UNIDO promotes South-east Asia’s eco-cities
KITAKYUSHU, 22 October 2013 – As part of the International Conference on the Future of Cities, which took place in the Japanese city of Kitakyushu on 20 October, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) organized a meeting to promote eco-cities and environmentally friendly urban development in major cities in South-east Asia.
At the meeting, representatives of some of the leading eco-cities in the region discussed challenges and success stories, and UNIDO introduced its South-east Asia Eco-Cities Network, which will promote the exchange of knowledge and sharing of best practices.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Taizo Nishikawa, UNIDO’s Deputy to the Director General, said, “The sustainable city is the city with all dimensions of urban sustainability, meaning improved environment, social cohesion and economic efficiency.”
“Cities that want to be in the forefront of development and want to be able to adapt to the changing environment must possess the time, skills, expertise and the energy to take advantage of new opportunities and ideas,” Nishikawa added.
Referring to UNIDO’s newly–launched network, Nishikawa said, “Every eco-city represents a hub of knowledge and experience that is of real value for cities around the world. There is a need to invest in creating cooperative networks that cut across traditional territorial boundaries.” Mr. Nishikawa invited all cities aiming to become eco-cities to participate in the network.
During his presentation, UNIDO’s project manager, Ludovic Bernaudat, stressed that while the current project focuses on establishing a network of seven cities, it will eventually be open to all existing and potential eco-cities in the region.
The International Conference on the Future of Cities was organized jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, UNIDO, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Referring to the success of the conference, the UNIDO Deputy to the Director General, Nishikawa, acknowledged the important roles played by Ambassador Takehiro Kagawa, Director-General for Global Issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Kenji Kitahashi, Mayor of Kitakyushu.
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UNIDO Water Management Unit