World Urban Forum (WUF10): Engaging Changemakers in Transforming Cities
On February 10, 2020, the WRR team held a networking event, “Towards a More Equal City: Engaging Changemakers in Transforming Cities,” at the 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi. This two-hour networking event focused on how we can catalyze transformative change to move cities toward more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable futures. Anjali Mahendra, Director of Research for the WRI Ross Center, presented key insights from the World Resources Report series and WRI Ross Center Director, Ani Dasgupta, moderated the discussion following the presentation.
- Sameh Wahba, Global Director for Urban and Territorial Development, Disaster Risk Management, and Resilience at the World Bank
- Rose Molokoane, Slum Dwellers International and Coordinator, South African Federation of the Urban Poor (FEDUP)
- Luis Bettencourt, Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation University of Chicago
- Rafael Tuts, Director, Global Solutions Division at UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Several key points were made during the discussion that were relevant to the WRR work. Rose Molokoane, for instance, highlighted the importance of building trust and actively involving communities in order to make real progress on sustainable development goals and improve lives. This includes the government bridging the gap between the formal and informal sectors, reducing spatial inequality, and simplifying planning tools, as Raf Tuts pointed out. Sameh Wabha discussed the importance of incentivizing horizontal and vertical integration across government levels and investing in capacity building. All of the panelists agreed that land markets are a crucial element in both perpetuating and addressing inequality in cities and stronger partnerships that involve many actors are needed. Luis Bettencourt noted that access to services is a necessary but insufficient condition for equitable and shared growth. Takeaways from this lively discussion will be incorporated into the WRR Synthesis Report.
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