The second national Urban Conference took place on 30 and 31 October 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was convened by the South African Cities Network (SACN) in partnership with the national departments of cooperative governance (COGTA), human settlements (DHS) and finance (National Treasury); the South Africa Local Government Association (SALGA), SA Council for Planners (SACPLAN), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and the Gauteng Provincial Government. Under the theme of “Activating an All-of-Society Approach to Implementing the Urban Agenda” (#IUDF #allofsociety), the conference continued the discussions raised in 2017 at the first Urban Conference. In 2017, officials from South Africa’s major metros and various targeted stakeholders came together to build awareness and knowledge about the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF), in order to inform their strategies and plans for urban development. The IUDF is South Africa’s national urban policy for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (particularly Goal 11: Making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable) and the global New Urban Agenda (UN-Habitat). The 2018 Urban Conference’s aim was to engage and mobilise other urban actors who play a role in the development of towns and cities, as the IUDF recognises that successful implementation requires for an all-of-society approach. It starts from the premise that reaping the urban dividend requires the involvement of all urban role-players. In the spirit of the IUDF, the conference was organised and hosted in partnership with a range of key urban stakeholders. The partnership is a fitness and requires constant dedication to working together. Through the partnership process, the conference was able to bring together and include in the programme a range of diverse voices and a spectrum of issues. Without the dedicated teams of the partner organisations, this event would not have been possible.
The Knowledge Exchange is a response to an identified need for increased information exchange in the Southern African region. It has been developed as a broad collaboration of partners, with the CSIR acting as the custodian.