Press Room

Urban development helps decrease inequality

The IPC-IG participates in discussions on urban equity strategies


Designated BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) lanes in Medellin, Colombia.
Photo credit: IPC-IG/UNDP – Michael MacLennan

Brasilia 21 July, 2014 – From 5-11 April, 22 thousand people from 142 countries attended the Seventh Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF7), held this year in Medellin, Colombia. The World Urban Forum is a non-legislative technical forum convened by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and hosted at a different city every two years. Aimed at examining issues concerning the area of human settlements, including how rapid urbanization impacts communities, economies, climate change and policies, this year’s theme was “Urban Equity in Development – Cities for Life”.

The city of Medellín was the ideal setting for the WUF7. Serving as an urban laboratory, both physically and institutionally, the city exemplified the prioritization of vulnerable communities with solutions for accessible mobility, inclusive governance and quality education, together with the recovery of public space and green areas throughout the city.

Cities are a critical component in addressing inequality problems. Their design, governance, and infrastructure have a direct impact on the lives and opportunities of their inhabitants. In this context, many institutions have been looking at the transformative roles of governments and citizens in shaping a more equitable, socially inclusive and secured world. The IPC-IG has been following up with networks and institutions to discuss urban development strategies.

Michael MacLennan and Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat.  Photo Credit: IPC-IG/UNDP Michael MacLennan

Michael MacLennan and Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat.
Photo Credit: IPC-IG/UNDP Michael MacLennan

Michael MacLennan, IPC-IG Research Associate and Editor-in-Chief of Policy in Focus participated in the WUF7, and initiated conversations with a number of key stakeholders in the field, such as the IBSA working group on human settlements, Brazil’s Ministry of Cities, Ipea, the Sustainable Low-Carbon Transportation Network (China), SMART (University of Michigan), UCLG, ICLEI, UN Habitat, Columbia University, The New School, UNOPS, Youthful Cities, 100 in 1 day, 8-80 Cities, 100 resilient Cities of the Rockefeller Foundation, among  others.

Learning from Detroit: Turbulent Urbanism in the 21st Century

In this context, Michael MacLennan also participated in a symposium “Learning from Detroit: Turbulent Urbanism in the 21st Century” on 30-31 May, which brought together participants from areas of the US and Canada, as well as Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and South America. The conference explored what residents and scholars of other distressed cities could learn from Detroit’s process of urban decline in addition to what Detroit can learn from other cities in developing countries that are experiencing or have overcome similar problems from around the world.

Detroit Photo Credit: IPC-IG/UNDP - Michael MacLennan

Photo Credit: IPC-IG/UNDP – Michael MacLennan

“In a world where the overwhelming majority of people reside in cities and which is increasingly becoming more urban it is important to look at the municipal level of policy execution when examining broader issues of inequality and inclusive growth. Cities often embody the social and spatial inequalities that exist in any society, and, are also where significant gains can be made in regards to social inclusion, sustainable development and increased equality by taking into account local realities.

This is of course part of a broader process of taking into account the equally important local realities of rural areas alongside urban areas to understand the symbiotic relationship between the urban and rural, seeking to arrive at a better understanding of how issues manifest themselves differently in different areas and how different policies can better address local realities”, says Michael MacLennan.

Short URL: http://pressroom.ipc-undp.org/?p=16475

Posted by on Jul 21 2014. Filed under Featured News, Inclusive Growth around the world, News, South-South Dialogue. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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