From April 5- 11, UN Habitat will host The Seventh Annual World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia. The conference will focus on “Urban Equity in Development – Cities for Life”, and involve over 10,000 participants discussing and sharing strategies for addressing the challenges facing cities and communities around the world today.

ITDP will play an active role at WUF, sharing our research, strategies, and experiences promoting sustainable urban development. ITDP will host several panels and events to discuss trends, challenges, and solutions to pressing urban issues, and our experts will be featured on a number of panels.

ITDP Schedule of Events at WUF 7

Retooling ‘Cities for Life’: New approaches to urban infrastructure and service provision
An online conversation hosted in partnership with UN-HABITAT and the Ford Foundation in conjunction with WUF 7

  • ITDP Participation by Clarisse Linke, Director, ITDP Brazil

The development of “Cities for Life” requires infrastructure to bring life’s fundamentals to the community: water, sanitation, housing, transportation, and energy. Historically, stark inequities in access to these basics have divided cities, leaving informal communities marginalized and their residents struggling to survive. What would an equity-driven approach to urban infrastructure development look like? Who should participate and what part should they play in order to bring about a sustainable approach that will deliver inclusiveness as well as delivery of services? How can players of various types complement one another and coordinate their contributions? How might new technologies and service models transform the array of possible infrastructure solutions?

This discussion will examine all these elements and explore ways of integrating them into an urban infrastructure matrix that delivers the goods while serving the goals of justice, inclusion, and urban sustainability.

Join the conversation here! 




Public Bike Users

TOD Map Image

Monday, April 7, 2014

Transport and Just Cities
Parallel event with SLoCaT and UN Habitat 


Time: 8:00am – 3:30pm
Location: Plaza Mayor
Tentative Event Schedule:
08.30 – 09.00 Registration
09.00 – 09.30 Opening
09.30 – 10.30 Plenary 1: What is broken, and what needs to be fixed?
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break
11.00 – 12.30 Break-out Sessions
Break-out Session 1: Towards a Human Rights Based Approach to Urban Mobility
Break-out Session 2: Making Use of Social Media and ICT to realize safe and inclusive access for all
Break-out Session 3: SLoCaT’s Collaborative Work Program on Sustainable Transport and Poverty Alleviation
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 14.00 Reports Break-out Sessions
14.00 – 15.00 Closing Plenary –Equitable Transport and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

This day long event seeks to bring together participants to shine a spotlight on the critical role that sustainable low carbon transport has to play in realizing eqitable and just cities that are also environmentally sustainable. Through discussions and break-out sessions, the event will demonstrate the important of sustainable transport and contribute towards the development of a SLoCaT collaborative work program on sustainable transport and poverty alliation.





Thursday, April 10, 2014

Release of the TOD Standard Scores
Using the TOD Standard metrics and scorecard, ITDP has assessed 50 of the world’s best TOD developments in over 20 countries and awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze status to international best practices in TOD.

If you are a member of the press, please contact ITDP Communications Manager Jemilah Magnusson for more information.

Going for the Gold: Best practices in equitable transit-oriented developments
Official WUF Side Event 


Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Location: Yellow Pavilion, Room 5

  • Luc Nadal, Technical Director for Urban Development, ITDP Global Program
  • Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of the UN Habitat, (TBC)
  • B.R. Balachandran, Principal, B.R. Balachandran, Alchemy Urban Systems Private Limited
  • Mariana Orozco, Coordinator of Sustainable Urban Mobility Strategy SEDATU, Federal Government of Mexico
  • Maurits Van Der Staay – Renzo Piano Building Workshop

ITDP will introduce The TOD Standard, a new tool to help shape and assess urban development that actively integrates with, and promotes sustainable urban transport. The scores for 50 recent development projects from cities around the world will be revealed, and gold, silver, or bronze TOD Standard recognitions presented.

The panelists and the public will debate the key tools and actions needed to implement the core sustainable development principles and objectives, and make walking, cycling, and public transport orientation the default mode of development to house the hundreds of millions expected to add to the world urban population, including for lower income urban dwellers and in emerging economies.





