We are living in what some are calling “the urban century.” A majority of the world’s population now lives in cities and the proportion is set to keep growing. Clearly the wellbeing of cities and the ways in which urban environments develop is an urgent concern.

The World Urban Forum, set up by the United Nations, is a global arena in which governments, business, academics, NGOs, community practitioners and others interact and work together on issues relevant to the future of cities. The 9th World Urban Forum is currently taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Dr George Wieland, Carey’s Director of Mission Research and Training, is there as an invited participant in an academic workshop considering what contribution faith communities and traditions can make to the planning and cultivating of flourishing cities, and also in an urban shalom forum, a gathering of Christian urban mission and community development practitioners.

George sees this as an opportunity to learn and network, to offer the resources of Christian theology to thinking about the future of cities, and to work with other urban mission and community practitioners in addressing the challenges of urban realities. He expects that some of what he hears and learns will find its way into this year’s new postgraduate course on Christian Mission in a Changing World.