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UNECE Urban Week to focus on sustainable urban development solutions

Sustainable urban development is a fundamental dimension of the ambitious 2030 Agenda. Coinciding with World Habitat Day, UNECE is organizing “Urban Week 2018” with a series of events exploring challenges and solutions for sustainable urban development, held from 1-5 October at the Palais des Nations, Geneva.

The UNECE Urban Week will begin with an exhibition and opening reception. The exhibition, organised jointly with UNOG, will take place on 1 October from 12:30 pm in the Passerelle, under the title “Women Without Walls”. The exhibition showcases a series of photographs taken by women affected by homelessness from all over the world. The pictures were collated by Café Art UK, a non-profit initiative that showcases artwork created by people affected by homelessness or who are socially vulnerable.

 The opening will feature the participation of Mr. Michael Møller, Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva, Ms Christine Loew, Director, UN Women Liaison Office in Geneva, and Ms. Geraldine Crimmins, Artist and Representative of Café Art UK. A reception will follow.

 The second event of the Urban Week is “In Focus: SDG 11”, which will take place on 2 October in Room VIII at 10:00 am. The roundtable discussions will provide a platform a dialogue to reflect on the successes and challenges in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and other urban-related SDGs. The roundtables will also provide a platform to:

• Foster cooperation between UN agencies, private, public, NGOs, academia and civil society
• Brainstorm to create synergies to promote effective implementation of SDG 11
• Create joint initiatives and activities to ensure the highest and coordinated impact in implementing SDG 11 and other urban related SDGs.

Following the roundtable discussions, a networking lunch will start at 1 pm, providing an opportunity for participants to connect and share ideas on how they can work together to achieve SDG 11.

On the same day, a roundtable discussion on Infrastructures and Urban Sustainability will take place in Room VIII, starting at 3 pm. Featuring Dr. Alexandre Babak Hedjazi and Dr. Matteo Tarantino from the University of Geneva, Mr. Steven Stone from UN Environment, and Dr. Spiro Pollalis from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, this event gathers experts in urban sustainability and infrastructure to foster discussion on future research and capacity building.

On 3 October, the Third Meeting of the Joint Task Force on Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings is scheduled to begin at 10 am in Room XVIII. The event aims to review a draft study on mapping of existing technologies to enhance energy efficiency in buildings, including gap analysis and recommendations for their use in the region, and validate its results; and to discuss the status of development and implementation of energy efficiency technologies in buildings in different countries, exchange experiences in implementation of advanced technologies, as well as discuss the next steps in the Joint Task Force’s work.

A Library Talk, “The Right to Housing: Homeless No More” will take place from 1-3 pm on 3 October at the United Nations Library at Geneva. This event will feature eminent speakers from diverse backgrounds: architects, NGOs, government and private sector, who will discuss different dimensions of homelessness and propose innovative solutions to alleviate it.

The key event of the Urban Week is the 79th Committee Session on Housing and Land Management, from 4 to 5 October in Room XXV, starting at 10 am with a keynote presentation from Mr. Kevin McCloud, writer and presented of British TV Show “Grand Designs”. The session will discuss how the Committee is aligning its activities with the 2030 Agenda, the New Urban Agenda and the Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing. Innovative experiences and best practices on housing, urban development, and land administration and management will be presented and discussed.

Following the end of the Committee Session on 5 October, a sub-regional meeting for countries in North and Central Asia will be held. This consultative meeting will provide key inputs for the Report on the Future of Cities in the Asia-Pacific from stakeholders and member States in the North and Central Asia sub-region and will critically assess and provide knowledge on the means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda in North and Central Asia across a range of urban sustainability areas. 

For more detailed information on the events of Urban Week, and to register, please visit: https://www.unece.org/housing/urbanweek2018.html

For more information on the 79th Committee session, please visit: https://www.unece.org/housing/committee79thsession.html