TOD Cover

Sustainable Transport and the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Official WUF Side Event with SLoCaT

  • Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
  • Location: City Changer Room


Corridors of Development: Using BRT and TOD to Leverage Economic Development and Equity
Official WUF networking event in partnership with IPEA 


Time: 2:00-4:00 PM
Location: Yellow Pavilion, Room 13

  • Clarisse Linke, Director, ITDP Brazil
  • Luc Nadal, Technical Director for Urban Development, ITDP Global
  • Stephanie Lotshaw, Program Manager, ITDP US & Africa
  • Vicente Correia Lima Neto, IPEA
  • Fernando de Mello Franco, Secretary of Urban Development, City of São Paulo

This session, promoted by IPEA and ITDP, will focus on how transit-oriented development (TOD) can integrate transport and land use to promote equity. TOD is based on sustainable transport that is safe, clean, and affordable and connects people to jobs, health, education, cultural resources, and recreation. Recent research shows that high quality bus rapid transit (BRT) spurs TOD at a lower cost than rail investments and can thus quickly expand the provision of TOD to more areas, bringing down the cost of sustainable urbanization, freeing up investment for improved public and non-motorized transportation, housing, and other services.

The presentations will focus on the TOD Standard which seeks to define what is good TOD using key principles; how good quality BRT can be the most cost effective means of leveraging economic development and yet how transit alone cannot bring about this change; and an analysis of Brazil’s government transit investments from the perspective of the TOD Standard. Three cities’ cases will also be presented: Cleveland, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.




Friday, April 11, 2014


Designing and planning better transit-oriented developments
In partnership with Next City


Time: 10:00am – 11:00pm
Location: TBC

  • Luc Nadal, Technical Director for Urban Development, ITDP Global Program
  • B.R. Balachandran, Principal, Alchemy Urban Systems Private Limited
  • Mariane Jang, Consultant, ITDP Global Program
  • Maurits Van Der Staay – Renzo Piano Building Workshop

This session will discuss in depth the principles and metrics of the new TOD Standard and explore the finding and implications of the first round of development scores, released the previous day. Discussion will focus on how to apply the Standard, and how it can be used to improve urban design and planning practices.




8 Principles

New Prospects for Affordability, Transport and Land Use Equity 
In partnership with Next City


Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm
Location: TBC

  • Jemilah Magnusson, Communications Manager, ITDP Global
  • Michael Kodransky, Urban Research Manager, ITDP Global
  • Bernardo Baranda, Regional Director, ITDP Latin America
  • B.R. Balachandran, Principal, Alchemy Urban Systems Private Limited

Low-income constituents typically face greater transport costs proportionally, whether in time or money, than middle and upper income households. Spatial planning and regulatory reform offer opportunities for bringing these underserved communities closer to jobs, decreasing their transport share of household expenses and improving their quality of life. The panel will address how affordable housing oriented to transit, density and transport access are being addressed in Ahmedabad, India and Mexico City as these cities densify around transit. Interventions such as parking reform and shared mobility models offer potential to increase access and equity. Particular focus will be given to how these new mobility models can work in emerging economies.




Public space redevelopment

April 12- 16

Technical visit through Medellin, Bogota, Pereira
Parallel Event with Despacio

[expand title=”details”]

General Agenda:

  • Saturday April 12: Visit to Medellin transport systems and public spaces
  • Sunday April 13: Bogota Sunday Ciclovia
  • Monday April 14: Bogota TransMilenio ride and visit to Operator Depot
  • Tuesday April 15: Technical discussion with experts and TransMilenio management
  • Wednesday April 16: Pereira Megabus system, visit and discussion with managers [/expand]

 Despacio will be hosting a study tour to Bogota, Medellin and Pereira following the World Urban Forum in Medellin. Despacio will provide assistance to interional delegations interested in learning firsthand about Bogota’s BRT system TransMilenio and Cycling network, as well as visits to relevant sites of Medellin and Pereira. Click here for more information.




Click here for a list of all transport-related events at WUF 7



Sign up for updates on our projects, events and publications.