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Urban Future 2030

Urban Futures 2030: Middle East and North Africa
Symposium, August 23rd, 2015
Columbia Global Centers | Middle East (Amman)

This one-day symposium focuses on issues of urban sustainability and culture in the cities of the Middle East and North Africa. At a time when the Middle East and North Africa region is in engaged in continuing political, social, and economic transformations with urbanization and urban areas at the heart of processes, and at a time when communities, cities, and nations seek modernity and globalization while retaining their uniqueness and identities, this symposium deliberates alternative, culture-forward visions of urbanity. The cities and the countries in the region are of course, very diverse with icons of globalization and prosperity on the one hand and on the other, those that face many challenges of poverty, youth-unemployment, and lack of adequate infrastructure.
Given the growing salience of the global agendas of sustainable development, how can we re-imagine urban forms and processes to be more inclusive and compatible with culture, heritage, and a diversity of identities. How do experts on urbanism, cultural heritage, and sustainable design, envision the coming two decades of urban future? In the context of the prevailing forces of urbanization and globalization, how do they see the twin processes of building and un-building being played out in the urban contours in the region? How can global agendas and identities be reconciled with regional histories and local culture to pave pathways to sustainable development? The symposium is organized as intensive debates to explore specific themes and topics.

The Urban Futures 2030 Symposia series has been conceptualized and organized by Professor Jyoti Hosagrahar, Director of the Sustainable Urbanism International Lab at GSAPP, Columbia University, New York and UNESCO Chair, Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology, India. The symposium is co-organized by the Columbia Global Centers | Middle East (Amman), Studio-X Amman, and the Institute for Sustainable Development at the center. Regional partners include UNESCO’s Arab Regional Center for World Heritage (ARC-WH) in Bahrain.

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