The CityNet Congress 2017 was successfully over. With participation of over 300 guests of honor from around the world, the Congress hosted in Colombo, Sri Lanka from Nov. 5th to 8th also marked the 30th anniversary of CityNet.
It was truly amazing to see how participants from different parts of Asia Pacific were engaged in discussions and networking through different sessions. They not only shared their ideas on sustainable urban development goals (SDGs) but also their deepest concerns: how do they replicate the best practices of other cities, which are so different from their own in size, population, culture, living style, social expectations, political structure, level of economic development, to name just a few?
As a platform dedicated to city-to-city cooperation, whether from North to South, South to South, or North to North, CityNet strives to improve the lives of communities in the Asia Pacific region and worldwide. The complicated and multilayered nature of the region, with some of the richest, poorest, and also highly developing cities in between, however, pose gargantuan urbanization challenges. Through the networking of CityNet, the cities can better identify their situations, obstacles, and disadvantages, and thus come up with solutions.
To help the cities do so, CityNet has mapped out a series of activities for the upcoming year of 2018. These can include capacity building programs, projects and other initiatives, partner development, etc.
Take the capacity building programs for instance. CityNet and its partners are going to provide an extensive number of workshops to help enhance the cities’ urban development capacities. These include Mayors Forum, Financing of Urban Energy Infrastructure and Urban Lighting, Water Management Workshop with ARISU, Climate Change Workshop, among others.
To advocate its members’ voices on the global stage and help them reach tangible results, CityNet also plans to participate in major international conferences such as Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum, Kuala Lumpur.
CityNet will continue encouraging its member cities to be engaged in CityNet Services, National Chapters, Cluster Activities, Urban SDG Knowledge Platform and so on in the upcoming year. As megacities in Asia are expecting further urban growth in the years to come, the success of the urban future largely depends on the Asia’s secondary cities since two-thirds of the world’s secondary cities are located in Asia and Africa.
Partnerships remain the driving force to support the intimidating tasks the cities face ahead. Through the platform of CityNet, the cities can gather to share their ideas and problems, benefit from feedback and reflection, and draft a blueprint of how to deal with urban challenges in palpable steps.
“Together we can do more, that is the theme of CityNet,” said Mary Jane C. Ortega, Special Adviser of CityNet. And together we can grow.
Photos: courtesy of CityNet
By Julia Szu-tu, CityNet Secondment Staff
Julia is a section assistant at the Department of Information and Tourism, Taipei City Government interested in international affairs and environmental protection.