The 2017 World Cities Day, fouth of the WCD, was held in Guangzhou on October 31, under the banner of "Innovative Governance, Open Cities". It saw the presence of guests from over 40 countries exchanging and showcasing innovative practice from around the world in terms of urban planning, building and management.
The theme which echoes the ideas of the ‘New Urban Agenda’ and the five development philosophies of China, aims at leading the sustainable development of cities around the world and meeting the challenge brought by urbanization.
Guangzhou, known as Flower City, is the host city of the 2017 Global Observation. As one of the key central cities and demonstration livable cities of China, Guangzhou has remained a famous historic and cultural city with 2200 years of history.
In the practices of urban governance, Guangzhou actively reacts to new global trends of urban development according to the development concepts of innovation, coordination, green, open and sharing, while trying to build itself a hub network city and an important node for global city network.
Based on the annual theme of 2017, this year’s global observation is to exchange and showcase the innovative practices around the world in urban planning, building and management, discuss how to further implement New Urban Agenda, and promotion of the exchange and cooperation among cities and countries along the Belt and Road.
Specific activities include World Cities Day Forum, WCD-Urban Governance Innovation Practices Exhibition, Urban Cultural Exchange and other supporting activities. To be present in this event are representatives of UN Habitat and leaders from MOHURD and Guangdong Provincial Government as well as ministry officials and mayors from different countries, representatives of relevant international organization, and scholars on urban planning and construction management.
For the 2017 WCD, Guangdong Housing and Urban-Rural Development Department and Guangzhou Municipal Government have jointly formulated a preparation scheme, founded a specialized preparation organization, and made plan for symposium, academic paper collection, South Guangdong Ancient Post Road Orienteering and Expert Interviews, to draw public attention and efforts to city governance and development for the purpose of building a greener and more livable, convenient, harmonious city.
The 2015 and 2016 WCD Global Observations were respectively held in Milan of Italy and Quito of Ecuador while national celebration events were held in Shanghai and Xiamen of China. In line with the general and annual themes of WCD, governments at all levels, city managers, researchers and citizens are encouraged to discuss and exchange policies, measures and experiences of sustainable urban development from different perspectives.
Source: “Guangzhou to host global observance of 2017 World Cities Day”. UN-Habitat.org