Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization INITIATIVES

CSU programs have included collaborations with the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIA New York), the Global Alliance for Information Communication Technology and Development (GAID), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (ECOSOC); the Regional Plan Association; the City of New York; the City College of New York (CUNY); New Jersey Institute of Technology; Penn Institute for Urban Research; Building Social Housing Foundation; International Council for Caring Communities; World Architecture Council; and New York New Visions, Next City ,many mayors and government officials from all over the world among others.

In 2008, the CSU collaborated in planning the UN Forum on Sustainable Urbanization in the Information Age, which invited mayors, policy makers and planners from New York and 11 world cities for an exchange of sustainable initiatives and best practices — from Barcelona and Singapore to Bogotá and Dar es Salaam. The proceedings were published in Sustainable Urbanization in the Information Age (UN 2009) edited by Aliye P. Celik, PhD, Roxana Zyman and Rafat Mehdi.

In 2009, the CSU collaborated in planning a second UN Forum on The Role of Infrastructure in Metropolitan Development, which convened UN representatives, policy makers, and planners from New York and other world cities in a similar exchange of initiatives. The proceedings were summarized in the APA 2009 Fall Issue of Regional and Intergovernmental Planning.

In 2010, the CSU participated in the World Urban Forum (WUF5) in Rio de Janeiro. Its UN Habitat sponsored Frameworks for Collaboration: Designing Sustainable Plans presented two North American city specific plans — PlaNYC in New York and Greenworks in Philadelphia — which contrasted with the conference focus on community based initiatives, such as the use of new technology and cell phones in informal settlements. In June at the UN Workshop How Creative Economies Can Lead to a Culture of Peace in preparation of an agenda for the Shanghai World Forum, the CSU focused on the Role of City Scale Plans. In October the CSU collaborated with UN Habitat to plan the World Habitat Day conference in New York, with keynote by David Bragdon, Director of New York City’s PlaNYC, panels on Learning from WUF5, The London and Rio Olympics as Catalysts for Sustainable Urbanization, and case studies of New York City’s sustainable infrastructure and Activity Guidelines.

In 2011, the Consortium with UN Habitat, South-South News, and AIA New York planned the South-North Initiative Conference at the United Nations. The conference presented an exchange of innovations from the global south, as identified at the World Urban Forum in Rio, and explored how these may have applicability in the developing world. In October, the Consortium in association with UN Habitat organized the World Habitat Day conference “Cities and Climate Change”, which brought together high level experts and representatives from government, NGOs, and the private sector for an exchange of ideas identifying challenges and opportunities for a global conference on human settlements in anticipation of Habitat III.

In 2012, CSU hosted the High-Level Meeting on Sustainable Urbanization for Konya, Turkey at the United Nations, which explored the challenges and opportunities for Konya as an emerging urban center in the global community. Panels of experts explored how to build on Konya’s history as a cradle of civilization and world center of Sufism balanced by a growing economy and university community.

In 2013, the CSU hosted the UN World Habitat Day conference on Resilient Design for Sustainable Urbanization in association with UN Habitat, AIA New York, and the Center for Resilient Design at New Jersey Institute of Technology. The conference, which was opened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon with speakers from the UN, US and local governments, and industry experts explored the challenges of responding to climate change and natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy that devastated the New York Region. In December, the CSU organized SMART CITIES: An opportunity for the citizen, at the Center for Architecture New York, with Inigo de la Serna, Mayor of Santander, Spain and Jacqueline Moustache-Belle, Mayor of Victoria Seychelles.

In 2014 the CSU presented Smart Cities: How to Make Cities More Sustainable, Resilient and Equitable at the World Urban Forum (WUF 7) in Medellin, Colombia, with presentations from 4 city regions – Rio, Singapore, Belfast and New York. In programs at the Center for Architecture in New York – Smart Cities: How to Promote a Sustainable Urbanization, and HABITAT III: The Role of Design – the CSU invited Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, and Vladimir Drobnjak, Vice President of the UN Economic and Social Council, and other experts for discussions of the role of design in sustainable urbanization leading up to the Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III). CSU was a one of the key partners during the ECOSOC Integration Segment on Sustainable Urbanization on 27-29 May 2014, at the UN

In February 2015 the CSU collaborated with UN-HABITAT and the AIA New York Chapter for the UN Conference on The Future of Cities: An Integrated Approach to Urban Problems on the occasion of the UN General Assembly High Level Thematic Debate on the Means of Implementation for a Transformative Post 2015 Development Agenda.

CSU is an associate partner of the World Urban Campaign, which serves as the partners’ platform toward Habitat III, to be held in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016.