About

The World Urban Forum (WUF) is the premier global conference on sustainable urbanization. WUF11 will be held in the Polish city of Katowice from 26-30 June 2022.

This will be the first time that the WUF, convened by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), will take place in Eastern Europe.

The WUF was established in 2001 by the United Nations to examine one of the most pressing issues facing the world today: rapid urbanisation and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. The first WUF was held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2002 and has been held around the world ever since.

Representatives of national, regional and local governments, academics, business people, community leaders, urban planners will be among the thousands of people are expected to attend WUF11 which is co-organized by Poland’s Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy and the Municipal Office of Katowice.

UN-Habitat and Poland invite all to join WUF11 preparations

In focus

Maimunah Mohd Sharif

Maimunah Mohd Sharif

Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

“I am looking forward to working closely with Poland and the city of Katowice, to host the Eleventh Session of the WUF. WUF11 is an opportunity for Poland to demonstrate to the world community its own commitment to achieving a sustainable urban future.

Katowice is a wonderful example of urban regeneration, and I hope we can build on these examples and leadership to share a wide range of global experience in 2022, creating inclusive, prosperous cities with opportunities for all.”

Małgorzata Jarosińska-Jedynak

Małgorzata Jarosińska-Jedynak

Secretary of State, Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy — The Government Plenipotentiary for the organisation of the World Urban Forum in Katowice in 2022

“The organisation of the WUF is one of the top priorities of the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy which is, among others, in charge of the National Urban Policy,”

Theme

The theme of WUF11, Transforming our Cities for a Better Urban Future, will provide greater insights and clarity on the future of cities based on existing trends, challenges and opportunities, as well as suggest ways cities can be better prepared to address future pandemics and a wide range of other shocks.

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The long-term prospects point to a world that will continue to urbanize over the next decade— from 56% of the world’s population living in cities today, to 60% by 2030. Urban areas are the engines which will absorb virtually all the future growth of the world’s population. Every region is expected to become more urbanized in the next ten years. Clearly, this tells us that the future of humanity is undeniably urban, and we must plan our cities well to ensure sustainability, equity and shared prosperity.

This raises some key questions about the future of cities: what kind of cities are needed to support the future of humanity? How do we envisage and reimagine the future of cities? What do we want our cities to look like?

The coronavirus pandemic is a stark reminder that urban areas need to be prepared for a dynamic and unpredictable future. COVID-19 clearly exposed the existing challenges that cities face, and their vulnerability to shocks. But each region and each country saw differences in these challenges and these vulnerabilities. The future of cities is “plural”, and we must consider these differences as potential strengths, unpack regional differences, learn together, and adapt urban models accordingly.

The theme of WUF11 will focus on these questions, providing us with the opportunity to anticipate change, course-correct, and become more knowledgeable about the different possibilities that the future of cities offers.

Katowice

Katowice is prepared to host the WUF11 with a state-of-the-art congress centre, well-developed hotel facilities and transport network to welcome all the participants in June 2022

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Katowice is a city of over 2 million people in the south of Poland. It is one of the biggest business centres in the country with several renowned academic, medical and cultural institutions.

One of the city’s landmarks is the Spodek arena, which hosted many international music and sport stars, and looks like a flying saucer

Katowice hosted the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in 2018

Katowice will host the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in December 2021

Marcin Krupa

Marcin Krupa

Mayor of Katowice, Poland

Hosting WUF 11 underlines the importance of Katowice as the site of visible and significant socio-economic transformation and as a welcoming host of all events. This is a great honour for Poland and a vote of confidence from our partners in the United Nations.