Tuesday, June 28, 2022
As a joint initiative between UN-Habitat and a consortium of Canadian, Chinese, and African universities and numerous NGOs in 2015, ICCCASU, an international think-tank, brings together researchers and representatives from government, civil society, industry, and academia for in-depth discussions on cities and urbanization, with the goal of promoting sustainable and inclusive urban development (https://icccasu2021.org/). ICCCASU draws on the diverse but complementary experiences of the world, particularly Canada, China, and African nations. In addition to staging four biennial conferences, its activities include training workshops, publications, research projects, and best-practice case studies. The organization has proven to be a reliable and authoritative voice and has developed networks among urban researchers and practitioners worldwide. For WUF 11, ICCCASU plans to organize a roundtable focusing on urban development in socialist and post-socialist countries during the pandemic. Following the collapse of communist regimes, the early 1990s, these countries faced challenges with respect to the privatization of land and its impact on housing, spatial planning, and urban development. Post-socialist countries adopted an entrepreneurial approach to urban development that came with high social costs. This period of transition has been characterized as one of market failure and policy collapse. Additionally, many countries have retained elements of a top-down, socialist governance with some, notably China, playing an increasingly important role in the global economy. Urbanization in these countries unfolds in different ways than in mature capitalist economies. This raises the question of whether urbanization in socialist countries warrants special consideration and study. Related to this, the session will explore the ways that socialist countries address urban development in the face of land reform and the commodification of property. Socialist and post- socialist countries face unique challenges in making urban development more inclusive. A common trait within socialist and post socialist countries is that they need to adapt to large social changes that occur globally. Over the course of the COVID pandemic, cities around the world have seen significant impacts on their spatial-social structure, as well as been brought about numerous socio-economic changes. As the pandemic is a relatively new phenomenon, there is still much to be discovered how deeply it has impacted urban planning and development. Thus, it is important to discuss the extent to which socialist and post socialist countries’ government intervention to speed economic recovery. Scholars have observed the adoption of top-down practices including lockdowns, curfews, tax relief, stimulus packages, rent and mortgage relief, etc. Examining these strategies can give further insight on effectiveness of governance at various levels.
• Encouraging resilience of cities against future pandemics • Encouraging global cooperation and coordination with respect to sustainable and inclusive urbanization • Sharing research and comparing best practices regarding land reform and urban development in socialist and post-socialist countries • Facilitating dialogue between researchers and local and international actors in the urban field