UNDP helps launch "The Future We Want" Event in Beijing

06 Dec 2013

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The Future We Want is an opportunity for a national and international conversation about how to achieve a better future for our children. This year the focus will be mainly on transport solutions.

The ceremony included speeches from UNDP, China Business Network, the World Wildlife Fund and from sponsors Giant Bicycles and Samsung. These immediately grappled with questions about building a better future – considering solutions in green technology and green transport amongst others.

Patrick Haverman, Deputy Country Director of UNDP China, explained a core component of the future we at UNDP want – sustainable, liveable cities. He described the impressive process of urbanization that China has gone through and the prosperity that it has brought. Nevertheless, he said, China’s cities face many challenges, economic, social and environmental. This is why UNDP wrote this year’s National Human Development Report on urbanization. Mr Haverman highlighted a number of recommendations from the report, such as the importance of good governance and the need for high investments in quality urbanization in order to create economically dynamic, socially equitable and environmentally friendly cities.

Mr Haverman, a keen cycling advocate, spoke enthusiastically about the role cycling can play in clean, green transport networks. He said, ‘we’re thrilled to be organizing a UN staff biking event in two weeks time as part of the “Future We Want” biking events across the country. We hope that this can be part of a growing dialogue and national conversation about urbanization and shaping a sustainable future.

He showed inspiring pictures of his brother – an organiser of public bike schemes in the Netherlands – and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on a UN bicycle. Mr Ban is an eager supporter of cycling as a green transport solution.

The UN staff biking event will be held on 19 December in Yongdingmen park, Beijing to kick off a series of bicycling campaigns around China.