Second Lao National Urban Forum (LNUF) Set to Propel Urban Development Dialogue

2 – 8 October 2023, Vientiane, Lao PDR – The Second Lao National Urban Forum (LNUF) was a landmark event, held from October 2 to 8, 2023, coinciding with Urban October, and aligning with the global theme for World Habitat Day 2023: “Resilient urban economies: cities as drivers of growth and recovery.”

Following the remarkable success of the inaugural LNUF in October 2022, which provided an inclusive platform for in-depth discussions on urbanization challenges and opportunities in Lao PDR, the Second LNUF aimed to elevate these discussions to new heights and increase awareness of urban issues.

The seven-day forum took place at the prestigious Lao-ITECC Exhibition Hall, attracting participants from various sectors, including government, international organizations, academia, and private enterprises in Lao PDR. This event promised thought-provoking thematic sessions and discussions covering a wide array of topics related to rapid urbanization, such as smart cities, urban development, housing, basic services, safer cities, health, youth, private sector engagement, digitalization, infrastructure, and food security.

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is spearheading the organization of the Second LNUF with the invaluable support of UN-Habitat, as well as collaboration from other development partners and UN agencies. This ensured a comprehensive and impactful event that addressed the multifaceted challenges and opportunities associated with urbanization.

The organizers, committed to promoting public engagement and involving stakeholders affected by urban issues, are working closely with the prestigious LAO-ITECC Exhibition Hall, renowned as the premier mall and exhibition venue in Vientiane Capital. Anticipating over 2,000 attendees, the Second LNUF hosted stakeholders from all four major cities in Lao PDR and all 18 provinces, providing a diverse and representative platform for exchange and dialogue.

The Second LNUF committed to be an instrumental event in shaping the future of urban development in Lao PDR. It fostered collaboration, innovation, and practical solutions that are vital for building resilient urban economies and driving growth and recovery in the country.

Participating Agencies: Lao Government led by the Ministry of Public Work and Transport; UN agencies (UN-HABITAT, UNOPS, UNDP, WHO, UNEP, ESCAP, UNFPA, OHCHR, IOM, UNICEF, WFP and FAO), and also ADB, JICA, Global Shapers, National University of Laos, and Association of Lao Architects and Civil Engineers, and Plan International.

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