UN-Habitat had recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Think City, a Malaysian non-profit organization to initiate a strategic partnership to advocate and promote the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically SDG 11, which aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
This occasion follows preliminary discussions with Think City, held during the 9th World Urban Forum in February 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, to explore opportunities for continued and strategic collaboration.
UN-Habitat's Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif said "UN-Habitat is pleased to build on the successful collaboration with Think City during the Ninth World Urban Forum where Think City successfully organized, with national partners, the WUF9 Urban Village in Kuala Lumpur. We would like our continued collaboration to help expand good urban planning and management practices throughout Malaysia and beyondâ€.
"UN-Habitat is committed to building strategic partnerships that will promote a good quality of life and dignity for everyone in cities and human settlements. We would like to scale up good practices that harness the potential of cities to address the critical challenges of income inequalities, exclusion, climate change and resilienceâ€ she said.
Mr. Hamdan Abdul Majeed, Managing Director of Think City said "This MOU will now give both parties wider access to global expertise to help guide our city planners and mangers to meet current and future challenges of managing our cities and meeting citizens' expectations.â€
The MOU with UN-Habitat centres around three key areas with the first one covering the Economics of Urbanization. This is a collaboration to support the production of the World Cities Report 2019, which will inform UN-Habitat's Strategic Plan (2020-2025). This also involves identifying planning and development strategies to achieve "true valueâ€, where urbanization not only contributes to wealth creation but is able to address social inclusion and environmental issues. Second is Culture in Urban Regeneration where UN-Habitat is keen to encourage culture and community focused urban regeneration as part of its wider mandate to implement the New Urban Agenda. This partnership with Think City will allow both partners to work at global, regional and national levels, developing plan-led urban regeneration programmes that are community focused and sustainable.
The final area of collaboration covers Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building. As UN-Habitat has a strong urban planning and urban design department, a knowledge exchange programme can be developed between Think City and UN-Habitat. This will expand the potential for research-based global practice to complement on-ground implementation, providing opportunities for capacity building and research, to develop a positive feedback loop between policy and practice.
Considering that half of humanity currently live in urban areas, set to reach 70 percent by 2050, it is critical that we mobilize all urban actors in public, private sectors and communities to join efforts in implementing the New Urban Agenda to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, Sharif concluded.