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CityNet marked the network’s 30th anniversary through the conduct of CityNet Congress 2017 from 5-8 November 2017 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. More than 300 participants gathered to share best practices and innovative solutions for localizing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda. The event offered a unique platform to connect with high-level representatives from cities and other crucial urban stakeholders, partners and business leaders in the Asia-Pacific region.
CityNet embedded this congress with the theme, “Our Cities, Our Future: Sharing Local Solutions for Sustainable Development.” Besides sessions of the Executive Committee and the election of the general council for 2018-2021, a range of topics surrounding the theme were accommodated for technical sessions, side events and workshops.
CDIA, represented by its Program Coordinator Ms. Eva Ringhof moderated the Mayors’ Dialogue on Leadership in Localizing the SDGs, jointly with Curt Garrigan, Chief of the Sustainable Urban Development Section of UNESCAP. The mayors of Seoul (South Korea), Seberang Perai (Indonesia), Iriga (Philippines), Suwon (South Korea) and Lalitpur (Nepal) and former mayor of Colombo discussed necessary approaches and actions to inspire as a leader for sustainable development in their city and country.
At the technical session, “Planning for a Smart, Green and Sustainable Urban Future in Asia,” CDIA exchanged with Dr. Frank Rijsberman, Director General of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Willy Prilles, Planning Officer of Naga City (Philippines), and Shambhu KC, Joint Secretary of Nepal’s Ministry of Urban Development on how medium-sized cities in Asia can smartly address their urban and financial challenges.
The Cities Investment Fair during the last day enabled mayors and local government officials to raise questions to Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), CDIA, GGGI, and World Bank on specific urban context matters they would like to get recommendations and inspiration from. It became clear that finance exists to support urban development change, however, there is a need to prepare ‘financeable’ or ‘bankable’ projects to overcome gaps and challenges.
CityNet has been a strategic partner of CDIA since our early years of operation. The collaboration with CDIA on capacity development and knowledge sharing has been highlighted throughout the sessions.