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At the THRIVE GLOBAL launch with Uta Dietrich, Research Fellow, United Nations University, International Institute for Global Health

I had the privilege of participating on ICMA’s behalf in the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) October 17-20 in Quito, Ecuador. One of the highlights for me was the launch of a new publication, THRIVE GLOBAL: People, Planet, and Participation, as part of a panel discussion hosted bythe United Nations University’s International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH). ICMA is proud to have supported THRIVE GLOBAL and to have participated in the launch event.


THRIVE GLOBAL summarizes, through text and photography, the output of a January 2016 Urban Thinker’s Campus event in Kuching, Malaysia, focused on health and well-being in cities. The Kuching Statement, developed by the participants in this event, positions health as the central focus of sustainable urban development with an emphasis on people, the planet, and participation.

The Power of Art to Effect Change

At Wednesday’s launch event, panelists emphasized the power of art to influence policy, noting that information and science alone are not enough to effect change. While information is critical for decision-making, policy changes typically reflect not only science, but also the values, instincts, and emotions of those enacting change. The highly visual urban imagery throughout THRIVE GLOBAL was provided by European Photography art magazine and carefully curated for the publication. Through photography, the publication evokes emotion while also sharing information on the importance of health in sustainable urban development.

ICMA’s Support for Global Access

Another powerful theme in Wednesday’s launch event was the importance of sharing information across countries, cultures, and languages. Panelists reflected on the fact that urbanists from one part of the world too often miss the opportunity to access research and information from other parts of the world due to differences in language. ICMA partnered with UNU-IIGH to translate THRIVE GLOBAL from English to the following seven languages:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • Malay
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

This undertaking allows urbanists around the world to benefit from the knowledge derived from the Kuching deliberations. For more information about UNU-IIGH and THRIVE GLOBAL, please visit the links below.


Ellen Foreman

Very exciting for ICMA! Especially information sharing across cultures.

Regina Anderson-Ford

Great recap on ICMA's involvement and the culutural exchanges. Thanks!

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