2016 International Conference on Urban Development: ‘Accelerating Resilience and Inclusive Growth’ held in Manila
From L-R: Ms. Diwata Paredes (USAID B-LEADERS Project), Ms. Laids Cea (UN Habitat), Mr. Oliver Gonzales, (PLLENRO), Mr. Jose Bernardo Gochoco III (ICLEI), Mr. Al Zelaya (The Davey Institute). Photo: USAID B-LEADERS

On July 12-13, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) held the 2016 International Conference on Urban Development: Accelerating Resilience and Inclusive Growth at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in Pasay City, Philippines.

Organized under USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project, the two-day conference gathered around 1,300 delegates from national and local governments, industries, multilateral institutions, civil society, and academe. The conference aimed to foster multi-disciplinary discussions, create a network of partnerships, and build information with the end goal of promoting public and private sector collaboration in achieving livable, safe, and economically-vibrant cities.

The keynote address was given by Professor Charles Landry, an international authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change, who highlighted that in order to solve the problems of urban living, we must “rethink our thinking and change the mindsets” of every individual. The event showcased a variety of presentations and panel discussions, ranging from promoting social inclusion in urban environments, fostering technological solutions for urban development, understanding urban planning and infrastructure development, and climate change and disaster risk reduction, among others.

Under ICLEI’s Low-Carbon City Agenda, Mr. Jose Bernardo Gochoco III of ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat presented in a panel for Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS), encouraging the transition of cities to a low-carbon and sustainable path of development by embedding LEDS in their overall development strategies, plans, and processes. ICLEI through its many projects and efforts in promoting LEDS in the region emphasizes that cities must recognize their responsibility to act in response to global climate change initiatives and that the impacts of new policies and financing frameworks targeted at emission reductions are often more visible and quantifiable on a city-level, as compared to similar measures at national level.

For more information about the conference, please visit surge.org.ph/2016urbandev.

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