UrbanShift at World Forum on Urban Forests: Leveraging urban biodiversity & forests to create inclusive and equitable cities

This session, held during the World Forum on Urban Forests, will bring together leaders to discuss their experience in creating sustainable and resilient cities through urban nature-based solutions.

date & time
17 Oct 2023, 5:00PM UTC
Room Anacostia D/E, Renaissance Hotel Downtown, Washington D.C., USA
hosted by
United Nations Environment Programme

Building sustainable cities means creating spaces where people can easily and safely meet their daily needs, find green and open areas for recreation, such as urban forests, and unleash their full potential.  

Integrated urban planning is a powerful tool to bring forests back to cities and do so equitably and inclusively. Cities around the world, from Ushuaia in Argentina to Freetown in Sierra Leone, are pursuing integrated planning and people-centered approaches to ensure that designers, citizens and local authorities collaborate to create vibrant, green and inclusive communities.  

This session will convene city representatives, urban development practitioners, and forestry experts who operate at the intersection of integrated urban planning, nature, green infrastructure, and food and agriculture systems. The speakers will share best practices regarding how urban planning can effectively integrate urban forests and biodiversity to foster the creation of healthy, inclusive, and equitable urban environments.    



  • Sharon Gil, Head a.i., Cities Unit, UN Environment Programme 
  • Thomas Hofer, Team Leader, Senior Urban Forestry Officer, FAO   
  • Jaime Pumarejo, Mayor of Barranquilla, Colombia (TBC) 
  • Suzanne Ozment, Senior Associate, Natural Infrastructure, Cities4Forests, WRI  
  • Eike Sindlinger, Associate, Food and Agriculture Systems Business Leader, Arup 
  • Ingrid Coetzee, Director, Biodiversity, Nature & Health, ICLEI Africa and Global Cities Biodiversity Center 
  • Mariana Orloff, Senior Manager, Urban Development, UrbanShift, WRI  
  • Aloke Barnwal, Coordinator, Sustainable Cities Program, GEF