CityNet Secretariat participated in and managed a learning session during the 6th Asian Cities Summit on 5-7 April 2023. The session highlighted the work of CityNet’s members and explored potential partnership with local authorities with focus on India and in South Asia region.
CityNet organized a session titled ‘Public Private Partnership (PPP) Innovations on Resilience Building’ on April 6, 2023. It highlighted the work of Mumbai First and Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), two of CityNet’s associate members in India.
Representing CityNet Secretariat, Mr. Paulie Mora, Senior Program Officer, moderated the program and underscored that a PPP approach to building resilience is one of the more sustainable strategies for urban development. PPP is seen more as a process of bringing public and private collaboration with emphasis on people, he added.
Moreover, Ms. Ashwini Thakar, Program Director of Mumbai First, presented on the infrastructure gap for development projects and emphasized the importance of private sector investments to fill the investment gap on development projects like transport, roads, education, and housing.
Dr. Deepak Bansal (HUDCO) said PPP has been effective in addressing housing shortages in both urban and rural areas in India. However, recurring challenges occur. ‘The cost of the land is a major issue in housing in India, proving it to be expensive and hard to replicate PPP at a larger scale,’ Dr. Deepak added.
Mr. Chris Di Gennaro underscored the importance of platforms where cities can benchmark different financing models like PPP to improve resilience.
‘CityNet builds multi-stakeholder coalitions to address urban challenges and build resilience,’ Chris added. He also presented several urban solutions that address urban resilience challenges like Seoul’s Urban Change Detection Service Using GeoAI and Nature-based Climate Adaptation Program.
Ms. Thakar also mentioned the Mumbai First’s State War Room, a city-wide initiative that identifies and monitors the top 25 projects which require urgent city executive attention.
Aside from the panel, CityNet also participated in the different plenary and technical sessions at the Summit.
During the plenary session, Mr. Mora expressed CityNet’s solidarity by actively engaging in the biennial summit. ‘We are certain that we will build on the gains of this summit, and we are committed to supporting our cities in the Asia Pacific toward sustainable urban development,’ he added.
Paulie Mora is a Senior Program Officer at CityNet, primarily responsible for capacity building and cluster activities. Prior to working in CityNet, Paulie spent ten years working in a national local government association based in Manila, Philippines. He has held various supervisory positions in both regular and foreign-assisted programs and projects that focused on urban development. He graduated with a journalism degree at the University of Santo Tomas. Paulie has a professional background in development communications, public advocacy, local governance, and urban sociology.