Press Release - UN Quality of Life Initiative High Level Roundtable with Academia


October 2023 - Representatives from over 20 world renowned universities will meet in the World Urban Pavilion in Toronto, Canada, to discuss what makes a good quality of life in theory and how policy makers can apply the concept in practice to improve the lives of those living in towns and cities.

The global conversation is being organized by UN-Habitat, the United Nations agency responsible for sustainable urban development, which is behind a groundbreaking new Quality of Life Initiative.

The High-Level Roundtable with Academia opens in a hybrid format on World Cities Day on 31 October and runs to 1 November 2023. The high level academics will discuss the concept of quality of life – its origin, evolution, constitutive elements, and recent changes – and how it can be incorporated into public policies and to advance global agendas.

National, regional and local governments along with global bodies such as the UN are looking to develop and implement policies that reduce inequalities and provide opportunities for all.  Understanding and applying the concept of a good quality of life in cities can play a central role in advancing the implementation of the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals by localizing and coordinating interventions.

Raf Tuts, Director of the Global Solutions Division of UN-Habitat and co-Chair of the World Urban Pavilion said: “The way we think about what is truly valuable about our lives and the lives of our families, friends and neighbours is changing and opening up new ideas and opportunities for improved public policy and enhanced development outcomes.”

Eduardo López Moreno, co-Director of the World Urban Pavilion added: “Today, we see improved access to knowledge and innovative technologies, and the potential to build a better society with healthier lifestyles, stronger family connections, closer connection to nature and a greater sense of resilience.”

The academic community is expected to provide insights into the holistic nature of quality of life, including objective and subjective dimensions and how the concept depends on various factors including location, culture, community and timeframe.

Experts will propose ideas and recommendations on how to integrate individual views into measurements and policies around quality of life, how it can influence better local development outcomes and connect with global policies.

The Academia Roundtable is part of continuing consultations around Quality of Life which includes Expert Group Meetings, a Call for Papers, publications, and Policy Briefs.

The Quality of Life Initiative aims to develop a comprehensive, human-centric concept of quality of life including objective and subjective aspects and to promote it as a primary urban development goal. A globally relevant, locally applicable index is being developed creating a new, global standard to enable local governments to monitor their policy and investment decisions which tangibly improve the urban quality of life over time.


For more information contact: (Coordinator, Quality of Life Initiative) (Communication Expert Quality of Life Initiative) (Acting Deputy Director, World Urban Pavilion in Regent Park)


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