The third Kartepe Summit, organised by Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality, was held on 25-27 October 2019 on the theme of “Urbanisation and Happy City”. In the summit, UN Turkey Resident Coordinator Alvaro Rodriguez was among the deliverers of opening speeches, whereas Sukhrob Khojimatov, Deputy Resident Representative for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Turkey, took part as a speaker in the session on “the Spirit and Vision of Cities”.

Alvaro Rodriguez: “Global Goals shed light on us”

Alvaro Rodriguez pointed out the importance of discussing urbanisation and happy city concepts in the summit and indicated that the results would contribute to Turkey, the region and the entire world.
Underlining that the Sustainable Development Goals shed light on their organisation for prioritising at social and environmental levels, Rodriguez said: "Global Goals achieved recognition all around the world, such a thing had not happened in the world history. For that reason, it is of great importance. For the first time in the world history, this generation is making a common effort for fighting poverty. I am sure, along with that, we will take important steps in reducing the risks and solving problems of climate change and global warming."
Sukhrob Khojimatov: “Localization of SDGs is the key for happy cities and people around”

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tahir Büyükakın, Kocaeli Metropolitan Mayor; Sukhrob Khojimatov, Deputy Resident Representative for UNDP Turkey; Prof. Dr. Nabi Avcı, Eskişehir Deputy from the Justice and Development Party; and Prof. Dr. Şükrü Karatepe, Chief Advisor to the President of the Republic took part as speakers in the session on “Spirit and Vision of the Cities” moderated by Cengiz Özdemir, EkoTürk TV Executive Director.

Büyükakın stated: “We can achieve our goal of a happy city by finding solutions to the issues such as industrialisation, migration, traffic and earthquake.”

Underlining that happy urbanisation was a sustainable development process, Büyükakın drew a parallel between this approach and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s objective to reach the level of contemporary civilisations. 

Sukhrob Khojimatov stressed that localizing the SDGs is at the centre of achieving the 2030 Agenda and happiness may be an important indication of success in this process. Khojimatov said:

“Today some 55% of population live in urban areas; a proportion that is expected to increase to 60% by 2030 and almost 70% by 2050. Cities today generate more than 80% of global GDP. They are powerful vectors for economic development; but they carry challenges too. They consume close to 2/3 of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. And as they develop, their exposure to climate and disaster risk also increases. Many of the world’s poor now live in cities where the most pressing development challenges are found. 

Localization of SDGs is the key for happy cities and people around. Localization means making the SDGs real for everyone, everywhere. It is a key strategy to advance inclusion; by ensuring that the needs of those who are being left behind are reflected in local strategies and budgets. Cities must be resilient to natural and man-made disasters and crises. Cities are at the forefront of the battle against climate change and environmental degradation. How cities grow and develop in the coming decades will play a significant part in determining whether the world can live within its planetary boundaries. Initiatives taken to scale through partnerships and strong urban leadership, will be critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and constitute happy cities.”

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