  • Edgardo Bilsky, United Cities and Local Governments
  • Dr. Godwin Arku, University of Western Ontario
  • Professor David Simon, University of London

Lead Discussants

  • Dr. Matt Benson, ThinkCity, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Dr. Ryan Centner, London School of Economics, London, UK
  • Christine Platt: President of Commonwealth Association of Planners
  • Pontus Westerburg, UN-Habitat
  • Professor Bharat Dahiya, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Professor Yu Zhu, Fujian Normal University Fuzhou, China
  • Professor John Ebohon, London South Bank University, London, UK

For more information contact:

Ben Arimah

Chief, Global Reports and Trends Unit, UN-Habitat


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