Sustainable Urbanization and Role of Information Technology as a means of Implementation

United Nations Headquarters New York City
June 2018

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One of the major purposes of the Consortium as a think tank is bringing people together around the topic of  Sustainable Urbanization. CSU’s audience consists of professionals, academics, politicians, planners, designers, students, and the United Nations community. CSU exposes them to new concepts and ideas as well as best practices from around the world.

We live in interesting times. There is the prospect of self-driving vehicles, the Internet, intelligent robots, and artificial intelligence. On the other hand, the rapid urbanization at a time when ever growing cities have incredible challenges with affordable housing, infrastructure and transportation will throw into question many of the base assumptions which have governed the design and redesign of cities today. Solving the problems of the city will give way to reframing the very nature of the city. The objective is to produce the highest quality of life for all?

The Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the United Nations at Habitat III, in Quito, are laudable. The Sustainable Development Goals enumerate areas critical to the well-being and survival of the human species; they outline actionable, achievable objectives for governments and cities; they guide future resource allocations and establish priorities among competing critical issues. The SDGs represent a common platform for all 193 member states of the United Nations. They represent a common denominator about how to best address the issues facing cities.

In coming conferences, CSU will go beyond the SDGs and explore disruptive and useful technologies which will impact the design and planning of cities. New technologies will affect equity, income distribution, concentration of interests, political will and the ability to accommodate growth. The near future, over the next few decades, will see major shifts in the complex mechanisms that constitute the city. The ability to adapt and change will make the difference between successful and unsuccessful cities.

CSU intends to provide various forums for discussing the future of cities. A continuing focus will be the role of design and planning and a firm belief that informed decision-making will lead to more livable cities. CSU sees itself as an ideas exchange in which successful experiments of city planning and design are adopted or adapted for use elsewhere. CSU is committed to bringing together thought leaders from different spheres to explore innovative ideas and cross sectoral approaches which are looking to the future based on past mistakes.