The private sector to play role in creation of equitable citiesListen /
The 7th Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF7) entered its fourth day on Thursday, with participants discussing the role that privately owned companies or businesses can play in the achievement of sustainable and equitable cities through provision of basic urban services.
During the discussions, participants acknowledged that challenges of urbanisation have existed for many years, yet new, more unprecedented challenges are emerging every day.
These new challenges, they said, would need new skills, financing and knowledge of the basic needs, especially of the poor city dwellers. Patrick Magebhula from Slum Dwellers International, South Africa, was one of the panellists in a dialogue that focused on local businesses and provision of basic services
"Power is finance and knowledge, based on community savings, maximum women's participation and many models and innovations of how to put people at the centre. Coming out of the 'know your city' campaign will be the needs of communities in all our countries: the sanitation needs, the water needs, energy, and all forms of needs that poor communities need, because the agenda is set by the needs of the poor."
The 7th World Urban Forum concludes on Friday in Medellin, with a declaration that would form the basis of discussions in the 3rd UN-Habitat Conference, to be held in 2016.
Joshua Mmali, reporting from the World Urban Forum, Medellin, Colombia.