More than 17,000 participants at the leading international conference for sustainable urban development.
"We still have 7.5 years, respectively 90 months, or 2,742 days to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and implement the New Urban Agenda," said Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat at the closing of the World Urban Forum (WUF11). The "chief organizer" of the world's most important symposium for sustainable urban development, which took place in Katowice, Poland from June 26 to 30, 2022 with more than 17,000 participants from 155 countries, once again made clear that action is urgent. The forum ended with the announcement of the Katowice Declared Actions. Cities and municipalities with their committed actors for urban change are invited to contribute their ongoing activities and future plans for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda on the New Urban Agenda online platform until July 31.
The main meeting place and central venue for exchange and networking was the Urban Expo. More than 90 booths from ministries, NGOs and other stakeholders for urban development from 43 countries were represented. The German Pavilion was themed "The Liveable City for the Future". Several federal ministries were the responsible for the on-site program: the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Building (BMWSB), the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), as well as other municipal and international partners.
The National Urban Development Policy was represented on site with the exchange program "Dialogues for Urban Change" (D4UC) on international networking, as well as several events on the upcoming G7 Ministerial Meeting on Urban Development, the stadt:mobil with information materials on the New Leipzig Charter. The current episode of the Podcast stadt:radar, which deals with international learning and exchange formats, was also recorded during WUF11.
In her speech at the opening of the German pavilion on June 27, Federal Minister Klara Geywitz (BMWSB) underlined the importance of the New Urban Agenda and the New Leipzig Charter as value-oriented guidelines for international dialogue and cooperation in urban development. Cities play a key role in overcoming global crises and challenges worldwide, which requires the ongoing development and strengthening of cooperation, funding programs and legal frameworks. During Germany's G7 presidency, therefore, issues of sustainable urban development will be explicitly addressed for the first time. The Minister saw the WUF as an important occasion to exchange views with urban development experts on the pressing issues of urban development and to discuss what makes cities worldwide livable today and in the future and how the transformative power of cities for the common good and integrated urban development be implemented on the local level. With the exhibition and a broad program of events, the German pavilion addressed these and other questions of urban change and inspired with a variety of innovative project examples and field reports from research and practice. The events were streamed live, and a selection of items is still available on the German Pavilion's website.
The next World Urban Forum will take place in Cairo in January 2024.