February 2021 Toronto, Canada – The third Urban Economy Forum (UEF 2021) which will be held on 4 and 5 October to mark World Habitat Day was launched during the first Steering Committee Meeting.
The Forum will celebrate the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development 2021.
In the meeting, Frank D’hondt, Secretary General of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) emphasized the importance of UEF to continue advancing a global agenda that can be implemented in a locally contextualized way with people are at the centre and bridging shared priorities between UEF, ISOCARP and UN-Habitat.
Eduardo Moreno, Director of Knowledge and Innovation at UN-Habitat said everyone should come back to the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development and integrate social conditions, health and just conditions and that UEF will help support that.
UEF2021 is jointly organized with UN-Habitat and focuses on housing as one of the fundamental sustainable urban resources to build forward in a post-COVID world. Through the exchange of practical experiences, the Forum will engage with urban stakeholders to advance global dialogue both physically and virtually on urban economy and municipal finance to identify innovative and practical solutions and best practices to achieve the SDGs.
Jan Vaapavouri, Mayor of Helsinki provided a practical insight on how cities can lead good practices to leading urban challenges. Soo Ing-Moody, President of the Association of Washington Cities, USA pointed out that UEF 2021 is a great opportunity to rethink theories and implementation from ground up.
Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria, Canada said: “The pandemic has taught that the climate emergency is going to be graver than predicted. We need to act as if there is such an emergency and tackle the issues of housing.”
The UEF 2021 Steering Committee also emphasized the importance of engaging communities in this dialogue.
“The Forum should facilitate transformational change in the lives of people it is seeking to serve,” said Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to Minster of Families, Children and Social Development. He highlighted the importance of starting the conversation from low-income communities and informal settlements where climate change and other inequalities have their biggest impact.
Martina Otto, Head of Cities at UNEP emphasized that while engaging communities it is also important action need to follow.
The UEF 2021 Steering Committee members come from across the globe including Brazil, Canada, United States, UK, Mexico, Kenya, India, China, Australia among a number of other countries and they are selected to include a diverse range of expertise, experiences and inclusivity.
For more information about the third Urban Economy Forum please visit https://www.ueforum.org/uef-2021