UN-Habitat and Think City join hands to enrich cities in Malaysia and the world

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PETALING JAYA (May 28): UN-Habitat has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in London with Think City for a strategic partnership to advocate and promote the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically SDG 11, which aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

This follows the preliminary discussions with Think City, held during the Ninth World Urban Forum in February in Kuala Lumpur, to explore opportunities for continued and strategic collaboration.

In a statement today, UN-Habitat executive director Maimunah Mohd Sharif said that UN-Habitat is pleased to build on the successful collaboration with Think City during the Ninth World Urban Forum, which was organised by Think City and its national partners, the WUF9 Urban Village in Kuala Lumpur.

“We would like our continued collaboration to help expand good urban planning and management practices throughout Malaysia and beyond.

“UN-Habitat is committed to building strategic partnerships that will promote a good quality of life and dignity for everyone in cities and human settlements. We would like to scale up good practices that harness the potential of cities to address the critical challenges of income inequalities, exclusion, climate change and resilience,” she said.

Think City managing director Hamdan Abdul Majeed added that the MoU “will now give both parties wider access to global expertise to help guide our city planners and mangers to meet current and future challenges of managing our cities and meeting citizens’ expectations”.

The MoU centres around three key areas, with the first one covering the Economics of Urbanization, which is a collaboration to support the production of the World Cities Report 2019, which will inform UN-Habitat’s Strategic Plan (2020-2025).

This also involves identifying planning and development strategies to achieve “true value”, where urbanisation not only contributes to wealth creation but is also able to address social inclusion and environmental issues, according to the statement.

Second is Culture in Urban Regeneration, where UN-Habitat encourages culture and community focused urban regeneration as part of its wider mandate to implement the NUA.

This partnership with Think City will allow both partners to work at global, regional and national levels, developing plan-led urban regeneration programmes that are community focused and sustainable.

The final area of collaboration covers Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building.

Under this collaboration, both Think City and UN-Habitat will develop a knowledge exchange programme underpinned by the latter’s strong urban planning and urban design department, expanding the potential for research-based global practice to complement on-ground implementation, providing opportunities for capacity building and research, to develop a positive feedback loop between policy and practice.

“Considering that half of humanity currently lives in urban areas, and set to reach 70% by 2050, it is critical that we mobilise all urban actors in public, private sectors and communities to join efforts in implementing the NUA,” Maimunah concluded.