March 12, 2012 Tokyo
EVENT: Public Symposium on Rio+20 “Sustainable Urban Development: Challenges and Issues in Developing Countries”
DATE: Thursday, 22 March 2012, 2:00 – 5:00 PM
VENUE: United Nations University Headquarters, Tokyo
ORGANIZERS: United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) and United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS)
- By 2050, the world population is expected to increase by almost 30%, to a total of 9 billion people. The population living in urban areas, meanwhile, is projected to grow by a staggering 85% (2.9 billion), to 6.3 billion. This would mean an increase in urbanization of more than 75 million people per year, with most of that growth occurring in Asia and Africa. It is inevitable that this rapid increase of urban population will bring enormous economic, social and environmental pressures, resulting in a need for governments to take urgent measures.
- UNCRD in Nagoya and UNU-IAS in Yokohama will hold this symposium to conduct a public discussion on issues pertaining to sustainable urban development and the role that Japan can play in fostering a global transition towards more sustainable cities.
- UNCRD is refocusing its work towards sustainable urban development in consideration of the above global situation and aims to support the efforts of cities in formulating a vision on the transition towards sustainable cities with green economies.
- UNU-IAS takes an active role in the sustainable urban development dialogue. Its Sustainable Urban Futures programme places a focus on understanding the causes and consequences of, and solutions to, urban environmental problems. UNU-IAS also serves as Secretariat of the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative, which seeks to promote and support socio-ecological production landscapes that have been shaped over the years by interactions between people and nature.
- This symposium is expected to provide intellectual input to the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which will be held in June 2012. Sustainable urbanization will be an important sub-theme of Rio+20, as many experts deem that it is in cities where the battle for sustainable development will be won or lost. The debate will not only contribute to Rio+20, but also discuss how cities and their partners can successfully implement the outcomes of the Conference.
- Experts in various fields related to regional development who have made significant contributions to urban policy development will participate in panel discussions on the challenges and issues facing developing countries as they respond to the pressures of rapid urbanization, globalization, growing social inequity and climate change.
- The symposium will be conducted mainly in English, but simultaneous Japanese-English interpretation will be available. For more information and the programme, see http://www.ias.unu.edu/sub_page.aspx?catID=8&ddlID=2019.
Media representatives are cordially invited to attend. To reserve your space, please contact Utako Watanabe, UNCRD (e-mail: ; tel: 052-561-9377).