World Urban Forum 9 / Kuala Lumpur – Next City

World Urban Forum 9 / Kuala Lumpur

Photo by Jorge Láscar

From Feb. 7 to 13, leaders from across the globe gathered in Kuala Lumpur to implement a bold New Urban Agenda at World Urban Forum 9. Adopted last year at Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador, the New Urban Agenda aims to ensure that urbanization’s benefits are distributed equitably and sustainably to city-dwellers everywhere. The effort couldn’t be more timely. Some 70 percent of the world’s population is projected to live in cities by 2050, a demographic shift that offers enormous potential while presenting equally enormous challenges. Billions of urban residents face threats of climate change, economic upheaval and government instability. And yet, at the same time, cities have become one of our best tools for confronting these issues. With the right planning and management, our urban era can be one of positive change. World Urban Forum 9 was a step toward implementing the solutions to make that vision a reality.

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Features & News


  • The Decline and Rise of George Town, Malaysia

    Chris Ong, a former Hong Kong investment banker turned hotelier, and George Town Councilwoman Khoo Salma discuss the tension between conservation and modernization in the World Heritage city.

  • Solving the Affordable Housing Crunch in New Orleans

    HousingNOLA Executive Director Andreanecia M. Morris talks about a 10-year partnership that aims to rethink affordable housing and the people who need it.

  • How to Build a Disability-Friendly City

    Many of us will become "disabled" in one way or another as we age. Why don't our cities reflect that? Dr. Victor Pineda, an urban planning scholar and disability rights advocate, calls for a radically inclusive approach to urban design.

  • Cities and Nations Must Learn to Work Together

    Economist Andrew Reschovsky, a research fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and University of Wisconsin-Madison professor emeritus, lays out his vision for more effective governance.

  • Resilience Is about More Than Infrastructure

    No urbanism concept is trendier lately than "resilience." But the true meaning of resilience is often obscure. Sachin Bhoite, senior consultant at the design firm ARUP, breaks down the buzzword.

  • The Former “North Korea of Europe” Looks to the Future

    Erion Veliaj, mayor of Tirana, Albania, talks about how he and his fellow citizens are working to reinvent their city after the fall of communism.

  • Between Two Oceans as Sea Levels Rise

    Panama City is uniquely vulnerable to climate change. Vice Mayor Raisa Banfield explains how the city is confronting the threat of rising seas by embracing natural means of mitigation.

  • When Jobs Don’t Equal Employment

    The mayor of West Sacramento, Calif., Christopher Cabaldon, explains how his city is helping residents connect with jobs to drive down unemployment.

  • Bouncing Back from Blight

    Marita Garrett, mayor of Wilkinsburg, Penn., talks about how urban revitaliztion is only half the battle; changing public perception is the other half.

  • Can Smart Cities Be Inclusive?

    IHC Global's Judith Hermanson discusses the importance of ensuring that the smart cities of the future are for everyone.

  • All Architecture Is Local

    Carl Elefante, president of the American Institute of Architects, talks about how a lack of diversity in the architecture field holds cities back.

  • Spaces for Street Vendors

    Sean Basinski, founder of the Street Vendor Project, discusses the existential battle over how street vendors fit into the cities of the future.

  • From Suburb to 21st Century City

    Walnut, California, Councilmember Andrew Rodriguez talks about finding a new life for a bedroom community outside of Los Angeles.

  • Bouncing Bank from Bankruptcy

    James Diossa, mayor of Central Falls, R.I., explains how his city is building on its industrial past.

  • The Five Percent

    Clara Mvogo, former mayor of Monrovia, Liberia, talks about the growing, but still far too small, number of women mayors.

  • “Second Tier” or City of the Future?

    Nuatali Nelmes, lord mayor of Newcastle, Australia, discusses how smaller cities can embrace smart technology.

  • Older but Not Invisible

    Katherine Kline, co-chair of the General Assembly of Partners (GAP) Older Persons group, talks about retrofitting cities for all ages.

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