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UCLG Bulletin

Volume 231 Number 8 | Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Summary of the 2016 World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders
5th UCLG World Congress

12-15 October 2016 | Bogotá, Colombia

Visit our IISD/ENB+ Meeting Coverage from Bogotá, Colombia at:

The 2016 World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders convened 12-15 October 2016 in Bogotá, Colombia, under the theme ‘Local Voices for a Better World.’ The World Summit, organized by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), hosted over 5,000 mayors, councilors, representatives of local governments, and other interested policymakers, practitioners and citizens.

The event, which included plenaries, two permanent working platforms, workshops, policy dialogues, community forums, learning forums and other interactive sessions, was held immediately prior to the Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) taking place 17-20 October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador.

On 14 October, the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments (GTF), facilitated by UCLG, convened the second session of the Second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments. The Second World Assembly adopted a statement containing key recommendations from local and regional governments for Habitat III’s main outcome, the New Urban Agenda, which is intended to guide urban development policy across the world during the next two decades.

In addition, UCLG launched the 4th Global Report on Local Democracy and Decentralization (GOLD IV), providing analysis, innovative examples and case studies from around the globe to support the recommendations of the Global Agenda of Local and Regional Governments for the 21st Century.

Throughout the World Summit, the 5th UCLG World Congress convened and, on 15 October, the UCLG World Council elected the new UCLG President for 2016-2019, Mpho Parks Tau, Councilor of Johannesburg, South Africa, and President, South African Local Government Association. The World Council also adopted the Summit’s outcome document, ‘The Bogotá Commitment and Action Agenda.’


With six out of every ten people in the world expected to reside in urban areas by 2030, the UN Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) notes that cities face unprecedented demographic, environmental, economic, social and spatial challenges. According to UN-Habitat, more than 90% of this growth will take place in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Hence, urban areas are central to sustainable development efforts. Habitat III builds on the work from Habitat I and Habitat II, as well as on recently agreed global frameworks, including: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030; the Paris Agreement on climate change; and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3).

UCLG was founded in 2004 to ensure subnational and regional governments and other local authorities have a voice in the international processes that are defining the sustainable development agenda and addressing other areas of interest at the local level. Since its creation, UCLG has helped convene city and local government representatives around common issues affecting subnational jurisdictions and has defended the interests of local governments on the world stage.

HABITAT I: Habitat I took place in Vancouver, Canada, from 31 May - 11 June 1976. The Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements adopted by the Conference officially established the UN Centre for Human Settlements as the major UN agency mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.

FIRST WORLD ASSEMBLY OF CITIES AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES: The First World Assembly of Cities and Local Authorities met in Istanbul, Turkey, from 30-31 May 1996, ahead of Habitat II. The final declaration on Habitat II issued by the World Assembly represented the constituency’s official contribution to the Conference.

HABITAT II: Habitat II convened in Istanbul from 3-14 June 1996, on the 20th anniversary of Habitat I. The Habitat Agenda and the Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements adopted by the Conference outline over 100 commitments and strategies to address shelter and sustainable human settlements. With the adoption of the Habitat Agenda, the international community set the twin goals of achieving adequate shelter for all and ensuring sustainable human settlements development. The Istanbul Declaration recognizes local authorities as the “closest partners” of UN-Habitat and “essential” in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. Article 102 of the Habitat Agenda acknowledges that municipal governments “can be an effective partner in making human settlements viable, equitable and sustainable,” given that their level of administration is “closest to the people.”

UCLG FOUNDING CONGRESS: In May 2004, mayors, councilors and elected city, local and regional representatives gathered in Paris, France, to establish UCLG. The Founding Congress Final Declaration addresses sustainable development and globalization, decentralization and local democracy, cooperation and diplomacy and world health.

2ND UCLG WORLD CONGRESS: At UCLG’s 2nd World Congress, held October 2007 in Jeju, Republic of Korea, the organization and other stakeholders discussed the consequences of urbanization, cooperation with regions and challenges of tomorrow’s city. The final declaration lays out commitments on global warming and environmental protection, human rights, peace and development and the Millennium Development Goals. In addition, UCLG’s Policy Paper on Local Finance was approved.

1ST WORLD SUMMIT OF LOCAL AND REGIONAL LEADERS and 3RD UCLG WORLD CONGRESS: In November 2010 in Mexico City, Mexico, the first World Summit convened in conjunction with UCLG’s Congress, adopting a document titled, ‘The City of 2030 – Our Manifesto.’ The Manifesto lays out the common goals of local leaders and their determination to make the urban world a better place.

