Join AAPS at the World Urban Forum

Monday, 5 February 2018

The Association of African Planning Schools (AAPS) will be participating in two networking events at the upcoming World Urban Forum, to be held from 7 to 13 February in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Prof Daniel Inkoom, current Chair of the AAPS Steering Committee, will be attending the World Urban Forum and invites all AAPS colleagues and friends to take part in the following events:

Event 1

Title: Planners For Climate Action: Urban and Territorial Planning as a Means to Carbon Reduction and Community Resilience

Lead organizer: Global Planning Education Association Network (GPEAN)

Partner: Global Network on Safer Cities (GNSC)

Date and time: Friday 9 February 2018, 09:00 to 11:00

Venue: Room 305

Summary: Cities emit a significant portion of the world’s greenhouse gases and are homes to concentrated populations that are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This networking event will present key city planning successes at climate action and will provide opportunity for leaders of the planning profession to envision ways to better promote such actions and share experiences regionally and globally. We will leave with an agenda for training, research, and publication to build planning capacity in support of the Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda.

Sub-national governments have been rising in visibility as an important type of non-State actor in the climate action framework. Partners launched several multi-stakeholder ‘city’ initiatives at a 2014 Ban Ki-moon Climate Summit. The 2015 Paris Agreement explicitly mentions ‘cities and subnational authorities’ as one type of non-Party stakeholder that is invited to ‘scale up’ its efforts. Then at COP-23 in Bonn, Planners for Climate Action initiated under the Marrakesh Partnership.

Urban and regional planners have a key role to play in helping cities address climate change. The IPCC (2014) suggests that most of the emissions attributed to cities are embedded in urban infrastructure and city form. A focus on electricity (renewable and efficient) is therefore not sufficient. Compact urban development patterns may make public transportation more viable, leading to reduced greenhouse gas emissions; meanwhile in the long-term land use controls will profoundly affect the exposure of vulnerable populations to climate-related natural hazards such as flooding and landslides.

The role of city and regional planners and plans in addressing climate change is made explicit in the New Urban Agenda, as well as in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. If we are to meet SDG13, increased actions by cities and urban areas are essential actors.

For the web link to this event, please click here.

Event 2

Title: SDG and New Urban Agenda implementation on the African continent: Networking for new approaches to build capacities and reform tertiary education

Lead organizer: Wits-TUB Urban Lab: Interdisciplinary Bilateral Postgraduate Studies Programme for Sub-Saharan Africa

Partners: School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand; Habitat Unit, Technical University Berlin; Association of African Planning Schools (AAPS); African Urban Research Initiative (AURI); Global Planning Education Association Network (GPEAN)

Date and time: Sunday 11 February 2018, 09:00 to 11:00

Venue: Room 408

Summary: Given the critical role of tertiary education towards implementing the SDGs and NUA, collaborative initiatives have formed to refocus curricula in the habitat field. This networking event brings together such initiatives for the sub-Saharan African region.

In its vision statement, NUA envisages sustainable and ‘participatory’ towns and cities (s13(b) (c)) in which ‘fundamental freedoms’ are enjoyed by all (s12). NUA calls for its urban paradigm shift to be achieved through ‘people-centred’ and ‘integrated approaches’ (s15(c)), with ‘multi-stakeholder partnerships’ and intergovernmental ‘cooperation’ (15(c)(i)). NUA acknowledges political situations in the context of ‘conflict’ and ‘post-conflict’ (s19). Linked to this are complex realities such as ‘informal settlements’ and ‘internally displaced people’ (s20). Alongside an emphasis on law/rights, the strengthening of coordination and collaboration feature strongly in NUA’s implementation plan (s28, 29 and s85-92).

The event addresses these aspects of NUA in an interactive way. A panel will introduce the event theme, provide analysis of the SDGs and NUA and introduce emerging pedagogic approaches and research. Groups will then deliberate on four critical themes which the Wits-TUB Urban Lab elaborated in workshops with local and international stakeholders in 2016 and 2017:

  1. Politics and policy of the urban,
  2. Understanding complex urban systems and effecting relevant integration,
  3. Managing change processes,
  4. Coproducing knowledge between theory and practice

Report-backs from these deliberations will inform a forward looking discussion towards strengthening alliances towards not only more capacity building but, crucially, a radical conceptual rethinking of curricular in sub-Saharan Africa.

For the web link to this event, please click here.

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