As a supporting partner, SDSN Hong Kong presented a session at the Philanthropy for Better Cities Forum 2018, which is dedicated to sustainable development, on the topic ‘Attaining Sustainable Development Goals in Cities: Is Urbanisation Helping Their Progress?’
Urbanisation promises increased incomes, improved access to social services, and deeper exposure to innovation. However, rapid migration from rural to urban areas also creates a host of challenges, including income disparity, pollution and crime. For this reason, cities have been described as the places where the battle for sustainable development will be won or lost. Some have already shown the true potential of smart urban design. Others have been overwhelmed by the diversity of challenges brought about by massive population growth. The session explored what philanthropists can do to give cities the best chance of contributing positively to the Sustainable Development Goals. It also discussed best practices that cities should adopt and common pitfalls to avoid in the political, economic and social transformations that come with urbanisation.
Chandrika Bahadur, President of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Association and Director of the SDG Academy, was invited to moderate the panel discussion. Previously she was Director of Education Initiatives at the UN SDSN.
Other Panelists included:
- James Davitt Rooney, Senior Fellow at the Boston Foundation and Ambassador for the Community Foundation of Northern Ireland;
- Professor Ng Mee Kam, Vice-Chairman of the Department of Geography and Resource Management, Director of the Urban Studies Programme, and Associate Director of the Institute of Future Cities, the Hong Kong Institute of Asian Pacific Studies and the Yunus Social Business Centre at The Chinese University of Hong Kong; and
- Dr Zofia K Rybkowski, Associate Professor in the Department of Construction Science of the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University.