Federation for
Housing and

Urbego at WUF7

Wednesday 09.04.2014
Medellin, Colombia. Yellow Pavilion

The missing piece in urban governance - creating cities for life together with the young generations. Side event at World Urban Forum 7 in Medellin.

The missing piece in urban governance

The debate is based on an ongoing research on engagement in urban governance conducted by Urbego in various cities around the world. It will also include interventions from the Municipality of Medellin and promote a city to city approach for knowledge exchange on the matter.


Searching for a youth engagement index

Internationally it is recognised that sustainable development can only be achieved when citizens, governments, organized civil society and the private sector work together towards common goals.


Urbego believes that in the light of the recent events in the Arab States, Turkey, Brazil, India, Romania and other parts of the world the missing link in the governance process across the world is the young generation of urban dwellers. Urbego is working on developing an index of young generation’s involvement in urban governance and is collecting case studies all across the globe.


The methodology is being developed in collaborations with universities across the world and will look at civic, politic and economic engagement as well as at discrepancies between expectations from the various actors involved in governance and what these discrepancies lead to. In recent cases, covered by the international media, these discrepancies have led to protests by young people that felt let down by the inability of their governments to be transparent and forward looking. Nevertheless protests are not the only way to show involvement and in many cases municipalities themselves lead the engagement efforts.


Urbego believes that by bringing to the table municipalities across the world that have been facing the pressure of young generations together with other municipalities that have already managed to establish good communication and gain the trust of their young citizens will encourage leaders of urban centres to share knowledge and bring back home new ideas to act on.


Urbego in Medellin

During WUF7 Urbego will present a summary of the result of the application of the youth engagement index in Valencia and Medellin. Wider questions that will be addressed relate to the concept of city for life for the young, what makes young people feel part of/ disconnected from their urban communities, what is the added value of young people’s involvement and how can urban leaders encourage the young to invest hope and energy in their urban future. The main aim is to share knowledge and establish a city to city approach on the issue whereby municipalities that have applied successful approaches will share their experience and advise municipalities that haven’t. 


The objectives of this side event are:


  • To showcase the potential of youth engagement in urban development
  • To recognize and map initiatives and entrepreneurship of youth in different cities


The event will look at the contribution that young generations across the world can bring to achieving the post 2015 development agenda on urban governance, development, the use of technology and innovation, inclusive growth, employment and migration by promoting among municipalities across the world the benefits of their involvement and encouraging and strengthening knowledge transfer on the issue.



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Picture: Andrea Serra