FAQs

General Information

The Seventh Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF7) will take place in Medellín, Colombia, from April 5 to 11, 2014. Held every two years, the Forum is a key event for the international community that brings together a wide range of participants from around the world to discuss key urban challenges facing the world today. 

Discussions during the World Urban Forum in Colombia will focus on the main theme: “Urban Equality in Development – Cities for Life”.

WUF7 Venue

The Forum will be held at the Plaza Mayor Convention and Exhibition Center, located in the business district of the city of Medellín. More information can be found at the official venue website: www.plazamayor.com.co.

The address of Plaza Mayor is:

Plaza Mayor Medellín Convenciones y Exposiciones
Calle 41 N° 55-80
Medellín, Colombia

To see a map of Medellín, Colombia, Click here.

What's going on at WUF7?

World Urban Youth Assembly

The World Urban Youth Assembly provides young people all over the world with the opportunity to discuss and deliberate on urban issues important to them, so that they are able to make relevant contributions at the substantive dialogues at the main Forum. The Assembly is not only informative but also maintains its status as the premier urban youth platform for deliberating on urban youth issues. Click here to read this year’s World Urban Youth Assembly Concept Paper. 

Gender Equality Action Assembly

The Gender Equality Action Assembly is a dynamic and multi-stakeholder event, bringing together Habitat Agenda partners and enables them to meet, explore and learn ways of strengthening gender equality in international, regional and national policies and programmes related to human settlement issues. Click here to read this year’s Gender Equality Action Assembly Concept Paper.

Dialogues

The WUF7 theme is “Urban Equity in Development – Cities for Life”. The Dialogues are the high profile events at the Forum where the overall theme is debated at the level of few subthemes by a high level panel of speakers with different backgrounds, including interactions from the audience. Visit our Dialogues page to read more about the Dialogues offered this year at WUF7.

Special sessions

A number of Special sessions on subjects closely related to topical issues, identified as relevant, are organized by UN-Habitat and its partners at every forum. Visit our Special Sessions page to learn more about those organized for WUF7. 

Roundtables

An array of Roundtable meetings will be held by peer groups for each of the main constituencies of Habitat Agenda Partners. Most of these meetings are open to the public, but access to some, such as the ministerial sessions, mayors and parliamentarians are restricted.  Visit our Roundtables page to read more about the Roundtable discussions offered this year at WUF7.

Networking events

Networking events are organized by partners such as governments, local authorities, civil society organizations, community representatives, the private sector, intergovernmental and national organizations, academics, UN bodies and others. The networking event format provides an opportunity to build knowledge, strengthen partnerships and networks through sharing ideas and identifying best practices in an effort to advance sustainable urban development in cities and towns around the globe. Visit our Networking Events page to read more about the Networking Events offered this year at WUF7.

Training events

Training events at the Forum provide an essential " how to " approach on the development of the latest sustainable urban innovations and their implementation. Visit our Training Events page to read more about the Training Events offered this year at WUF7.

Side events

Side events are usually related to the overall theme of the Forum and could include book launches, short presentations, receptions and are organized by the same partner groups as the networking events. Visit our Side Events page to read more about the Networking Events offered this year at WUF7.

Cinema room

The WUF7 Cinema room will showcase selected films of partners from around the world on the most pressing urban topics, sustainable development and urban solutions relating to the WUF7 theme. The application process will be announced on the website. Visit our Cinema Room page to read more about the scheduled screenings this year at WUF7.

City Changer activities

‘I’m a City Changer’ is about giving the voice to people and cities to propose positive solutions to urban challenges. A range of ‘City Changer’ activities demonstrating the engagement of citizens in actions towards sustainable cities will take place at the Forum. Those will take place in the City Changer room within the UN-Habitat exhibition and other venues in the city of Medellin. Visit the City Changer Room page for more information about the scheduled City Changer activities at WUF7. 

Events programme

How can I find out what time an event is scheduled to take place at WUF7?

This information may be found in the WUF7 Programme and on this website. A copy of the programme will be in the delegate’s bag with other WUF7 documents, which participants will receive after accreditation upon arrival at the venue of the Forum. Visit our Programme page for the most updated schedule of events. 

When will the WUF7 Programme be available?

