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Sidoarjo Regency’s Public Hospital, Seoul Metropolitan Government – Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center and CityNet have agreed to create a synergy and establish partnership in the field of education, healthcare and hospital management by signing a partnership charter on 9 December 2016, following a MoU signed by the two hospitals on the same day.

The Director of Sidoarjo Public Hospital, Mr. Atok Irawan and the Director of Boramae Medical Center, Mr. Park Min-hyun first met in September this year during a program on healthcare and hospital management facilitated by CityNet that also brought knowledge exchange in e-governance and water treatment between Sidoarjo Regency and Seoul Metropolitan Government. On their opening remarks, they stated that both hospitals agreed to continue their partnership in a more concrete step that include fellowship programs where Boramae Medical Center welcomes medical doctors from Sidoarjo Public Hospital to attend a short course in Seoul.

The Regent of Sidoarjo H. Saiful Ilah expressed his excitement over this partnership and highlighted how CityNet has played a key role in connecting the two public hospitals. The delegation of Boramae Medical Center that consisted of five people had a chance to visit the Sidoarjo Public Hospital, during which Director Park Min-hyun was particularly impressed by how Sidoarjo Public Hospital is run with full dedication from all components.

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Following the MoU and Partnership Charter signing, representatives from the two hospitals and CityNet held an open discussion attended by officials from Sidoarjo Regency and doctors from Sidoarjo Public Hospitals. Some of the questions raised by the audience touched on education program that can be transferred from Boramae Medical Center to improve the skills of Sidoarjo Public Hospital’s doctors.

The last program of the day was a lecture on plastic surgery delivered by plastic surgeon Mr. Park Ji-ung from Boramae Medical Center to the plastic surgery residents of Sidoarjo and Surabaya Public Hospitals. It was then followed by a presentation from the only plastic surgeon at the Sidoarjo Public Hospital, Ms. Ariek Desnantika who showed several procedures she has continuously conducted.

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The “Workshop on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asian and Pacific Cities” hosted by ESCAP from November 30th to December 1st, 2016 in Bangkok, was the perfect opportunity to launch the Urban SDG Knowledge Platform attended by representatives from 27 local governments, 11 national governments, and 29 UN bodies and organizations. The platform, developed by CityNet, Seoul Metropolitan Government, and ESCAP, was well received as a collaborative effort to share city policies for the localization of the SDGs.

Representatives from the three institutions emphasized the need to connect the current knowledge platforms which complement each other to implement the SDGs while promoting sustainable development for all. This is one of the key elements of the Urban SDG Knowledge Platform, as it is expected to become not only a gateway to the SDG-related city policies, but also to other knowledge platforms available to help local governments develop sustainably. The Urban SDG Knowledge Platform is also expected to be a tool to improve the offline activities of CityNet, ESCAP and other organizations willing to use its information. CityNet will use this platform to find cities that would like to share their policies through workshops or sessions and to facilitate its city-to-city cooperation program, CityNet Services.

The Urban SDG Knowledge Platform will improve CityNet´s current work and open new opportunities to help its members in achieving their sustainable development goals. Join us now by using the information on the platform already or uploading your city policies at http://www.urbansdgplatform.org/

For more details about the “Workshop on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asian and Pacific Cities” including the program, participants list, presentations, and supporting documents please go to http://www.unescap.org/events/workshop-implementation-2030-agenda-sustainable-development-asian-and-pacific-cities

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CityNet members and partners convened in Makati, Philippines for the 34th Session of the Executive Committee (ExCom) from November 23-24 which concluded with a road map for the network.

Executive Committee Meeting is the network’s highest governing body that meets annually to evaluate its activities throughout the year and map out the organization vision and strategy for the following year. A series of activities implemented throughout 2016 were reported to the Executive Committee that included members’ pioneering initiatives as well as CityNet’s active participation in the recently held United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development adopting the New Urban Agenda in Quito Ecuador.

As conveyed by CityNet Secretary General Vijay julietta in canada Jagannathan, this year’s meeting underscored the importance of revisiting our key organizational strategies as we usher in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. This year’s Meeting kicked-off with a Strategic Planning Meeting a day prior to the ExCom proper that showed CityNet’s commitment to the above-mentioned challenges. This strategy meeting aimed at setting a road map for the network with clear plans to be implemented in the next few years.

