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A Call to Action on Sustainable Urbanisation across the Commonwealth

Janine Xavier-Cross



Monday, June 27, 2022


Multifunction Hall Room 5
Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Initiative
Integrated Governance in Spatial Planning for a More Just, Green, and Healthy Urban Future
NE 5


The event will bring together the five authors of the Call to Action on Sustainable Urbanisation across the Commonwealth: The Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Commonwealth Association of Architects, the Commonwealth Association of Planners, the Commonwealth Local Government Forum with support from the Government of Rwanda and the Prince’s Foundation. The Call to Action on Sustainable Urbanisation across the Commonwealth is an initiative which has been developed in recognition of the fact that nearly 50% of the projected growth in cities to 2050 will be taking place in Commonwealth countries, many of which are suffering from a critical lack of capacity and are among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts. The Call to Action seeks to leverage the Commonwealth ecosystem to respond to such challenges by calling on Heads of Government to place sustainable urbanisation more centrally in Commonwealth policy making, while also promoting inter-disciplinary cross-sector working to help achieve greater collaboration together with replicable solutions that can have impact at scale. The Call to Action recognises the need to amplify the voices of the most marginalised including Small Island Developing States, women and youth. Indeed, the Commonwealth Youth for Sustainable Urbanisation network (launched in response to the Call to Action) will be represented in this event. The event will provide a report back on progress achieved following the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions, together with feedback from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that will be held in Kigali, Rwanda, the week before WUF11. The organisers are also planning a series of further engagements in the run up to the World Urban Forum, which will feed into this meeting, ensuring that it is part of an ongoing conversation around sustainable urbanisation in the Commonwealth. They will also use the event as an opportunity to identify potential partners to achieve the Call to Action and to set a road map for delivery of a programme of Practical Action.


The key objectives of the Networking event will be to stimulate fresh thinking around the ways in which we can work together in a multi-level, multi-sector, multi-disciplinary way to close the gaps which exist in terms of capacity, governance, data, policy, and finance, within the framework of the New urban Agenda. It will also be used as an opportunity to build awareness around the issues facing rapidly urbanising cities in the Commonwealth, with a focus on secondary and intermediary cities. The Call to Action seeks to frame the importance of strategic engagement to achieve sustainable urbanisation in the Commonwealth. This session will focus on sharing good practice in urban planning and governance from across the Commonwealth together with the importance of effective local leadership and the need for collective action and transformative solutions that can be scaled and replicated . The event will showcase examples of a range of pilot projects that have been developed and/or currently at planning stage and will highlight the scope to mobilise Commonwealth organisations more strategically to support sustainable urbanisation and ensuring future resilience for the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Session speakers

Mr. Hon Dr Ernest Nsabimana
Minister of Infrastructure
Government of Rwanda
Mr. Richard Grubb
Head of UN, Commonwealth and Strategic Partnerships
Association of Commonwealth Universities
Ms. Lucy Slack
Secretary General
Commonwealth Local Government Forum
Ms. Eleanor Mohammed
Commonwealth Association of Planners
Mr. Peter Oborn
Senior Vice President
Commonwealth Association of Architects