Under the theme ‘transforming our cities for a better urban future’, the 11th edition of the Forum brings a new emphasis on the need for change and sustainability. As institutions embedded in communities, dedicated to providing inclusive, universal and empowering services, there is much for libraries to contribute, as IFLA’s latest article indicates.

The World Urban Forum is the primary global multi-stakeholder event focused on the questions around how to ensure sustainable urban development. Organised by UN Habitat and the City of Katowice, Poland, it has over 20 000 registrants for a rich programme of in-person and online events.

In addition to the response to the refugee crisis provoked by the war in Ukraine, there is a strong focus on questions around ensuring the place of local and regional government in global discussions, climate change, and how to regenerate and transform towns and cities which are only just emerging from the pandemic.

IFLA’s representatives, both from Headquarters and local libraries, are working to ensure that stakeholders at the meeting reflect on the huge potential that libraries have to contribute to wider urban agendas.

In particular, with a strong emphasis on sustainable urbanisation, the ability of libraries to reach all members of the community, their long-term outlook, and their role in driving climate empowerment are particularly relevant.

To support this work, we have today also launched a short report on the place of libraries in regeneration, revitalisation and transformation strategies, drawing on the available literature from the urban studies field.

This underlines the evidence of the positive contributions that can be made, in particular from the perspective of inclusion and long-term impact, although argues that libraries risk being neglected, and so potential for success wasted.

For more, follow us on Twitter (here and here), and read more in our article about the place of libraries in urban regeneration, revitalisation and transformation strategies:

Regenerating, Revitalising and Transforming Cities with Libraries

Overcoming disadvantage at the level of communities is a key means of delivering on wider development goals, as well as delivering on individuals’ rights. Libraries have the potential to contribute strongly to regeneration and revitalisation efforts, in particular from the point of view of promoti...