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Real Estate in Action: Achieving SDG11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities



On July 13th, a groundbreaking event titled "Real Estate in Action - Achieving SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities" took place at Fordham University School of Law in New York City. Co-organized by the FIABCI International Real Estate Federation and the World Urban Campaign by UN-Habitat, this event was held in the margins of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum meant to review the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to 2030, with a particular focus on SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. The event brought together renowned experts, industry leaders, and stakeholders to discuss and explore innovative approaches to achieving sustainable urban development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11.


The event commenced with a warm welcome by Budiarsa Sastrawinata, the FIABCI World President, who set the stage for the day's discussions by emphasizing the importance of sustainable cities and communities in shaping our future. Michal Mlynar, Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat, delivered an insightful statement, highlighting the role of real estate in driving sustainable urban development.


Neighborhood Design for Sustainability and Improving the Quality of Life

Moderated by Christine Auclair, the Coordinator of the World Urban Campaign at UN-Habitat, the first panel delved into the topic of neighborhood design for sustainability and its impact on enhancing the quality of life. Nikki Greenberg, the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Real Estate of the Future, shared valuable insights, followed by Lance Jay Brown, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), who discussed sustainable urbanization practices. William Solecki, Professor of Geography at Hunter College, City University of New York, contributed his expertise, emphasizing the need for sustainable development at the local level. Sushmita Shekar, an Urban Designer at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill conveyed a series of good practices and recommendations on neighbourhood design for sustainability.


The Resilient North American City

Under the guidance of Susan Greenfield, the Immediate Past FIABCI World President, the second panel focused on building resilient cities in North America. Showcasing examples of best practices, the panel featured presentations on the Zero Carbon Building for JP Morgan on Park Avenue, the strengthening of climate resilience in Lower Manhattan by Rebecca Fischman, Senior Resilience Planner at Arcadis, and the sustainable development of Hudson Yard by Geoff Hurst, VP Sustainability at Related Companies, L.P.


The Way Forward: Implementing the FIABCI Global Charter Building Better Lives

In the final session, moderated by Roger A. Jann, COO & Head of Strategic Partnerships at 2000-Watt Smart Cities, participants discussed the way forward in implementing the FIABCI Global Charter for Building Better Lives. The conversation focused on concrete actions, collaborations, and innovative strategies to drive sustainable urban development worldwide. Neil Khor, Director of External Relations at UN-Habitat, delivered the event's closing remarks, emphasizing the essential role of the real estate community in accelerating the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 11. He underscored the importance of collaboration, innovation, and shared responsibility in creating sustainable cities and communities.


The "Real Estate in Action - Achieving SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities" event held at Fordham University School of Law was a resounding success. It provided a platform for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and the exchange of innovative ideas among leading professionals and stakeholders in the real estate and urban development sectors. By emphasizing the significance of sustainable urbanization and the implementation of SDG11, this event played a crucial role in paving the way for a more sustainable and resilient future for our cities and communities.


By joining forces, organizations such as FIABCI and UN-Habitat can drive positive change, inspire collective action, and contribute to the realization of sustainable development goals on a global scale. The event's outcomes will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the real estate industry and urban development practices, creating a blueprint for building better lives and a more sustainable future for all.

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