Toronto, Canada, 12 November 2020 – An international partnership between UN-Habitat, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the City of Toronto, the Urban Economy Forum Association, and the Daniels Corporation has been launched to set up the Regent Park World Urban Pavilion.
The World Urban Pavilion project aims to create a physical and virtual global hub to advance the knowledge of urban development and the implementation and the promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda.
The launch was moderated by the newly elected Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre Marci Len, and speakers included Ibrahim Afrah, community representative from Regent Park, Ahmed Hussen, Canadian Minister for Families, Children and Social Development, Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto, and Director of UN-Habitat office in Mexico and Cuba Region and Head of Knowledge and Innovation, Dr Eduardo Moreno.
The Government of Canada, through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will contribute USD 1 million for the construction of the Regent Park World Urban Pavilion by UN-Habitat and USD 1.25 million for five years of programming (USD 250,000 per year) through the National Housing Strategy Demonstrations Initiative.
“With the help of the National Housing Strategy, the world will be coming to Regent Park through this partnership with UN-Habitat and the Urban Economy Forum Association,” said Minister Hussen. “The World Urban Pavilion will showcase our own practices for affordable housing while learning from others around the globe.”
This project will focus on youth and housing and will work to build capacities by providing resources and guidance for cities across the globe to realize inclusive sustainable development using innovative technology.
“We invite the World Urban Pavilion to believe, begin and build,” said Mr Afrah. “Believe that we can achieve our common vision for a better tomorrow, begin as you have done by inviting this community to collaborate and including us in the Pavilion, build on the journey towards a holistic vision of a better tomorrow.”
“Regent Park is such a special place,” stated Toronto Centre MP Marci Len. “It is full of residents who are passionate about community, and want to see the community move forward, and move forward together.”
"I am proud that Toronto will be the new home of the World Urban Pavilion so that we can lead on a global stage when comes to urban development. I am pleased that the site will be in the heart of Regent Park which has been a development that has demonstrated Toronto's excellence when it comes to city and urban planning," said Mayor Tory.
UN-Habitat’s Dr Moreno said Canada was recognized as a national and global hub for SDG Cities. “The Pavilion will be a place to dream and act, a place to transform knowledge into action and a place to realize the acceleration of SDG’s in Cities,” he said.
The Pavilion will create a springboard for collaboration and collective action to advance crucial conversations covering a wide range of topics, explore urban economy and finance through different lenses to discuss and open up dialogues globally about urbanism.
"Together, with CMHC and UN-Habitat, we have, for the past year, nurtured the idea of establishing the World Urban Pavilion in Toronto's Regent Park based on the resolution of the Urban Economy Forum (UEF) annual forum. With today's announcement, we are taking a great leap forward in realizing the SDGs, particularly SDG 11. The Pavilion will engage with cities, civil society, UN agencies and international organizations to drive transformation toward sustainable urban paradigms and lifestyles,” said Reza Pourvaziry Chair of the UEF.
Regent Park was chosen as home to the Pavilion because its ongoing community-centric revitalization is seen as an example to be shared in Canada and around the world. The Pavilion will be located within a new mixed-use development built by The Daniels Corporation.
“The Daniels Corporation is thrilled to welcome the World Urban Pavilion by UN-Habitat to Toronto's Regent Park neighbourhood. We commend Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, UN-Habitat and the Urban Economy Forum for creating a knowledge exchange hub which will project best practices in sustainable, inclusive urban development around the world," said Heela Omarkhail, Vice President, Social Impact at Daniels.
The Pavilion will also introduce pilot projects and encourage civil society to share their revitalization best-practice projects globally and will operate under the SDG Cities Flagship Programme. The project aims to provide opportunities for youth in Toronto as a core target group through urban youth programmes. The official opening of the Regent Park World Urban Pavilion by UN-Habitat is planned for Spring 2021.
Link to launch: https://www.ueforum.org/world-urban-pavilion