UCLG-MEWA Delegation participated in a research event titled “Sustainability of Urban Life in Qatar and the Gulf Region: Workshop on Measures and Methodologies, organized by the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute at Qatar University (SESRI), sponsored and funded by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). The UCLG-MEWA delegation, consisting of Dr. Mehmet Duman, UCLG-MEWA Secretary-General; Osman Çorumlu, UCLG-MEWA International Relation Coordinator; Reem Abusamra, Senior Research Officer; and Yehia Ibrahim, Policy Officer, has made substantial contributions to discussions pertaining to the quality of urban life in Qatar and the Gulf region.
The event started with opening remarks delivered by His Excellency Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie, Minister of Municipality; His Excellency Dr. Hassan bin Rashid Al-Derham, President of Qatar University; Dr. Mehmet Duman, UCLG-MEWA Secretary-General and Prof. Kaltham bin Ali Al-Ghanim, Director of SESRI.
Dr. Al Subaie, in his speech, accentuated the relentless efforts of Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality towards enhancing the quality of life, sustainability, and the level of ‘urban humanization’ within the country. He drew attention to the execution of the country’s extensive urban plan, which seeks to establish an exemplary model of sustainable urban living fit for the 21st century. Moreover, he underscored the plan’s ambitions to provide an unparalleled quality of life and welfare to all citizens and residents of Qatar.
Dr. Al-Derham, President of Qatar University, underscored the uniqueness of this workshop, which aims to explore and develop innovative methodologies for assessing urban life quality in Qatar and the Gulf region. He emphasized the region’s substantial investment in urban development, enhancing residents’ life quality and well-being. He also mentioned that this workshop offers a robust platform for exchanging ideas on novel sustainability measures and urban policy’s role in improving life quality and provides an opportunity to present innovative place-based contributions centered around the local population.
In his remarks, Dr. Duman underlined the paramount significance of Global Agendas in fortifying the quality of urban life, emphasizing the potential for local and regional governments to serve as catalysts in this endeavor. Further elaborating on the proactive role of UCLG-MEWA, Dr. Duman delineated the initiatives undertaken by the organization to bolster local governments to foster policy development that encapsulates a comprehensive spectrum of urban experiences, thereby ensuring inclusive progress.
Several discussion panels and research dialogues took place during the workshop in a multidisciplinary environment. The first session focused on the concepts, indicators, and multidimensional sustainability framework. The second session revolved around the multifaceted quality of life and human well-being concepts. During this session, Yehia Ibrahim from UCLG-MEWA delivered a speech emphasizing the significance of sustainable urban development and its impact on human well-being. With a particular focus on vulnerable communities, he highlighted the importance of addressing their specific needs within the broader context of urban sustainability. The third session covered the framework and methods for building a multidimensional urban quality of life structure. The fourth session addressed areas of consensus and areas that require further work in assessing the quality of life and human well-being in the Gulf region. The fifth session involved discussions among stakeholders in the policy field. Osman Çorumlu, representing UCLG-MEWA, delivered an insightful speech during this session. He underscored the critical role that Global Agendas – such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the New Urban Agenda, and the Sendai Framework – can play in enhancing the quality of urban life. Osman shed light on several of UCLG-MEWA’s initiatives designed to gauge life satisfaction levels. Notably, he introduced the UCLG-MEWA Human Development Index (HDI-D), an innovative tool for assessing the welfare of urban inhabitants. Osman enriched the dialogue by presenting concrete examples of proactive measures to improve urban living conditions.
The event proved to be a profoundly enriching experience. It served as a unique platform for participants from diverse regions and varying backgrounds to engage in insightful discussions on a subject of paramount importance – a subject that indeed has far-reaching implications on the lives of all individuals. The diversity of perspectives brought forth an abundance of innovative ideas, significantly enhancing the quality of discourse on this vital issue.