Organized under the theme “Reslience and More,” Marmara Urban Forum (MARUF23) was held at Istanbul Congress Center. Started with an opening speech by Tahir Büyükakın, Mayor of Kocaeli and the President of MMU on October 4, the forum was concluded with the event, “World Metropolitan Day” on October 7.

UCLG-MEWA was among the active participants of MARUF23 events. One of the events, “Networking: Local Governments Meets International City Networks,” took place on October 5. In addition to UCLG-MEWA, international organizations such as European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA), European Coalition of Cities Against Racism (ECCAR), UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Gap Fund-GCOM, C40, Metropolis, Eurocities and ICLEI Europe took part in the networking event.

Representing UCLG-MEWA at the event “Networking: Local Governments Meets International City Networks,” International Relations Coordinator Osman Çorumlu mentioned the scope of activities, strategy and vision of the organization. In addition, Çorumlu talked about the trainings, publications and events the organization organized within the scope of #ResilientMEWA vision.

World Metropolitan Day

World Metropolitan Day was celebrated on October 7, as part of MARUF23. Claudia López Hernández, Mayor of Bogota and President of Metropolis, Hasan Akgün, Mayor of Büyükçekmece, M. Cemil Arslan, MMU Secretary General and Jordi Vaquer, Metropolis Secretary General, were the figures who contributed to the opening ceremony with their speeches.

In the aftermath of the opening ceremony, Claudia López Hernández, Taufiq Zahidur Rahman, Mayor of Dhaka North, Ana Cristina Wanzeler, São Paulo Municipality Deputy Secretary General, Dr. Yahya R. Sarraj, Mayor of Gaza and Issa Kassis, Mayor of Ramallah took part in the session, “Global Perspectives” as speakers.

Approaching resilience and sustainability with a special focus on Palestine, Issa Kassis stated, “The sustainability and resilience of Ramallah are aligned with the World. Our youth play a crucial role in transforming the nature by adapting themselves to the difficulties of occupation.”

In addition, Dr. Yahya R. Sarraj stressed the importance of why local government services must go on despite difficulties and said, “Inspite of insufficient sources and challenges faced at the Strip of Gaza, we encouraged young volunteers and public-private partnership.”

Megacities Summit

The first Megacities Summit was held in Istanbul, the city which connects various geographies and cultures, on October 8. Targeting to come up with practical solutions for common problems, the summit convened mayors of megacities and high-level officials from all corners of the world, including Emilia Saiz, UCLG Secretary General.

The summit program offered discussions on main themes such as access to services and innovative financial solutions. Local and regional leaders and experts approached the future of mega cities with a focus on transportation, water, decontamination, renewable energy, urban planning, health and housing systems.

Lastly, Municipality of São Paulo was selected as the host of the following Megacities Summit in 2024.

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