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UN-Habitat Tehran Office Joined sixth International Green Film Festival in Iran

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In collaboration with the 6th International Green Film Festival (10-11, September, 2017), held In Tehran and 31 other provinces of Iran simultaneously, UN-Habitat Tehran office convened two workshops on Sustainable Cities in the Iranian Academy of the Arts.

Ms. Sara Habibi, UN-Habitat Urban Planner, opened the first workshop introducing the Greener Cities, a partnership between UN-Habitat and UN Environment. She provided an overview of UN-Habitat activities in the framework of HABITAT I and HABITAT II conference declarations and continued her session by presenting a general introduction of the New Urban Agenda (NUA), agreed upon by member states in HABITAT III. Ms. Habibi went on to elaborate on the relations between the festival’s themes namely, green energy, tourism and sustainable transportation with the NUA.

Ms. Isabel Wetzel, Coordinator of Greener Cities, then explained the pillars of this partnership i.e. resource efficiency, sustainable transportation and waste and sewage management.

“Over 50% of the global population now lives in cities and it is expected that 70% of humanity will be urban by 2050.Urban areas around the world are becoming not just the dominant form of habitat for humankind, but also the engine-rooms of human and economic development as a whole. ”

 Mentioning unplanned urbanization to have negative impacts on society and environment, Wetzel explained the goals of UN-Habitat and UNEP partnership as Mainstreaming the environmental perspective into urban policy-making, incorporating urban perspectives into environmental policy-making and Highlighting the local-global linkages of environmental issues.

Considering per capita growth patterns, eco-friendly basic services such as carbon absorption, nutrition circle and land would face significant inefficiency, therefore considering resources in urban development is necessary for a sustainable resilient urban development. Ms. Wetzel wrapped up her session by conducting a Q & A session.

In the final Segment, Mr. Mohsen Arzhang, manager of Iranian Green Cities Research and Planning Institute, presented the activities and perspectives of this institute and shared the international best practices in the Green Cities field.

The second workshop regarding “City Resilience” took place on 11th of September. The head of UN-Habitat Tehran Office, Mr. Siamak Moghaddam gave the opening speech. He referred the measures taken in Tehran Office specifically regarding the recent national urban campaign, “The City Iranians Need”, and the resulting booklet released at the Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador. “We ran the campaign with a high level of participation and collaboration by young Iranian experts in order to find out what sort of city Iranian people wish to have. Our approach towards this campaign was not critical but positive and forward looking”, he said.


Mr. Mehmet Akdogan, Human Settlement Officer and Earthquake expert of UN-Habitat Tehran Office, continued the session by explaining the city resiliency and it’s significance in urban planning. “Resiliency is the capacity of a system to get back to the normal condition. A system has to be able to resist, be flexible and return to the square one in a certain period of time. Talking of resiliency is not confined to earthquake and flood, there are more than eighty types of natural and unnatural disasters”, he said. Maintaining the role of environmental, economic and social systems in building a city, Mr. Akdogan said the mentioned elements must be coordinated together to result in a sustainable city.

The second workshop continued by the presentation of Isabel Wetzel, further discussing the city resilience concept.

Ms. Solmaz Hosseinion, an Urban Planner, was the last presenter in the second workshop. She emphasized on urban resilience being a vital issue in today’s world: “top-down approaches are left away nowadays and instead of that systemic point of view makes us consider unexpected changes, needs and complicated aspects of countries, cities and rural areas.” Hosseinion emphasized although there is distinction among each country’s priority toward reaching resiliency, based on new thinking systems, it’s not possible to think or take measure independently and inconsiderately.

This two-day workshops was attended by experts from urban planning, architecture and environmental activists.

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