Visit our Programme page to see the full schedule of events at WUF7. 

Exhibition

Who can I exhibit?

Any organization related or interested on UN-Habitat work can be an exhibitor. Private Sector, cities, countries, non-governmental organizations, foundations among others, are more than welcome to participate in the exhibition. WUF7 Secretariat will be in charge to select the exhibitors in order to give coherence with the general exhibition. Read more about the WUF7 Exhibition Page here. 

How may I apply for exhibition space?

The booking for exhibition space will close on 31 January 2014. Reservation of exhibition space is on a first-come first-serve basis, taking into account the general technical construction needs and the design of the exhibition as a whole. Upon payment, reservation for your space will be confirmed. Note that you need to register online as an exhibitor. The Exhibition Guide is available here. 

If my organization registers as an exhibitor, do I also need to register?

Everyone attending the World Urban Forum should register in order to get a WUF7 photo badge. In your case, you will register as an exhibitor as your primary role.

Do I have access to the meetings if I am registered as an exhibitor?

All registered exhibitors may access all the meetings at WUF7 except the ones indicated as closed events

I only want to visit the Exhibition, do I have to register?

If you wish to visit the Exhibition only, you do not need to register. There will be a provision for the general public to visit the WUF7 exhibition without registration, and this will be free of charge.

Can I sell publications or any other products in my exhibition stand?

As per the rules governing the United Nations’ conferences, exhibitors are prohibited from selling their goods.

Where can I find more information about the WUF7 exhibition?

An Exhibition Guide has been elaborated and you can find more detailed information and procedures in order to exhibit in the WUF7 exhibition. The Exhibition Guide is available here. 

… World Urban Campaign

The World Urban Campaign is a global advocacy platform to promote a positive vision of cities in the twenty first century. Coordinated by UN-Habitat and driven by a large number of partners, it is designed as an essential platform to propose solutions towards a better urban future and to build synergies, knowledge, and consensus on sustainable urban development towards Habitat III, the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development to be held in 2016. WUC Partners will organize several activities and sessions during WUF7. More information is available at www.unhabitat.org/wuc 

Paper Smart Conference

What is Paper Smart Conference at WUF7?

Following United Nations Paper Smart initiative, WUF7 will be served in a Paper Smart manner. The information and documentation of the Forum will be available on this WUF7 website (www.unhabitat.org/wuf). Specific criteria will be shared in future updates. Accepted event organizers who may wish to make available documents to participants in the Forum, may forward an electronic copy to WUF Secretariat to wuf@unhabitat.org.

WUF TV

What is WUF TV?

The Opening and Closing ceremonies, the Dialogues, Roundtables, Press conferences and other activities will be broadcast live on WUF Television, through the WUF7 website. This page coming soon!

Participate in events

Who may participate?

The Forum is an open meeting and everyone is free to attend. All are welcome to take part in the World Urban Forum and actively exchange ideas and best practices.  The theme of the Forum, Urban Equality in Development - Cities for Life, will guide discussion in all events.

What kind of events will take place at WUF7?

Events will include Dialogues, Special sessions, Peer Roundtables, Networking events, Training events, and Side events. In addition to this, there will be an exhibition by cities, countries, organizations, national and international institutions among others.

Who may attend these events?

Participation in the World Urban Forum is open to representatives of national governments, local authorities and other Habitat Agenda partners from all over the world. The latter mainly include the parliamentarians, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, human settlement professionals, research institutions and academies of science, the private, business and non-profit sectors, foundations, relevant UN organizations, multilateral finance institutions and other international agencies.

Will I need an invitation letter from UN-Habitat to participate in a WUF7 event?

No invitation letter is necessary. UN-Habitat does not issue invitations to participants to attend the World Urban Forum. However, all participants are required to register for the Forum to access the venue and attend its meetings. Register for WUF7 here

Are there restrictions in attending any event during WUF 7?

Generally, all events are open, but where an event is closed it will be reflected in the conference programme. The only restriction applies to certain high-level round tables involving peers alone, which are not open to the general public

Language(s) used at the WUF7

What language will be used in WUF7 events?

