The 5th Asia Pacific Urban Forum (APUF-5) was held 21st -23rd June 2011 at the UN Conference Center in Bangkok, Thailand. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) convened the Asia-Pacific Urban Forum in order to discuss critical and emerging issues, to view them from the perspective of different stakeholders and to share innovative practices. Asian Institute of Technology was an organizing partner.

The title of the forum was “Green Infrastructure and Buildings: Ensuring Sustainability of Small and Medium Scale Cities Organizers” and the session emphasized the proactive actions needed to guide small and medium scale cities toward sustainable urban development. The background concept behind the forum is that although many developing small and medium scale cities today are not major resource users and polluters, these cities follow the same unsustainable urban development pattern of big cities. Thus, proactive measures are needed to guide their urban development towards a sustainable future.

There were four presentations in this session focused on Green Infrastructure, Sustainable Transport, Solid Waste Management and Green Buildings. The session was then followed by a panel discussion by three invited experts representing the government sector, local government sector and private sector. This panel discussion was followed by an interactive discussion with the audience. Attendees from the academia, civil society and business community were particularly invited to express their views and experiences on “greening infrastructure and buildings.”

The forum chair, Prof. Chettiyappan Visavanathan, a professor at AIT, summed up the main points that came out of the presentations and discussions as follows:


  1. Authorities of small and medium scale cities need not follow the climate change mitigation strategies of big and mega cities. Instead they should identify innovative and more appropriate ideas targeting the specific sectors showing an increasing trend of carbon emissions as a result of the rapid process of urbanization.
  2. Carbon emission reduction strategies should generate both social and environmental benefits without regard for economic benefits if the cities are genuinely concerned about sustainable urban development.
  3. Greener infrastructure and buildings are not only the backbones of sustainable urban development but also catalysts for improving quality of life of people.


Please click the link below to view the presentations given at this conference: