During the Fourth World Urban Forum, which took place in Nanjing, China from November 03 - 06 a special consultation meeting of private sector companies commited to corporate responsibility took place. The session discussed and examined ways of improving living conditions and achieving harmonious cities. The particpants discussed responsible business practices for sustainable urbanization and the core principles that can address it. They also discussed affordable technologies and business models that can work for the urban poor at the bottom of the economic pyramid, so that cities and towns are safer, more equitable, harmonious – and better for business.
The session further discussed how urban sustainability is a prerequisite for private sector development and the creation of harmonious cities. The new climate change paradigm has triggered a new focus on innovating technologies and other ways to do business that will lead to the usage of less resources and higher outputs, with less
emissions. This requires pushing the current market systems towards the creation of wealth at optimally sustainable points through socially and environmentally
responsible business. In the light of climate change, a new framework is needed that will regulate and foster growth by improving the bottom line through business practices that will sustain profitability and environment, as well as society in the entire urban fabric. This new paradigm also demands a new way of doing business
that will also harness the strengths of partnerships and collaborations to sustain further investments into research and development of greener technologies on the pillar activities that drive urban economies. A balance needs to be struck where we use technologies to leverage the negative impacts of urbanization without adversely affecting the economic gains and benefits it brings to humanity. While there are not quick-fix solutions in the market place, the effort to find the optimal point should
be encouraged. By collaborating with the urban poor, developing the market chain at the bottom of the pyramid, innovative business models, affordable and flexible technologies, the private sector is bound to gain from lessons of optimal business productivity, commercial revitalization and enhanced social and ecological consciousness.