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Sustainable Cities – Transition to Urbanization in the New Era

poster-UNDP-Lecture venue changed

Sustainable Cities – Transition to Urbanization in the New Era

Date: 19th October, 2013 (Saturday)

Time: 10:00am-11:30am

Venue: LT1, G/F, Cheng Yu Tung Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Speaker: Ms. Rebeca Grynspan (UN Under-Secretary-General & UNDP Associate Administrator)



The World as well as China passed a milestone in recent years to witness more than half of the population living in cities. Urbanization has entered a new era. Responding to the mounting economic, social and environmental challenges, the freshly inaugurated Chinese top leadership embraced urbanization and proposed a strategy, "Ecological Civilization", to guide the most populated and rapidly growing country toward sustainable development with a key focus on cities. The experiences of Hong Kong, as a leading city in China from urbanization and sustainability perspectives, are highly valuable for the whole country in the new era. Meanwhile China's transition will also profoundly influence the future of Hong Kong.


UNDP 2013 China National Human Development Report (NHDR), titled "Sustainable and Liveable Cities: Toward Ecological Civilization", explores the current transformation in China from the perspective of human development. With this background, Department of Geography and Resource Management, Urban Studies Programme, Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability, and Institute of Future Cities of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, together with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly hosted a public lecture, "Sustainable Cities – Transition to Urbanization in the New Era", on our campus on Saturday, 19 October 2013. Welcomed by Professor Joseph J.Y. Sung, the Vice Chancellor and President of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, the speaker, UN Under-Secretary-General & UNDP Associate Administrator Ms. Grynspan, delivered a speech on sustainable cities and urbanization. She interacted with the audience on the pathways of Chinese cities in pursuit of sustainable development in the new era. Professor Yongqin David Chen, Chairman of the Department of Geography and Resource Management, and Professor Mee Kam Ng, Director of the Urban Studies Programme, shared their insights and facilitated the discussion.


About the speaker:


Rebeca Grynspan was appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the position of UN Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator effective 1 February 2010. Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Grynspan was elected Vice-President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998.


Ms. Grynspan is a strong and consistent advocate for human development. She has helped focus global attention on the need to reduce inequality, build social cohesion, empower women, and achieve the world's Millennium Development Goals. Her many contributions include spearheading the design and implementation of Costa Rica's National Plan Against Poverty and initiating Human Development Reports for Latin America and the Caribbean which have been instrumental in ameliorating inter-generational inequality. She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on social and economic policy, gender and poverty issues.


A native of Costa Rica, Ms. Grynspan holds a Master's degree in Economics from the University of Sussex (England) and studied Economics and Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is married and has a daughter and a son.