London, April 30, 2018: Today UN-Habitat signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Think City, a Malaysian non-profit organization to initiate a strategic partnership to advocate and promote the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically SDG 11, which aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
This occasion follows preliminary discussions with Think City, held during the 9th World Urban Forum in February 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, to explore opportunities for continued and strategic collaboration.
UN-Habitat’s Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif said “UN-Habitat is pleased to build on the successful collaboration with Think City during the Ninth World Urban Forum where Think City successfully organized, with national partners, the WUF9 Urban Village in Kuala Lumpur. We would like our continued collaboration to help expand good urban planning and management practices throughout Malaysia and beyond”.
“UN-Habitat is committed to building strategic partnerships that will promote a good quality of life and dignity for everyone in cities and human settlements. We would like to scale up good practices that harness the potential of cities to address the critical challenges of income inequalities, exclusion, climate change and resilience” she said.
Mr. Hamdan Abdul Majeed, Managing Director of Think City said “This MOU will now give both parties wider access to global expertise to help guide our city planners and mangers to meet current and future challenges of managing our cities and meeting citizens’ expectations.”
The MOU with UN-Habitat centres around three key areas with the first one covering the Economics of Urbanization. This is a collaboration to support the production of the World Cities Report 2019, which will inform UN-Habitat’s Strategic Plan (2020-2025). This also involves identifying planning and development strategies to achieve “true value”, where urbanization not only contributes to wealth creation but is able to address social inclusion and environmental issues.
Second is Culture in Urban Regeneration where UN-Habitat is keen to encourage culture and community focused urban regeneration as part of its wider mandate to implement the New Urban Agenda. This partnership with Think City will allow both partners to work at global, regional and national levels, developing plan-led urban regeneration programmes that are community focused and sustainable.
The final area of collaboration covers Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building. As UN-Habitat has a strong urban planning and urban design department, a knowledge exchange programme can be developed between Think City and UN-Habitat. This will expand the potential for research-based global practice to complement on-ground implementation, providing opportunities for capacity building and research, to develop a positive feedback loop between policy and practice.
Considering that half of humanity currently live in urban areas, set to reach 70 percent by 2050, it is critical that we mobilize all urban actors in public, private sectors and communities to join efforts in implementing the New Urban Agenda to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, Sharif concluded.
UN-Habitat is the coordinating agency within the United Nations System for human settlement activities and in collaboration with governments is responsible for promoting and consolidating collaboration with all partners, including local authorities, private and non-governmental organizations in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, Goal 11 of “Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. UN-Habitat is a focal point for the monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the New Urban Agenda adopted during the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), in Ecuador, Quito, 2016.
Set up in 1976, UN-Habitat has a long history of serving communities around the world. Today, it has a presence in 95 countries, through 4 regional offices supporting 59 national offices/representatives and 3 liaison offices. Due to this extensive experience, from the highest levels of policy to a range of specific technical issues, UN-Habitat has gained a unique and universally acknowledged expertise in all things urban.
About Think City
Think City is a community-based urban rejuvenation organization and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad that seeks to increase the wellbeing of the communities by creating more sustainable and liveable cities. Established in 2009 to spearhead community based urban regeneration in Penang, its impact and successes in Penang allowed Think City to expand its mandate into Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Butterworth.
Think City works with local government and the corporate sector to implement projects that will improve liveability and public amenities in the areas of arts, heritage, culture, environment and economic resilience.