The working language of the World Urban Forum is English. Spanish is the official language used in Colombia. The Opening and Closing ceremonies, as well as Dialogues, will have interpretation into the six United Nations official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish). Other WUF7 main sessions will have interpretation into Spanish and French. It will be reflected in the final programme in case of an event is held in another language other than English.

Online Registration

When will the online registration open and close?

Online registration opened on 17 July 2013 and closed on 16 March 2014.

Is the registration individual?

Yes, everybody had to register in order to receive the WUF7 photo badge and to attend the meetings.

To which partner type do I belong to?


Please find categories and examples of partner types below:

National Government

  • Heads of States
  • Heads of Governments
  • Representatives of Governments and Diplomats

Parliamentarian


  • Members of National, Regional or Federal Parliaments
  • Regional/Local Government and Municipality
  • Federal Governments or State representatives
  • Mayors
  • Deputy Mayors
  • Counselors
  • Provincial Governors and Provincial Administration representatives
  • Local Authority representatives
  • Local Authority associations
  • City Councils
  • Townships
  • Prefectures and Provinces

Academia/Research


  • Academics
  • Librarians
  • Researchers
  • Research assistants
  • University staff Students and Professors

Civil Society Organization


  • Non-Governmental Organization representatives
  • Representatives of women and youth organizations
  • Social movements
  • Indigenous People organizations
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Community Based Organizations
  • Trade Unions

Private Sector


  • Private sector companies
  • Multinational companies
  • Individual private businesses
  • Business Associations
  • Chambers of Commerce

Foundation


  • Foundation representatives
  • United Nations System
  • UN Agencies
  • UN Programmes
  • UN Departments
  • UN Offices and Funds
  • UN Regional Commissions
  • UN Councils Other UN entities

(UN-Habitat staff will register on a separate form provided by the WUF Secretariat)


  • Intergovernmental Organization
  • Regional Organizations
  • Regional Banks and International Financial Institutions
  • Regional Economic Communities International Cultural
  • Scientific or Linguistic Organizations

Media


  • Journalists
  • Cameramen
  • Photographers
  • Media Representatives

Individual


  • People interested in WUF7 who wish to attend official meetings and don’t belong to any of the above partner type.



WUF7 Secretariat staff, including UN-Habitat and Host Country teams and selected Volunteers will register through dedicated links.

How do I get media accreditation?

View in the section Accreditation on site.

Accreditation on site

When will onsite registration start (dates and time)?

Participants are requested to come to the venue with the acknowledgement email of registration. It is also necessary for each individual to present his/her passport (for international participants) or identification card (for national participants) which was used for registration in order to receive a WUF7 badge. Accreditation with WUF7 photo badge will commence at the venue on 3 April 2014 and the accreditation area is open daily from 7.30 to 18.00 until the last day of the Forum.

How do I get media accreditation?

If you did not register before the online registration closed but are interested in attending the World Urban Forum as a member of the Press, please email your request to wufmedia@unhabitat.org including a scanned copy of your national or international press card, letter of employment and your national passport. If you do not have a press card, or are a freelancer, please forward a letter from your employer which clearly states your role at the company or news agency and two recent articles or items showing your name as the author or producer. Media registration is strictly reserved for members of the Media: print, photo, radio, television, film, news agencies, and online Media who represent a bona fide organization. No double accreditation is allowed (e.g., as media and delegate, or as press and non-governmental organization).


PLEASE NOTE: due to high numbers of press who have registered, Media representatives of companies and organisations will NOT be given Media accreditation but will be registered as participants. You will still be able to access the Press Area at WUF. For any queries, please contact wufmedia@unhabitat.org

List of WUF7 participants

When will the WUF7 list of participants become available?

A WUF7 provisional list of participants will be issued at the beginning of the event. In the registration process, participants will be requested to accept or reject to be included in that list. Specific authorization is needed due to privacy international policies. The data to be published will be: First name, Middle name, Last name, Country and Organization. No other information will be published.

Visa and Invitation Letter

Do I need an invitation letter from UN-Habitat for visa processing?

UN-Habitat does not issue individual invitation letters to World Urban Forum participants. The only document you will receive from UN-Habitat is the acknowledgement email confirming the successful online registration.

How do I apply for a visa?

