Agenda Details

Program Narrative

The tenth World Urban Forum, and the first held in an Arab city, offers an opportunity to convey priorities for Arab cities to the global arena. The first Pan-Arab Urban Development Symposium was a platform for 150 urban stakeholders from the region to refine a common set of urban priorities that can be taken up at WUF10.

As the urban share of population in Arab countries rises beyond 62%, it is critical to expand awareness of sustainability concepts in urban development. Through the Symposium’s exploratory, interactive and collaborative formats, urban experts examined the challenges facing Arab cities today and the role of data in identifying forward-looking strategies and partnerships. During a high-intensity Ideas_Lab, participants distilled the most important priorities for Arab cities, especially those where applying data might contribute to finding more efficient solutions.

The PAUDS program was designed as a dynamic knowledge-exchange platform to educate on important trends and opportunities for partnerships in the region. The focused nature of PAUDS ensured insightful outcomes that maximized the value of data partnerships to the urban managers of the region.

The program of the Symposium included:

  • Keynote presentations and debates featuring influential leaders and inspiring speakers
  • Networking opportunities with experts, investors, and private sector companies
  • An Ideas_Lab to explore critical priorities, new trends and opportunity gaps for urban development experts

Session Formats

Breakout sessions were panel discussions between urban experts, city leaders and experts. They focused on the state of sustainable urbanization in the Arab region, compared approaches to housing and development challenges, and addressed the policies necessary to maximize the contribution of cities to sustainable development.

The Ideas_Lab focused on exploring urban challenges and opportunities in the Arab region with a direct link to the agenda of the WUF 2020. During the session, participants identified and ranked the 20 most important priorities for the future of sustainable Arab cities. These priorities and other outcomes of the Ideas_Lab conversations were presented at the close of the Symposium, along with an invitation to crowdsource solutions and data collection for each.