International Forum on Urban Policy for the Sustainable Development Goals

Organized by Seoul Metropolitan Government, UNESCAP and CityNet


 CityNet, Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG), and UNESCAP will host the first International Forum on Urban Policy for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on June 8th-10th in Seoul, South Korea.

This year marked the official launch of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all 193 member countries of the United Nations, in which cities will play a critical role as a great deal of actions required will be taken at the local level. Therefore, this forum will seek to engage a broad base of urban stakeholders, namely national and city governments, specialized institutions, non-governmental organizations, international organizations and networks.

This forum will discuss how to facilitate and support cities in achieving the SDGs, particularly Goal 11, and will identify practical approaches and programs for sharing policy experiences, best practices, and innovative technologies and financing mechanisms among urban stakeholders.

Alongside this pioneering forum, CityNet, with the support of SMG and UNESCAP, will launch a special edition of its bi-annual magazine, CityVoices, which compiles innovative solutions to specific, city-level problems focusing on the Asian Perspectives of Sustainable Urbanization, inspired by the multi-dimensional urban challenges facing the Asia Pacific region that are different from the models and paradigms of cities across Europe and the United States. Twenty-four urban practitioners demonstrate that every challenge can potentially lead to locally customized solutions, which can then serve as useful case studies for other cities.

CityNet will organize an exclusive preview of the selected cases from this special publication  which will be delivered by former Vice Mayor of Seoul, Mr. Sangbum Kim; Mayor of Seberang Perai, Dato’ Maimunah Mohd Sharif; former Mayor of San Fernando La Union, Ms. Mary Jane Ortega; and UNESCAP’s Director of Environment and Development  Division, Mr. Stefanos Fotiou, among others.

In addition, CityNet will facilitate a session on Safer Cities that is aligned with the work of the Regional Network for Safer Cities, chaired by the SMG. Experts in the area of urban safety and cities representatives will present challenges, potential benefits, and selection of best practices in safety include the representative from UN-Habitat, Mr. Juma Assiago; Ms. Mary Jane Ortega, CityNet’s Special Advisor; Seoul City’s Deputy Director of Design Policy Division, Ms. Kang Hyojin; the Mayor of Bharatpur, Mr. Mahesh Baral; and Ms. Piyanud Siri from Bangkok’s City Planning Department.

This forum will also introduce the Urban SDG Knowledge Sharing Platform as a hub for cities across the Asia Pacific region and beyond to share experiences and best practices in response to the SDGs. Not only will it provide access to information and technical resources but also facilitate the replication of policies, initiatives and good practices through city-to-city cooperation.

All sessions delivered in the forum are expected to provide concrete examples to better address and evaluate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and provide recommendations for the effective operations and focus of the Knowledge Sharing Platform.

To read more about the program and register for the forum visit


Program at a Glance

Wednesday June 8th, 2016

Opening session

  • Introduction of the Forum
  • Opening Remarks and Seoul’s Vision for the SDGs
  • Welcome Remarks 1
  • Welcome Remarks 2
  • Keynote Speech: Urban Policy for the SDGs and the Significance of Urban Policy Sharing
  • Group Photo

Session 1

  • Sustainable urban development in Asia Pacific
  • The role of local governments for the 2030 Agenda for SD
  • Seoul’s initiatives for the SDG
  • Challenges of local governments in the implementation of the SDGs

Session 2

  • Sustainable Urban Infrastructure in Asia Pacific
  • Sustainable Urban Planning
  • Sustainable Transportation – The Case of Seoul
  • Sustainable Housing
  • Sustainable Water Management
  • Launch of Asian Perspectives on Sustainable Urbanization: Best Practices


Session 3 – Parallel Sessions

  • Asian Perspectives on Sustainable Urbanization: Best Practices
  • Social Economy
  • Cities Innovation
  • Financing

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Session 4

  • Summary of Plenary Sessions of Day 1
  • Parallel Sessions Reporting from Day 1

Session 5

  • Asia Pacific Governance for the Implementation of the SDGs
  • Singapore’s Strategy for SDGs Implementation
  • Seoul’s Plan of Implementation of the SDGs
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Systems for the SDGs

Session 6 – Parallel Sessions

  • Environment and climate change
  • E-government
  • Safer cities
  • Disaster reduction

Session 7

  • Presentation on the concept of the urban SDG knowledge platform
  • Regional cooperation for the SDGs
  • Strengthening inter-city cooperation and policy sharing
  • Discussions on priorities and modalities for the urban SDG knowledge platform

Closing session

  • Summary of plenary sessions of Day2
  • Parallel sessions reporting from Day2
  • Seoul Communique

Friday, June 10th, 2016

Field visit

  • Transportation
  • Environment
  • Waterworks