2ND WORLD SUMMIT OF LOCAL AND REGIONAL LEADERS and 4TH UCLG WORLD CONGRESS: Held 1-4 October 2013 in Rabat, Morocco, the 2nd World Summit celebrated the centenary of the international municipal movement and allowed participants to debate and exchange views on the most vital issues for subnational authorities and partners in the 21st century. The Summit’s outcome document, the Rabat Declaration, recognizes the need to address change, innovation and the issue of just societies by reinforcing bottom-up governance under the leadership of inclusive local and regional governments.

GTF: Set up in 2013 as an initiative of Kadir Topbaş, UCLG President and Mayor of Istanbul, the GTF is a mechanism for coordinating advocacy efforts of the major international networks of local governments in international climate change and sustainable and urban development policy processes. The GTF organized the Second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments as a three-part process to provide formal input to Habitat III.

FfD3: Taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 13-16 July 2015, FfD3 adopted the AAAA, which includes a global framework for financing development post-2015, along with specifications of action areas, data, monitoring and follow-up. The AAAA includes a focus on cities and commits to support resilient and environmentally sound infrastructure in developing countries.

UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT: The UN Sustainable Development Summit took place at UN Headquarters in New York, US, from 25-27 September 2015. The Summit adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) and 169 associated targets. SDG 11 addresses urban areas, aiming to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” It includes seven related targets addressing, inter alia, housing, transport, urbanization and waste management, as well as three targets on means of implementation.

PARIS CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE: The UN Climate Change Conference convened in Paris in November - December 2015 and culminated with the Paris Agreement. The Agreement sets the goals of: keeping global average temperature rise to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels; and enhancing global adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change. The Paris Agreement will enter into force on 4 November 2016. In the lead-up to Paris, local and regional governments showcased the way in which they are leading, from the bottom-up, to address climate change by increasing pre-2020 ambition.

SECOND WORLD ASSEMBLY OF LOCAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS: The first session of the Second World Assembly was held in New York on 15 May 2016, immediately prior to the Habitat III Informal Hearings with Local Authorities Associations, during which representatives of local and regional governments exchanged views with Member States and observers on the zero draft of the Habitat III outcome document, the New Urban Agenda. The second and third sessions were held in Bogotá on 14 October and Quito on 16 October, respectively. The second session adopted the Assembly’s inputs to the New Urban Agenda and the third session presented them to Habitat III.



Welcoming participants to Bogotá on Wednesday, 12 October, Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor of Bogotá, highlighted that a good city makes life happier for any citizen, regardless of one’s per capita income. Peñalosa said that as a society becomes richer, housing, health and education improve, but mobility may worsen, stressing Bogotá’s initiatives to expand the Transmilenio bus system, bike lanes and park network.

Kadir Topbaş, UCLG President and Mayor of Istanbul, highlighted the relevance of cities for peace building, solving global challenges and implementing the SDGs. Underscoring the need for local governments to further exchange lessons on successful experiences, such as in transport, he praised the work of UCLG as a hub for knowledge sharing and city diplomacy.

Via a video message, Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, recognized the challenge to create an inclusive, universal plan for peace and prosperity, drawing attention to the “vital role” of cities in realizing the 2030 Agenda. He called on local and regional leaders to ground the global agenda with local actions. Joan Clos, UN-Habitat Executive Director, explained that urbanization is a project of co-existence, a challenge to bring together people with different ideas and backgrounds to create peace and happiness. He recognized Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia, adding support for Colombia to reach its final aim in its peace process.

Santos said creating sustainable and equitable cities requires translating social investment into inclusion and connectivity for the impoverished. He noted Colombia’s important steps toward solidifying a strong economy, calling for translating good performance into increased wellbeing and welfare for both urban and rural citizens.


Claire Short, Cities Alliance, recognizing recent achievements to integrate the role of cities into the SDGs and the Paris Agreement, emphasized that the relationship among national, local and regional governments must shift from hierarchies to partnerships. She called for partnerships to “get out of the meeting rooms and onto the ground” to implement declarations and deliver benefits to all, including the urban poor.

Joan Clos, UN-Habitat Executive Director, stressed that the New Urban Agenda must combat social segregation. He remembered the Arab Spring that occurred, to a large extent, due to inadequate social conditions of citizens in Tunis, Tunisia, illustrating how human dignity and livelihoods are essential means of ensuring sustainable cities. Kadir Topbaş, UCLG President and Mayor of Istanbul, highlighted that migration creates new challenges for cities, emphasizing the need to adequately prepare for the arrival of refugees. He emphasized that citizens need to get involved in developing a peaceful world and not wait for their governments.

Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor of Bogotá, explored how infrastructure and elements of democracy can influence happiness. He explained that “cities are a medium to express a way of life,” and that we can design the way we want to live by promoting participatory democracy based on equity.


