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Rapid Urbanisation: how can our cities grow sustainably?


Session 1 — 14 November — 09:00-13:00

Cities are growing at an unprecedented rate, with 54.5% of the world’s population now living in urban environments. Countries around the world face similar challenges and opportunities as their cities undergo rapid expansion to accommodate mass rural to urban migration.

In light of the 2016 United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), now is the time to consider the potential of the New Urban Agenda and 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Initiatives such as the Rockefeller Foundation’s ‘100 Resilient Cities’, the Government of India’s ‘100 Smart Cities’, ‘Future Cities’, and ‘Future of Places’, and organisations including the World Urban Campaign, the Compact of Mayors, the Cities and Climate Change Academy, and the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community are developing proposals for how growth can happen sustainably.

Governments, planners, architects, and builders must develop a rapid response to rapid urbanisation. This session will set the overarching theme for the Congress, assessing efforts being made around the world, and bringing together diverse views and perspectives to develop and support both new and tested answers to the question of how our cities can grow quickly and sustainably.



  • Ben Bolgar

    Prince’s Foundation for Building Community


  • Clive Harridge

    Commonwealth Association of Planners

  • Eleri Jones

    Space Syntax

  • Hank Dittmar

    Hank Dittmar Associates

  • Laura Petrella

    United Nations Human Settlements Programme

  • Leo Hollis

    Author and Historian

  • Lucy Slack

    Commonwealth Local Government Forum

  • Peter Elmlund

    Future of Places

  • Peter Poulet

    NSW Government Architect

  • Shanker Singham

    Legatum Institute


  • Simon Ratcliffe

    DFID Cities Adviser

  • Sir Graham Wynne

    The Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit