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Sustainable cities commitment signed by RTPI President at World Urban Forum

13 February 2020

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and other members of the Global Planners’ Network have signed a new declaration committing to the UN vision for sustainable cities.

RTPI President Sue Manns joined others including the presidents of the American Planning Association and the Canadian Institute of Planners to sign the declaration at the UN-led 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi.

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Above (l-r): Sue Manns signs the declaration with American Planning Association President Kurt Christiansen, Commonwealth Association of Planners President Dy Currie and Canadian Institute of Planners President Eleanor Mohammed

The declaration commits planners to practical actions aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG11 concerning cities and human settlements. It also commits planners to promote and advocate for the key role played by planning to achieve the goals in their own country and to support fellow planners around the world.

Sue Manns said: “I am proud to have signed this declaration which commits the RTPI to working together with partners to build the capacity that we require to deliver the UN SDGs by 2030 and to tackle the global challenges that we all face.

“The declaration recognises the importance and value of planning and puts it centre stage in shaping our shared futures.”

The new declaration comes at a crucial moment for the implementation of the SDGs after their unanimous adoption in 2015 at the UN General Assembly by countries including the UK. The UN sees the action of local authorities as crucial to achieving the SDGs by 2030.

Also at the World Urban Forum, the President shared with representatives of local authorities from across the globe what British cities and towns are doing to implement the SDGs locally.

Earlier in the week, Sue Manns and RTPI Chief Executive Victoria Hills had met with Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat). Ms Sharif will be delivering the keynote address at The Planner Live in June on the UN’s role in promoting sustainability and the role of planners in delivering the SDGs.

The RTPI is developing an RTPI Learn module to spread UK best practices about the SDGs to its membership. The module also covers the well-regarded approaches used in Scotland and Wales to align national policy and legislation to the SDGs.