With over half the world’s population now living in cities, and cities making a disproportionate contribution to climate change, urbanisation is one of the “crucial agendas” of our time (UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon).
This year’s fifth World Urban Forum (WUF5) in Rio de Janeiro will explore the right to the city and will feature open debates and key dialogues addressing; sustainable urbanization, governance and participation, the urban divide, cultural diversity, equal access to shelter and finally, taking forward the right to the city.President Lula da Silva of Brazil is expected to officiate the opening of the event for which around 16,000 people have already registered.
Amongst those confirmed to attend the Forum are President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifah of Bahrain, Prime Minister Saad Hariri of Lebanon, Vice President Noli de Castro of the Philippines, and US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan.
The World Urban Campaign will also be launched providing a platform for public, private and civil society sectors to join forces around a common focus and on a set of shared goals: elevating the importance accorded to sustainable urbanization; sharing practical tools that work; raising awareness about the public policies which make smarter public and private investments possible.
In the run up to WUF5, UN-HABITAT will be revealing its State of the World’s Cities 2010/11: Bridging the Urban Divide. The report investigates the challenges facing our rapidly urbanising population and how the urban advantage – the economic and social benefit gained from living in a city – can be exploited and enjoyed by all.
This year, for the first time, State of Urban Youth 2010/2011: Leveling the Playing Field, a report focused specifically on the youth in our cities, will also accompany this important research.
Ahead of WUF5, UN Under-Secretary General and UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Mrs Anna Tibaijuka, and the authors of State of the World Cities and Levelling the Playing Fields will be available to launch the reports and to meet the press on sustainable urbanisation; one of the key issues facing countries of today and of the future.