Sustainable, efficient and equitable management of water in cities has never been as important as in today's world.
Achieving important internationally agreed goals - in a sustainable manner - including the Millennium Development Goals in developing country cities, requires that we do better than we have in the past. It requires that we institutionalize and act upon lessons learnt in the arena of urban water management and urban development. Capacities to make change happen in water are typically diffused between many different stakeholders including the different publics in our cities. Therefore, increasingly coming to the forefront are the holistic approaches, methods and skills needed to enable successful cooperation and collaboration, including those communication techniques which enable stakeholders to improve their performance, exchange knowledge, views and preferences and act collectively with a feasible vision of the future, promoting effective implementation.
This will be the main focus of this global meeting, which will bring together more than 200 experts, local government officials, media specialists, key water operators and political representatives of cities and stakeholder groups to discuss the issues and propose practical ways to move forward to meet the challenges of achieving water and sanitation for all, of disseminating results to a wider audience, and considering different development contexts and regional characteristics. The meeting is also an intermediary step in the preparation for World Water Day 2011
, which focuses on the issue of urban water management.
The conference will focus on how to put sustainable urban water
management into practice. It aims at:
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- Identifying the best approaches to promote effective change at
different scales. What are the lessons from recent implementation
experiences in stakeholder engagement, participatory
approaches, communication and media engagement around
water in cities, their effectiveness, and how they have been
contributing to improved water management and governance
- Analysing how cities, local authorities and other key stakeholders
have effectively addressed issues of social inclusion in urban water
management, and supported progress towards international
commitments including the Millennium Development Goals
• Identifying how can we do ‘better’ in urban water management
through sharing lessons from recent city experiences, and
inspiring participants to do ‘better’. Case studies from SWITCH
cities and other partners will illustrate experiences on how
effective change can be promoted aiming to inspire others
and highlight some of the crucial ingredients for success. They
will also identify the general and locally specifi c diffi culties,
challenges, barriers and failures that we cannot ignore and can
learn from (failure being a key ingredient in innovation).