Initiative aims to build active participation from students and universities
The Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities (DPM) has initiated its WUF ‘UniverCity’ Programme in partnership with the regional office of the UN-Habitat. DPM says that it invited 11 universities in the UAE to attend a session at its stand at Cityscape, where professors and students were briefed on the tenth session of the World Urban Forum 10 (WUF10) taking place in Abu Dhabi in 2020.
According to a statement, a presentation was also given to students on the importance of youth involvement in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and on the objectives assigned to the SDG Youth Advisory Council, which was created in October 2018.
The ‘UniverCity’ platform is designed to support dedicated sessions at the WUF10 campus, SDGs and the second session of the Pan-Arab Urban Development Symposium (PAUDS). DPM explains that the initiative has several key objectives, the most important of which is to establish a two-way collaborative research initiative that taps into the resources, knowledge and expertise of the DPM, and its strategic partners and universities across the Arab world.
The initiative also aims to build active participation from students and universities in shaping the skills required for urban planners of the future and a process for co-creating a common future for urban planning with a particular focus on SDG 11.
“Universities occupy a strategic role in shaping the next generation of leaders in the UAE. We want to motivate young people across the UAE to learn about urban development and contribute to the shared goals of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda. This programme is a crucial component of engaging young people with WUF and furthermore in new ways of thinking about the development of our cities,” said H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi, chairman of the DPM.
The theme of WUF10 is ‘Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation’, the statement said. In the lead up to the event, the WUF ‘UniverCity’ programme will involve expert planners from the DPM, who will participate in a range of events including university lecture series at universities across the UAE. They will also explore the four initiatives that the DPM will be developing along with its strategic partners, centered around its four pillars scheme (city investment platform, cultural indicators, inclusive cities and environmental initiatives), as well as editorials and podcasts that will be hosted on the PAUDS website.