Seoul, 24 March 2015—UN-Habitat in partnership with the International Urban Training Center (IUTC) and the Provincial Government of Gangwon, Republic of Korea, recently organized a training programme for senior managers and decision makers from 11 Asia-Pacific countries focusing on ‘Housing Policy & Practice for Sustainable Urban Development’.

The main goal of this course was to develop an in-depth understanding of the structure and functioning of the housing sector and the role housing policies play in influencing housing markets and the provision of affordable housing options that support sustainable urban development. Participants developed know-how in policy making and implementation, and acquired substantive knowledge about the various elements that influence housing development.

Site visits with the Korean Appraisal Board(KAB) and discussions with Korean housing experts further explored best practices in Korea. The course attracted 23 policy makers, senior professionals, government officials and executives of government, private, community and academic institutions from the Asia-Pacific Region who provided a wealth of experiences in different countries and cities.

The participants “built a solid understanding of the substantive and technical elements of housing development” as mentioned by Mr. Bee Joo Khoh from the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing & Local Government of Malaysia, who, on behalf of all participants, also expressed gratitude for the sponsorship and hospitality of Gangwon Province and IUTC. The delegation from UN-Habitat met with Governor Moon-Soon Choi, Mr. Seo Gyung-Won, Director General, Global Investment & Trade Bureau, Mr. Park Cheon Soo, Director, International Cooperation Division of Gangwon Province, to discuss the ongoing and future collaboration.

Gangwon Province expressed its continuous support to IUTC and the possibility to work on other initiatives with UN-Habitat. UN-Habitat and Gangwon Province agreed to develop demonstration projects which will bring practical benefits to the Asia-Pacific region. Training courses to be jointly organized by UN-Habitat, IUTC and Gangwon Province in 2015 include “Urban Policies & Planning Strategies for Achieving Prosperity in Cities”, “Youth & the New Urban Agenda”, “Land Readjustment”, and “Water & Sanitation”.

UN-Habitat trains managers from Asia-Pacific on housing police and practice1