We were in attendance for the 7th Session of the Asia-Pacific Urban Forum (APUF-7) held in Penang, Malaysia, 15-17 October 2019. They organized the Forum to discuss the future of Asia & Pacific Cities: Transformative Pathways to Achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
With over 4000 registered attendees, opportunities abound to meet like-minded people dedicated to improving the human condition.
We could discuss the challenges faced in policy circles by professional practitioners who exhibited frustration because some goals are not being met. We encouraged them to plan strategically and to devise a cohesive global public policy centered on core commonalities inherent to the human species. In this way, as urban areas expand, people will develop a stronger bond between themselves and their community, be encouraged, and more willing to devote time for goal-accomplishment.
Sustainable development is not only about an individual’s economic attainment. We must also look inside the hearts and minds of those on whose shoulders success or failure is being borne. They must feel that they are an innate part of the plan and not one being imposed on them. Therefore, a policy must be from the bottom up, not top-down, because more often than not the experts do not know of local people's aspirations.
Urban populations are burgeoning, and planners are struggling to provide the means necessary to accommodate such unforeseen growth. It’s a complex situation, experienced worldwide, and involves many players with their own self-aggrandizing agendas, often not in sync with the policy objectives. Conference attendees grappled with these problems and myriad others in their search for sustainable solutions.
Attendees learned that the Future Cities Report will focus on implementing urban solutions across different typologies of cities against four critical development challenges
Asia-Pacific Urban Forum