Professor Shagun Mehrotra at Bellagio Center to Discuss Urban SDG

Source: Arnaldo Genitrini, The Rockefeller Foundation

Professor Shagun Mehrotra was one of nine international experts invited to The Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy in August 2013.  As a founding member of the UNSDSN Urban Thematic Group (Sustainable Cities) he led the conceptualization of an urban SDG as part of the Post 2015 United Nations development agenda.  In Bellagio, he engaged in discussions during a week-long workshop led by Aromar Revi, IIHS Director, and with Cynthia Rosenzweig, co-chair of the SDSN Urban Thematic Group.  This working group session was dedicated to developing an operational strategy for the Urban Sustainable Development Goal campaign and associated Sustainable Cities Initiative.

Professor Mehrotra emphasized the need for articulating the value-added of an Urban SDG by contrasting business-as-usual urban development scenarios with expected gains from achieving Urban SDG targets.  This comparative approach is incorporated in the development of urban SDG targets that are being tested in cities as diverse as Bangalore, Durban, London, New York, and Rio de Janeiro and were recently presented by Dr. Revi at the 7th session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations in New York.

Earlier in the year, Professor Mehrotra served as the Coordinating Lead Author of a consultative process that articulated The Urban Opportunity for submission to the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  The Sustainable Development Solutions Center team in New York developed a preliminary list of possible Urban SDG targets and indicators building on the work of the Millennium Development Goals and similar global initiatives with Project Managers Susan Yoon and Matthew Woundy serving as research scientists.