UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


IIPP Director Mariana Mazzucato delivered a keynote on green growth at UN-Habitat World Urban Forum

27 February 2020

The UN Habitat’s World Urban Forum (WUF10) invited thought-leadership from IIPP Director Mariana Mazzucato focused on climate change within global cities.

WUF10 Un Habitat Urban Talks

On 10 February, Professor Mariana Mazzucato attended the World Urban Forum (WUF10). The high profile event in Abu Dhabi was packed with talks and sessions focused on the urban green transition- how it affects communities, urban planning and social inclusion.

Professor Mariana Mazzucato was invited to the event by Maimunah Mohd Sharif, the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat. On the day she delivered a keynote speech at the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi with a focus on pushing green, inclusive, market-shaping innovation into towns and cities around the world. She argued that rethinking economics is a key part of how cities work to deliver green goals at city and local level.

Her speech was a response to the prompt of “Implementing the New Urban Agenda to Drive Sustainable Change,” and Professor Mazzucato’s words set the stage for a high-level panel of delegates, from representatives of national governments including Ministers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Japan and Mexico, the United Nations, the World Bank, and local governments including the Mayor of Nili, Afghanistan, to discuss and debate the role of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their local contexts and around the world. The keynote speech acted as a provocation to get the room of global leaders and thought-leaders to think differently about the climate transition.

Mazzucato then shared IIPP’s roadmap on missions for just and inclusive green growth in cities, so that cities don’t see creating a more environmentally friendly planet as a siloed challenge, but a key focus that runs through a city-wide approach. Professor Mazzucato highlighted the need for directed innovation when rethinking governance systems and spoke about how it is essential to engage citizens in order to drive towards sustainable urbanisation. She was able to draw on IIPP’s amazing work across the globe, specifically  in Greater Manchester, Scotland and Spain.

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Following the speech, Professor Mazzucato was invited to an ‘fireside-style’ afternoon session called ‘Frontiers for Our Future’. The roundtable session also featured design boundary-pushers Richard Sennett, Saskia Sassen and Ricky Burdett providing a stimulating debate on the climate crisis, and the role of the built environment, architecture and city planning.