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Back to news room FIABCI Shines at WUF9

FIABCI Shines at WUF9

 By all measures, the FIABCI-organized events during the ninth session of World Urban Forum (WUF9) were a great success. The World Urban Forum (WUF) is a non-legislative technical forum convened by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) held since 2002. The ninth session was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, February 7 – 13. A delegation of 25 FIABCI members from outside Malaysia as well as a large number of FIABCI-Malaysia members participated.

Through efforts led by past FIABCI World Presidents Danielle Grossenbacher and Enrico Campagnoli, FIABCI organized three events. These included 1) a two-hour multi-stakeholder networking event focusing on the positive aspects of urban density, 2) a parallel event centered around FIABCI’s City Prosperity Initiative, and 3) an Urban Library event showcasing current and replicable initiatives for sustainable and inclusive urban prosperity.

“We were extremely pleased with the success of each of our events,” says World President Farook Mahmood. “WUF9 gave us a platform on which to demonstrate to the world FIABCI’s engagement in global urban issues and to share best practice solutions for urban challenges. These best practices are replicable and will help us achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11, ‘to make our cities safe, resilient and sustainable.’ As we move forward it will be very interesting to see how the many concepts and pilot programs presented during WUF9 transform into realities that respond to the New Urban Agenda that was approved during Habitat III in 2016.”

The tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10) will take place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in 2020. Following is a summary of the three FIABCI-organized events:

“The Affordable Metropolis: Turning Density into Prosperity” focused on the positive aspects of urban density and bringing together stakeholders from around the world. Countering widespread trends of urban sprawl, poor land use planning, unsustainable development and the increasing unaffordability of housing in metro cores, the interactive event challenged participants to change their mindsets and come together to innovate, build capacity, marshal financial resources and share best practices to leverage urban prosperity and opportunities for everyone.

The event was organized in partnership with the World Urban Campaign’s General Assembly of Partners (GAP), Business & Industry Partner Constituent Group co-chaired by Danielle Grossenbacher, FIABCI Representative to the UN and Nicholas J.A. Buchoud, President, Grand Paris Alliance for Metropolitan Development (Cercle Grand Paris). Panelists included:

  • FIABCI World President Farook Mahmood, Silverline Realty, India
  • Prof. Eugenie L. Birch, Lawrence C. Nussdorf Prof. of Urban Research & Education, University of Pennsylvania
  • Michael Nolan, UN Global Compact Cities Program, RMIT University Australia
  • Gabriel Lanfranchi, CEO, CIPPEC, Buenos Aires and Co-Founder, MIT MetroLab
  • José-Michaël Chenu, President, Rêves de Scène Urbaine, France
  • Judith Hermanson, President & CEO, IHC Global, Washington DC
  • Lily Chang, CEO, Treasure Dragon Corp., Taichung, Taiwan
  • Fiki Satari, President, Indonesia Creative Cities Network (ICCN)

“FIABCI has been working across all regions and all sectors of the real estate industry to emphasis ‘The City We Need is Affordable’ and the urgent need to highlight how the industry can come together to meet the challenges of urbanization for the next generation,” noted co-chair Grossenbacher.

President Farook’s presentation addressed how India is successfully responding to its urban density challenges through innovation, public-private partnerships and supportive government policies.


“Perception Matters: People Make Prosperous Cities” introduced the FIABCI City Prosperity Initiative – Perceptions Index (CPI-PI), an online tool to capture people’s perceptions on the progress of their city in becoming more inclusive, secure, resilient and sustainable. The CPI-PI delivers recent and reliable opinions from the public and experts on their vision, thoughts and feelings on the sustainability, wellbeing, integrated development and prosperity of their city.

The program included a panel on how the Index was developed and modified to add a qualitative measure to the UN Habitat’s quantitative measure. The program also presented The City We Need is Affordable Vol. II, a book outlining successful large-scale affordable housing development projects from every region in the world and a panel on future developments effecting the real estate industry including the potential use of block-chain technology. Contributors to this session included:

  • FIABCI World President Farook Mahmood, Silverline Realty, India
  • Tengku Ab. Aziz Tengku Mahmud, FIABCI-Malaysia President
  • Eduardo Lopez Moreno, Director of Research & Capacity Development at UN-Habitat
  • Florentino Dulalia, FIABCI-Philippines
  • Soelaeman Soemawinata, FIABCI-Indonesia
  • Hazem Galal, PriceWaterhousecoopers, UAE
  • Roderick Galders, Malta Cabinet Minister
  • Edmundo de Werna, International Labor Office
  • Fernanda Lonardoni, UN-Habitat
  • Show Ting Lee, FengChia University, Taiwan

“The Perception Index of City Prosperity Initiative is an outstanding contribution of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) to complement with the valuation based on perception, with the voice of the people, of experts or public, the same indicators of City Prosperity Initiative of UN Habitat, based on data,” says Enrico Campagnoli, FIABCI International Organizations Committee President.

“We are excited to promote and to support UN-Habitat in offering to the cities around the world an online tool to allow to give voice to people to make better cities in the interest of the community and real estate market itself, facing an extraordinary population growth and urbanization trend.”

“The City of the Future: People First” showcased current and replicable initiatives for sustainable and inclusive urban prosperity for everyone from cities around the world.

FIABCI was honored to have UN-Habitat Executive Director Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif stop by the event and show her support. While problems and obstacles often get the spotlight, this session focused on solutions to meet the affordable housing need, smart urban planning, policy solutions for sustainable cities and people who are already achieving remarkable results in reshaping their cities. The format gave each participant the opportunity to highlight what makes their city work and why there is hope for the future.

This session was a direct response to UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 is to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Information shared can help overcome the challenges cities face in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty.

The event was held in the Urban Library Area in the WUF 9 Exhibition where FIABCI shared a booth with the Global Housing Foundation (GHF). In addition to GHF, participating partners included the Huairou Commission, the World Enabled and UNICEF.

Members of the FIABCI delegation also participated in events organized by groups other than FIABCI. This activity included:

  • President Farook Mahmood, served on two additional sessions: 1) "Affordable Housing for All," organized by UN-Habitat’s Housing Unit. Also serving on this panel was Dr. Joan Klauss former Executive Director of UN-Habitat and Ms. Maria Soledad Nuñez Mendez, Minister for Housing Paraguay; 2) “Focus on Prosperity” with José-Michaël Chenu, President, Rêves de Scène 
    Urbaine (Vinci), Ministry of Happiness, Dubai and Judith Hermanson, IHC Global, Uganda property rights and gender initiative.
  • Danielle Grossenbacher, who as Co-Chair of the Business & Industry Partner Constituent Group, participated in numerous panels including a lead-off panel on February 7 where her appeal for solutions to affordable housing set the halls abuzz.
  • Enrico Campagnoli, spoke on a panel organized by the International Urban Development Association (INTA), “Coordination, cooperation and planning to regulate the financialization of the city.” The panel addressed the effects of the financialization of the economy on urban development, how to mitigate the negative urban externalities of financialization, limiting investor risk, regulation, public policy and the role of the industry.
  • Lily Chang (FIABCI-Taiwan) spoke at a networking event on the relationship between housing and labour markets, hosted by the UK’s Oxford Brookes University and the International Labour Office. o


Written by Carol Weinrich Helsel, freelance writer for FIABCI

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