On February 10 Mayor of Yakutsk Mr. Aysen Nikolaev delivered a speech at one of the key plenary sessions of the 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur. Within the dialogue “Co-creating sustainable cities” the review of the role of cities in accordance with New Urban Agenda and other innovative approaches promoting the achievement of sustainable development goals were discussed.
The key speakers of the dialogue were UN-Habitat Executive Director Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Head of the Department of Prospective Urban Model of Barcelona Ms. Ariadna Mikel, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction Mr. Robert Glasser and other international experts.
In his statement Mayor of Yakutsk highlighted the resolutions that municipal authorities adopt in order not only to ensure the city’s activity in the extreme climatic conditions but to develop the largest city in the permafrost. According to Mr. Aysen Nikolaev, such approach entirely corresponds to the principles of the New Urban Agenda that suggests considering the growing urbanization not as a threat but as a driving force for the growth.
“Nowadays we are shaping new agenda for the city of Yakutsk - agenda of economic growth, social and cultural development, environmental protection”, highlighted Mr. Aysen Nikolaev.
Nowadays many practices that resound with main provisions of the New Urban Agenda have been applied and used in Yakutsk. Engagement of citizens into the city management, reduction of the environmental footprint, search for unconventional solutions for typical urban problem, new points for economic growth are the realities in which Yakutsk is living today.
Taking this into account, Yakutsk in cooperation with UN-Habitat could become the reference center of the City Resilience Profiling Programme in the Arctic region, scaling the sustainable development programmes up in the Northern cities worldwide.
“We are ready to contribute tto the achievement of the sustainable development of world cities’”, Mr.Aysen Nikolaev finally invited the participants of the Forum to the 3rd International Conference “Cities and People” in Yakutsk that would take place in June this year and would discuss the issues of digitalization and communication.
It should be mentioned that the aim of the dialogues within the WUF9 was to draw attention to the policy aspects of the New Urban Agenda implementation as well as review of the role of cities according to New Urban Agenda and other innovative approaches that are used for the achievement of its effective implementation. The key topics of the dialogues related to the national policy in urban development, urban planning and designing, fight with urban crises and conflicts, innovative approaches to the implementation of New Urban Agenda.
New Urban Agenda that defines the world urban policy for the next 20 years was adopted by the representative of 167 countries at the UN-Habitat III Conference that took place in 2016 in the capital of Ecuador Quito. In particular, it defines such main areas as ensuring of equal rights for all citizens, environmental protection, and engagement of citizens into city management. As a result of its implementation cities of the future must become the centers of complex territorial approach to sustainability, where urbanization and great concentration of people will not be a threat to the existence of cities but on the contrary will promote their development.
Galina Mozolevskaya, Spokesperson for Mayor of Yakutsk