President & CEO of the World Council on City Data & Director of the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto, Professor Patricia McCarney was in New York on May 18th, at the launch of UN-Habitat’s “World Cities Report 2016.” A flagship publication of UN-Habitat, the report establishes cities as a transformative force and sets the tone for the new urban agenda to be adopted at Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. Professor McCarney and her colleague Professor Stren authored the opening chapters of this game-changing report, “From Habitat II to Habitat III: Twenty Years of Urban Development” and “Urbanization as a Transformative Force.”
The work of Professor McCarney and that of the WCCD was widely applauded at the event, with Eduardo Moreno - UN-Habitat Director for Research Capacity Development - pointing to the work of the WCCD as helping to close the global gap on the city data deficit. The need for data to guide and monitor progress and investment in cities has never been greater. Over the last two decades, cities have emerged as the world’s economic platforms for production, innovation and trade and it is in cities where private sector jobs are being created. McCarney argues in this new UN report that city data is essential for evidence-based decision making and policy development that will support increasing productivity, create employment opportunities, improve quality of life and inform large-scale investment in infrastructure so pivotal for cities in Canada and worldwide.
The transformative power of urbanization will continue to be driven by the rapid deployment of Information and Communications Technology making cities smarter and more resilient. "Cities have become a positive and potent force for addressing sustainable economic growth, development and prosperity and for driving innovation," concluded Professor McCarney.
The full report can be read here.