Quito 28 April 2015-- More than 400 participants recently converged in Quito, Ecuador for the first International Forum on Sustainable Cities and Buildings that addressed various topics around sustainable construction. The event was organized by the Secretariat of Territory, Habitat and Housing and the Secretariat of Environment of the Metropolitan District of Quito (MDQ), in cooperation with the Ecuadorian Green Building Council (CEES).

The goal of the forum was to promote sustainable construction in the MDQ to reinforce the link between the public and the private sector, as well as strengthen local capacities to integrate ecological efficiency criteria on policy level. The forum offered a platform for sharing experiences and exchanging knowledge in the areas of Planning and Sustainable Construction, with further presentations and discussions on the challenges and opportunities of smart and sustainable cities.

The UN-Habitat-coordinated Global Network for Sustainable Housing (GNSH) was represented by UN-Habitat’s partner EcoSur, giving an overview of the network’s main activities. The GNSH connects NGOs, academia and international organisations leading in the field of sustainable housing practices to promote advocacy, undertake normative research and pilot projects, and support policy change.

Sustainable Building and Construction is also expected to be a hot topic at Habitat III next year in Quito, with GNSH partners ready to stimulate the debate with hands-on demonstrations and engaging discussions.