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Some of the key points adopted at the Strategic Planning Meeting to shape up CityNet’ core activities are:

  • Disaster Risk Management
  • Urban Climate Change Resilience
  • Knowledge Platform Modalities in a Digital World
  • Paradigm Shift in Urban Challenges in Asian Cities
  • Affordable Housing
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Good Governance and Decentralization

In addition to the institutional and activity discussion, this year’s ExCom served as a preparatory deliberation for CityNet Congress that will be hosted by Colombo Municipal Council in November 2017 where the main office bearers for the year 2018-2021 will be elected.

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It is all systems go for the CityNet’s 34th Executive Committee Meeting on 24, 2016. This was assured by no less than Makati City Mayor Abby Binay-Campos to the CityNet’s Secretariat’s courtesy visit to her office last September 27, 2016. Makati City is CityNet’s Second Vice President City.

CityNet Secretariat’s Operations Director Taegyun Gi, Program Officer Jaime Paulo Mora, and Project Coordinator Hee Soo Joo met their local counterparts to finalize the details of the preparation for the 34th Executive Committee.

The representatives of CityNet Secretariat and local working groups visited the hotel’s meeting venue and rooms, finalized the placement of banners and help desks, simulated the visitors’ flow, and set deadlines for sending program details and itinerary.

The Executive Committee is the highest governing body of CityNet that meets once a year to evaluate its activities throughout the year and map out the organization vision and strategy for the following year. Prior to this year’s meeting, CityNet will also conduct its strategic planning meeting on November 23, 2016.

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City officials from seven Chinese cities participated in the Arisu Waterworks Workshop from September 25 to October 1, jointly organized by the Office of Waterworks Seoul Metropolitan Government (Arisu) and CityNet. Tailored specifically for Chinese cities, the workshop transmitted the know-how and lessons learned from the waterworks policy implemented by Arisu, which is often regarded to have one of the best waterworks practices in the Asia Pacific.

Taking the participants’ interests and their cities’ priorities into consideration, the workshop was organized into seminars on waterworks policies and a site visit to maximize the effectiveness of the workshop, such as the Arisu Water Treatment Centre, Sewage Treatment Centre and the Seoul Water Research Institutes.

Participants were especially interested in the management of the waterworks network, particularly regarding the issues of leakage prevention due to aging pipe networks. Participants also showed their great interest in the Arisu’s policy and the management of wastewater treatment.

The workshop sessions were focused on transmitting know-hows and lessons learned in relation to the aforementioned areas of interest.

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CityNet organized a learning event on sustainable transport, titled ‘Learning Sustainable Transport Options: A Localised Workshop Activity for Philippine CityNet Members’ on September 29, 2016 in Makati City, Philippines.

CityNet co-organized the activity with the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), the mandated association of Philippine cities, which is also a CityNet associate member. A total of 29 participants from five Philippine CityNet members – Makati, Muntinlupa, Quezon City, Iloilo, and Baguio –which were comprised of local city and transport planners attended the one-day learning event. LCP also extended its invite to other non-CityNet members like Taguig, General Santos, and Balanga cities. Participants learned different success models of improving urban mobility.

Seoul City Foreign Advisor to Philippine’s Department of Transportation (DOTr) Seungho Jo presented how Seoul city overcame its challenges in improving traffic and transport. He emphasized Seoul City’s key guiding policy, ‘Putting People First’, as a success factor in overcoming urban mobility challenges. Since then, the city has improved its bus and subway routes, and developed bikeways and walkways contributing to the city’s liveability.

Meanwhile, DOTr recognized the need to strengthen national-local collaboration in ensuring efforts in improving mobility are synchronized. For a local case, Quezon City presented its comprehensive program of its traffic enforcers. Aside from managing day-to-day traffic and clearing operations, the city’s traffic enforcers also teach children on the basics of road safety and provide trainings to their counterparts in other cities as well.

The workshop capped off with the participants listing down the urban mobility-related issues and challenges that need further program intervention. Seeing the list, CityNet Program Officer Jaime Paulo Mora presented the CityNet Services program as a follow up activity for cities to avail.

