The second Marmara Urban Forum (MARUF), organized by Marmara Municipalities Union, will be held online on 1-3 October 2021 on the theme of “Cities Developing Solutions: Re-Think, Co-Act” by recognizing the necessity of reconsidering established urban policies and solutions in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration is now open, and participation is free of charge!
MARUF strives for not only discussing the challenges that cities face but also seeking solutions to them and multiplying good practices at the global scale. Different types of online events such as talks, networking events, webinars, workshops, roundtable meetings, training sessions will be organized at MARUF21. Over 400 speakers from all over the world will be hosted in more than 100 online sessions. In the opening session of the forum, Ms. Shipra Narang Suri, the Chief of UN-Habitat Urban Practices Branch, Dr. Philipp Rode, the Executive Director of LSE Cities, Ms. Soo-Jin KIM, the Head of the Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development Division at OECD Centre for Enterpreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, Ms. Louisa Vinton UNDP Turkey Resident Representative, and Mr. Tahir Büyükakın, President of Marmara Municipalities Union and Mayor of Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality will be the speakers.
Aligning with the SDGs, some of the prominent topics to be discussed at MARUF21, among others, are: #climate change, #waste management, #migration, #infrastructure, #inequalities, #mobility, #public health, #digitalization, #circular economy, #public space, #housing, #local development, #urban leadership. The localization of SDGs and urban solutions to global challenges will be addressed within the forum. UN-Habitat, Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, Energy Cities, CDP, WRI, UNDP, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, UITP, ACR+, NALAS, Ohio State University, WWF, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality as well as many other NGOs, municipalities, universities, think-tanks, development agencies are among the partners of MARUF.
Issues such as climate change, environmental degradation, discrimination, increase in inequality and poverty not only threaten the city and its dwellers, but also become more and more complex with the current urbanization practices. Existing governance mechanisms and paradigms fall short of developing a just and equitable solution for residents, particularly migrants, the poor, children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups. Global crises, such as pandemics and forced migrations that rapidly and greatly affect societies and individuals, show us the need to rethink our relationship with the city. In addition, the prevalence, depth, and cost of the issues necessitate acting together with all stakeholders. Creating healthy, resilient, inclusive, creative, innovative, and sustainable cities are of the utmost importance to combat these problems, and the first step in doing this is to realize the need to re-think and co-act.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the necessity of reconsidering the issues of individual and social life on an urban, national and global scale. It has caused disruptions in health services unemployment, economic losses, the rise of income inequality, and hardships in the education and cultural sector all around the world. This process in which we question our habits and expectations from the city also respahes our perception of the city. Our priorities, which are mostly determined by the fast-paced lifestyle of the city, are changing with a slower and even a stagnant pace of life. We need to re-think issues such as the use of homes and offices, remote working models, use of public spaces, transportation and logistics management, income inequality, urban healthcare, and many others.
Marmara Urban Forum, which offers an opportunity to transform the lessons learned from the pandemic into teachings and to initiate radical transformations, will focus on six main axes which are “healthy,” “inclusive,” innovative,” “resilient,” “sustainable,” and “creative” cities. MARUF21 puts forward an endeavor to create an exchange and dialogue platform among the public and private sector, NGOs, universities, local governments and all other stakeholders.
To register MARUF21 and fore even more information, visit the official website: www.marmaraurbanforum.org
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