Heriot-Watt at UN conference on world urban development

The World Urban Forum represents the largest United Nations conference on sustainable urban development and cities.

Dr Harry Smith, Director of Studies for Urban Planning & Property Development visited Medellín, Colombia, for the 7th World Urban Forum. Dr Smith joined colleagues from the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) at the Edinburgh College of Art and the local university, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana to run a networking event on how participatory planning can help in the generation of 'Cities for Life'.

Sustainable urban development

Held biannually in a different world city, the World Urban Forum represents the largest United Nations conference on sustainable urban development and cities.

The conference is convened by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and examines the issues most impacting the world today in the area of human settlements. These include the impacts of rapid urbanization on cities, communities, economies, climate change and policies.

Networking event

Heriot-Watt devised the networking event on participatory planning along with the other two collaborating universities. The aim of the event was to create an exchange of ideas among academics, members of the government and practitioners in Europe and in Latin America, to compare the different approaches in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Highlighted at the event were particular areas of research expertise in which the School of the Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University and its colleagues at ESALA are collaborating. These included inclusive access to outdoor environments, the long-term management of open space, processes of waterfront development, urban planning approaches, and land use challenges for equity and urban sustainability.

Dr Harry Smith participated in a press conference organised for the UK delegation to the Forum by the British Embassy. He was interviewed, also interviewed for the Colombian TV channel, Teleantioquia.