Germany's Contribution to a
Sustainable Urban Future
WUF4 World Urban Forum
03-06 Nov 2008
There are now 3.3 billion people living in cities – for the first time in history more than in rural areas. One billion of them live in slums and shanty towns in the most degrading conditions, without proper water or energy supplies, sanitary facilities or waste disposal. That said, cities hold huge potential for development: they are centres of economic dynamism and innovation, and they provide jobs, income and a basic level of public municipal services.
However, the Millennium Development Goal of halving global poverty can only be achieved if politicians and administrative bodies in the cities accept their responsibilities and the urban population supports the implementation of corresponding measures.
The search for intelligent solutions to the problems of urbanization is the focus of the World Urban Forum IV, which is being held in Nanjing from 3 to 6 November. The forum is organized by UN-HABITAT every two years, with the theme of this year’s event being “Harmonious Urbanization: The Challenge of Balanced Territorial Development”. The Forum is flanked by an exhibition, in which Germany is also participating.
Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) are running a joint stand at the exhibition, presenting successful strategies and examples of their work on sustainable urban development. The stand showcases German perspectives on sustainable urban development to visitors from around the world and is a meeting point for German participants at the Forum.
The joint presentation is taking place under the motto “Germany: Contributing to a Sustainable Urban Future”. It is intended to illustrate that Germany is contributing worldwide to sustainable urban development within the context of international cooperation. The presentation takes a broad view, addressing all relevant levels (medium-sized towns to megacities) and a great variety of activities and stakeholders.
However, all these elements have one thing in common: the aim is always to improve the living conditions of the urban population. Within this process, German research and development cooperation complement each other. The displays on the stand cover five themes as seen from the German perspective:
- “Urban Governance”,
- “Cultural Heritage and Urban Upgrading”,
- “City and Climate”,
- “Social Inclusion” and
- “Financing Urban Development”.
In addition, events are taking place to inform visitors about the progress of projects carried out by the BMZ' implementing organizations and the research institutions of the BMBF.
The Stand - Content