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World Cities Day: SA Hopes To Build Livable, Safe, And Efficient Urban Cities

The theme for this year’s World Cities Day is “Changing the world: Innovations and better life for future generations.” Each year, the day is commemorated on 31 October.

What is the aim for World Cities Day

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly designated the day to promote international community interest in global urbanisation. The aim for the day is to encourage “cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world.”

The general theme for World Cities Day is “Better City, Better Life.” However, each year a different sub-theme is chosen, “to either promote successes of urbanisation, or address specific challenges resulting from urbanization.”

What World Cities Day 2019 hopes to achieve

The theme for this year was chosen to encourage discussions on “how urbanization can be used to achieve sustainable development.” The UN’s website further explained the purpose of the theme as such:

“It aims to promote the international community’s interest in implementing the New Urban Agenda globally and in enhancing cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization in cities.”

 United Nations

SA is looking into cities that are more urban

The South African government revealed how it was commemorating the day. It revealed that “through the Department of Cooperative Governance’s Intergrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) is paving a new deal for South African cities and towns.”

According to the South African government website:

“The IUDF builds on the National Development Plan and its vision for urban South Africa. The National Development Plan (NDP) places ‘transforming human settlements and the national space economy’ at its centre. By 2030 SA should see reviving rural areas and creating more integrated, balanced and vibrant urban settlements.”

 South African government

The government’s vision for SA cities

The IUDF’s vision is to see cities that are livable, safe, efficient, economically inclusive, and places where residents can “participate actively in urban life.” The framework has identified four strategic goals to achieve its vision namely: Access, growth, governance, and spatial transformation.

Eight policy levers for achieving the goals have been identified:

  • Spatial planning forms the basis for achieving integrated urban development
  • Integrated transport informs
  • Targeted investments into integrated human settlements
  • Integrated infrastructure systems
  • Efficient land governance
  • Economic diversification and inclusion
  • Empowered communities
  • Deep governance reform to enable and sustain the above
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Written by AN

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