The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


The urban challenges of implementing SDGs in the social uprising in Latin America

10 December 2019, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm


Event Information

Open to



Dr Catalina Ortiz


DPU Room 101
34 Tavistock Square


Across Latin America and the Caribbean social unrest has erupted fuelled by decades of extreme inequality, exclusion, legacies of authoritarian regimes, and corruption.  In this context, what do the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals -SDGs- can offer to the most urbanized region of the planet in this historical conjunction? What are the urban challenges to implement them? The SDGs are a bold commitment to the pledge that no one will be left behind by tackling some of the more pressing challenges facing the world today. But, how the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda relates to the claims in the streets and the ability of multiple actors to deliver structural change? What is the role of cities and multilateral organisations in this process?

This event explores some responses to these questions focusing on the governance imperatives around social protection, gender equality, climate change, adequate housing and infrastructure, migration, security, data and technology. Understanding the upheavals and political possibilities for shaping a collective vision and aligning efforts in key priorities are essential for development planning practitioners.  

Speaker Bio
Mr. Elkin Velasquez Monsalve is the Regional Director of UN-Habitat in Latin America and the Caribbean. He co-leads the Regional Action Plan for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda in LAC. Elkin also has served as Leader of Regional and Metropolitan Planning Unit at Nairobi-HQ and started the flagship initiative on National Urban Policies. He was Chief of the Urban Governance Section; coordinator of the Safer Cities Programme and temporally responsible for the Gender Unit.

Elkin has wide experience in the field, particularly in Latin America, assisting national and local governments in areas like urban governance, territorial planning, urban safety and area-based public policies. He also developed research in these areas and taught at several universities.

Elkin is a national of Colombia. He studied Public Administration at the ENA (French National School of Public Administration); obtained a Ph.D. in Geography, specializing in Territorial Policy and Planning, at the University of Grenoble (France); and did graduate in Engineering at School of Mines, National University of Colombia in Medellin. 

The event will be chaired by Prof Julio Davila, who will be engaging in conversation with Mr. Elkin Velasquez Monsalve