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The Urban Thinkers Campus will now take place during 24-27 January 2016 in Jalan Pustaka, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. 

Urban Thinkers Campuses (UTCs) are an initiative of UN–Habitat, conceived as an open space for critical exchange between urban actors who believe that urbanization is an opportunity and can lead to positive urban transformations. Organized under the aegis of the World Urban Campaign (WUC) in the context of the 3rd United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in 2016, the UTCs will contribute to the New Urban Agenda which will frame urban development in the critical decades to come. A series of UTCs exploring a range of themes related to urbanization and development are planned for 2015 and 2016.

Each UTC comprises a three-day event with 100-200 participants from a range of sectoral and knowledge backgrounds. They are intended as platforms to build consensus between partners engaged in addressing urbanization challenges and proposing solutions to urban futures. Constituencies of interest include but are not limited to local authorities, civil society organizations, parliamentarians, professionals, trade unions, researchers and academics, foundations, businesses and industries, slum dwellers, women’s groups, children and youth and indigenous people. Each of these groups will be key players in the Habitat III process and must be supported in voicing challenges, raising issues and proposing solutions in order to articulate an effective, inclusive New Urban Agenda.The purpose of the Penang UTC is to re-think and re-frame urban development in the service of sustainable urban health and wellbeing. The United Nations University’s International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) is partnering in this effort with Malaysian and international organisations, including:

  • Think City
  • International Council for Science (ICSU) programme on Urban Health and Wellbeing
  • World Federation of Academic Institutions for Global Health (WFAIGH)
  • International Society for Urban Health (ISUH)
  • The Alliance for Healthy Cities.

Themes will include:

  • green and healthy urban environments;
  • inclusion and urban health equity;
  • culture, heritage and urban wellbeing;
  • systems thinking and co-production
  • urban governance for health.

Notably, the UTC focus on health and well-being aligns well with the proposed focus on well-being and happiness at the 9th World Urban Forum (WUF9) in Kuala Lumpur in 2018.
Partners are sought at all levels, and will have the opportunity to promote healthy urbanization and decision-making, create new knowledge and partnerships, network with individuals and organizations representing a broad set of urban interests, disseminate their viewpoints and priorities, and influence the shape of the New Urban Agenda.
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