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Commonwealth forum to debate health of cities

Nine Commonwealth cities are today meeting in Ahmedabad, India to discuss the challenges they are facing to provide basic services at a time of increasing population, urbanisation and mass migration and to share good practice in some of the solutions to be more effective.

This is the first major meeting of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum Inclusive Cities Network which is being held in Ahmedabad from 10-12 June.  The meeting will:

  • identify and share good practice in the promotion of inclusiveness through a series of case studies and a review of international reports dealing with urbanisation and inclusiveness
  • identify opportunities for further research and capacity building support.
  • gain a specific insight into the approach adopted by Indian inclusive cities, and
  • consider a future roadmap and work programme for the Network.

The cities represented at the meeting include: Brisbane City Council, Australia; City of Surrey, Canada; Ahmedabad, India; Port Moresby,  Papua New Guinea; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa:  Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; and Birmingham, UK.

Each of these cities will present a case study on how they have dealt with issues such as: homelessness, community engagement, gender, young people, immigrants and refugees,, poverty and local economic development.

CLGF Secretary-General Carl Wright, who will address the meeting and welcome participants, said:

“The challenges of urbanisation are huge  and we can learn from cities across the Commonwealth, for example the good practices here in Ahmedabad on housing, rapid transit and waterfront development and how we can ensure that all of our citizens, especially the urban poor and the marginalised, have access to proper shelter and safe water, sanitation and other vital local services..


“Elected local governments play a key role in steering the processes of urban development. Today the leading role of cities in providing services and as drivers of the economy is increasingly recognised,“ he said.

The CLGF Inclusive Cities Network was formally launched in May 2009 during the 2009 Commonwealth Local Government Conference to promote inclusiveness as an essential element of decision-making by local councils and as a means of sharing good practice on the many issues around inclusion – slum dwellers, migrants, minority groups, women and young people. 

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