Source: Small Island Developing States
31 October 2018: Participants at the 2018 Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS) have committed to support sustainable and resilient cities through innovation, green growth and policies that maximize the benefits of local actions and help achieve the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda (NUA).
GFHS 2018, which convened from 30-31 October 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, under the theme, ‘Advancing Urban Innovations to Achieve SDG 11 and the New Urban Agenda (NUA),’ acknowledged that SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) is the “lynchpin” of the localizing process of all 17 SDGs. The forum recognized that achieving the SDGs depends on local and regional governments and partnerships with stakeholders as many investments towards achieving the Goals will take place at the subnational level and will be led by local authorities. The forum emphasized the potential of cities to foster innovation and realize green growth, and of well-designed policies, strategies and approaches to maximize the benefits of local actions.
During the forum, Anwarul Chowdhury, GFHS Chair, said the GFHS advocates for enhanced partnerships in line with SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals) and “breaking the political, economic, social, gender and even geographic hierarchy” to advance the SDGs and NUA.
SDG 11 is the lynchpin of the localizing process of all 17 SDGs.
The forum aimed to enhance capacity building, foster new partnerships and promote cooperation and green development. It called for enhancing localization of the SDGs and the NUA and for accelerating the transition to green growth through:
- developing a circular economy;
- scaling up financing for sustainable urban infrastructure;
- sustainably managing urban water;
- applying blockchain and other innovative technologies for smart cities; and
- creating international green model cities through the promotion of the low-carbon ‘International Green Model City’ initiative.
GFHS 2018 coincided with World Cities Day, which is held on 31 October annually. The forum featured presentation of the Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards 2018 to recognize contributions to sustainable cities and human settlements and SDG implementation at the community level. The forum was organized by the GFHS with support from the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and other partners.
The GFHS, a not-for-profit organization, which has been convening forums since 2005, seeks to, inter alia: build sustainable cities and human settlements, particularly in developing countries; promote the the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the local level; and enhance communication and cooperation between different regions in improving the conditions of cities and human settlements. [UNESCAP Press Release] [GFHS Press Release] [GFHS Website] [Forum 2018 Website]