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New York, 14 Feb 13

UN-Habitat and the International Council for Caring Communities (ICCC) last Friday organized an international working session in addressing one of themes of the 21st Century: Prosperity in Cities.

The meeting that brought together government representatives, the private sector, entrepreneurs, educators, and health and culture experts was held within the framework of the global consultations on the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the road to Habitat III Conference in 2016.

The Permanent Representative of Ecuador, Mr. Xavier Lasso Mendoza, opened the meeting by highlighting the present urban challenges and opportunities. “On one hand, cities can be the locus for pockets of poverty, exclusion and marginalization, environmental degradation and decay. On the other hand, cities generate wealth, enhance social development, provide employment, and can be incubators of innovation and creativity”, he stated. 

Presenting the “State of the World Cities Report 2012-2013” Ms. Yamina Djacta, Director of the UN-Habitat’s New York Office stressed the need of improving cities’ ability to respond to modern challenges, optimize resources and harness their potential. 

The session built upon to rethink and redefine current practices and identify viable recommendations for scaling-up successful projects. Addressing the power of social innovation in urban areas, the Italian delegation from the city of Teramo presented the project “Citta Europea del Benessere Social” (European Welfare City), and the Chinese delegation exposed the International Mongolian Hospital’s Model as an example of innovative medical services to improve the quality urban of life. The event also highlighted several projects on the relation of ICT to Sustainable Urban Development and the work of some civil society groups as City Changers.

The Session was part of the “Age of Connectivity: Cities, Magnets of Hope. Imagining the Possible” Dialogue Series which addresses the challenges facing a rapidly urbanizing world.

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