New Delhi, 5 October 2015 The Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) India with “The City We Need Fosters Inclusive Prosperity” as its focal theme, opened its doors for interested stakeholders on World Habitat Day. Planned as a four day intensive Campus, organized by the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), with constituent groups drafting recommendations on “The City We Need”, this event is the first of its kind in India.

The Urban Thinkers Campus model is an initiative of UN-Habitat’s World Urban Campaign and is conceived as an open space for critical exchange between urban actors who believe that urbanization is an opportunity and can lead to positive urban transformations. It is also intended as a platform to build consensus between partners engaged in addressing urbanization challenges and proposing solutions to urban futures.

Amongst others, the UTC India will also provide an opportunity for participants to interact with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the emerging trends and voices in the urban sector, advance policies that actually respond to the needs of urban India and provide a platform for the core considerations of the Government of India while it is knitting a new sectoral strategy.

The UTC was opened by Prof. Jagan Shah, Director of NIUA. Other panelists of the inaugural session were UN-Habitat’s Deputy Executive Director Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, UN Resident Coordinator for India Mr. Yuri Afanasiev, UN Global Compact representative Mr. Uddesh Kohli and World Urban Campaign Coordinator Ms. Christine Auclair.

All panelists highlighted the importance of this Campus in the Indian but also the global context, not only in the run up towards Habitat III and the participation of partners in this process, but also in regard to the recently adopted Sustainable Development Agenda and 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It was suggested that the inclusive SDG process should be kept in mind as best practice, and that this model of inclusiveness must be replicated in this Campus in regard to the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in India.

Key partners of this UTC included UNGCN India, Cities Alliance, DFID, RCUK, Bernhard van Leer Foundation, Asian Development Bank, WIEGO, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and India Habitat Centre.

The NIUA has set up an Urban Thinkers Forum on the Campus website, where excerpts of all sessions can be found. Read more information on the Urban Thinkers Campus India and the National Institute of Urban Affairs webpages.

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