A valid passport and visa are required to enter Colombia. You may contact your nearest embassy or consulate for information on how to obtain a visa. There you may also verify whether you will require a visa to attend WUF7. Information on visa and permits is available on Colombia’s national Travel Website, and on the Ministry of External Affairs website

Where a visa is required, participants are strongly advised to apply as early as possible. For more information about visas

Financing / Sponsorship

Can I get sponsorship to participate in the Forum?

Attendance at the Forum itself is free of charge and participants are expected to cover the cost of their travel, accommodation and all other expenses related to their stay in Medellín.

Will I get refund for my ticket from UN-Habitat?

No, it is expected that every participants covers their cost of travel. You can visit the WUF7 Booking Center for discount flight codes.

Can I be provided with accommodation by Habitat?

No, every participant is responsible for their own booking of accommodation and pay for cost of accommodation. You can visit the WUF7 Booking Center to book hotels with WUF7 Primary Information Points. 

Accommodation

How may I book my accommodation?

Please find the WUF7 Booking Center on the WUF7 Hotels and Accommodation page. Participants should reserve accommodations early because of the large number of attendees expected at the Forum.

Official websites of Medellín and the Government of Colombia -Travel

How can I find information about Medellín and Colombia?

Medellín is the capital city of Antioquia Department. It is the second largest city in Colombia and the first industrial center in the country. It is also home of many prominent universities. More information is available on Medellín’s officail travel website,  www.medellin.travel/en and on the Government of Colombia’s official travel website: www.colombia.travel/en/

Which is the official language of Colombia?

The official language of Colombia is Spanish.

What currency is used in Medellín?

The official currency of Colombia is the Colombia Peso (COP). The exchange rate fluctuates; at present it is approximately $1.884 pesos per US dollar. Exchange facilities and ATMs are available at airport terminal, local banks and shopping malls; some hotels also provide currency exchange services.

Which time zone has Medellín?

Colombia is UTC/GMT -5.

Is there a mandatory vaccination necessary prior to travel?

Yellow fever vaccine is required for visitors to the national parks along the Atlantic coast. No other vaccines are legally mandated. Medical services in the city (private clinics and hospitals) are available. Visitors are advised that some clinics request a down payment prior to providing medical assistance, even in emergency situations. Visitors should take medical precautions and advice should be sought before travel.

Travelling to WUF7

What is the name of the international airport to reach Medellín?

Medellín’s Jose Maria Córdoba International Airport is located in the nearby city of Rionegro (approximately 45 to 60 minutes away from the WUF7 venue). International non-stop flights are available from Caracas, Quito, Lima, Curacao, Panama, San Jose, San Salvador, Mexico City, Miami, New York and Madrid.

In collaboration with the Municipality of Medellín, WUF7 is pleased to provide WUF7 Participants with the online Booking Center to facilitate planning your travel to Medellín. Registered participants will receive a discount code on flight reservations.

What means of transport is available for use around the city?

Thanks to the support from the City of Medellín, all registered WUF7 Participants will receive a complimentary Tarjeta Civica, with unlimited use on the Medellin Metro during the World Urban Forum, from April 5-11. For more information about Medellín’s transformative metro system, visit their website.

Selected hotels will serve as primary pick up and drop off points for transportation to the WUF7 venue. 

Medical insurance

Do I need a medical insurance?

All participants should ensure that they have adequate medical insurance prior to arrival in Medellin.

Internet Connection

Will there be WIFI and is it for free?

All meeting rooms and general areas in the WUF7 venue (<<LINK pagina WUF7 venue)  will have free WiFi access for all participants.

Additional FAQ's

May I present a paper at the Forum?

There are no calls for presentation of papers at the World Urban Forum.

Can I become a speaker at one of the events at WUF?

Each event is organized through one or several partner organizations which identify their own speakers.

May I sell my book or a product at WUF?

The World Urban Forum does not facilitate the sale of private products, publications, etc.

How may I volunteer at WUF7?

Usually the host country would need to be approached directly. More information on this will be made available here.

WUF Secretariat

How can I contact the WUF Secretariat of UN-Habitat?

Feel free to contact the WUF Secretariat on questions regarding the Forum preparations at wuf@unhabitat.org