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Urban Context and World Bank’s response: Challenges and Opportunities

June 1, 2023 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

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Sponsored by the 1818 Society Urban and Water Thematic Group

The 1818 Society Urban and Water Thematic Group (TG) invites you to a Webex presentation on Urban Context and World Bank’s Response: Challenges and Opportunities. This presentation is a continuation of our Urban & Water Group’s “Talk Shop” series. It is also the continuation of a conversation which started in January 2023 with Saroj Jha, Global Director, Water Global Practice on water issues. The objective is to review the current situation faced by cities around the world and to zoom in on some of the salient features of the Bank’s response.

Speaker: Bernice Van Bronkhorst, Global Director, World Bank Urban, Resilience and Land Global Practice (GPURL)

Ms. Van Bronkhorst joined the World Bank in 2005 as an Urban Specialist in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region. She has since held various positions, including as Sector/Practice Manager for the Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change unit in the South Asia Region, and Practice Manager for Urban Development and Disaster Risk Management for East and Southern Africa in the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience GP. Most recently, prior to joining GPURL, she was the Global Director for the Climate Change Group.

The world is urbanizing at a historically unprecedented fast pace. Today, some 55% of the world’s population lives in cities. By 2050, it is estimated that cities will accommodate an additional 2.5 billion inhabitants, bringing the share of the world’s population living in urban areas to over two-thirds.
Today’s cities face multiple challenges. Public urban investment is low, local capacities are often limited and spatial planning insufficient. Too many urban dwellers are living in slums due to housing shortages and unaffordability. Combined with limited resilience against climate related and other natural disasters and shocks such as the recent pandemic, cities’ challenges seem insurmountable.
Yet, cities still bring opportunities to facilitate growth and act as an escalator pulling people out of poverty. Cities can become engines of economic potential, but there is a narrowing window of opportunity for cities to get such urbanization and investment decisions right. Cities’ inclusive, competitive, and resilient future will depend on how they manage the challenges and contribute to solutions.
The Urban, Resilience and Land Global Practice (GP) is supporting cities in developing countries by building global knowledge and best practices, providing expert technical cross-support, coordinating and facilitating corporate priorities (such as the Paris Alignment) and by managing several Umbrella and standalone TF programs. Through these activities, the GP is boosting the Bank’s urban portfolio and helping cities towards a green, resilient and inclusive future.

Moderator:   Catherine Farvacque-Vitkovic,  Coordinating Committee Member of the Urban & Water TG.

Webex details:

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Meeting number: 2318 710 7223
Password: Society1818

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1-650-479-3207 Call-in number (US/Canada)
Access code: 2318 710 7223
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June 1, 2023
11:30 am - 1:00 pm


The 1818 Society Urban and Water Thematic Group