The overarching theme of this year’s Assembly is how business and these diverse set of stakeholders are implementing the New Urban Agenda just over one year on from its adoption by Member States at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. The New Urban Agenda lays out five priority areas of coordinated action to achieve sustainable urbanization, including national urban policies; urban legal frameworks; integrated urban and territorial planning and design; financing and strengthening the urban economy; and local implementation. Within this context, the Assembly will explore:
• Key examples of progress to date in implementing the New Urban Agenda;
• The opportunities for business, investors and development financial institutions to scale-up existing initiatives and pursue new programmes and innovations;
• Where the biggest gaps and challenges lie in engaging business in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, and;
• How partnerships between business, local governments and other stakeholders can be strengthened to deliver transformative change.
The Business Assembly is a featured programme of the World Urban Forum that convenes leading members of the private sector, business and city networks, development banks, investors, foundations, national and local governments, UN agencies, and other industry stakeholders working towards the common aim of delivering sustainable urban development. The focus of this year’s Business Assembly is grounded in the New Urban Agenda’s call-to-action to businesses “to apply their creativity and innovation toward solving sustainable development challenges in urban areas, acknowledging that private business activity, investment, and innovation are major drivers of productivity, inclusive growth and job creation” (NUA, par 133).
For the first time, this year’s Business Assembly will take place alongside the Women’s and Children and Youth Assemblies. The three Assemblies will share a common opening and closing session prior to the start and end of each Assembly, which will be led by selected delegates who will explain the linkages between and importance of aligning these different groups.
• How well positioned is the business and industry community to respond to the goals and targets of the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals? Why or why not?
• How can technological advancements contribute to achieving these global agendas, including helping to fill the ‘data gap’?
• Which sources of investment and innovative financial instruments are available to cities, or can be made available to cities? What does it take for cities to access these? What does business need to up-scale and accelerate access to cities (e.g. improved risk landscape, etc.)?
• How can business, local governments and others work together to improve wider understanding of the importance and relevance of sustainable urbanization?
2030 Agenda, Inclusive Growth, Innovation, Investment, Job Creation, New Urban Agenda, Private Sector, Productivity, Science, Sustainable Development Goals, Technology.