Enhancing the sustainability of cities

Green Lifestyle

A new five-year agreement between the United Nations Global Compact and RMIT University in Melbourne will boost efforts to tackle the challenges of urban living in cities around the world.


Central station in Melbourne.

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A recent agreement between United Nations Global Compact and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University is allowing growth of the Global Compact Cities Programme, which focuses on collaborations between governments, business and society to boost sustainability, resilience and diversity in cities.

UN Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell said; “We have seen how cities and states can overcome complex challenges by taking an approach that considers a broad range of sustainability principles covering human rights, labour standards, environment and anti-corruption, and then working with business and civil society to find lasting solutions.”

“The Global Compact believes that cities have the potential to make enormous strides in creating sustainable societies, and is grateful that RMIT University has committed to drive our Cities Programme forward.”

Professor Ralph Horne from RMIT has been chosen as new Director of the Cities Programme, a renowned leader in research and practice on urban issues – leading more that 100 projects on the built environment, urban sustainability and social change. With a dynamic leader, and the addition of a range of urban specialists, the Global Compact Cities Program aims to enable cities to better compare practices and innovations, collaborate on solutions to urban development challenges, and to celebrate and share successes.

Under the new agreement, the Cities Programme aims to expand into the Asia-Pacific region, and double the number of cities that are on-board. There are currently 86 participating cities, ranging from large metropolitan capital (Barcelona, Melbourne, Berlin, Quito), to states (Sao Paulo and Parana in Brazil, Queretaro in Mexico) and municipalities (Besiktas in Turkey and San Isidro in Argentina).

Professor Calum Drummond, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President, said RMIT was very excited to confirm its commitment to hosting the Cities Programme.

“We are committed to enabling positive, timely impact for society and for the environment,” Drummond confirms.

“Building partnerships between city governments, civil society and the business community is very important to RMIT, as a global university and as a corporate citizen.”

Adding a range of urban specialists to the Cities Programme team and better collaboration with Global Compact Local Networks, the agreement will provide city participants with stronger local relationships, as well as global connectedness and better recognition.