The Republic of Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) and CGSI (Critical Global Studies Institute) of Sogang University, recently hosted the International Conference on Participatory Approaches to World Heritage 2024 in Seoul.

Participatory planning is a cornerstone in the fight against climate change, ensuring that communities are actively involved in shaping resilient and sustainable cities. Our City Plans recognises the critical role of community engagement in addressing climate challenges and has implemented innovative approaches to empower residents. By involving community members in decision-making processes, Our City Plans fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility, leading to more effective and inclusive solutions.

In the realm of sustainable development, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) play a crucial role in guiding global efforts. Amongst these goals, SDG 11 specifically focuses on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. Target 11.3, a key component of this goal, emphasises enhancing inclusive and sustainable urbanisation through participatory and integrated human settlement planning.

The calendar is turning its final pages and Our City Plans stands at the threshold of reflection and celebration.  

The year 2023 has been a chapter etched with fervent dedication, relentless advocacy, and profound progress in reshaping urban landscapes worldwide. Throughout these transformative twelve months, we have stood witness to a multitude of innovative initiatives, bold policies, and collective actions, all aimed at shaping urban landscapes that prioritise the well-being of inhabitants, while promoting environmental sustainability.  

It is now just under a month since the very important Urban October came to an end. The Urban October doesn't just mark a month on the calendar; it signifies a global ode to the pulse of urban life, a celebration of the cities that breathe, evolve, and shape the very essence of our modern life. In the kaleidoscope of initiatives and events, cities worldwide become the canvas upon which innovation, sustainability, and community empowerment converge.

The Our City Plans team recently made strides with the successful implementation of the Our City Plans methodologies in Brazil, where they collaborated with esteemed partner institutions to spearhead transformative training sessions. Held at the 1st Conference of The City of Itaquaquecetuba and the Jaboatão dos Guararapes Forum 450 anos, these sessions were a resounding success. The focus? Fostering dialogue, engaging the community, and propelling sustainable urban growth.