ODRAZ participated in the World Urban Forum in Katowice, Poland
ODRAZ Director Lidija Pavić-Rogošić participated in the World Urban Forum in Poland, the largest global event dedicated to sustainable cities. The Forum also attended the members of the CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-JIE network, whose Secretariat is ODRAZ – representatives of Belgrade, Kruševac, Ljubljana, Niš and Zagreb, and the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities – National Association of Local Authorities in Serbia (SKGO).
This 11th World Urban Forum (WUF11) was organised by UN-Habitat in cooperation with the Polish Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy, and the City of Katowice. The World Urban Forum is the most important global urban development event organised by UN-Habitat since 2001, led by the New Urban Agenda.
UN-Habitat is committed to bringing together all interested stakeholders in a joint effort to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The inclusive nature of the Forum, combined with high-level participation, makes it a unique United Nations conference on urban issues. This year, the theme of the World Urban Forum is “Transforming our cities for a better urban future”.
Solutions to our current problems (poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, climate change and conflict) are expected to reach city leaders and cities, the private sector, civil society, local organizations, and urban planners. The high-level meeting on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda in New York in April 2022, UN-Habitat’s cooperation with more than 1,600 cities and engagement with global stakeholders clearly demonstrated that there is a need to put a stronger focus on integrated and transformative actions.
The forum is held every two years and brings together over 10,000 participants representing governments, regions, cities, NGOs, and financial institutions. Poland’s Katowice hosted the 11th forum, which took place from 27 to 30 June 2022. An important part of the Forum was dedicated to the Global Sustainable Development Goals.
Among the participants were the members of our CIVINET network – representatives of Belgrade, Kruševac, Ljubljana, Niš, and Zagreb, as well as the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities – National Association of Local Authorities in Serbia (SKGO) and ODRAZ, the Secretariat of the Network.
Green Future of the Cities
The Croatian Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction and State Assets organised the ‘Green Future of the Cities’ event.
At the panel session Green Future of the Cities, panelists were experts from the City of Ljubljana and the City of Zagreb. They presented examples of good practice, but also challenges in developing green infrastructure and improving the urban landscape in cities. Miran Gajšek, head of the City’s Department of Spatial Planning, presented the examples from Ljubljana, and talked about the transformation of traffic in the city center. Nikola Petković of the Zagreb City Office for Economy, Environmental Sustainability and Strategic Planning presented the plans for Zagreb.
Planning Public Spaces
One of the challenges addressed by the UN-Habitat Global Public Spaces Program is achieving Target 7 of SDG No. 11, which talks about public spaces.
The Serbian Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure organised a session dedicated to public space planning, during which eleven examples of activities in the field of public space planning were presented, using different approaches. The quality of public spaces requires additional efforts to have cities suitable for living, with adequate quality of life, and to achieve the SDGs and their targets by 2030. Representatives of the three CIVINET cities presented several examples, taking into account the participation of the public, youth, green spaces, nature-based solutions and urban mobility. Examples from Kruševac were presented by Jelena Brković, Advisor for Urban Mobility and Energy Efficiency, City of Kruševac. Tanja Obradović, a Chief City Urban Planner from the city of Niš, and Marijana Radovanović, Assistant Director of the Department of City Architects, presented projects from their cities. The presented public spaces are at various stages of realization (realized, ongoing or planned), with the participatory involvement of various parties (citizens, NGOs, youth, academia, public institutions). The presented projects were compared with the recommendations and guidelines of UN-Habitat and contribute to the implementation of the relevant regulations of the New Urban Agenda and international guidelines for urban and territorial planning.
Sustainable Urban Mobility
Smart Mobility Hubs – the key to sustainable urban mobility
Smart mobility hubs provide a sustainable mode of transport in cities, especially urban centres, as they offer visible, secure, and accessible spaces for residents and businesses. By creating mobility hubs, people’s lives can be simplified – they combine all travel opportunities, such as walking, cycling, public transport, and shared mobility.
Just Go: ensuring that no one is left behind in the shift towards sustainable urban mobility
To achieve Europe’s climate neutrality targets, cities will need to undergo a rapid and profound paradigm shift in urban mobility. While we are faced with the urgency of the climate crisis, it is of the utmost importance that the transition to more sustainable urban mobility takes into account and meets the needs of everyone, ensuring that no one is left out. This session discussed with city representatives what steps they are taking to transform their transport systems to become more accessible, affordable, secure, and inclusive, while supporting the transition to a climate-neutral Europe.
How NOT to transform urban mobility: Lessons learned from European leaders
While there is no shortage of strategies, policies, and concepts on how cities can achieve sustainable mobility, the key implementation task is often ignored. This session focused on transformations in cities across Europe, but more importantly, on the mistakes they made along the way. This was a session for those who want to move from conversation to action and not commit mistakes already made in other cities.
The WUF program was extremely rich, and this article shows sessions involving CIVINET members who presented examples from their cities. It also briefly describes a set of sessions organised by the European Commission, dedicated to sustainable urban mobility.
Part of the event was hybrid as well. Everyone interested can see which events were hybrid at the following link: https://wuf11.katowice.eu/uploads/files/WUF11_Program.pdf