With nearly 50% of the projected increase in the world’s urban population to 2050 forecast to take place in Commonwealth countries, there has never been a more important time for members of the Commonwealth to come together to tackle the challenges of climate change and rapid urbanisation.
In preparation for the 2020 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that was due to be held in Kigali, Rwanda this month, CAP in conjunction with partners have been working to promote sustainable urbanisation in the Commonwealth through a programme of online events.
In a prerecorded video message on 24th June 2020, The Prince of Wales said “The existing ‘triple threat’ of rapid urbanisation, climate change and natural resource depletion facing countries across the Commonwealth was already challenging enough. But Covid-19 has dramatically introduced a further threat, placing even greater emphasis not only on the role human settlements play in relation to our health as well as our environmental, social and economic wellbeing but also on the vital importance of restoring and enhancing biodiversity.”
Later in the message, The Prince mentioned that “The programme of events over the next ten weeks provides a clear opportunity through which to accelerate change and to inspire a renewed focus on practical action.” Through a post-COVID lens, we can perhaps now see more clearly than ever the acute need for a form of urbanisation and growth that is planned in proper harmony with nature and underlying universal principles, that heals rather than hurts the places where that growth occurs, while ensuring access to key services and opportunity for the benefit of all who live there.”
The Commonwealth Sustainable Urbanisation Online Programme is being hosted by the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Commonwealth Association of Architects, the Commonwealth Association of Planners, and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, with support from The Prince’s Foundation, The Commonwealth Engineers Council and The Government of Rwanda.
Find more information on the virtual events here.