Champaign-area REALTOR® Alex Ruggieri will travel a long way in search of solutions for housing problems.

Ruggieri, a broker for SVN-Ramshaw Real Estate, Inc., in Champaign, is representing the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the IHC-Global Board at the World Urban Forum 10 in Abu Dhabi, Feb. 8-13. That’s more than 7,300 miles from his home.

Alex Ruggieri

“First of all, I would say that the whole experience is consciousness raising,” said Ruggieri. “There is a big world out there and people are facing many problems . . . whether it is housing access or policies that allow for the equitable ownership of real estate, especially for women in many countries of the world. The really outstanding thing is that we have people working on the problem. NAR’s support of IHC-Global has a big impact as they try to change policies to help people across the world get better access and ownership rights.”

World Urban Forum 10 is a six-day event that attracts non-profit organizations and is organized by UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Program. World Urban Forum promotes socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities that provide adequate shelter for all. The forum has been held every other year since 2002, meeting in 10 different cities on five different continents.

IHC-Global is an independent, non-profit international coalition of organizations, businesses and individuals interested in urban development. IHC-Global is committed to leveling the playing field in the urban world to ensure greater access to opportunity for all. The organization strives to improve housing, sanitation and water conditions and help make communities less vulnerable to natural disasters and effects of climate change.

Ruggieri, who attended the 2018 World Urban Forum in Malaysia, says the 2022 World Urban Forum will be in Katowice, Poland.