Invitation to the GFCP Expert Group Meeting on SDG-oriented urban project design

SDG-oriented urban project design: an opportunity for sustainable growth and investment

Friday 29 October 2021, 12:00 - 13:45 UTC       

What additional funding and financing options can be unlocked for realising urban planning and infrastructure projects that align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? What opportunities does the UK Global Future Cities Programme’s SDG Tool provide for accelerating SDG implementation in cities? As part of the SDG Cities Global Conference, this Expert Group Meeting will open the space for urban actors to debate on current practices to effectively implement the SDGs in urban projects and discuss future opportunities that arise from SDG-oriented project design



  • Welcoming Remarks 
    • Dr. Shipra Narang Suri, Chief, Urban Practices Branch, UN-Habitat
  • Presentation 1 
    • Naomi Hoogervorst, Programme Manager, Global Future Cities Programme, UN-Habitat (The SDG Tool: accelerating local SDG implementation with transformative urban development projects)
  • Presentation 2 
    • Carol Koh, Prosperity Future Cities Programme Adviser Malaysia, UKFCDO (Advancing the SDGs in cities – Global Future Cities Programme perspectives from Malaysia)
  • Moderated Panel Discussion with Expert Group 
    • What is the relevance of the UN-Habitat SDG Tool for urban infrastructure projects? What opportunities do you see for using it to develop projects in sectors beyond the focus of the GFCP (resilience, mobility, urban planning)? 
  • Presentation 3 
    • Nishendra Moodley, Team Lead, Future Cities South Africa & Dr. Jeremy Gorelick, Senior Strategic Advisor, Green Finance Institute (SDG Tool experiences from South Africa: creating opportunities for innovative financing to achieve the SDGs)
  • Moderated Panel Discussion with Expert Group 
    • What additional funding and financing options can be unlocked for realising urban planning and infrastructure projects that align with the SDGs through use of the SDG Tool?
  • Audience Engagement 
    • Mentimeter polls
  • Audience Engagement 
    • Audience Q/A
  • Closing Remarks 
    • Dr. Shipra Narang Suri, Chief, Urban Practices Branch, UN-Habitat



Dr. Shipra Narang Suri is an urban planner with a Ph.D. in Post-War Recovery Studies from the University of York, UK. She leads UN-Habitat’s Urban Practices Branch, the hub for UN-Habitat’s normative work and home of its portfolio of global programmes. The Branch covers all major areas of UN-Habitat’s work, including national urban policies; legislation and governance; urban planning and design; planning and health; public space; urban regeneration; land, housing and shelter; urban economy and finance; urban basic services; safer cities; human rights and social inclusion. Shipra is also the senior advisor within UN-Habitat for local governments and their networks. 


Greg Meckstroth is an urban design and mobility specialist. At UN-Habitat, he acts as focal point for mobility and urban planning projects in the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam as part of the Global Future Cities Programme. He also advises on the Programme’s 18 mobility projects and cross-sectoral capacity building efforts. Prior to joining UN-Habitat, Greg worked as a consultant in the private sector where he founded an urban design practice focused on urban design and transport planning. Greg has developed expertise in transit-oriented development, equitable public domain design and strategic city shaping. Greg shares his experience with teams, clients and communities across 5 continents and at various scales. 


Ryan Christopher Sequeira is an urban/transport planning and infrastructure project finance specialist. At UN-Habitat, he oversees the 18 mobility projects of the Global Future Cities Programme. He advises GFCP projects under the UN Cities Investment Facility, an upstream project development endeavour to prepare bankable, SDG-compliant projects and serves as an expert reviewer for the transportation projects of the ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Strategy. Before UN-Habitat, Ryan worked on 59 rail and road transit nodes, 2.3 million square meters of allied Transit Oriented Development, and 150 miles of Complete Streets for the Government of Delhi, Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation, and National Institute of Urban Affairs. Most recently, he worked on the infrastructure rejuvenation of 13 wastewater districts as an Infrastructure Project Management & Finance Fellow at Cornell Institute of Public Affairs.  


Naomi Hoogervorst is a senior urban planner at UN-Habitat’s Urban Lab at the Planning, Finance and Economy Section. She manages the Global Future Cities Programme and is focal point for the Section’s Social Inclusion and Human Rights.   She holds a Master of Science in Architecture, Urbanism and Building sciences from the Technical University of Delft (NL). She has 15 years of professional experience from UN-Habitat, the private sector and non-governmental organisations in managing programmes and projects, and as a technical expert within architecture and sustainable and inclusive urban development on neighborhood, city and national level. 


Carol Koh has over 12 years’ experience in programme management, international trade and development, and marketing. She is the Prosperity Future Cities Programme Adviser for Malaysia in the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), managing smart mobility and sustainable urban programmes in Iskandar Malaysia and Melaka. She was previously the Deputy Head of Marketing & GREAT Britain Campaign at the British High Commission Kuala Lumpur. Carol is also the founder of Books on the Move Malaysia, a non-profit movement to encourage reading culture among Malaysians through urban placemaking and community initiatives. 


Nishendra Moodley is an urban governance specialist with a strong transformational commitment to democracy, decentralisation and sustainable development, through strengthened relationships between government, business and civil society. His 26-year career in post-apartheid public sector transformation includes working in local government for the City of Cape Town; nationally advising alongside the establishment of South Africa’s local government system; and coordinating National Treasury’s City Support Programme’s governance work in South Africa’s metropolitan municipalities. He is the Team Lead in Future Cities South Africa, a support programme of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office focusing on Johannesburg, Cape Town and eThekwini (Durban). 


Dr. Jeremy Gorelick leads workstreams on financing and capital mobilisation as part of the Future Cities South Africa program. A veteran financier, he has been responsible for the design and implementation of numerous financial mechanisms, raising billions of dollars for a wide range of infrastructure transactions around the world. He received his doctorate from the University of Cape Town in the structuring of financial innovations in sub-Saharan Africa, and has been a lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University in development finance since 2010.   


Dr. Scott Thacker is an Infrastructure Specialist at the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and Honorary Research Associate of the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford. In his role with UNOPS, Scott is developing and demonstrating a range of infrastructure tools and applications to support countries in prioritizing infrastructure investments and policies to underpin national development objectives. Alongside interaction with infrastructure practitioners, Scott is an active member of the academic community and holds a PhD in infrastructure systems modelling from the University of Oxford.


Scott Zuchorski is a Managing Director in Fitch’s Global Infrastructure and Project Finance Group where he serves as head of the North American Infrastructure Team. The team covers a variety of infrastructure project financings, including Transportation, Public Private Partnerships, Energy & Industrials, and Sports & Entertainment venues. Before joining Fitch, Scott was a First Vice President at Ambac Assurance Corporation and responsible for the credit oversight and remediation of a $250 billion portfolio, including public finance and project finance credits. Scott received his Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and his Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. 


Tom Eveson is a founding partner of EMIF Group, established to create a fund which provides sub-national governments in emerging economies with the capital and direction to develop critical urban infrastructure that is bankable for global private capital. In cooperation with UN- Habitat and its Cities Investment Facility (CIF), EMIF Group is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and catalyzing infrastructure development required under the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) to meet 2030 SDG targets. As Director for the Americas at Sustainalytics, Tom leads the team focused on sustainable financing, ESG Ratings, performance benchmarking, and impact reporting.  

For any questions or queries, please contact Ryan Sequeira ( or Greg Meckstroth ( We look forward to your participation and will update the above agenda when more details arise.   

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