"For me, the main function of planning is the definition and defense of the public space."
-- Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN-HABITAT
On Thursday December 9, 2013, Dr. Joan Clos joined Solly Angel for a Conversation on Urbanization — part of a series hosted jointly by the Marron Institute and the NYU Stern Urbanization Project. In his role as Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Dr. Clos is committed to working with governments in the developing world to address the challenges and opportunities presented by rapid urbanization. Among the topics that Angel and Clos addressed was the need to plan for urban expansion decades in advance. Rapidly urbanizing cities can act now by taking the relatively straightforward steps of projecting urban growth, planning for the grid of streets in the city’s expansion area, and acquiring the rights-of-way for roads as well as land for a hierarchy of public spaces such as parks.
Clos and Angel also discussed the need to monitor global urban expansion, an initiative that UN-Habitat intends to lead with assistance from universities such as NYU. Monitoring the quantity and quality of urbanization can provide municipal and national governments with critical information that can be used to both measure the effectiveness of existing policies and devise new policies. Here are selected clips from their discussion:
We will post a lightly edited transcript of the conversation shortly. You can find the full-length video of the conversation on YouTube.