CITYNET, whose official name is the Regional Network of Local Authorities for the Management of Human Settlements, is an inter-city association established in 1987 for efficient linkage for collaboration and policy exchanges among local governments in the Asia-Pacific region. At present, it has a total of 85 local governments as full members and 46 institutions and organizations including international NGOs as associate members. It pursues sustainable urban development through international collaboration with focus on urban environment, health, poverty, and infrastructure governance. CITYNET holds international seminars and workshops while conducting surveys and providing technical guidance.
Seoul, Yokohama (former Chair City) Colombo, Lyon, Surabaya, Bangkok, etc., serve as executive cities of said organization. Korean cities such as Busan, Incheon, Suwon, Changwon, and Yongin are member cities of CITYNET.
At the 7th CITYNET Congress held in Seoul for four days beginning November 3 and attended by 300 people from 50 cities and 20 NGOs in the Asia-Pacific region, Seoul City announced new development directions for CITYNET through the Seoul Declaration: ▴ reduction of disasters, ▴ environment-friendly development, ▴ sustainable urban planning, and ▴ poverty reduction.
The Seoul Institute shared Seoul-type policy models on urban planning, transportation, environment, and air quality with other CITYNET members during the congress. The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), which is in charge of matters related to the country’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), signed an MOU for the promotion of collaborative projects with CITYNET during the event.
At the Mayors’ Forum held on November 5 and presided over by Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon, attendees exchanged exemplary policies with each other and discussed ways to improve residential conditions in the area.
Following the Mayors’ Forum, Seoul Metropolitan Government was designated as the representative of Asia in the Operation Committee of GNSC (Global Network on Safer Cities), an urban safety program of UNHABITAT.
At a special session, attendees engaged in an in-depth debate to find solutions to urban problems with regard to the sustainable programs for environment-friendly development proposed by UNESCAP and Microsoft CityNext people-oriented cities and Rockefeller Foundation’s proposal for making cities that can withstand climate change and disasters.