Moderating this plenary on Thursday, 13 October, Aromar Revi, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, emphasized that no person or place should be left behind in implementation of the SDGs. Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said it is necessary to ensure the 21st century is one of greater wellbeing and people-centered prosperity.

Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal, Canada, and President, Metropolis, stated that Habitat III would only be a success if cities were included, recalling the “think global, act local principle.”

Speaking on global governance, Manuela Carmena, Mayor of Madrid, Spain, and Co-President, Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities, said cities are governed by both mayors and the rights established in societies, adding that major challenges to overcome are social conflict and private interests.

Edgar Pieterse, Director, African Center for Cities, described emerging frameworks for the current “cultural revolution,” in which everyone is an active participant and accountability is essential. Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General, UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs, reviewed the participatory process that enabled the establishment of the SDGs, underscoring that we must understand who are the most vulnerable populations and what risks they face in order to integrate resilience into development policies. Mónica Fein, Mayor of Rosario, Argentina, said it is the job of mayors to ensure citizens are empowered to build their cities together and to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda. She declared that cities should be central actors for a more “human economy,” which requires local and regional governments to act in partnership, including on shared finance.

Mpho Parks Tau, Councilor of Johannesburg and President, South African Local Government Association, emphasized the need to go beyond silos to implement the SDGs, as a basic municipal intervention such as solid waste management can become a comprehensive intervention as it relates to: land use, energy, the environment, water and food security.

Panelists further discussed: translation of international agendas to the local level; the impact of decentralization on accountability; devolution of power and functions to local governments; and how to achieve all 169 targets of the SDGs. Panelists agreed that sustainability is a transversal agenda and the challenge for local authorities is to create new forms of government in which citizens are protagonists.


Emphasizing the link between the New Urban Agenda, the SDGs and the Paris Agreement, Kadir Topbaş, UCLG President and Mayor of Istanbul, introduced this session on Friday, 14 October. During the session, delegates focused on a draft statement containing the Second World Assembly’s inputs to Habitat III. Maryse Gautier, Habitat III Co-Chair, said the New Urban Agenda would encourage collective work in Quito in order to develop new innovative cooperative mechanisms for implementation.

Mauricio Rodas, Mayor of Quito, emphasized that local governments and authorities have contributed extensively to the development of the New Urban Agenda, explaining that the statement represents a concrete proposal for action by cities and local governments beyond Habitat III. Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal and President, Metropolis, predicted that the outcomes of Habitat III would be historic, securing the role of local and regional governments not as administrators, but as partners in creating solutions.

Delegates to the Assembly discussed the statement and highlighted issues of particular importance to their regions and cities. A delegate from the Netherlands celebrated the close cooperation with local and regional governments to agree on a global urban agenda and looked forward to continuing progress in Quito.

A delegate from Terrassa, Spain, shared that a collaborative and participatory culture had enabled success in coping with evictions in Terrassa resulting from financial crisis. Another, from Liverpool, UK, argued that, with half a million mayors on the planet, communication is key to ensuring they all see themselves as part of the solution. Delegates also called for: consideration of the pressures on cities created by immigration; clarity with respect to the role of local governments in achieving the SDGs; recognition that the 2030 Agenda is the “agenda of women and Africa”; and taking intermediary cities into account.

Closing the second session of the Second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments, Rodas announced the approval of the statement on the New Urban Agenda to be forwarded to Habitat III.

STATEMENT OF THE WORLD ASSEMBLY OF LOCAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS TO HABITAT III: In their key recommendations to Habitat III, local and regional governments celebrate, inter alia, the adoption of the ‘Quito Declaration on Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements for All’ by UN Member States, as well as the commitments of Member States contained therein.

In addition, they commit to, inter alia:

  • leading local action for global sustainability by localizing international policy agendas;
  • adopting an integrated territorial approach to sustainable development;
  • fostering inclusive economic development and decent jobs;
  • moving towards sustainable production and consumption patterns;
  • empowering citizens, particularly women;
  • harnessing integrated urban and territorial planning;
  • integrating culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development;
  • increasing the transparency and accountability of local and regional institutions;
  • building solidarity between cities and territories;
  • collaborating internationally through decentralized development cooperation and peer-to-peer learning; and
  • working toward effective engagement in the implementation and follow-up of the New Urban Agenda.

Finally, they call on the international community to: embark on a new era of partnership in global governance; link up the implementation and follow-up of all global sustainability agendas; improve municipal infrastructure; create a Global Partnership for Localizing Finance; and recognize the need for the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments to become a significant and representative mechanism through which local and regional governments can provide political guidance and technical follow-up on the global sustainability agenda.


The permanent working platform on co-creating the city, which met throughout the World Summit, is dedicated to the Right to the City, aiming to create an implementation guide for strategies, based on practices and experiences from civil society. The work of the platform is captured in online collaborative documents.

