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20 JAN. 2021
11:30 CET/12:30 EEST
The role of the United Nations in promoting urban planning for sustainable development by Rafael Tuts (UN-Habitat)
To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, transformative change is needed to make cities and communities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. The New Urban Agenda complements this by providing a blueprint on how to promote sustainable urbanization in the next two decades, with strong connections to the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. In UN-Habitat's strategic plan 2020-2023, urban planning is positioned as one of the key drivers of change to reduce spatial inequality, enhance shared prosperity, promote urban climate action, and accelerate urban crises response. The lecture will explore how urban planning is linked to the global goals of the United Nations. Through research findings and practical field examples it will demonstrate how global challenges are highly dependent on more sustainable urban planning policy and practice.

Rafael Tuts is Director of the Global Solutions Division of UN-Habitat, based at its Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. He is overseeing the development and application of UN-Habitat's normative guidelines through global programmes.

He is currently also leading an agency-wide effort to analyse the State of the World's Cities in the fight against COVID-19, focusing on multi-level governance, inequality, morphology, and urban economy.

From 2016 to 2019 he was Director of the Programme Division of UN-Habitat, overseeing its thematic branches and regional offices. From 2012 to 2016 he was Coordinator of the Urban Planning and Design Branch of UN-Habitat, promoting compact, integrated, and connected cities that are inclusive and resilient to climate change. Earlier assignments at UN-Habitat included leadership of the Localising Agenda 21 Programme, the Training and Capacity Branch and the Cities and Climate Change Initiative.

Following the Rio+20 Conference, he coordinated UN-Habitat's engagement in formulating the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG-11 on 'making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable'.

He authored and co-edited several publications on a wide range of sustainable urban development topics, including 'Urban Trialogues', a book reflecting on urban space as a resource for sustainable development, based on work in Morocco, Kenya, Vietnam, and Cuba.

Together with colleagues from the World Bank, UNEP, and Cities Alliance, he received the World Bank Vice-President Team Award in 2011 for global partnership building on Cities and Climate Change. He also received ISOCARP's 50th Anniversary Award in 2015, in recognition of UN-Habitat's urban planning work.

Before joining UN-Habitat in 1995, he worked for the Department of Architecture, Urbanism, and Planning of the University of Leuven in Belgium and the Housing Research and Development Unit of the University of Nairobi. In 1985, he obtained a Master of Science degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Leuven. In December 2016, he was awarded the title of Honorary Professor from the same university.

*The lecture is held in cooperation with the Department of International Urbanism (Institute of Urban Planning and Design, Universität Stuttgart), inviting CANactions School audience to attend the IUSD Lectures — a series of online events with prominent international speakers who present their practical and academic work on various social, political, cultural, and spatial aspects of Integrated Urbanism, Sustainable Architecture, and Urban Ecology.