World Urban Pavilion By UN-Habitat Established To Foster Global Development Of Cities

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A city skyline... Representative Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

TORONTO: An international partnership was announced this week to establish the World Urban Pavilion in Regent Park to help foster the development of cities around the globe.

The partnership between the Government of Canada, UNHabitat and the Urban Economy Forum (UEF) was announced by Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), John Tory, Mayor of the City of Toronto, Eduardo Lopez Moreno, Director of Habitat Office in Mexico and Cuba Region and Head of Knowledge and Innovation at UN-Habitat and Reza Pourvaziry, Chair of Urban Economy Forum.

The Pavilion will act as a knowledge exchange hub to share best practices, innovation and research in urban development and revitalization from countries around the world.

The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, will contribute $1 million for the construction of the Regent Park World Urban Pavilion by UNHabitat and $1.25 million for five years of programming ($250K per year) through the National Housing Strategy Demonstrations Initiative.

Ahmed Hussen said: “This announcement is a step forward for housing. The world will be coming to Regent Park through this partnership with UN-Habitat and the Urban Economy Forum.

There is so much we can learn from each other in terms of urban development, and the World Urban Pavilion will be an opportunity to showcase our own practices while learning from others around the globe.”

Mayor Tory said: “I am proud that Toronto will be the new home of the World Urban Pavillion so that we can lead on a global stage when comes to urban development. I am pleased that the site will be in the heart of Regent Park which has been a development that has demonstrated Toronto’s excellence when it comes to city and urban planning.

I look forward to seeing the new ideas and solutions that will come out of this space and the collaborative work that will occur with other leaders and countries from around the world.”

Eduardo Moreno, UN-Habitat, said: “The Sustainable Development Goals Cities Pavilion in Regent Park will provide sustainable and innovative urban solutions and capacity development to strengthen cities and countries to respond effectively to the challenges of urbanization, opportunities of urbanization and equitable and inclusive access to achieve shared prosperity for all.”

Heela Omarkhail, Vice President Social Impact, The Daniels Corporation, added: “The Daniels Corporation is thrilled to welcome the World Urban Pavilion by UN-Habitat to Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood.

We commend Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, UNHabitat and the Urban Economy Forum for creating a knowledge exchange hub which will project best practices in sustainable, inclusive urban development around the world”

•Toronto is the traditional territory of the Ojibway, the Anishnabe and the Mississauga’s of the New Credit. The territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties.

•The Regent Park World Urban Pavilion by UN-Habitat will be located on the second floor of DuEast Condominium, a new mixed-use development built by The Daniels Corporation.

• The World Urban Pavilion is scheduled to open in the spring of 2021.

• The Pavilion will be a global platform to advocate for sustainable urban development with stakeholders across all sectors, including city leaders using data and information to support evidence-based policy decisions supported by people-oriented innovative solutions to development challenges faced by human settlements around the world.

•The Pavilion will provide an interactive channel for the United Nations to create a global network — in person and virtually — to realize its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially SDG 11: “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

•The Pavilion will be a space to stimulate dialogue and debate on the future of cities with collaborators and international and local program partners including the University of Toronto’s School of Cities, Canadian Urban Institute and the Toronto Public Library.

• The Pavilion will provide an alternative voice for Canada to play a pioneering role in leading the implementation of SDG Cities and will put Toronto on the world map as a global hub for urban SDGs.

• Regent Park was chosen as home to the Pavilion because its ongoing community-centric revitalization is seen as an example to be shared in Canada and around the world.

UN-Habitat is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities and communities. As such, UN-Habitat has been at the forefront of supporting countries to have access to reliable data and information on urban conditions and trends and to efficiently monitor and report on global agendas (e.g. 2030 Agenda, New Urban Agenda).

The UN-Habitat’s vision of “a better quality of life for all in an urbanizing world” is bold and ambitious. UN-Habitat works with partners to build inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and communities.

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