For the Cairns UTC event, Urban Design, Economic Growth, and the Jobs of the Future in the Tropics, Taha, an applied economist, says she has one clear goal.
“My ultimate goal is that we understand a framework, or develop a toolkit, that we can use for the future in order to create climate resilient cities. Cities that are not only a place to live but places that are business destinations and social destinations, so everything together.”
The difference of the UTC model is the required inclusion of a diverse cross-section of the population to discuss issues and formulate solutions.
“You have to involve the local authorities, academia, private organisations, women, children, young and older persons, professionals, businesses, farmers, Indigenous peoples and more. It has to be participatory and inclusive.”
While the Cairns UTC event formulates solutions to local issues, it will contribute to a constellation of events that create change on a global scale.
“The report [from the Cairns UTC] goes back to the United Nations Habitat and everybody can see it becomes a learning tool as well for other areas and regions, so it’s a dialogue that starts at a small scale and becomes really huge and global.”
For Taha, this small scale done large approach makes the events even more valuable. Every UTCevent is given a home page on the Urban World Campaign Website that is accessible to anyone who wants to take a look.
“If you click on the location you want on the interactive map you can see everything about that event including participation, teams, presentations, and the final report. So imagine, you might be in the most remote area in the world but having access to the internet gives you access to this fascinating brainstorming and conversation that is taking pace globally... It’s like a huge human knowledge library about our habitat.”
Want to contribute to the booming future of tropical cities? Consider JCU Business or JCU Planning.
"My ultimate goal is that we understand a framework, or develop a toolkit, that we can use for the future in order to create climate resilient cities."
Dr Taha Chaiechi, Associate Professor