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World Cities Day 2017 Celebration in Tehran

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Tehran, 1 November 2017 -On 31st of October, 2017 Tehran’s Book Garden hosted the “World Cities Day” celebration. The event held in Tehran, along with many other cities of the world, consisted of two panel discussions revolving around the theme of this year’s celebration, “Innovative Governance- Open Cities”. A reception was also hosted for the Diplomatic Corps by the Mayor of Tehran. Scholars from different disciplines presented works revolving around two main themes: “Participation and Hope for Urban Revitalization” and “Innovative Governance: Open Cities”. The panels were concluded by the comments and questions from the audience.  
The closing ceremony of the World Cities Day 2017

Tehran, 1 November 2017 -On 31st of October, 2017 Tehran’s Book Garden hosted the “World Cities Day” celebration. The event held in Tehran, along with many other cities of the world, consisted of two panel discussions revolving around the theme of this year’s celebration, “Innovative Governance- Open Cities”. A reception was also hosted for the Diplomatic Corps by the Mayor of Tehran.

Scholars from different disciplines presented works revolving around two main themes: “Participation and Hope for Urban Revitalization” and “Innovative Governance: Open Cities”. The panels were concluded by the comments and questions from the audience.

 

Mohammad Ali Najafi, Tehran's mayor, delivering a speech at the closing ceremony of the World Cities Day

In the evening session, the Mayor of Tehran pointed out the current challenges of cities, indicating that these challenges are not bounded within certain borders. The intensified rate of mobility is a global countenance. He further elaborated that globalization and urbanization are the processes transforming the world. Migration, marginalization, inequalities and terrorism are not limited to a few number of cities, however cities in developing countries have specific issues stemmed from rapid urbanization and slow pace of infrastructure provision.

 

UN Resident Coordinator in Iran, Gary Lewis, delivering a speech at the closing ceremony of the World Cities Day

In spite of its unique qualities and capacities, Tehran hasn’t been disassociated from these processes of change either and is now facing important challenges. The Mayor introduced social inequality as the most trying issue having widespread and diverse implications in the city. The second challenge deals with the issue of safety and hazards in the city. He emphasized that this challenges encompasses a wide range of issues from air pollution to earthquake and fire hazards.

The Mayor emphasized that in line with these challenges an opportunity has emerged as well. City dwellers are now more willing to participate in urban decision making and to have a bigger share in governance. The sense of belonging which feeds this willingness is the force capable of driving the city to prosperity.

 

The "Innovative Governance, Open Cities" panel

Earlier, Siamak Moghaddam the Representative of UN Habitat office in Tehran, stated that the concepts of innovative governance and open cities are already present in planning documents in Iran and pointed out some of the relevant themes mentioned in the 8-year plan of the Municipality of Tehran, namely “transparency in data exchange”, “responsibility and responsiveness” and “organizational health”.

 

Ambassadors and urban desicion makers at the closing ceremony of the World Cities Day

Gary Lewis, the UN Resident Coordinator, also introduced the theme of this year’s World Cities Day and stated that we need to make sure that our communities and cities are inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. In this context there are five things that we need to do: ensuring access to safe housing and basic services for all, monitoring waste management and air quality, inclusive participation in planning and promoting appreciation and protection for our urban environment and culture, providing organized and safe transportation, and achieving disaster risk resilience and climate change adaptation in cities.

 

 

 

 
 
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