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Building Tomorrow's Cities at UNESCAP ASEAN Regional Conference

Armelle Le Bihan was guest speaker for the 9th Workshop on “Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: the Urban Nexus” implemented by GIZ in partnership with ESCAP and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability.

This final workshop held on 22-23 May 2019 in Bangkok, highlighted six years of successful implementation by cities advancing innovative, integrated resource management solutions.

"The nexus approach aims to integrate planning and management processes of the energy, water and food/land sectors, minimizing trade-offs and optimizing synergies."

The last workshop focused on safeguarding finite water-energy-land resources for future generations and was explored from a policy, technological, educational, financial and business point of view which was illustrated with real life case studies from ASEAN cities.

Armelle Le Bihan contributed to the Green Buildings and other Innovative Measures: Creating Lasting Change session where she shared how buildings should be redefined to cater to people's needs within the capacity of our natural capital by taking early on a holistic approach on design. She started off by giving figures on urbanisation and the impact of buildings on ressource consumption and GHG emissions.

"Sixty per cent of the world’s total building stock will be built or rebuilt in urban areas by 2030, requiring water, energy and land and producing emissions."

She then exposed market trends on sustainable buildings in the region and the barriors and drivers for them.

"While client-demand is the main driver for green buildings, environmental regulations, desire for healthier buildings, CSR and corporate mandates also play a role."

She showcased examplary cities's accomplishments and which policies, regulatory and financial instruments and technical capacity has succesfully supported Paris, Singapore, New York and Shanghai in adopting and developing green buildings. Paris, along with Sydney takes the lead with the smallest quantity of emissions of their built well as holding the world's second greatest green building market share with 66%. An example of the supporting measure is the enforcement of an environmental to be partially covered in plants or solar panels in the objective of reducing heat and cooling energy consumption.

Finally, Armelle explained her vision of a multi stakeholder plan to accelerate green building development in the ASEAN region for which she suggested solutions for raising awareness and creating partnerships, developing adapted regulations and compelling financial incentives, building technical capacity and stamping and disclosing sustainability successes.

"The ideas, partnerships, networks and activities that have been initiated through the Urban Nexus project offer great potential for cities to take forward integrated approaches and develop innovative policies to reduce resource consumption. Work must continue on regulatory and incentivizing instruments to guide transparent urban development and conscious use of our natural resources, and we must recognize that waste and wastewater, if managed well in the context of a circular economy, can be a prosperous income source and foster market opportunities. Mainstreaming the Urban Nexus approach can lead to entrepreneurial solutions to resource management throughout Asia and the Pacific." - The Urban Nexus: Integrating Resources for Sustainable Cities

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