Asia-Pacific housing stakeholders’ call to ‘build forward better’ continues at World Urban Forum, Poland
Bangkok, 30 June 2022 — Key findings from the newly published Asia-Pacific Forum report will be brought to the global conversations on housing and shelter amid the impacts of climate change, and COVID-19 during the 11th World Urban Forum on June 26-30, 2022, at Katowice, Poland.
“Building forward better through inclusive housing means that each one of us, especially the most vulnerable families we serve through housing solutions, has a voice in the process and a role to play in increasing access to a decent place to live,” said Luis Noda, Habitat for Humanity’s Asia-Pacific vice president and one of the speakers at the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum. “This core belief guides Habitat for Humanity as we lend our voices on WUF11 discussions on building resilience to a broad range of shocks and threats through an innovative and inclusive approach, thus working toward a sustainable and green future for our global community.”
WUF11’s overall theme will be focusing on overcoming the multiple urban crises while transforming our cities for a better urban future.
In alignment with WUF11 thematic objectives, the participants from the Asia-Pacific forum also focused on the shared responsibility and individual roles of the government, civil society, the private sector, academia, and the donor community in achieving appropriate housing for everyone. Forming partnerships and encouraging social participation and innovation that allow for a sustainable response to the housing problem are critical in strengthening resilience against other factors that compound the housing challenges of the region—the effects of climate change, inadequate national housing policies and programs, limited access to technologies, and lack of empowered communities.
As Asia-Pacific continues to feel the long-term impact of COVID-19—UN estimates that 200 million people might be forced into extreme poverty by 2030 and the region is one of the most highly affected areas—the housing sector remains critical to the region’s economic, social, and environmental recovery.
Other WUF11 themes resonate with other critical issues that surfaced during the APHF, such as effective responses to the housing challenge can also drive urban development and should be equally concerned with the environment. Greening the housing value chain can help reduce costs and impacts in the short and long term. Thus, it requires a shift to sustainable methods on material production, design/manufacturing, usage, recycling, among others; and should be supported by access to information and technologies, capacity building, and resources.
More than 900 housing stakeholders, including the public, private, and civil society sectors, from 53 locations have participated at the eighth Asia-Pacific Housing Forum held last December 7-9, 2021. The discussions above are summarized in the final report available at the APHF website, www.aphousingforum.org.