No sooner was Citistates Group Chairman Neal Peirce awarded the prestigious UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour at the World Habitat Day celebrations in Washington, D.C., in early October, than he was off to Barcelona to participate as a steering committee member of UN Habitat’s World Urban Campaign focused on sustainable urbanization.
En route, Peirce prepared his column on the importance of the United Nations World Habitat Day that had been held for the first time in the United States, noting both the event and the disturbing lack of U.S. media coverage. Arriving in Barcelona, he also toured the inventive 22@Barcelona project, a world-leading neighborhood revival project, interviewing the leader of the effort for his next column.
If that wasn’t enough, Neal along with Citistates colleague Farley Peters, networked with participants at the World Urban Campaign steering committee meeting to gauge interest in a new journalism project focused on desperately needed innovations and breakthroughs in cities across the world.
With the strong interest and support of Nicholas You at UN-Habitat, Kevin Milroy of Cities Alliance, Gary Lawrence (the ex-Seattle planning director now a senior executive with Arup), Gordon Feller of the Urban Age Institute and others, the Citistates Group is now moving forward to develop a business plan for the journalism project.
The World Urban Campaign’s major goal is a series of consciousness-raising steps to “elevate the importance accorded to sustainable urbanization in global, national and local policy and decision making,” looking forward to the Fifth World Urban Forum, focused on “The Right to the City- Bridging the Urban Divide,” scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro, March 22-26, 2010.