CityNet Secretary General Vijay Jagannathan made an impactful visit to Seoul from 6-10 February. Aside from checking in with the Secretariat and advising the network’s plans for 2023, Mr. Jagannathan also made various outreach trips to reach out to partners, new and old.
Notably, Dr. Jagannathan was requested to speak in various capacities. He delivered opening remarks for the Green, Smart and People-Oriented Urban Mobility Services hosted in partnership with the International Climate Development Institute and Kaohsiung City. The Secretary General also delivered a lecture entitled “Methane Capture as a Means to Promote Smart City Development” to a packed room of government officials studying for a Masters in Urban Administration & Planning at the University of Seoul’s Graduate School of Urban Sciences.
In addition, the Secretary General spoke with Professor Hyun Park and Shin Lee at the University of Seoul on how to expand their partnership including developing an online course for civil servants in CityNet member cities to share best practices and how to integrate Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) into CityNet programs. Mr. Jagannathan also visited Kookmin University to sit down with its President and the leader of their Low Carbon Lab to discuss partnerships on projects to reduce carbon and methane emissions in CityNet cities.
Moreover, several online meetings were also held. Dr. Jagannathan met with Kuala Lumpur City Mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah and other local city officials to work on details on the set up of a new Kuala Lumpur CityNet Satellite Office. The new office will be CityNet’s subregional office with the primary objectives to strengthen development cooperation activities closer with Kuala Lumpur and in cities in Southeast Asia.
Dr. Jagannathan also met with members of World Bank Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) to explore how to promote Japan’s urban solutions to CityNet members. Christopher Pablo, World Bank TDLC Team Lead, expressed optimism on the prospect for further collaboration including technical assistance and city to city exchanges with CityNet members.
Of course, no mission to Seoul would be complete without paying a visit to Seoul Mayor Oh at City Hall. Dr. Jagannathan also found time to pay a visit to the Ban Ki Moon Foundation for a Better Future to meet the former UN Secretary General himself.
It’s clear from the Secretary General’s visit that CityNet will put renewed focus on achieving low carbon cities through new financing mechanisms and by training new generations of engaged civil servants who are equipped with the skills to tackle multiple mounting challenges at once.