The World Urban Forum (WUF) is a non-legislative technical forum convened and organized by UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, and hosted by a specific and interested city every two years with the appraisal of the host country. WUF, which has become one of the major international events for exchanging views and experiences on urban challenges and opportunities, is a gathering Governments, international organizations, institutions and non-governmental organizations to discuss the Urban Agenda.
The objectives and mode of work of WUF were adopted during the First session of the Forum which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2002. The Second session was held in Barcelona, Spain, in 2004; the Third in Vancouver, Canada, in 2006; the Fourth in Nanjing, China, in 2008 and the Fifth session in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2010. The Sixth Session will be hosted by the city of Naples, Italy, from 1 to 7 September.
The prominence of the city has been acknowledged for much of recorded history in almost all parts of the world. Today with a large proportion of people living in cities, humanity has crossed a major historic milestone and has entered a path in which urban settlements have become the dominant habitat. Indeed, in less than two generations the notion of urban may well become globally synonymous to human society, albeit with all its variety of institutions and sub-cultures. As much as this process tends to accentuate a demographic and geographic transition, the significance of this paradigm shift for the destiny of humanity and to the configuration and sustenance of the world as a whole are quite profound.
In this context, the World Urban Forum has played a decisive role in and continues to be relevant in bringing Habitat partners together to respond to the shifting dynamics of what were the original definition, mandate and mode of implementation of the Habitat agenda. In particular, WUF7 will be held in 2014 and will be an important precursor in the re-articulation of sustainable urban development for the next two decades as we prepare for HABITAT III; the global conference organized every 20 years to review and define the urban agenda.
Due to the increasing number of cities which are willing to host the World Urban Forum, and in response to Resolution 22/10 of its Governing Council, UN-Habitat is embarking on a bidding process to give equal opportunity for cities which may wish to host WUF and to ensure transparency of the selection process. The criteria for selecting host cities will not only be technical and logistical, but will also include the robustness of the contribution of the host city and country to the urban debate. The concept of legacy (direct outcomes for the citizens of the city hosting WUF) as one of the outcomes of the Forum, which is starting off with WUF6 in Naples, will also be included as an additional element for assessing the next host.
In order to bid for WUF7 to be held in 2014, all interested cities should answer the following 10 questions in no more than 5 pages:
- Why do you want to host WUF7? State the objectives and the outcomes you hope to achieve by hosting WUF7.
- What will be your suggested thematic area on the urban agenda for WUF7 and why?
- Which of the cities in your country has participated in previous WUFs? Have you ever organized a National Urban Forum?
- What is the policy approach and achievements of the selected city and the country towards sustainable urbanization?
- Which institutions in your city and your country are working and contributing to advance on sustainable urbanization?
- What will be the host city/country substantive contribution to the advancement of the Habitat agenda?
- What legacy do you expect or would like WUF 7 to leave to the host city or host country?
- What new initiatives would you propose to contribute to a paperless and more environmentally sustainable conference in terms of technology and operational tools?
- List the new initiatives/activities/strategy which you would use to increase the visibility of WUF and increase awareness of it in your city/country.
- What could be your logistic advantages for hosting WUF7?
In addition to responding to the questions above, the expression of interest should briefly indicate:
- A list of previous events hosted by the city, including United Nations meetings;
- A list of major events planned in the city for the years ahead; and information on adequacy of conference facilities;
- Details of airports and other transport infrastructures; accommodation on offer.
A letter from the national government endorsing the bid and indicating its willingness to support the city to host WUF and a willingness to sign a conference agreement will be required.
Any other documents provided by the bid city may be accepted, but will not form part of the technical assessment.