CityNet Services is one of CityNet’s regular programs where members can apply for support in terms of technical advisory, study visits, or city-to-city partnerships.

During the closing remarks, LCP Secretary-General and Balanga City Mayor Francis Garcia said that LCP leadership looks forward to participating more in CityNet-initiated activities both in the Philippines and in the Asia-Pacific region. He said that best practices and programs of CityNet members provide other cities relevant information towards developing sustainable urban solutions.

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To show their commitment to improve services towards healthier and smart city with citizens’ positive attitude, National Chapter Indonesia members held a localised seminar on healthy cities that was hosted by Banjarbaru City on 12-13 October under the theme “Committed to Collaborate for Improving Services towards Healthier and Smart City with Character”.

This was a follow up of 2015 Short Course and Study Visit on Healthy Cities and Hospital Management to Europe in the end of 2015 which was well participated CityNet-Indonesia member’s head of health policy and several local hospital directors. The short course and study visit was conducted in Europe on 16-26 October 2015 in cooperation with Erasmus University Rotterdam.

In 2014, the then President of Indonesia, Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono, launched the Health Care Insurance for all citizen administrated by special institution called Badan Pengelola Jaminan Social (BPJS). Central Government of Indonesia targets that by 2019 the entire population of Indonesia is already covered by health insurance. This was among the discussed topic in the seminar that was attended by approximately 100 health practitioners from all CityNet member cities in Indonesia. The speakers included the Ministry of Home Affairs of Indonesia and the Association of Indonesian Hospitals.

The discussion will help Indonesian cities to support achieving SDG’s goal in order to decrease poverty and increase the health and prosperity level.

This seminar was opened by the Mayor of Banjarbaru City H. Nadjmi Adhani with a hope that this seminar would bring tangible results for healthier cities along with great characteristic of the people. Supporting this program, the President of National Chapter Indonesia, the Mayor of Balikpapan Rizal Effendi shared with the audience the importance and benefit of becoming a CityNet member particularly to create a sustainable city. Through this regional network members could share and learn best practices from each other.

In conjunction with this seminar, Mayor Adhani inaugurated the new local hospital “Idaman” in the city which is expected to increase the city’s health index. Healthy cities do not just mean to have a great local hospital, but also to ensure that the city is liveable for all the citizens. Prior to the seminar, all participants were invited to plant trees at the newly developed Banua Botanical Gardens.

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From August 2nd – 4th, 2016, the workshop on “Public Spaces: Creating Safer, Inclusive, and Accessible Public Spaces for All” was held in Kuala Lumpur, co-organized by CityNet, UN-Habitat, and Kuala Lumpur Regional Training Center (KLRTC). This was the first regional workshop from UN-Habitat’s Program on Public Space, which marks the beginning of a reinforced effort to promote public spaces in Asian cities.

The workshop was led by Cecilia Andersson and Sohel Rana from UN-Habitat, and Sayel Cortes from CityNet. They were supported by three guest speakers who brought different perspectives: Prof. Mike Douglass from the National University of Singapore, Filippo Boselli from the World Future Council, and Mahbuba Sultana from Prothom Alo Bondhusbava Awareness Development Secretary.  Eighteen participants from seven countries actively contributed to the discussion and presented innovative ideas to improve the design of several public spaces they visited in Kuala Lumpur.

City-wide multidimensional planning for public space policy brings together different areas of the local government connecting not only internal functions within the city government, but also creating spaces that link multiple issues of the city. From this perspective, public spaces are enablers for safer cities, local economic development, health improvements, and better quality of life.

CityNet recognizes the opportunity and the need to promote strategic interventions to detonate wider positive impacts in Asian cities, and this successful workshop on public space is expected to be the initial step towards that direction.

In the coming months CityNet will help to connect the grant opportunities offered by UN-Habitat’s Programme on Public Space with member cities which are potentially eligible for funding to further promote better quality public spaces.

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Together with Microsoft, CityNet held a Mayor Dialogue that discussed “Future of Cities – Our Next Generation’s Expectations” as part of World Cities Summit co-located event on July 11th at 12.45-14.00.

