Session 1


Launch of the Online Programme & Launch of the Survey of the Built Environment Professions in the Commonwealth 

held on

Wednesday June 24, 2020 13:00PM CAT, 12:00PM BST, 11:00AM UTC 


The programme of events associated with a Call to Action on Sustainable Urbanisation in the Commonwealth was launched on Wednesday 24 June 2020 under the leadership of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Commonwealth Association of Architects, the Commonwealth Association of Planners, and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, with support from The Prince’s Foundation and the Rwandan Ministry of Infrastructure.

The programme was officially launched by HRH The Prince of Wales, with contributions from:

  • Hon Claver Gatete, Minister of Infrastructure, Rwanda
  • Mr Kalim Siddiqui, President, Commonwealth Association of Architects, Pakistan
  • Rev Mpho Moruakgomo, Chairperson of Commonwealth Local Government Forum, Botswana
  • Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, Council Member, Association of Commonwealth Universities & Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town, South Africa

The event, which was in two parts, was chaired by Ms Dyan Currie AM, President of the Commonwealth Association of Planners. The second part of the event included a presentation on the key findings of the Survey of the Built Environment Professions in the Commonwealth, which was presented by Mr Peter Oborn, Senior Vice President at the Commonwealth Association of Architects. This was followed by a panel discussion with contributions from:

  • Dr David Howard, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Mr VK Madhavan, Chief Executive, WaterAid, India
  • Prof Barbara Norman, Life Fellow PIA, University of Canberra, Australia
  • Ms Astrid Haas, International Growth Centre, Uganda

The event attracted over 300 attendees from 35 Commonwealth countries with circa 400 also watching the YouTube livestream. Questions to the panel together with expressions of support came from variety of sources including the Young Planners Network, the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, The Uganda Local Governments Association, UKRI and others. The live recording of this session is available to watch by clicking on the image at the top of this webpage.

key messages

  • Recognition of the importance, urgency and scale of the issues
  • The potential for the Commonwealth to serve as a convening force
  • The importance of developing effective inter-disciplinary, cross-sectoral collaboration
  • An invitation to engage with development of a Call to Action.


A copy of the presentation used during the session can be found here.

further information

If you are interested in the issues raised in the programme and/or would like to become involved in a Call to Action, then please contact us at