The Urban Economy Forum (UEF) and the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) have together announced Urban Economy Forum 5 (UEF5) + 59th ISOCARP World Planning Congress (WPC59) “For Climate Change, Urban Finance: Climate-responsive Planning for Equitable Places & Communities“. This joint conference will take place on October 10-13, 2023 Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Urban Economy Forum (UEF) and the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) are organizing a unique global, hybrid, and joint UEF5 and WPC59 conference that will bring together city leaders, academia, governmental, non-governmental, and local organizations, parliamentarians and multi-level constituency representatives, entrepreneurs, civil society, financiers and planning professionals for a much-needed knowledge co-production on how to finance shared visions, policies, plans and designs for more climate-responsive and equitable places and communities in a rapidly and largely unplanned urbanizing world, struggling to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The joint conference with the title of “For Climate Change, Urban Finance” – Planning for more Resilient & Equitable Places & Communities, will focus on the leadership role of urban finance in promoting sustainable development, against the backdrop of an increasingly complex global multi-crisis, particularly climate change with cascading effects on cities and city regions.
For the past 4 years, the UEF’s annual conference has convened hundreds of government, non-government, civil society and other stakeholders to engage in an open dialogue on the topic of urban sustainable development, economy, and climate finance. The adverse impacts of climate change have intensified the vulnerability of the urban poor. For the past 58 years, ISOCARP’s World Planning Congresses has convened thousands of sustainability professionals to co-create knowledge on sustainable placemaking.
Better urban and regional policies and planning can indeed reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and improve the resilience of urban infrastructure to climate change as well as the energy independence and self-sustainability of urban areas, thus shaping future trends. With sufficient financial support, town, city, and regional governments working in tandem with national governments can change the way we think about responding to climate change, in close collaboration with countries and cities, the business community, civil society, professionals, and academia.
The conference will also address how lawmakers can contribute towards “climate-conscious” yet economically viable planning solutions (including housing, energy use, water consumption, GHG emissions…), at the same time focusing on social resilience and inclusivity, ensuring just access for everyone regardless their ethnicity, race, age, gender, and beliefs. The goal is to break the silos between planners, policymakers, and financial institutions, and to promote the interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and culture of cooperative problem-solving that we so urgently need to address Climate Change in urban areas.
As place matters, the joint event will not just talk about theory but also review best practices and innovative solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It will highlight collaborative initiatives, aiming to congregate in person in Toronto’s inspiring urban regeneration district and the community of Regent Park, which now houses the brand-new World Urban Pavilion (Pavilion) powered by Daniels. We invite academia, city leaders and decision-makers, governments at all levels, planners and place-makers, NGOs and private sector, financial institutions, and other key urban stakeholders from all over the world to visit and learn from this urban regeneration unfolding process.
The Pavilion, a collaboration between UEF, UN-Habitat, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), with the support of Daniels Corporation, is a global platform to inspire action and advocate for sustainable urban development with stakeholders across all sectors, using data and information to support evidence-based policy decisions supported by people-oriented, innovative and local based solutions to development challenges faced by human settlements around the world.
The Pavilion is guided by UN-Habitat’s flagship program SDG Cities. The global flagship program SDG Cities complements and supports the efforts of cities worldwide to advance the achievement of SDGs by providing digital tools and expert backstopping to support an interconnected value chain of data and analysis, strategic planning, institutional capacity strengthening, and investment in SDG impact projects.
Photo of Toronto is by Storm Cunningham.