Information
  • Lead-organizer: Japan
  • 11:00 - 12:30
  • Date: 21 Jun 2012
  • Room: T-9

Future Cities We Want-Linking and Spreading Sustainable Future Cities-

Organizing partners

Organizer: Government of Japan

Co-Organizer:
OECD
UNDESA (UNCRD)
UNDP
UNEP
UN-ESCAP
UN-HABITAT
World Bank
and other international partners
C40
City of Yokohama
CITYNET
ICLEI
Tokyo Metropolitan Government
and other local municipalities that are actively involved in building sustainable cities

Introduction

In order to achieve Sustainable Development, building sustainable cities is indispensable. There are a number of frameworks that have been put forward by organizations and associations working on sustainable cities, however, many municipalities, particularly in developing countries, face the lack of technology as well as financial and human resources. In order to build more sustainable cities, it is important to share best practices and to support their own efforts and knowledge sharing. At this side event, Japan, on behalf of itself and its partners, will announce an establishment of an initiative of ?Future Cities We Want?. Activities to be implemented in this initiative are: to formulate concepts of ?Future Cities?; to establish a platform to coordinate a number of existing frameworks; to establish a platform for local authorities to provide mutual support; to establish a mechanism to support resource mobilization; and to promote regional cooperative mechanisms.

Detailed programme

Nearly half of the world?s population lives in urban areas and this ratio is expected to grow. In order to achieve Sustainable Development, building sustainable cities is indispensable. Sustainable cities integrate the three pillars of sustainable development, in other words, sustainable cities are economically productive, environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive. Also resilience to climate change and natural disaster should be taken into consideration.
Currently various activities are taken place around the world to build sustainable cities. For example, Japan has been promoting a ?FutureCity? Initiative, the basic concept of which is to realize ?human-centered cities while creating new values to resolve the challenges of the environment and super aging.? Future cities that we promote could consist of the following elements: human-centered cities that focus on each individual including women, youth and the elderly as well as create industries that enhance quality of life; green (low-carbon) cities with advanced environmental technologies such as renewable energy, energy-saving technology, eco-buildings; smart cities equipped with smart basic infrastructure, such as smart grids, transportation, ITC; sound material-cycle cities that work on sustainable consumption and production including 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle); resilient cities against natural disasters and climate change; Moreover, as committed in the ?Tohoku Smart Community Initiative towards the reconstruction of the Disaster-affected Areas? proposed at the International Energy Seminar in Fukushima this March, the disaster affected areas are now seeking to build new communities which are resilient to disasters with introducing renewable energy.
There are a number of frameworks that have been put forward by organizations and associations working on sustainable cities, namely the World Bank Eco2Cities program, ICLEI's Building Sustainable Cities Program, the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign. However, many municipalities, particularly in developing countries, face the lack of technology as well as financial and human resources. In order to build more sustainable cities, it is important to share best practices and to support their own efforts and knowledge sharing.
At this side event, Japan, on behalf of itself and its partners, will announce an Initiative of ?Future Cities We Want?. Activities currently under consideration to be implemented in this initiative are as follows;
i) Formulating common concepts of ?Future Cities?
ii) Establishing a forum to coordinate a number of existing frameworks
iii) Establishing a platform for local authorities to provide mutual support including capacity building for city leaders and technical assistance from advanced cities and knowledge exchange among all cities, and (annually) awarding some cities which are rich in best practices to be shared with the world.
iv) Establishing a mechanism to support resource mobilization modality including private financial resources for the realization of sustainable cities, especially in the developing countries
v) Promoting regional cooperative mechanisms to enhance the knowledge, experience and technologies among regions.

The side event will consist of short presentations by 6-7 panelists (including high-level representatives of relevant organizations), followed by a discussion. The side event will conclude with the announcement of the launch of Initiative of ?Future Cities We Want? -- an international platform for linking and spreading sustainable cities around the world.
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