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TITLE 2016 KRIHS–WBG Joint Workshop Closing Ceremony
DATE 2016-11-21 HIT 9253

2016 KRIHS–WBG Joint Workshop Closing Ceremony

Theme: Vitalizing Cities with Public Space
Date: Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Venue: InterContinental Seoul COEX, Jupiter Hall (30th floor)
 The Korean Research Institute for Human Settlements (KRIHS) Global Development Partnership Center held the closing ceremony of the 2016 KRIHS–WBG Joint Workshop on Wednesday, November 16, on the 30th floor of the InterContinental Seoul COEX, in Jupiter Hall.

 The four-day workshop (Monday, November 14, to Thursday, November 17) was attended by 36 policy practitioners and specialists from seven countries, including representatives of developing countries (China, Argentina, Kenya, Tanzania, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan), World Bank Group (WBG) staff members, and regional consultants. In accordance with the theme of the workshop, “Vitalizing Cities with Public Space,” participants exchanged knowledge and shared experiences related to the work being done in their respective countries (Korea included) to create, maintain, and utilize public space. They also discussed future challenges and how these could be addressed.

 The presentations by the various country representatives made it clear that efforts to develop and utilize public space remained lacking in many places, including those where institutions were already working on the issues, for example, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and places without such institutions such as Kakamega, Kenya and Zanzibar, Tanzania. This was a reminder that successful public space initiatives require not only institutions and plans but also the governance and funding necessary for the implementation of those plans. Examples of successful initiatives discussed at the workshop included a river restoration project in Chongqing, China; a project to convert public squares and streets into green spaces and everyday public spaces in Tashkent, Uzbekistan; and a project to create 100 public spaces in Kazakhstan. Several projects that had been completed in Singapore and four Korean projects (the restoration of Cheong-gye Stream, the creation of Gyeongui Line Forest Park, the creation of the transit mall at Yonsei-ro, and urban renewal projects through public spaces) showed the potential for public spaces to become more than mere physical settings and to contribute in important ways to the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of a city.

 During the closing ceremony, Dong-ju Kim, the President of KRIHS said additional related projects would be necessary, including knowledge sharing within the tripartite cooperation framework of WBG, KRIHS, and partner countries and policy consulting for location-specific development. He suggested in particular that the WBG Urbanscapes team, Singapore’s Centre for Liveable Cities, and the KRIHS Urban Research Division work together with partner countries to explore public space case studies and hold follow-up workshops. Deepali Tewari, Lead Urban Specialist at WBG, likewise proposed continued cooperation on the part of WBG under the slogan “Planners without borders.”