(December 16, 2022) As one of the most important conferences worldwide focusing on sustainable cities and human settlements, the 17th Annual Session of Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS 2022) was successfully held in a virtual format on December 15-16, 2022, with the theme being “Together for a shared safer and greener urban future: resilient, carbon-neutral and nature-positive cities”.
The forum was addressed by honorable guests such as Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Chairman of Global Forum on Human Settlements, Former UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative, Mr. Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary, The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Prof. Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of World Meteorological Organization, Prof. Zhang Yuqing, former Deputy Director General of the National Energy Administration of China, Prof. Zhou Xiaoxin, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Honorary President of China Electric Power Research Institute, Prof. Jan Gehl, renowned urban planning master, founder and senior advisor of Gehl Architects. The two-day forum has reached over 100,000 professional audiences through live streaming and remote participation.
Major partners showed continuous engagement with this year’s forum. 24 leading organizations joined GFHS 2022 as co-organizers and collaborators, including 10 major UN agencies, such as World Meteorological Organization, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, United Nations Economic and Social Commission in Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and United Nations Centre for Regional Development. Other main partners and contributing organizations include the African Development Bank, World Economic Forum, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), International Union for Conservation of Nature, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The Nature Conservancy, and C40.
More than 80 outstanding individuals contributed to the forum, including heads of international organizations such as the United Nations, senior government officials, mayors of leading cities, renowned experts and scholars, and well-known business leaders.
The two-day forum was covered by a number of mainstream media outlets around the world. Participants representing more than 50 countries on all continents conducted in-depth discussions on 10 key issues, put forward scientific solutions and policy recommendations, reached a consensus on a set of outcomes and recommended a batch of outstanding sustainable development practices and innovations. The forum has made positive contribution to the implementation of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.
The distinguished keynote speakers
2022 is both a year of hope to end COVID-19 pandemic and a critical year of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the climate commitments globally. On an urban planet, cities are always the main battleground to achieve carbon neutrality and guarantee a sustainable and better future. GFHS 2022 therefore called for an urgent collective action to ensure energy security, accelerate the clean energy transition and achieve carbon neutrality at the city level. Cities must make climate change adaptation and overall resilience building a major policy and smart investment to comprehensively improve systemic disaster prevention and mitigation capabilities, thereby building safe and future-proof cities and communities. It is essential to integrate nature into cities, live in harmony with nature, and improve the designing, building, financing and governance of nature-positive cities. The forum also reinforced the call that cities need to accelerate all-round green transformation and innovation, cope with multiple crises and challenges in an efficient and just way and make dramatic breakthroughs so as to enhance urban resilience, inclusiveness, sustainability and productiveness, thus achieving the end goal of leaving no one behind and no life behind.
Awarders and Awardees at the Sustainable Cities And Human Settlements Awards Ceremony 2022
On December 16, the two-day forum was grandly concluded with the hybrid Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards Ceremony 2022 (SCAHSA 2022) which recognized outstanding practices and innovations in promoting sustainable cities and human settlements, and recommended innovative concept, green technology and success experience. The awards commit to promote forces for change towards sustainable development on a wider scale.
This year, a total of 22 well-known organizations and individuals from all over the world were honored with the award, including City of San Jose, United States, the well-known global capital of innovation and "Heart of Silicon Valley"; Swiss National Park, one of the earliest national parks in Europe; Professor Jan Gehl, renowned urban planning master; The Meadoway, an excellent ecological restoration project in Toronto, Canada; Chumbe Island Coral Park, Tanzania; Sara Cultural Center in Sweden, one of the tallest carbon-negative wooden buildings; Forest City in Malaysia; Onshore Wave Energy Convertor Technology, Israel; ECOLOO Sustainable Toilet; Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay, Singapore; The Global New Generation of Waste Lithium Battery Safe and Precise Separation Solution; Central Mansion by Shanghai Mingjie Real Estate Development, China, and others. (The complete list of awardees can be accessed here: http://www.gfhsforum.org/award).
(By the Department of Public Information, GFHS)