Tomorrow’s Cities and United Cities and Local Governments join forces in a 3-day event

Text: Sérgio Esperancinha and Photos: Leandro Iannacone


Tomorrow’s Cities and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) General Secretariat, together with UCLG-Africa joined forces in three-day event especially dedicated to participatory, risk-informed urban planning in African cities. During the event, the Tomorrow’s Cities Decision Support Environment framework was presented with participants having the opportunity to experience first-hand the Hub’s Future Visioning and Visioning Scenario Development stages.


Showcasing the Tomorrow's Cities Decision

In an ambitious effort to transform the way African cities plan for the future, the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and UCLG Africa, in collaboration with the Tomorrow's Cities team, recently convened a groundbreaking event titled "Co-Creating Tomorrow's Cities: Participatory, Risk-Informed Urban Planning in African Cities." Held from September 28th to 30th in Temeke, Tanzania, this event showcased the Tomorrow's Cities framework, with a focus on the Decision Support Environment, as a novel solution to urban planning challenges.

The event was attended by a diverse group of urban planning experts and local government representatives from across Africa and beyond. The Tomorrow’s Cities team was formed by Emin Yahya Menteşe, Erdem Ozer, Thaisa Comelli, Leandro Iannacone, and Mark Pelling.


TC Team


The primary objective of the event was to introduce the Tomorrow's Cities framework, particularly emphasizing how it lays a solid foundation for cities to engage with their stakeholders, especially the most vulnerable communities, in participatory processes that foster inclusive, risk-informed urban planning

The event saw an engaging, hands-on exercise designed by the Tomorrow's Cities team to allow participants to experience the "Future Visioning" and "Visioning Scenario Development" stages. These exercises, based on role-playing and pre-defined social identities, made the complexities of urban planning accessible to all participants.




On the first day of the event, participants harnessed their future aspirations using a "wheel of urban assets," suggested modifications for land use plans based on these aspirations and selected appropriate policies that aligned with both group aspirations and potential hazard impacts. While the exercise primarily focused on addressing flooding risks, it laid the foundation for a broader approach to hazard reduction.

The second part of the exercise concentrated on Risk Agreement and the institutionalization of risk reduction measures, emphasizing the importance of establishing clear protocols for addressing urban risks.

The presentation of the TCDSE Computational Modelling stage introduced participants to data-driven decision-making and the use of technology in understanding and mitigating urban risks.

Participants actively discussed the impact results and explored the root causes of risk in their Visioning Scenarios. This discussion led to clear action plans for risk reduction, along with strategies to overcome potential barriers to implementation. UCLG played a pivotal role in guiding participants through these processes.




As the event drew to a close, participants engaged in a reflective session, drawing on the insights gained from the Tomorrow's Cities exercise to discuss the enabling environment for future-oriented, participatory, risk-informed urban planning.

The "Co-Creating Tomorrow's Cities" event in Temeke, Tanzania, marked a significant milestone in the advancement of urban planning in African cities. By embracing the Tomorrow's Cities framework and a participatory, risk-informed approach, these cities can take crucial steps towards building resilient, sustainable, and inclusive communities for the future. The event demonstrated the potential for African cities to lead the way in reimagining urban landscapes and fostering a brighter and safer tomorrow for all their inhabitants.