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Expert Seminar: The Exploration and Development of UMF- Shanghai Adapted Index held |  Updated:2023-11-06

Expert Seminar: The Exploration and Development of UMF- Shanghai Adapted Index,part of the third SDG Cities Global Conference, was held on October 28at Tongji University, Shanghai. Experts, scholars and industrial leaders from across the world participated in the seminar and shared their opinions. The seminar was chaired by Shi Qian,Chairman of School Council, School of Economics and Management, Tongji University.

The UMF (Urban Monitoring Framework)-Shanghai Adapted Index,or SAI, is an authoritative index jointly developed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of China; the Shanghai Municipal People's Government and UN-Habitat. It has covered more than 20 international cities in the United Nations Cities Flagship Project, and is expected to be implemented in 1,000 cities around the world by 2030.

“SAI is playing an important role in the digital transformation and sustainable development of cities around the world. And the School of Economics and Management of Tongji University is honored to have the opportunity to contribute to building an inclusive digital society, developing digital capacity and nurturing digital cooperation by sharing the research and application results of the Index with the world,”Shi said. 

He began the seminar with introduction to the index.

Starting with a brief retrospective of SAI and its integration into global development, a UN representative said that the UMF also included the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in the aspects of society, economy, environment, culture and governance, and implementation, and the UN’s urban goals of security, peace, inclusiveness, resilience and sustainability. 

SAI features a wide application and a specific monitoring framework for practical data and information collection, he added. 

Cheng Jian, director of ShanghaiCoordination Center of World Cities Day,pointed out that the release of the 47 quantitative and qualitative indexes reflected the "people-centered" value of sustainable development in a scientific way. He hoped SAI could better serve the sustainable development of cities around the world. 

Chen Haiyun, professor from Tongji University and Executive President of Shanghai Society of Sustainability, used a video to vividly present SAI to the audience. According to Chen, SAI’s data was from yearbooks, government reports, questionnaires, professional knowledge bases and other reliable sources, which secured the quantity and quality of data. And his team is keeping on optimizing data collection and incorporating more resources for greater improvement in the future. 

Matt Benson,Senior Director of Think City from Malaysia, introduced a pilot sustainable development project in Penang, Malaysia, saying:“After decades of industrial development, it is difficult for Penang to continue to achieve sustainable development. Especially after the pandemic, the city faced many challenges, and we needed to transform it into a more resilient city. So, in response to the UN's SDGs, we made some adjustments and new designs based on urban monitoring data analysis, and carried out outprojects smoothly.”

Kevin Lee Johnson,President of Geografiafrom Melbourne, Australia, gave a video presentation. He emphasized each city should choose its own index system for development, and then measure the key indexes such as safety, inclusiveness, resilience and sustainability. 

At the seminar, the experts also discussed the achievements of SAI’s methodologies and assessments, the challenges in its data collection, and the future application scenariosfor SAI, especially in specific cities and countries. 

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