CityNet Talks Urban Regeneration at 11th APFSD in Bangkok

CityNet Secretariat was in Bangkok from 19-23 February to support ESCAP’s annual Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) which supports follow-up and review of the progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the region. The 11th APFSD was organized under the theme of “Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and eradicating poverty in times of multiple crises: the effective delivery of sustainable, resilient, and innovative solutions in Asia and the Pacific”. For the first time, ESCAP, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, and UCLG ASPAC organized a Local and Regional Government Assembly to precede the main event, underscoring the importance of local governments in achieving the SDGs.

The Secretariat partnered with ESCAP, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, and Yokohama City to organize a side event at APFSD in the Urban Engagement Space. Aligning with the themes of APFSD, the 22 February event was entitled “Urban Regeneration for Safe, Resilient, and Inclusive Cities in the Asia Pacific”. Mr. Kyungkoo Philip Kang, ESCAP Economic Affairs Officer facilitated the event. The event was opened by Mr. Jeong-kee Kim, CityNet Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Sangmin Nam, the Director of the Environment and Development Division at ESCAP. Following that, the audience was polled on their priorities within urban regeneration and discussed how regenerative efforts at the local level can enhance inclusivity of the city, safety for vulnerable groups, and resilience from climate shocks. Afterward, a panel of speakers discussed the following topics:

  • Tipsukon Choungthong, Chief, Urban Renewal Section, Planning & Development Division, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
    • “Urban Regeneration Paradigms: Lessons from Bangkok in the Pursuit of Resilience and Sustainable Development”
  • Masafumi Shinagawa, Chief Representative, Office of the City of Yokohama Representative to Southeast and South Asia
    • “Smart City Development in Yokohama: Minato Mirai 21 Project”
  • Norliza Binti Hashim, Chief Executive Officer, Urbanice Malaysia
    • “Urban Regeneration: Opportunities for Transformative & Effective Urban Development”
  • Chris DiGennaro, Program Officer, CityNet Secretariat (Speaking on behalf of Seoul Metropolitan Government)
    • “Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Going Together with the Socially Neglected (GTSN) Program as a Vehicle for Urban Regeneration”
  • Ankita Kapoor, Program Manager, Safetipin
    • “Building Gender Responsive Cities Using Data & Technology”

To view the compiled presentation materials from this session, please follow this link HERE.

Alongside APFSD, the Secretariat held a meeting with Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt. Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has been a dedicated member of CityNet since 1993 and has been part of the Executive Committee multiple times, serving as both 1st and 2nd Vice Chair of the Network. CityNet CEO Mr. Jeong-kee Kim and the Governor discussed Bangkok’s priorities in urban regeneration and efforts to combat rising air pollution. They also brainstormed ways for Bangkok to contribute to CityNet in the new era.

After APFSD concluded, CityNet Program Officer Chris DiGennaro made an excursion to Kanchanaburi to visit professors at Mahidol University, Kanchanaburi Campus, a member of CityNet since 2017. The campus, (known as MUKA), is a pioneer in Environmental Engineering and Disaster Management. They have developed multiple programs that can benefit CityNet members such as combatting forest fires which contributes to urban air pollution and developing board games to teach multilevel stakeholders important topics like water pollution, street design, and disaster readiness. Professors also have experience in helping local cities write Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) on SDG progress, which is a skill that can benefit CityNet members who wish to write a VLR before 2030.

CityNet’s outreach to Thailand engaged a confluence of highly engaged and deeply motivated stakeholders in sustainable urban development. CityNet members are encouraged to work together with ESCAP, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, and MUKA to achieve regional goals.

This article has been written by Chris DiGennaro, who can be reached at


Share This