As the clock ticks towards the opening of the sixth World Urban Forum in Naples, registration is ongoing and expectations are high that the turnout will be good. Organised jointly by UN-Habitat, the Government of Italy, the Campania Region and the City of Naples, the theme for this year's meeting is The Urban Future. Over 3,000 participants from 114 countries have already registered for the premier conference on cities and urban issues.
The four focus areas for discussion are: Urban Planning: Institutions and Regulations, including the improvement of Quality of Life; Equity and Prosperity: Distribution of Wealth and Opportunities; Productive Cities: Competitive and Innovative Cities and Urban Mobility, Energy & Environment.
In parallel with these main dialogue sessions, there will also be an additional 160 networking, side and training events and the World Urban Forum exhibition will showcase some of the world's leading cities and innovations in urban development. The exhibition, which will be open to delegates and the general public, is an opportunity to share experiences, best practices and innovative ways from all over the globe to improve cities.
The debate is already underway with nearly 1,500 people signing up for the online e-Debates at www.worldurbanforum.org The online platform gives people who will not be able to travel to Naples the chance to join the debate while also using the opinions given to shape the Forum discussions.
The World Urban Forum was established by the United Nations to examine one of the most pressing problems facing the world today: rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies.
The Forum is one of the most open and inclusive gatherings of its kind on the international stage. It brings together participants from all over the world representing governments, academia, civil society and the private sector as partners working for better cities. Previous meetings were held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2002, Barcelona in 2004, Vancouver 2006, Nanjing in 2008 and Rio de Janeiro in 2010.