International Symposium on Sustainable Cities: Empowering Local Governments through Capacity Building

Event date: 26 September 2013 - 28 September 2013

Venue: Convention Center, SongdoDong
City: Incheon, 
Country: Republic of Korea
Website: International Symposium on Sustainable Cities: Empowering Local Governments through Capacity Building

Description: The United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD) will be hosting an “International Symposium on Sustainable Cities: Empowering Local Governments through Capacity Building” in Incheon, Republic of Korea from 26 to 28 September 2013. 

The issue of how to foster more sustainable cities was placed squarely on the international agenda at the Rio+20 Conference. This issue is being driven by a number of factors — the dramatic economic growth of many emerging economies; the consequent rapid increase in urban-rural migration; the challenge of providing adequate housing and basic services to the new urban residents; the new focus on how to grow the green economy; and finally, the likely impacts of climate variability, namely water scarcity or flooding, on cities.

In summary, cities are crucial to delivering practical results that will defeat poverty, protect the natural environment and improve disaster risk reduction and resilience. In other words, the struggle for global sustainability will be won or lost in cities. 

Through this symposium, the UNOSD will strengthen efforts to disseminate and share good practices and lessons learned about how to foster sustainable cities. The symposium will also identify critical areas in which further capacity building is inevitable, including the best strategies to meet the capacity gaps. In this regard, the symposium will address a number of areas where cities are under pressure and where successfully tested policy interventions might yield significant results. These include: 

• Planning urban development for a sustainable future 
• Meeting water and sanitation needs in urban areas 
• Powering urban economic growth 
• Managing urban transport 
• Addressing poverty through slum upgrading 

The Symposium will bring together representatives of governments (especially officials of planning and implementation departments of local governments) , UN system entities, multilateral and regional development banks, policy think tanks, private sector and civil society.

The symposium’s programme will consist of several plenary and working group sessions, and panel discussions with sufficient time devoted to an interactive dialogue between experts and participants. 

The symposium will take full advantage of the “Incheon Sister and Friendly Cities Conference” to be held in Incheon on 28 September 2013 by the City of Incheon and will be attended by a number of Mayors from prominent cities of the world. In a joint closing session of both meetings, a moderated dialogue will take place between the Mayors and participants of the symposium with emphasis on how to advance the pace of implementation of sustainable urbanization agenda.