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UN‐HABITAT Call: Strengthening Urban Research through Centres of Excellence and an International Urban Research Network

Habitat Partner Universities: Strengthening Urban Research through Centres of Excellence and an International Urban Research Network
Habitat Partner University (HPU) Initiative The 21st century is the urban century. Over half of the world’s population lives in cities, and the world continues to rapidly urbanize. 90 percent of this growth is taking place in the developing world. Many of these cities lack the capacity to harness their potential for economic growth and to manage and direct urbanization on a sustainable path. They suffer the negative effects of rapid urbanization, and become vulnerable to global phenomena such as economic instability, food insecurity, resource depletion and climate change. If cities are to come to terms with these challenges, they require leaders, managers and staff capable of adopting innovative and robust approaches to planning, developing, managing and financing sustainable urban development for all citizens.
Universities have the human capital and knowledge resources to contribute to positive change towards sustainable urban development. There are many good examples of what universities can do in helping cities solve their complex problems and realize their development potential. There are a range of innovations such as industry‐university links, local knowledge arenas involving universities, curricula development responding to new and complex issues of sustainability, university networks to pool resources around common research themes, etc. However these are still emerging practices. In many countries, the research and training priorities of universities are not in line with the emerging priorities for sustainable urban development. At the same time, the findings of university research are not being mainstreamed amongst practitioners, and the knowledge acquired by university staff is often not being mainstreamed in the university curricula and thus future urban practitioners are not sufficiently exposed to these key issues.
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http://www.unhabitat.org/content.asp?cid=7834&catid=567&typeid=58&subMenuId=0

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