SI hosts WUF session on urban infrastructure

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4 September 2012, Naples. The Sustainability hosted a 2 hour session at the World Urban Forum yesterday, chaired by Eve Annecke. The co-sponsors of the session were African Centre for Cities at UCT, the Sustainability Institute and UNEP. The focus of the session was a recently completed report for the International Resource Panel co-authored by Mark Swilling, Blake Robinson, Simon Marvin and Mike Hodgson entitled City-Level Decoupling: the Governance of Urban Infrastructure Transitions. Although this was report was supposed to be ready for launching at the WUF, the peer review process has taken longer than expected. It will be published in November 2012. The other speakers were Rashid Seedat, Acting Director-General of the Guateng Provincial Government; Prof. Edgar Pieterse from the African Centre for Centres; Prof Sabine Barles from the University of Paris; and Prof Maarten Hajer, Director the The Netherlands Environment Agency. It was a stimulating and energised session that reflected academic and practitioner perspectives. Mark Swilling presented the report, Rashid Seedat did a presentation on Gauteng’s infrastructure challenges and how a resource flow perspective can assist Guateng to develop a 2055 infrastructure plan; and Sabine Barles presented her pioneering research on metabolic flows through Paris at three levels – Paris region, metro Paris and core Paris. Edgar Pieterse and Maarten Hajer delivered provacative talks that discussed the presentations and drew out the key strategic and political implications. Arab Habollah opened the session contextualising the report and at the end of the session a UN-Habitat representative announced the publication of 4 Guide Books on urban governance that have been published and which were compiled by a Sustainability Institute team led by Blake Robinson. Tonight Mark Swilling will attending the founding meeting of the Steering Committee of the Global Initiative for Resource Efficient Cities (GIREC) which was launched at Rio + 20 in June 2012.