Press Releases

         11 February 2005

    ‘Caring Communities for the 21st Century – Imagining the Possible’ Subject of Headquarters Conference 11 February

    NEW YORK, 10 February (UN Headquarters) -- An international conference -- “Caring Communities for the 21st Century:  Imagining the Possible” -- will be held on Friday, 11 February at the United Nations Headquarters in Conference Room 1, from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m.

    It is part of a series of interlinked conferences addressing the “Age of Longevity” organized by the International Council for Caring Communities (ICCC) in coordination with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), United Nations Focal Point on Ageing, United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Department of Public Information, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.  The conference is organized in support of the United Nations Commission for Social Development.  The conference will also highlight the finalists of the 2004 Student Design Competition.

    The conference will address, among other issues, how to utilize opportunities to expand work, education, health care and other personal growth/“sharing” experiences via new pathways and opportunities opening up along the information communication technologies “digital highway”.  It will also consider how to transform empty spaces into community parks, gardens and other inviting central open spaces, to enhance physical and social connectivity, and help integrate “neglected” older persons, and orphans, into the society at large.

    The questions the conference seeks to answer include:

    -- How can partnerships be developed which incorporate older persons’ experience and augment their capacities?

    -- How can ICT (information, communication technology) boost economic development in an ageing world?

    -- What design solutions are possible to enhance “a society for all ages”?

    -- How can we adapt abandoned spaces to encourage multi-generational social and economic bridges?

    The conference will be chaired by Dean Urs Peter Gauchat, New Jersey School of Architecture, New Jersey Institute of Technology.

    Opening remarks will be delivered by Anna Tibaijuka, Under-Secretary-General, Executive Director, UN-HABITAT; and Sarbuland Khan, Director, Office of Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination.

    Keynote speakers are Dr. Tomonori Matsuo, President of Toyo University, Tokyo, Japan; and Joaquin Ayuso, Chief Executive Officer, Grupo Ferrovial, Madrid, Spain.

    Additional presenters are Klaus Stoll, President, Fundacion Chasquinet, Ecuador; Elena Suarez, Chief, Special Programs Section, Office of External Relations, Inter-American Development Bank; and architect Percy Zamora Ulloa from Costa Rica.

    Those expected to be present at the conference include:  Sergei Kambalov, Deputy Executive Coordinator, Secretariat of the United Nations ICT Task Force, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA); Alexandre Sidorenko, United Nations Focal Point on Ageing; Ronald Scheman, former Director General, Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development (IACD); and architect Akira Yamashita, among others.

    The Student Design Competition for 2004, which features 26 projects from 15 countries, will also be showcased; the conference will feature presentation of prizes to the winners and an exhibition of the winning projects.

    For information, please contact Yamina Djacta, Human Settlements Officer, UN-HABITAT New York Office, tel.:  1 212 963 4200 or e-mail:  For further information about UN-HABITAT, check the Web site:

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