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13 Sep, 2019

Penang to host 7th Asia-Pacific Urban Forum October 15-17

George Town, 2019.09.05 – The 7th edition of the Asia-Pacific Urban Forum (APUF7) will be held from 15 to 17 October 2019. Touted as the largest and most diverse urban forum in Asia Pacific, this year it will be held in Penang, Malaysia.

The forum is themed “Future of Asia and Pacific Cities: Transformative Pathways to Achieve 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. It aims to gather urban multi-stakeholders, civil society, the academia and policymakers from local and national governments to discuss emerging and critical urban development issues.

This year, the forum’s focus will be on mobilising partners and action-oriented initiatives to accelerate the implementation of sustainable urbanisation throughout the region. APUF7 will serve as the platform for the official launch of the Future of Asia-Pacific Cities Report 2019 (FoAPC) and the Penang Platform for Sustainable Urbanisation (PPSU).

The FoAPC is a major report on cities in the Asia Pacific region produced by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, UN-Habitat, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Singapore’s Centre for Liveable Cities, UNDP and the European Commission. It will look at the implementation of urban solutions across different typologies of cities against four critical development challenges – natural resource management, climate change, disaster risk and rising inequalities.

Meanwhile, the PPSU brings together partners that are committed to sustainable urban development in the region. Its objectives included collaborative efforts in the implementation of integrated and sustainable city solutions; sharing of innovative tools, research and good policies and practices on sustainable urban development; leveraging of resources for better investments at the local level; and raising awareness on sustainable urbanisation at the regional level.

One of the not-to-be-missed events during APUF7 is the “The Cycling Mayors” – scheduled for October 14, just a day before the official opening of the forum. Mayors from various cities will get to cycle down Penang’s very own bicycle lane along the coastline from the southern side of the island up to the northern side.

“This event is to showcase Penang’s beautiful natural environment and our efforts in pushing through the sustainable urbanisation agenda while promoting green activities such as cycling.

“We hope that Mayors and City Administrators will come together to commit to improving the quality of urban environment, specifically in creating a Cycleable City. A Cycleable City is one of the vital steps towards improving the quality of mobility in cities, which in turn will help to promote healthier lifestyles among the city dwellers,” said the Mayor of the City Council of Penang Island, Dato’ Ar. Yew Tung Seang.

More than 3,000 participants are expected to attend APUF7, which will be officially opened on October 15. A High Level Roundtable session will set the tone for the main theme of the forum. It will be a 60-minute interactive dialogue between representatives of stakeholder groups from Asia Pacific cities. These representatives will share their visions for the future of Asia Pacific cities and present practical solutions and partnerships to accelerate progress towards their vision.

Day One will also see a Leader’s Dialogue session to be followed by Deep Dive Discussions on the topic of Urban and Territorial Planning. Similar sessions will be held on the second and third day to discuss the remaining key topics of urban resilience, data and technologies for smart cities and urban finance.

The final and third day of the forum will end with a “Declare Your Action” segment to review the commitments made, actions planned and implementation initiatives from countries, cities and participating organisations towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The forum is expected to result in increasing concrete commitments and initiatives for the implementation of sustainable urban development at the local, sub-national, national and regional level. It will facilitate joint initiatives among diverse stakeholders; enhance knowledge, research, tools and methodologies for implementing the New Urban Agenda; increase capacity at the national and sub-national levels; and strengthen alliance building and action-oriented partnerships.

APUF7 is the first forum to be held after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 and the New Urban Agenda in 2016. APUF is held every four to five years since the first APUF was held in Bangkok in 1993.

For further information on APUF7, visit https://www.apuf7.org.