UN-Habitat launches city changer dialogues

In countdown to the Sixth Session of the World Urban Forum to be held in Naples, Italy between 1-7 September 2012, UN-Habitat is launching an online dialgoues platform to reach as many people as possible.

Known as 'city changer dialogues' the interactions are aimed at the global audience and the inputs expected to contribute to debates at the WUF6.

"Recognizing that relatively few partners and members of the public are able to physically participate in the World Urban Forum, this online forum will provide an opportunity to engage a much wider audience. As part of the campaign, the city changer dialogues will be a permanent and flexible platform to promote discussion and innovative ideas and will provide special attention to different events such as World Urban Forum, World Habitat Day, the Governing Council, other campaign events and of course Habitat III," said the coordinator John Hogan.

According to Mr. Hogan, for the agency's immediate purposes there was a need to concentrate to get as many people online and participating from 7 -25 May 2012. He called on the chosen moderators to analyse the discussions and make recommendations for shaping the WUF dialogues and the final version of the background paper.

"However the discussion will continue in the run-up to WUF and this will no doubt be an invaluable tool to shape the direction of the dialogues and get panelists engaged and reacting to emerging ideas. We will discuss arrangements for moderation beyond the three-week time frame with you in the near future, but the plan would be to share responsibility between branches and key partners," he said.

Mr. Hogan said the development of the online platform was proceeding as planned and on schedule. He added that Naples will feature four dialogues- which are reflected on the platform. However, the forum will have six topics; five of which are viewable for all visitors and the sixth will be for internal use only.