World Urban Campaign and Sustainability

The World Urban Campaign (WUC) unites partners from the public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors whose focus in the areas of city and regional planning, infrastructure, real estate development, and the rights of urban dwellers.

Coordinated by UN-HABITAT, WUC seeks to raise awareness about the challenges of global urbanization in the 21st century — in developed and developing world cities alike — and put those issues on the agenda of national governments and multinational corporations.

Simultaneously, it aims to encourage the growth and sharing of "living practices" through tools like the 100 Cities Initiative that connect cities across the globe who are implementing innovative solutions to urban and metropolitan quandaries in transportation, housing, the environment, public space, and economic development.

APA's Involvement

APA is involved in WUC through its participation in the Global Planners Network (GPN), which is supported by UN-HABITAT and the Commonwealth Association of Planners.

In particular, APA is participating in a WUC initiative, Global Sustainable Urban Development Indicators, alongside the Penn Institute for Urban Research, an official WUC partner, and HUD's Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation as well as its Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities.

This initiative was developed during the 2010 World Urban Forum out of concern for the effects of urbanization on housing, infrastructure, and services. It focuses on indicators and outcomes that evaluate successful sustainable urban development and revitalization strategies.

In support of this project, APA has created a scan of international, national, and local indicator systems from the public sector, private sector, and NGOs. In turn, APA's research is being further analyzed by doctoral students in city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design. They are working under the auspices of Penn IUR's co-director Dr. Eugenie Birch, a professor of city and regional planning at Penn.

The students presented initial findings to an audience that included HUD, DOT, EPA, the World Bank, and APA. They will continue work throughout the academic year to develop a set of recommendations for global sustainable urban development indicators.

Updates on this project will be presented during a special research track at the 2011 APA National Planning Conference in Boston.