World Habitat Day – Pandemics and Future Cities, October 5

Webinar on Pandemics and Future Cities

Monday 5 October, 3-6pm CET

The United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN HABITAT) in April/May this year started developing a new flagship report: “The future State of Cities in a World with Pandemics” to be launched during UN’s “Urban October” – campaign 2020. Habitat Norway, in collaboration with UN Habitat and world leading experts, will on Habitat Day facilitate a presentation and discussion of its main findings, conclusions and recommendations. With focus on the dimensions of health, human rights, housing and humanitarian challenges.

The webinar will take place on Monday 5 October, 3-6 pm CET. Follow the webinar here:

In experiencing the social and economic shock of COVID 19 comes the realization that we must adapt new and better ways to deal with global crises. The pandemic has triggered unparalleled global action and exposed stark social and economic inequalities and system weaknesses. It has shown that we have to abandon the old, normal way of dealing with global emergencies. It has highlighted that long term complex challenges and short term crisis demand new responses and ways of working.

As we look ahead: what do we need to do differently? And what can we learn from the pandemic? What kind of collaboration and action are needed to achieve transformative change and prepare us for a radically different world? Cities will because of demographic and economic development be central.

Through a conversation with representatives from civil society organisations to those of universities and governments, the Habitat Day talks in Norway will look at what is necessary to make us more ready for the new ways of working and living to be developed to tackle present and future crises. The global context of today is one of evolving multiple crises of which the pandemic is one and the climate is the most serious. Drawing on lessons learnt from capacity building, advocacy and grassroot action, how can we catalyse, plan and implement a different and better future. We are now just experiencing the first wave of what might come.



15.00 – 15.05 Music by “Pøbel” (“The Mob”)

15.05 – 15.15 Erik Berg, Chairman,Habitat Norway, (Moderator’s introduction)

15.15 – 15.25 Maimunah M. Sharif, Executive Director, UN Habitat

15.25 – 15.35 Nicolai Astrup, Minister of Local Government and Modernisation


15.35 – 16.00 “The State of World Cities in Global Pandemics”. Status, Challenges and Responses for more resilient and inclusive Cities.  Eduardo Moreno, Director of Research, UN Habitat

16.00 – 16.10 Questions & Answers


16.10 – 16.25 Health Addressing systemic poverty and inequalities in cities – the Health Challenge. Annie Wilkinson, Institute for Development Studies, UK

16.25 – 16.35 Questions & Answers

16.35 – 16.50 Human Rights “Not just a health emergency”? But a parallel pandemic of human rights, accountability and governance? UN Special Rapporteur on Corruption and Human Rights Fionnuala Ni Aolain

16.50 – 17.00 Questions & Answers

17.00 – 17.15 Housing Dense cities and community emergency mobilisation. Supporting economic recovery through community empowerment by linking resilient and affordable housing with livelihood and employment strategies. Former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing Miloon Kothari, India

17.15 – 17.25 Questions & Answers

17.25 – 17.40 Humanitarian challenges How to respond to long term complex challenges and short term crises. The global humanitarian system under scrutiny. Jan Egeland, Director, Norwegian Refugee Council


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