HSE University and UN-Habitat Sign Collaboration Agreement
HSE University and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme signed an agreement to conduct joint research on urban development. HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov and UN Under-Secretary-General Maimunah Mohd Sharif, who heads the UN-Habitat programme, signed the letter of intent at the recent Moscow Urban Forum, which was held on July 4-7 at Moscow’s Zaryadye Park.
Established about 40 years ago, the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) promotes the sustainable development of cities and settlements around the world. The headquarters of the organization is located in Nairobi.
HSE University and UN-Habitat already have a history of collaboration. Since 2014, staff of the HSE Institute for Regional Studies and Urban Planning, headed by Irina Ilina, have participated in expert groups regarding the urban development of CIS countries. From 2017-2019, the Institute held three conferences on the topic of ‘Sustainable Development Goals: Applicability for Russian Cities and Assessment Tools’.
The agreement of intent, signed by HSE University and UN-Habitat, provides for the creation of a New Urban Agenda Research Centre at HSE. The Centre will aim to develop and implement projects of sustainable urban development in CIS countries. Its areas of research will include developing an urban prosperity index, identifying new innovations for improving cities, creating ‘smart’ cities, improving the quality of life, preventing climate change, improving urban environments, and making housing affordable.
HSE University is one of the leading universities in the field of urban research,’ Ms. Sharif noted at the signing of the agreement. ‘UN-Habitat prefers to make recommendations for cities and governments based on evidence, rather than taking them out of thin air. And for this we need partners like HSE University who can help us conduct research, analyze the results and come up with solutions to problems.’
‘Collaborating with UN-Habitat is an important stage in the development of our university,’ said Rector Kuzminov. ‘It was only about ten years ago that we became seriously engaged in urban research, but we have already become one of the leaders in this field in Russia and Eastern Europe. I hope that together with UN-Habitat we will develop an index of urban prosperity. This is an important task for us, and it will require a combination of efforts of various institutions at HSE University.’
The rector also noted that HSE University is a regular partner of the Moscow government in the development of the city, which not only includes planning new building and roads, but various cultural, educational and social policies as well. HSE’s cooperation with UN-Habitat will have a positive impact on these projects.
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