The World Urban Forum (WUF) was established in 2001 by the United Nations to address one of the most pressing issues facing the world today: rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change, and policies. Convened by UN-Habitat, the 10th Forum was held in Abu Dhabi February 8–13, 2020, to address the challenges of sustainable urbanization.
The Global Planners Network (GPN) hosted a session highlighting what planners are doing to tackle climate change and issued the Abu Dhabi Declaration, outlining the values and role of planners in regional and urban development. The declaration will help guide discussions with stakeholders and the general public to elevate understanding of planning and its key role in all communities.
Among the key elements of the declaration are promoting the sustainable development goals, social equity, participation, and good governance. At World Urban Forum 9 in Kuala Lumpur, the GPN session focused on good governance as fundamental to good planning.
Planning was included in the outcome document of WUF 10, especially in terms of providing a participatory platform for diverse interests to make communities better. In addition, the value of cultural and natural heritage was part of the overall theme of WUF 10 and incorporated in the sessions and meetings hosted by our partners. Two GPN members — President Dy Currie of the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) and President Eleanor Mohammed of the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) — both spoke at the Habitat Professionals Roundtable.