On April 29, 2022, OCCAM participated in Dialogue co-hosted by the CSU, Consortium on Sustainable Urbanization together with the Permanent Mission of Slovakia and Germany and UN-Habitat. This event had the title of " UN76 Dialogue to Impact Change: Reflections from the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda" Humanity is currently navigating a number of challenging crises, demanding of us a new urgency, diplomacy, and commitment to science. Despite these global challenges, our lives are lived locally, and many solutions will be derived from fulfilling commitments to sustainable urban development including the creation of jobs, opportunities for investing in climate solutions, design and innovation for improving the quality of life in cities for cultures of peace, and harnessing the positive role technology can play in improving livelihoods. We welcome the growing support for the New Urban Agenda. Participants of the CSU webinar are from a host of different sectors, and have shared their reflections related to the New Urban Agenda and the outcome of this UNGA’s High Level Meeting convened by H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, President of the UN76th General Assembly. T
In particular, the webinar outlined how guaranteeing the right to adequate housing is of the utmost importance, including access to land, public spaces, and public services, especially during the pandemic. Nearly 1 billion people – one in four urban dwellers – now live in urban slums and informal settlements. While the proportion of the urban population living in slums worldwide declined between 2000 and 2014 – from 28 percent to 23 percent – this positive trend unfortunately and subsequently reversed so that by 2018 the proportion reached 23.5 percent. It is likely that the pandemic has intensified that negative trend.
At such a prestigious stage and inspiring context, Arch. Saporito, President of OCCAM and Infopoverty Programme, had the opportunity to discuss the future of the Urban agenda and present the 22nd Infopoverty World Conference.
The speech delivered was focused on how cities must be empowered, in light of the Covid emergency, with telemedicine services so as to prevent the surface of any new pandemic thus strengthening the health system in terms of costs and efficiency as well as presenting and implementing the medical best-practices, especially in rural villages, where the number of doctors is below the sufficiency rate.
In addition, sustaining the integration among the rural countryside must be promoted by extending the e-services facilities such as education and e-government to promote job creation as well as by providing sustainable food security and production. The EWA-BELT project is a pivotal tool to achieve such policies. Operating in 6 countries of East and West Africa, the project intends to develop sustainable intensification of agriculture and live-stock farming experiences while promoting food security, gender equality, and ICTs. In this context, OCCAM is creating a digital platform using Artificial Intelligence, allowing real-time diagnosis, and sharing of knowledge among the stakeholders involved. Such a platform is continuously improving and could be employed by governments and local institutions in rural communities.
In social housing, the 3D building technology must be promoted to eliminate slums, which are the social cancer of our times, as demonstrated at the Resilient Home Competition, hosted by UN-Habitat in 2019, where OCCAM successfully presented the 3D building as an innovative project to provide large scale and fast housing for emarginated people and slums inhabitants. Due to the low cost and high capacity of inclusion in terms of easy auto-construction facilities, the project aims at supporting families in disadvantaged areas.
Finally, new declarations and propositions must be advanced to protect cities that have lately become “War targets” just like Rome, Venice, and Florence were declared “Open Cities” so as to be spared from too-damaging bombing during World War II.
OCCAM, the Observatory on Digital Communication is thus pleased to confirm that all these topics will be prioritizing themes of the 22nd Edition of the Infopoverty World Conference, scheduled for next November at the UNHQ with the title “The Digital Citizen: duties and rights to build a Future Society”. We look forward to receiving contributions from partners and stakeholders so to further enrich the discussion.