WUF9 Side Event: Catalyzing the New Urban Agenda by Integrating Resources and Collaborative Governance

8 Feb 2018
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) moderated a panel, "Catalyzing the New Urban Agenda by Integrating Resources and Collaborative Governance, as a side event at the Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF9) convened by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). The side event was held in the context of the project “Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: the Urban Nexus”, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH leads technical implementation of the Urban Nexus Project in cooperation with ESCAP, the Political Partner, and ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability as Implementation Partner. The Project assists 12 cities in seven countries in Asia - China, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam - with adopting a nexus approach, developing cross-sectoral infrastructure projects and building institutional and technical capacity for integrated natural resource management.

WUF9 is a non-legislative technical forum that will gather thousands of regional, national and local government leaders and high-level representatives and experts from a wide range of organisations and institutions to support urban stakeholders with meeting the transformative commitments made in the New Urban Agenda and to ensure integration of this agenda with the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals. The implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs requires an innovative, cross-sectoral and multi-dimensional approach to counter ‘silo thinking’ and create co-benefits in vital urban sectors. The urban nexus approach responds ideally to that need with its aim to integrate planning and management of the key sectors of energy, water and land/food at the local level, contributing to the long-term sustainable development of rapidly growing cities. Specifically, this approach addresses key challenges cities face, such as sustainable water supply, wastewater and solid waste management, urban agriculture, service delivery, and land use planning and management. A key factor for the success of the urban nexus approach is collaborative governance, involving horizontal and vertical integration that builds upon existing urban development strategies for enhanced cross-sectoral and cross-juristdictional coordination. In doing so, the urban nexus offers customized solutions to sustainably govern rural-urban linkages and resource interdependencies through comprehensive spatial perspectives.

This side event held on 8 February 2018 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre started with an overview of the natural resource situation in the Asia and the Pacific region and an introduction to how the Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: the Urban Nexus project, based on the vision of a circular economy, addresses growing resource scarcity. The overview was followed by a panel discussion on local and national experiences with implementing urban nexus projects aligned with the New Urban Agenda as a tool to achieve sustainable development and climate goals. The panel format consisted of Urban Nexus project partners and beneficiary cities and national level participants sharing lessons learned from their work with developing cross-sectoral infrastructure projects and promoting collaborative governance. The audience benefited by gaining new knowledge of the urban nexus concept and well-documented practical solutions.