The world is facing a series of multiple and interlinked crises; a perfect storm that is testing the limits of current development paradigms. As countries and cities across Asia and the Pacific struggle to recover from the socio-economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis continues to ravage the region. Added to that, geo political tensions and the growing food and energy crisis is undermining prospects for a true recovery and in turn affect the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region.
Cities in the region are home to 54 percent of the world’s urban population or about 2.3 billion people. Even prior to the pandemic, cities had not kept pace with continued and often unplanned urbanization. This led to long-standing challenges, such as urban poverty, inequalities and environmental degradation.
According to UN-Habitat, 95 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases were in the urban areas and cities became hotspots for COVID-19 cases worldwide. The socio-economic consequences from the pandemic and the subsequent energy and food crisis are compounding existing challenges of urbanization. Cities, across the developing and developed world, became frontline actors facing multiple interlinked crises, and city-level response has become critical for building resilience and ensuring the achievement of the SDGs.
In this context, The Future of Asian & Pacific Cities 2023, builds on three previous publications, The Future of Asian & Pacific Cities 2019, The State of Asian and Pacific Cities 2015 and The State of Asian Cities 2011, which explored key existing and emerging trends in urban development within the region. This Report, continues a forward-looking perspective with an ambitious vision of sustainable urban future and evaluates the implications of different development pathways under different scenarios for achievement of inclusive sustainable development in cities by 2030. The Report is envisioned and developed in a collaborative way among several partners including the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) the Asian Development Bank (ADB), CityNet and others. The report is divided into four thematic areas of established and emerging topics for sustainable urban development. Future-oriented goals and solutions to biggest urban challenges are supported with tangible examples of potential implementation pathways and illustrative brief case studies.
This call for Case Studies provides an opportunity to highlight specific innovative policies, case studies, initiatives or partnerships that fit the overall theme of the Report illustrated above from the Asia-Pacific region. These case studies aim to deepen practical knowledge on sustainable urban development solutions, identify new and emerging issues. Knowledge can be drawn from both successful and unsuccessful experiences. These case studies should introduce themes that are directly related to the four main chapters of the Report. Case Studies will be collected through an open call on the Urban SDG Knowledge Platform hosted by CityNet.
For extraordinary case studies, representatives may be invited to the 2nd Urban SDG Knowledge Platform Awards Ceremony at the 8th Session of the Asia-Pacific Urban Forum (APUF-8) being hosted by Suwon, Republic of Korea in late October 2023 to share their experiences. Eligible cities, ministries, and organizations should be from ESCAP member states. To see a list of ESCAP members, please click here.
To submit your case study, please complete the Case Study Upload form available for download below and email it to email@example.com. Case studies that have already been submitted to the Platform can also be nominated for consideration by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the title of your case study, the link to its page on the case study database, and the category you would like to submit the case under.
Download the Case Study Upload form with further information here.
Case Study Themes:
- Urban, spatial, and territorial planning
- City climate action and resilience
- Urban digital transformation
- Municipal financing
 United Nations (2019),’ The Future of Asian & Pacific Cities: Transformative pathways towards sustainable urban development’ https://www.unescap.org/publications/future-asian-and-pacific-cities-2019-transformative-pathways-towards-sustainable-urban
 UN Habitat, UNCDF et all (2022), ‘Guiding principles and practices for urban economic recovery and resilience’ https://www.uncdf.org/article/6196/guiding-principles-and-practices-for-urban-economic-recovery-and-resilience
 For a list of ESCAP countries in the Asia-Pacific region, please refer to https://www.unescap.org/about/member-states
Chris Di Gennaro is a Program Officer at CityNet, where he manages the Urban SDG Knowledge Platform, a joint project with UNESCAP and the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Previously, he worked at ESCAP to organize an urban innovation themed startup competition. Chris holds a Master of Korean Studies from Yonsei University and a Bachelor of Psychology from Vassar College. He is keenly interested in the workings of cities and facilitating sustainable urban development.