More than 50 mayors and governors from cities across the world will attend the 10th World Urban Forum (WUF10) in Abu Dhabi from 8-13 February, along with policy-makers, academics, business people, community leaders, artists and urban planners. It will be the first time that the World Urban Forum, which is convened by the UN agency focused on sustainable urbanisation – the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), will take place in the Arab region.
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UN-Habitat executive director Maimunah Mohd Sharif said: “The world has really changed since the first World Urban Forum back in 2002. Urbanisation is now recognised as one of the defining trends of the times. But ultimately the aim has remained constant – to promote transformative change to improve living conditions for everyone.”
‘Cities of Opportunities’
The theme of the World Urban Forum this year is ‘Cities of Opportunities: Connecting culture and innovation’. Culture which brings together knowledge, art, belief, capabilities, habits, morals and behaviours, is widely recognised as playing a key role in the growth and development of cities.
Along side high-level dialogues and roundtables, there are assemblies for young people, women, local and regional governments, grassroots communities and business, as well as 400 events hosted by partners. WUF 10 features an Urban Expo with over 170 exhibitors from 66 countries, a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Zone, an Urban Library and the UN-Habitat Better Cities Film Festival.
A Special Session on Voluntary Local Reviews, hosted by UN-Habitat and the City of New York will discuss how cities can report their progress towards the SDGs, share best practices and encourage new cities to join the movement.