UN-HABITAT and Malaysian non-profit Think City are initiating 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.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed following preliminary discussions held during the ninth World Urban Forum, which took place in Kuala Lumpur in February.
UN-Habitat executive director Maimunah Mohd Sharif said, “UN-Habitat is pleased to build on the successful collaboration with Think City during the forum that Think City successfully organised, with national partners, the WUF9 Urban Village, in Kuala Lumpur.
“We would like our 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 added.
Think City managing director Hamdan Abdul Majeed said, “This MoU will give both parties wider access to global expertise to help guide city planners and managers to meet current and future challenges of managing our cities and meeting citizens’ expectations.”
The MoU with UN-Habitat centres around three key areas with the first one covering the Econo-mics of Urbanisation. This is a collaboration to support the production of the World Cities Report 2019, which will inform UN- Habitat’s Strategic Plan (2020-2025).
It also involves identifying planning and development strategies to achieve “true value”, where urbanisation not only contributes to wealth creation but is able to address social inclusion and environmental issues.
(From left) Khazanah Nasional Bhd‘s Amir Zakwan Anuar, Think City programme director Dr Neil Khor, Hamdan, Maimunah, Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, Urban Planning and Design Branch coordinator Shipra Narang Suri, UN-Habitat city planning leader Laura Petrella, Khazanah Europe Investment Ltd executive director Javier Santiso, SVP Irwan Shahrin Ismail and executive assistant & office manager Zoe Galea
Second is Culture in Urban Regeneration where UN-Habitat is keen to encourage culture- and community-focused urban regeneration as part of its wider mandate to implement the NUA.
The 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. As UN-Habitat has a strong urban planning and urban design department, a knowledge exchange programme can be developed with Think City.
This will expand 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.