9 May 2017
Building Liveable Cities Together in Amsterdam
The Human Cities Coalition (HCC) official launch, on April 20, at AkzoNobel’s headquarters in Amsterdam brought together a full house of private, public sector and NGOs including UN Global Compact – Cities Programme and UN-Habitat representatives to discuss ways of building more liveable cities.
Originally founded by AkzoNobel, a Dutch multinational manufacturing corporation, HCC is a public-private partnership dedicated to making more inclusive and sustainable cities.
Opening the event, Ton Büchner, CEO of AkzoNobel, expressed that traditional corporate social responsibility and philanthropy are not enough, and highlighted the importance of collaboration in shaping the cities we live in.
Sandra Moye, our City Scan Coordinator was at the launch where in the spirit of partnership participants were invited to use cardboard brick to write their expectations and contributions to building more liveable cities in line with the HCC launch theme of Building Liveable Cities Together.
With two projects already taking off in Jakarta and Manila, the HCC launch also provided an insight into the work towards improving access to basic services such as sanitation, clean water, power and waste collection to people living in slums.
Throughout the launch presentations and panel discussions three key elements stood out as determinant to advance the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda: the need to put the human element at the centre of cities development; the need for inclusive institutions; and the need for public-private partnerships and new financing mechanisms.
Speaking at the launch, Christine Musisi, Director External Relations at UN-HABITAT highlighted the recent MoU signed between HCC and UN-HABITAT in March, aimed at mobilizing the private sector’s expertise and investment in sustainable urban developments.
Other speakers at the launch included Jan Peter Balkenende, Chair of the Dutch Coalition for Sustainable Growth and former Prime Minister, William Cobbett, Director of Cities Alliance, Britt Gwinner, Head Housing Finance at IFC, representatives of Slum Dwellers International (SDI), and HCC directors Fleur Henderson and Ronald Lenz.
At the end of the event all the cardboard bricks given to participants to write their expectations and contributions to building more liveable cities were put together to build a positive and hope filled wall.
The post-launch discussions continued with a closed-door consultative roundtable on the role the private sector in sustainable urban development This included high-level private sector representatives and partners for the Implementation Facility for Sustainable Urban Development (IFSUD) – UN-Habitat, HCC, IFC and the United Nations Global Compact.
Our congratulations to HCC on such a unique initiative, and directors Fleur Henderson and Ronald Lenz for a successful event.