Parallel Session at the Eighth Asia-Pacific Urban Forum (APUF-8)

Private Actors, Partnerships, and Corporate Accountability for Urban Development 

Thursday, 25 October 2023

11:00 – 12:30PM (UTC+9) 

Meeting room 403, Suwon Convention Center, the Republic of Korea 

The Asia-Pacific region is one of the most rapidly urbanising regions in the world. In 2020, the UN-Habitat’s World Cities Report estimated that ninety-six per cent of urban growth will occur in the less developed areas of three regions, namely East Asia, South Asia, and Africa – two of which are located in the Asia-Pacific region. This rapid urbanisation will likely exert increasing pressure on Asia-Pacific cities’ local governments to provide much-needed urban infrastructures and services to achieve a sustainable urban environment for Asia-Pacific’s rapidly growing cities. Private sector actors can play a crucial role in complementing cities’ efforts to achieve a more sustainable urban environment.

The importance of private sector actors has often been acknowledged in various global agreements. Various initiatives exist to measure country-level progress on the achievement of the SDGs, with considerable efforts being made to localise the SDGs for local governments. However, not much has been done to link their practices in helping cities realise their SDG targets, particularly in the context of urban areas.

The parallel session will delve into the critical functions private sector actors can play in driving urban development goals in the Asia-Pacific region and how a robust monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework can contribute to this objective. The session will explore the best practices development actors have established to achieve various sustainable urban development goals and available M&E systems to support this. Historically, such M&E systems are typically developed and adopted by local governments to help monitor the progress of policy implementations, but a similar framework could potentially help private sector actors do the same.

The session is expected to raise awareness about the significant roles the private sector plays in shaping the urban environment and ultimately foster a more collaborative relationship among public, private and other development actors in shaping a more sustainable urban environment. In particular, frameworks such as TMG’s monitoring dashboard and WBA’s urban benchmark are expected to contribute to Asia-Pacific’s sustainable urban development by introducing a benchmark to different urban development stakeholders. This will help measure and monitor progress towards sustainable urban development while providing a roadmap for stakeholders to enhance their practices further and complement other actors’ efforts in achieving a sustainable urban environment in a more systematic, impactful manner.

This parallel session is organised by the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the Korean Land and Housing Corporation (KLH), and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG)


  • Besmira Dyca, World Benchmarking Alliance

Lead Discussants

  • Mr Jeon In-Hyun, Korea Land and Housing Corporation 
  • Mr Yanick Michaud-Marcotte, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction 
  • Mr Tomonori Hiroike, Tokyo Metropolitan Government 
  • Mr Tony Hartanto Widjarnarso, World Benchmarking Alliance 

To attend the parallel session, all participants must register on Indico to attend APUF-8 by 1 October 2023 using the link: https://indico.un.org/e/apuf8 (no registration fee).

Given the limited space in the room, we kindly ask participants to register their participation in our session using https://bit.ly/3PlHRLP 

Please get in touch with Tony Widjarnarso, our Urban Transformation Lead (t.widjarnarso@worldbenchmarkingalliance.org), in case you have any questions. 


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