The discussion of this session was focused on the outcomes of a recent survey of young people’s expectations of their city governments conducted by Microsoft. Interesting insights emerge include current views of the challenges faced today, young peoples’ hope for the future and Cities that they admire. This forum aimed to provide opportunity for cross exchange of ideas and best practices allowing cities to collaborate on formulating their future agenda.

Speakers for this session include:

  1. Kim Chang-Beom, Ambassador for International Relations, Seoul Metropolitan Government
  2. Oswar Muadzin Mungkasa, Deputy Governor of Jakarta for Spatial Planning and Environment
  3. Michael Koh, Fellow of Centre for Liveable Cities a division of Ministry of National Development
  4. Stefan Sjoestroem, Vice President for Public Sector Asia, Microsoft
  5. Mary Jane Ortega, former Mayor of San Fernando, La Union, Philippines; CityNet Special Advisor

During the discussion panellists were asked what the most surprising findings from their cities are and to elaborate on how they face up to the urban challenges pointed on the result. Singapore, for example, better housing conditions is among the top list mentioned by respondents to make Singapore more liveable. CLC Fellow Michael Koh highlighted the issue of house prices that are surging across the globe and the Government of Singapore addressed it by creating public housing.

Meanwhile, Jakarta is struggling with traffic congestion. Jakarta Deputy Governor Oswar Muadzin Mungkasa emphasised that the citizens of Jakarta need to change their habit and perspectives on how they see transportation because they still like to use their own private vehicles. Jakarta Light Rail Transit and Mass Rapid Transit are currently under construction as an attempt to solve the transportation challenges.

Answering the question of the role of technology in the society, Ambassador Kim Chang Beom emphasised that we should not forget the whole technological application or implementation, the people should always be at the centre – citizens-centred application – putting the people at the forefront of the decision making process. He gave an example of Seoul’s M-Voting to gather citizens’ opinions and allow citizens to share their opinions on the city’s diverse policies by using mobile devices.

CityNet Special Advisor Mary Jane Ortega mentioned the recently launched mobile app in Sidoarjo following the event, CityApp that was organised by CityNet and Microsoft last year, which has helped the city addressing their road infrastructure issue with public participation. Towards the end of the discussion Stefan Sjoestroem from Microsoft endorsed CityNet as an important network of local authorities where members and partners can share best practices and knowledge particularly in addressing urban challenges.

Details of the survey findings

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As the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, most commonly known as Habitat III, is getting closer; the preparations are getting more speedily. In this context CityNet, by invitation of UN-Habitat, brought the experience of Asian Cities on safety policies to this process in two international events.

The first was the Regional Expert Group Meeting on Governing Safer Cities organized by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN-Habitat in Bangkok. During this meeting the draft of the document “Governing Safer Cities: Strategies for a Globalised World” was revised to include the Asian perspective. CityNet made important contributions related to the split over effect of implementing safer policies in one city and the corresponding need for regional cooperation. CityNet also advocated for the “translation” of these guidelines into practical documents particularly targeted to the different kinds of implementing cities and organizations, to facilitate the implementation from global recommendations to the ground. During this meeting, UN-Habitat´s Program Director, Dr. Alioune Badiane, repeatedly emphasized the key role of CityNet in linking Asian cities to this process.

Secondly, CityNet was invited to bring the voice of Asian Cities to the global arena in two events that were held in Geneva on the first week of July, 2016. The first one was the “Meeting of the Technical Working Group on the Confluence of Urban Safety and Peace building Practice” in which the Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda was revised in terms of urban safety considerations, and particularly the vision of safer cities, are being included. Once this document is adopted in Habitat III, it will guide the international development of cities for the next 20 years.

Back to back to the first meeting, “Reviewing the State of Safety in World Cities: Urban Solutions to Crime, Conflict, and Insecurity” Conference was held in the United Nations´ Maison de la Pais in Geneva. CityNet was one of the two discussants for the Asia Pacific Region that endorsed the regional perspective to the global stage. CityNet also supported Seoul Metropolitan Government, one of the very few Asian cities represented in the event, in sharing its good practices to be recognized in the global process.

By linking Asian perspective with the global process, CityNet is both working to bring international support to cities in Asia Pacific, as raising the relevance of Asian experience in these topics. This is part of the on-going work of CityNet to share practical technical knowledge to improve the capacity of cities.