World Forum: Cities and Quality of Life

Volunteers welcome delegates to the World Forum "Cities and Quality of Life
Volunteers welcome delegates to the World Forum "Cities and Quality of Life

Project at a glance

Dates and Place

18 - 20 May 2006, Geneva, Switzerland


Ville de Genève, Fondation du Devenir

Project details

Rethinking cities: a new look at the quality of life

Society in crisis, evolving society, society in rapid growth: On which values should we build our future?

Today, as the world population is tending toward becoming mostly urban, looking at quality of life in the city has risen to become one of the defining issues of our times. At once a laboratory for social integration and multiculturalism, a place of expression of the diversity of individual desires, and a place for the edification of our common future: the city spans the great challenges of our times.

In the face of global implications and the daily life of citizens, quality of life demands responses at the local level. Do solutions come from a political or social impetus, from a new urban model, or even, a change of attitudes?

The Geneva Forum will be the occasion to tackle these questions, shed light on new urban practices, and draw out the priorities of local actors through concrete examples.
Who is responsible for what in building a quality city?
What are the criteria for determining quality of life?
How can multiple actors collaborate?
The Forum invites all actors concerned to debate these issues in light of their own experience.

Forum objectives

The Forum is a place for meetings, contrasting experiences, and debates on quality of life in the city.

As a common denominator of social, environmental, economic and cultural problems, quality of life demands a multi-actor dialogue.

The Forum will enable:

  • Elected officials to come to present their vision of qualitative local development
  • Actors in the field to put forward their concrete experiences
  • The private sector to show how it is responding to the challenge of quality of life
  • Researchers to propose their reflections and methodological issues

From an operational perspective the Forum' outputs are:

  • A platform for debate and mutual learning for city managers
  • The Forum offers a platform to showcase and rethink strategies, tools and services in the light of an approach placing quality of life at the heart of concerns among urban managers.
  • The Shanghai 2010 White Paper
  • The Forum will provide strategic guidelines to the 2010 Shanghai World Expo organisers on the theme of "Better City, Better Life", notably for setting up a Cities Pavilion conceived as a center of excellence.
  • The "Quality of Life City" Label
  • The Forum will establish an international Working group aiming to elaborate the standards of a Label awarded for the first time in 2010 to the "100 Quality of Life Cities" during the World Exposition in Shanghai. 


The exchanges and the debates will be able to be articulated around the following themes:

Lifestyles and socio-cultural paradigms: examples of concrete applications

  • Promoting the development of the individual by encouraging sharing experiences and validating knowledge
  • Programs involved in inserting and training disadvantaged persons
  • Programs involved in the fight against isolation
  • Programs involved in conciliating the rhythms of life (family life, social life, professional life, private life ...) within a given region or area
  • etc.

Economy, health and work: examples of concrete applications

  • Promoting powerful placements in harmony with the principles of sustainable development
  • Promoting hiring women
  • Application of international work standards and improvement of working conditions
  • Experimenting, diffusing and applying the principles of promoting health
  • Programs involved in study and research into improving health and work safety
  • Good governance of companies through the analysis of social and environmental risks
  • Programs involved in developing social and interdependent economies
  • etc.

Life framework and urban services: examples of concrete applications

  • Creating an environment charter
  • Promoting industrial ecology
  • Encouraging companies to get involved in local development
  • Analyses of the effects of information and communication technologies on local development and regional planning
  • Encouraging citizens to see their city as their own, allowing them to gather the problems and the stakes of urban development
  • Programs involved in ecological urban management and construction
  • etc.

Institutions and public politics: examples of concrete applications

  • Creating and using analytical laboratories for public policies
  • Installing public inter-commune cooperation establishments and creating tools appropriate for dialogue and collective decision-making
  • Support for local sustainable development initiatives allowing concerned populations to participate in and improve their life conditions
  • Contributing to the creative evolution of fields where the concerns of urban planning, implementation, and education programs relating to local populations overlap
  • etc.

Legislation and research: examples of concrete applications

  • Research & Development into clean energies
  • Creating maps
  • Creating research centres, watchdog groups to follow initiatives
  • Studies on behaviour, opinions, and social representation of the population
  • Creating indicators
  • etc.

External links

Volunteering Opportunities

Welcoming of participants, supervision of rooms, distribution of headsets

Short Term Projects

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