Through the World Urban Campaign, UN-HABITAT aims to unite the public and private sectors together with civil society, to elevate sustainable urbanization to the top of the agenda for governments around the world.
“UN-HABITAT have been working towards this campaign since the Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements in 1996, where we reaffirmed the Habitat Agenda,” said Mrs. Tibaijuka. “The challenge has been transferring the knowledge from Istanbul into an active, forceful initiative but with the World Urban Campaign we believe we now have the platform. The Campaign is going to help us move forward and onto the next step and with international companies such as Siemens and Veolia joining us, the future looks bright.”
Germany’s Siemens, a worldwide leader in electronics and electrical engineering, became a partner of the World Urban Campaign, in an agreement that will run for an initial three years. As part of its commitment, Siemens will provide the campaign with experts in the field relating to infrastructure.
“Today more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas and we believe Siemens can make a sizeable contribution in dealing with the issues of rapid urbanization,” said Adilson Primo, Director of Siemens Brazil. “We are already implementing projects around the world, for example, Siemens street cars which could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 7.5 tonnes a year.”
ARCADIS, a company headquartered in the Netherlands, which provides consultancy, design, engineering and management services, will commit its staff members and expertise to UN-HABITAT’s mission, including recovery programmes in Haiti.
“Our mission at ARCADIS is to contribute to the quality of the human habitat, which is extremely close to UN-HABITAT’s mandate,” said Harrie Noy, CEO of ARCADIS. “We are very excited about this agreement to be a partner of the World Urban Campaign and hope that our knowledge and experience will make a significant difference.”
French group Veolia Environment also joined the list of World Urban Campaign partners in
signing the Memorandum of Understanding with UN-HABITAT, with Vice President for Partnerships, Dominique Heron, comitted to tackling the urban challenges that the world currently faces.
“We are very proud to be joining the World Urban Campaign and to be working with UN-HABITAT,” said Mr. Heron. “It is key for us to be involved in urban challenges and this is a great opportunity to promote public/private partnerships. We manage urban projects in over 60 countries around the world with prominent initiatives in Rabat, Morocco, and Mumbai, India.”
Mrs. Tibaijuka signed Memoranda of Understanding with six other entities during a packed press conference. The next phase of the World Urban Campaign will take place on Friday 26th March with the unveiling of the official logo and presentation of the campaign film.