Shaping Pacific Urban Futures

CUR researchers have contributed to sessions on the climate action day at the 6th Pacific Urban Forum, held at the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat Conference Centre in Suva, Fiji (5–7 September). The event was attended by 300 delegates from across the region.

The Pacific Urban Forum (PUF) is the premier event for urban practitioners, thinkers, leaders, and advocates in the Blue Pacific, to further regional consideration of urban issues.

Prof. Darryn McEvoy says, “this important regional event, organised by UN-Habitat and held every 4 years, provided a valuable platform to showcase the real-world impact of multiple projects being conducted by RMIT in the Pacific”.

In the housing session, jointly facilitated by Habitat for Humanity and RMIT, Dr Mittul Vahanvati presented on an inclusive disaster resilient shelter guide for informal settlements in Solomon Islands. This resource, building on local knowledge, was funded by the Australian Humanitarian Programme and administered by Habitat for Humanity Fiji.

Government input to a vibrant session was provided by housing department delegates from Fiji and Vanuatu.

Dr Vahanvati notes that “there is clearly a desire for regional approaches to resilient housing, better data to guide transformative change, and sharing of best practice knowledge between Pacific Island countries”.

Organised and facilitated by Prof. McEvoy and Luke Kiddle from the Victorian University of Wellington, Dr Vahanvati also kicked off the session on nature-based urban climate resilience, presenting on the co-production design work being conducted as part of the Climate Resilient Honiara project (2019 – 2024).

Yuyun Qomariyah from Honiara-based consultancy PacSol had her travel to the conference funded by CUR internal support funds, and presented on the planning, implementation, and monitoring of nature-based solutions (NbS) for disaster risk reduction in an informal settlement in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Mittul Vahanvati and Yuyun Qomariyah with delegates from Victorian University of Wellington, SPREP and IUCN.

Other presenters in the session included SPREP, the International Union for Conservation for Nature, and the Victorian University of Wellington.

An outcomes document synthesised from the Forum discussions, including key recommendations, will be used to articulate the Pacific position for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Urban Forum in South Korea in October 2023.

  • Header image: Mittul Vahanvati with delegates from Habitat for Humanity Fiji and Australia, Vanuatu and Fiji Housing departments.