On October 8-10, 2012, the World Bank in partnership with the City of Barcelona convened 1,300 stakeholders at the Sixth Urban Research and Knowledge Symposium on "Rethinking Cities: Framing the Future" to explore what may well be the most important question in development today: How can we empower city leaders to harness the unprecedented wave of urbanization taking place in the developing world for green and inclusive growth?
This Symposium was the first to be organized through the World Bank’s Urbanization Knowledge Platform (UKP), a global partnership with over 70 partner organizations worldwide that aims to curate and co-create knowledge on the challenges and opportunities faced by cities. The Urban Department leveraged the UKP to “reboot” the World Bank’s Urban Research Symposium through two foundational changes:
- The themes and topics at the center of the Symposium were selected not by academics but were based on the needs and challenges identified by the 750+ city leaders consulted by the UKP at its 20+ launch events in more than a dozen countries across all Bank regions.
- Rather than just examining the latest trends in academic research, the Symposium brought together academia with policy makers, practitioners, civil society, and the private sector to jointly translate knowledge into practical solutions and actionable guidance that city leaders can use today.
6th URKS by the numbers...
1,300 registered participants ~ 350 presenters and panelists
6 plenaries + 49 sessions across 5 themes ~ 50 “my city” exhibitions
35 research and policy papers ~ 4 site visits + 1 City Hall reception
4 languages ~ 1,400 tweets + 32 video podcasts