The Urban Economy Forum in collaboration with UN-Habitat is organizing the second “Urban Economy Forum 2020” on the occasion of World Habitat Day on October 5th and 6th, 2020 in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Eduardo Moreno, Head of Innovation and Knowledge of UN-Habitat is the Honourary Chair of UEF 2020.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. 17 SDGs were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015 with the general goal of their realization by 2030. Although the SDGs were adopted by national governments, the globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are fundamentally relevant to local actors. We only have 10 years left to realize these goals. We need to take action now.
Urban economy and finance play a crucial role in realizing SDGs, in particular the urban SGD. SDG 11: “Creating sustainable and resilient cities”. To achieve this, the Urban Economy Forum facilitates a professional dialogue between cities and municipalities, financial institutions and banks, and the private sector in order to increase the efficiency of urban economy and create sustainable markets for development.
Following the Geneva Conference held at the UN Headquarters in 2016 on Municipal Finance and Urban Economy, the International City Leaders Platform for Municipal Finance and Urban Economy with the support of UN-Habitat organized the first Urban Economy Forum on October 28 & 29 2019. Urban Economy Forum 2019 was honoured to be supported by the Prime Minster of Canada, Justin Trudeau, with an opening message, and a keynote speech from the Honourable Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdeswell. This forum presented its final resolution in collaboration with UEF participants and agreed on recommendations that can be piloted by commercial banks and local governments in cities across the world.
Urban Economy Forum in 2020 will bring together expertise from a number of leading partners to shed light on key principles and strategies for the most innovative sustainable urban development solutions.
Financing the inclusive growth of cities and the livelihoods of their inhabitants are among some of the major challenges facing the cities and their leaders around the world. Creative approaches are required to build awareness across finance and government sectors to better design, build, and finance our cities as agents of development, with reference to the SDGs and the urban SDG in particular.
UN-Habitat’s Urban Economy Branch (UEB) is responsible for urban economy and municipal finance projects, working both to provide support to field projects and to develop international guidelines, tools, and good practices. A global network supports the work of UEB, including universities, research centres, think tanks and independent experts. In the area of municipal finance, UEB works to support field projects around the world, including revenue enhancement, land value finance, property tax reform, creditworthiness, bonds, infrastructure financing and other areas of technical advising. UEB has also produced a number of international initiatives and training session, including a handbook on Finance for City Leaders, a toolkit and training on land-based finance, a methodology for rapid financial assessment, and guidelines for financial planning for planned city extension. In addition, the branch is working with partners to map global urban expansion and create a global municipal database with a public finance focus.
Following the Geneva Conference on Municipal Finance and Urban Economy, International City Leaders Platform for Municipal Finance and Urban Economy with the support of UN-Habitat organized the first Urban Economy Forum on October 28 & 29 2019. This forum presented final reports and agreed on recommendations that can be piloted by commercial banks and local governments in a number of cities. This year, UEF 2020 will be held on October 5 & 6 2020 and plans to launch a handbook on Urban Economy for City Leaders.
The forum continues to provide an opportunity to bring together a number of leading partners to highlight key principles and strategies of municipal banking. Financing the growth of cities and the livelihoods of their inhabitants are among some of the greatest challenges facing leaders around the world. Creative approaches are required to build awareness across finance and government sectors to better design, build, and finance our cities are agents of development, in reference to the urban SDGs.
Among the number of keynote speakers, panelists, and speakers at UEF 2020, some speakers include:
Ali Alraouf, Professor of Architecture, Urbanism & Planning Theories & ISOCARP Board Member & Congress 2020
Moustafa Zaafari, Chief Executive Officer of Center of Contemporary Urbanity
Dr. Claudia Murray, Research Fellow at the Department of Real Estate and Planning, Henley Business School, University of Reading
Frank D’hondt, Secretary General of ISOCARP
Femi Adewole, Former MD of Shelter Afrique & CEO of Family Homes Funds
Silvia Ganzerla, Policy Director in EUROCITIES
Lisa Helps, Mayor of City of Victoria, Canada
Delia Reiche, Development Liaison of Economic Development Council of Ontario
Ali Cheraghi, Chairman of Manchester Innovation Institute
Eugene Van Den Berg, Fractional CFO & Finance Executive
Reid McAlpine, Councillor of City of Markham, Canada
Fareed Amin, Former Chief Administrative Officer of Town of Collingwood
Matt Siemiatycki, Interim Director of School of Cities
Jason Gangaram, Associate Regional Director of Admission of CDI College
Camilla Ween, Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University and Expert in Urban Design, City Planning and Transportation
Julie Ward, Co-Chair of Urban Economy Forum & Former British Member of European Parliament
Derek Giberson, Councillor of Oshawa, Canada
Douglas Ragan, Programme Management Officer of UN-Habitat
Heidi Victoria, Member of Legislative Assembly of Australia
Edmundo Werna, Professor of London South Bank University
Fernando Straface, Secretary-General of Foreign Affairs of the Buenos Aires City Government
Brian Saunderson, Mayor of Collingwood, Canada
Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki, Finland
• Creating an interactive global network of city leaders, urban development organizations, financial institutes, and academics to learn and exchange best practices on urban economy and finance solutions for city management.
• Facilitate the use of urban assessment and big data for sustainable urban planning. In particular developing and applying principles of healthy finances based on the SDGs and City Prosperity Initiative by UN-Habitat’s Innovation and Knowledge branch.
• Creating an international collaborative platform for mayors, financial officers, and finance institutes to help secure necessary financial resources for city programs and projects.
• Launch World Mayoral Network in collaboration with other international organizations with the aim of creating a, “Global Community of Mayors and Urban Leaders,” for sustainable urban economy.
• Promote New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. By aligning urban economy subjects with international standards, such as SDGs and NUA, we can create prosperous and equitable cities that look forward to the future in the global context.
• The UEF will make concentrated efforts in introducing the International City Leaders Platform for Municipal Finance and Urban Economy (ICLP)
• Establish Toronto and Canada as a global hub for urban economy and municipal finance.
A fundamental step towards realizing these goals is learning and exchanging of best practices in high and middle-income countries. By taking a balanced approach that addresses urban planning, economic and environmental issues, the UEF 2020 will provide senior banking and municipal finance officials with an unrivalled opportunity to share common challenges, learn from best practices and prepare a practical response for global communities. This forum will be an opportunity to increase knowledge on:
Financial Urban Assessment
• Urban Economy & Municipal Finance; opportunities, challenges, priorities
• Discovering financial urban resources on various scales
• Rapid financial assessment
• Urban assessment for urban economy, using CPI Methodology as a tool
• Bank Loans and Bonds
• Urban Recession; tools to measure and circumvent
• Creating innovation for the future of urban economy
• Supporting climate change dialogue
• Blue urban economy
• Securing financing for investment in green growth policies and infrastructure
1. Urban Economy: Theories and Action
2. Sustainable Banking and Municipal Finance
3. Urban Assessment, Urban Data, and Technology
4. Urban Transformation: Shifting paradigms in Urbanism
5. Urban Economy, Housing and Real Estate
6. Social Inclusion and Public Participation
7. Environment and Sustainable Urban Resources
• Banks & Funds
• Financial institutions, investment firms, insurance companies
• Municipalities & municipal leaders
• Real property & real estate market (developers, lenders, agents)
• Universities and academics
• Research centres
• International Organizations
• UN officials
• Private Sector