On 7 February, LSE Cities hosted a small, high-level group of 50 urban experts and policymakers to hear about The World Bank’s new Urbanization Knowledge Platform. The event was designed to establish an exchange between the World Bank’s senior executives who are leading this important initiative – part of its “Open Development-Open Knowledge” agenda – and key organisations in London with expertise in urban growth, sustainability, planning and social cohesion.
The mission of the Urbanization Knowledge Platform is ‘to put the world’s best knowledge and data in the hands of policymakers and practitioners, to harness urban growth for better development outcome.’ This is hoped to be achieved by a mixed programme of activities that will:
- convene and connect research institutes, agencies, and governments around urban and regional development topics, and foster the creation of a global urban community of practice;
- co-generate knowledge products that will close knowledge gaps on complex urban issues under debate, and influence policy reforms in developing client countries;
- facilitate release of and access to city-level data sets for cross-city comparisons and new policy insights.
On behalf of the World Bank, speakers Abha Joshi Ghani (Sector Manager, Urban Development and Local Government Unit) and Sumila Gulyani (Urbanization Knowledge Platform) explained the aims and dynamics of the project. Each presentation was followed by an intense debate on the perceived “knowledge gaps” that the new platform aspires to tackle. In addition, Deputy Mayor of Barcelona Antoni Vives showcased his city’s new “City Protocol” initiative, which the city government of Barcelona is trying to develop in partnership with major private companies as well as the World Bank.
For further information about the event, please contact Jonas Schorr (j.schorr [AT] lse.ac.uk).