Updates on preparation for World Cities Day in Ekaterinburg on October 30-31


During the inspection visit by UN-Habitat representatives to Ekaterinburg, the following was discussed and agreed upon:

  • Draft of celebration program,
  • List of invited speakers,
  • Topics for panel discussions and seminars on October 30 (Digital innovations in Delivery of Services in Cities, Modern Technology for Increased Inclusion in Cities, Opportunities for Renewable Energy Generation in Cities), 
  • Topics for the section of the Ministry of Construction Industry, Housing and Utilities Sector of the Russian Federation (Providing Future Generations with Affordable and Quality Housing, Urban Environments of the Future),
  • Exhibition booths concepts for UN-Habitat and China (photo exhibition),
  • Technical tour stops (Central Stadium and Iset Tower),
  • List of agreements to be signed.

Main goals for World Cities Day 2019:

  • Increased awareness about different ways of using digital innovations in urban services provision with the goal of increasing quality of life and improving urban environment; 
  • Identification of promising modern approaches with the use of cutting-edge technology that will allow to increase the level of inclusion in cities as well as experience exchange;
  • Presentation of possibilities for renewable energy generation in cities;
  • Exploration of ways to use modern technology to improve social inclusion in cities including those located in distant territories.



Panel discussion and seminar №1: Digital innovations in Delivery of Services in Cities

Discussion Questions

  • What are the ways for modern technology to increase inclusion of urban services? What are some of the most successful projects that deserve attention? What are key success factors?
  • What are some questionable aspects, tradeoffs and socio-economic consequences that might follow after implementation of new technology in urban services?
  • How can digital age help cities to make a leap forward in terms of quality of service provision and unlock the potential of partnerships with the private sector? What are the necessary political decisions or norms?
  • What should be the roles and actions among federal and local authorities, private companies, data providers and citizens? What opportunities are there to form stronger partnerships between them?
  • In what ways can innovations be used to make the youth a part of the decision-making process when it comes to improving the quality of urban services?

Panel discussion and seminar №2: Modern Technology for Increased Inclusion in Cities

Discussion Questions:

  • What is modern technology and what is its connection to smart cities?
  • What is an inclusive smart city? What does it look like? What modern practices and case studies are there? What cities can be considered leaders in this area?
  • How can modern technology benefit small towns and medium-sized cities in the Southern Hemisphere?
  • What are the requirements for breaking the currently existing barriers for digitilization?
  • What risks does modern technology bear for human rights?
  • What cases of modern technology are the most promising when it comes to progress in SDG №11 and the New Urban Agenda?
  • What available modern technology can be used to create jobs for young people? Is it going to be applicable to developing countries?

Panel discussion and seminar №3: Opportunities for Renewable Energy Generation in Cities

Discussion Questions:

  • What are necessary steps to increase the volume of renewable energy generation in cities?
  • What are the major obstacles for renewable energy generation in cities? (economical, technical, behavioral, political)
  • What are some ways to efficiently utilize renewable energy sources in creating new jobs?
  • How can new technology help to increase the volume of renewable energy production in cities?
  • In your opinion, how should state authorities and local authorities contribute to the process?
  • What should be the contribution of the private sector?
  • What cities can be considered leaders in this area? What are the reasons for their success?
  • How can cities create appropriate environment and attract the youth to the renewable energy sources sector?
  • What are some of the examples of integrated energy systems.


  "It is our pleasure to host World Cities Day in the capital of Ural. Evgeniy Kuyvashev, Governor of Sverdlovsk Region, and I are both eager to see the highest level of organization of this celebration. The event is crucial in terms of forming new competencies, receiving experience of working with a UN organization and improving the level of communications, both inside the region and between countries.  We are also receiving new knowledge about modern urbanisation trends in the world and are going to do everything in our power to make Sverdlovsk Region a better place for living", – said Mikhail Volkov, Minister of Construction and Infrastructure Development of Sverdlovsk Region, in a meeting.

  "This October, Ekaterinburg will become the first city of Russia to host World Cities Day. I am confident that our city will host the global event at the highest level and will undoubtedly prove itself worthy of the trust it received from UN-Habitat and the Russian Government. I promise that we will make every effort to make sure that World Cities Day is held at the highest level, which will serve a display to all cities representatives from all over the world (mayors, ministers, state and regional authorities, experts and media) that Ekaterinburg deserves to be a global city and is a bright example of the motto Better City, Better Life. I am convinced that World Cities Day will turn the attention of the international community to urbanisation as a key tool in successful sustainable development", – said Alexander Vysokinsky, Mayor of Ekaterinburg, at his meeting with the UN-Habitat delegation in Ekaterinburg.

  "It's our honor to be able to bring to Ekaterinburg an event of such scale. This is the first inspection by UN-Habitat, and it was important to make sure that every technical detail is discussed. Our business program is already set, we have a confirmed list of exhibition booths and now we are in the process of inviting guests and speakers. We have received preliminary confirmations from representatives of Rwanda, India, the United Arab Emirates, Shanghai, Spain. We still have a large block of work infrastructure-wise ahead of us", – said Vera Belous, Executive of Organizing Committee for preparation and hosting of World Cities Day in Ekaterinburg.