(Chicago) – The U.S. Network of the UN Global Compact today convened its first working symposium of 2010 on the topic of “Business and Sustainable Cities”.
The event, which took place in Chicago, drew more than 75 senior representatives from the public sector, private sector, civil society, and academia. U.S. cities represented at the symposium included Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, New Orleans and San Francisco.
Through panel and plenary discussions, the symposium focused on a number of topics including: navigating the policy landscape; breakthrough innovations for environmental sustainability; and models of public-private partnerships.
“This conference provided an opportunity for companies, public authorities, and other interests to discuss collaboration with respect to making cities and towns more sustainable in economic, environmental, and social terms”, said Gavin Power, Deputy Director of the UN Global Compact. “With more than half of humanity living in urban centers, and this trend expected to grow, the ways in which cities – in partnership with others – manage urban planning will be critically important in the coming years and decades”.
Among the key observations and perspectives offered at the conference:
* Urban sustainability should include a number of elements touching on economic, environmental, social, and cultural issues and priorities;
* Leading cities are moving from a narrow compliance orientation with respect to the business community and towards engaging with private enterprise via partnerships and other forms of collaboration;
* The involvement of civil society organizations is important vis-a-vis public-private initiatives;
* Both local government and companies should build greater internal capacities in order to effectively work with one another.
The conference also offered an opportunity for participants to learn more about the Global Compact Cities Programme.
* Meeting Agenda.
* A summary report of the conference will be issued in the coming weeks.
Mr. Gavin Power
UN Global Compact