he 4th UCLG ASPAC Congress: Towards Sustainable Cities

THE 4th UCLG ASPAC Congress hosted by the Jakarta Capital City Government was held at Borobudur Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia, on 2-5 October 2012, and officially opened by UCLG ASPAC President and Governor of Jakarta, Fauzi Bowo.

“Resilient Cities: Rethink, Rebuild, Revitalize” was chosen as the main theme of the congress, and discussed in three plenary and two breakout sessions. Almost 500 participants from Asia Pacific and other regions such as Europe shared their ideas, knowledge and experiences on how to create resilient cities and to have innovations in building infrastructure, financing schemes for urban infrastructure investments, empowering community and integrating culture in city planning process, etc.

Fauzi Bowo said, “Urban planning and building design play an important role in facilitating the development of a greater capacity for future resilience but there is more than this. There are two other crucial pillars to building strong cities: one is developing adequate infrastructure to be able to cope with the speed of growth and equally important. Two, is preparing people in cities to be able to be resilient and to be able to embrace the changes needed to complement urban planning.”

Dong-Shin Moon, the Mayor of Gunsan, Republic of Korea, said that it is important to absorb shocks with flexibility, but at the same time should go one step further and utilize situations as opportunities for greater advancements. Rather than limiting oneself to the defensive posture, new policies should be introduced or necessary amendments should be made to the existing system and framework in response to the changes to guarantee unprecedented rippling effects.

External changes and stresses can be successfully managed by employing a necessary corresponding force. A proactive response, in other words, requires determination and endeavors to renovate the existing structure against the surrounding developments which can then become the stimulus to acquire the needed resilience against the evolving global community.

In conjunction with the Congress, UCLG ASPAC also held  the Statutory meetings consist of General Assembly, Executive Bureau and Council Meetings, as well as the Sub-regional Elections for Representatives to the Council and Executive Bureau and the Election of the Presidency for 2012-2014.

Jatin V. Modi, President of All India Institute of Local Self Government is elected as UCLG ASPAC President for 2012-2013, and Syed Muhammad Asghar Shah Gillani, President of Local Council Association of Punjab Pakistan is elected for 2013-2014.

While the Co-Presidents consist of Chen Haosu (Founding), Felicity-ann Lewis, President of Australian Local Government Association (Pacific Sub-region), Song Young-Gil, Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City (East and North-East Asia sub-region), Krishna Prasad Jaishi, spokesperson, Association of District Development Committee of Nepal (representing Associate and International Organisation members),  Fauzi Bowo (Immediate Past President), and Joko Widodo (Host).