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Editor’s note: Nicholas You is arguably the world’s best-qualified individual to state the precedent and case for a role for a local government and stakeholder group in the Habitat III process. A senior policy adviser at UN-Habitat from 1994 to 2010, he was the manager of operations for the Habitat II Secretariat from 1994 through the completion of the Istanbul sessions in 1996. Before retiring from UN-Habitat, he rallied stakeholders to create the World Urban Campaign and served as its inaugural chair (2010-14). He is currently chair of the Media and Communications Constituency Group of the newly formed General Assembly of Partners, formed to promote worldwide readiness for Habitat III. He also is the director of Global Partners and Programs of the Guangzhou Institute for Urban Innovation, now the world’s leading competition for city innovations. You was also a key adviser in the creation of Citiscope, and is currently a member of its board of directors. Please see below for additional details.
Nicholas You is a veteran urban specialist and thought leader on sustainable development. He was appointed in 1994 to be the manager of operations for the second United Nations Conference for Human Settlements (Habitat II) and is acknowledged as the leading authority on the reporting of best practices for cities and public authorities. He is the founder and immediate former chairman of the UN-Habitat World Urban Campaign Steering Committee, the Assurance Group for Urban Infrastructure of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and is currently the chair of the Urban Strategy and Innovation Council for GDF-Suez. He also serves as member of the board of Citiscope, the Huairou Commission and the Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities, and is a fellow of the Guangzhou Institute for Urban Innovation in China and of the Centre for Liveable Cities in Singapore. He regularly advises governments, cities, technology companies and civil society organizations on urban sustainability and urban innovation. He works as a strategic planning and governance adviser to many governments and metropolitan authorities worldwide.