Thursday, June 25, 2009

Norquist Receives UN Urban Planning Assignment

The United Nations is planning an international World Habitat Day event in Washington, DC later this year to recognize the value to global sustainability offered by cities and smart urban planning - - the very agenda pushed by former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist as CEO of the Chicago-based Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU).

Little wonder that Norquist has been named to the UN committee in charge of the event.

From the event's announcement:

"This year's World Habitat Day will focus on the theme of improved urban planning so that our cities can manage and reduce the impacts of climate disruption, the economic crisis and urban poverty around the world. "It's a very timely theme," said Norquist. "Through its Sustainable Communities Initiative led by Secretaries [Shaun] Donovan and [Ray] LaHood, the Obama Administration is showing its awareness that our future neighborhoods must be more walkable, urban, diverse, and energy-efficient. As big an issue as it is domestically, it's even more important internationally."

Strong support for the United Nations was one of Norquist's priorities during his four terms as Milwaukee Mayor (disclosure: I worked for him between 1996-2004).

Norquist created the city's ongoing advisory committee on the United Nations, regularly hosted the October 24th UN Day flag-raising ceremony at the Zeidler Municipal Building and helped begin the annual George Kennan lecture on world affairs held at the Pabst Theater.

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