RIGHT TO THE SUSTAINABLE CITY: This session highlighted examples of how civil society is co-creating sustainable cities. Pablo Benson-Silva, Occupy Wall Street, outlined the role of the Occupy Movement in Hurricane Sandy recovery, as the movement was the first organization on the ground post-disaster. Pedro Bravo, writer, discussed how sustainable mobility organizations in Madrid are increasing electoral participation. Héctor Huerga, activist, said citizens are reclaiming Barcelona, Spain, through the conversion of its streets from vehicle traffic to pedestrian zones. Referring to threat of eviction that the Roma people faced in Belgrade, Serbia, Bahram Ghazi, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), highlighted a project that helped uphold the Roma people’s rights by increasing their direct involvement.

RIGHT TO THE LIVING CITY: This session included participants through Google Hangouts. Pierre Arnold, activist, outlined that the occupation of Place de la République in Paris created a space of creativity, dialogue and discussion. Ana Estela Haddad, Government of São Paulo, Brazil, said the city’s masterplan aims at giving the city back to its people through increased investment in social housing, public transportation and organic farming, among other initiatives. Lorena Zárate, Habitat International Coalition, said current policies are generating “dead cities” through both public and private money. Zárate emphasized the need to protect self-managed or self-built living spaces, often denounced as “marginal,” “irregular” or “illegal.” Mike Bird, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), highlighted that the “real” economy in cities is actually in the informal economy—an integral part of a living city.

RIGHT TO THE CITY OF LEARNING: Aurore Brachet, Government of Seine-Saint-Denis Department, France, discussed social inclusion, pointing to the recent development of a center for educational resources on international solidarity. Nelson Saule, Instituto Pólis, shared a video used as a tool to help sensitize governments and citizens to the challenges of discrimination and cultural diversity.

Through Google Hangouts, several activists from around the world brought their experiences to the table on, inter alia: organizing communities and collectives around creative commons; comparing gentrification strategies and impacts in different cities; and developing open learning opportunities using the internet. During ensuing discussions, Susana Villarán de la Puente, former Mayor of Lima, Peru, added perspectives from the “city for all,” sharing how cultural diversity and zoned parks have contributed to open classrooms, linking justice to education. Participants offered personal experiences, proposing free access to software, mechanisms for influencing social policy, and continued exchange to advance collaboration.

RIGHT TO THE DEMOCRATIC CITY: Reminding participants of the Arab Spring and Occupy movements, Bernardo Gutiérrez, Medialab-Prado Madrid, noted that technological tools enabling participatory methodologies in cities would be the focus of the session. Participants watched videos from organizers with the Sunflower Movement and Occupy Wall Street that explained how these movements have acted as laboratories to learn about and develop tools, such as livestreams, for building collective power.

Reviewing the collaborative document for this session, Gutiérrez highlighted its premise that participation, facilitated by technology, has become a necessity for “radicalizing democracy” in the context of a global political representation crisis. Susana Villarán de la Puente, former Mayor of Lima, reminded participants that women have unequal access to technology in many places, undermining democracy. Fernando Pintado, Government of Barcelona, cautioned not to confuse participation with democracy, noting the former is one component of the latter.

During discussions, participants considered: how land-use plans have not always accounted for future growth in cities or democratic values; the usefulness of institutional websites intended to engage citizens and whether these platforms’ “gatekeepers” suppress the feeling of open space; and how to link the narrative about lack of political representation with what is happening on the ground continuously, not just in election years.

RIGHT TO THE DIVERSE CITY: Bernardo Gutiérrez, Medialab-Prado Madrid, introduced diversity as a process, not a product, suggesting the need for collective and responsible management of common cultural goods.

Igor Stokfiszewski, Political Critique, cautioned against commercialization of culture, saying that copyrights violate the right to culture and that self-expression is often criticized as vandalism. Lucina Jiménez, El Consorcio Internacional Arte y Escuela A.C. (ConArte), reminded participants that indigenous matters are urban issues, considering that indigenous peoples also live in cities. She suggested defending one’s rights by using them. Kelly Anderson, filmmaker, presented her documentary, ‘My Brooklyn,’ which recounts how an important shopping area for African Americans was displaced through zoning laws and subsidies that favor corporate urban developers.

Participants discussed the tension around the role of local governments in urban planning and supporting culture, with some noting that “urban planning” is often equivalent to facilitating the wants and needs of developers, while community plans are rejected by city governments. A participant and municipal employee reminded that even those in local governments are activists and citizens.

FUTURE OF CITIES – EXPERIMENTAL CITIES: Fabro Steibel, Institute for Technology and Society, presented the use of blockchain, a tool which creates a digital public ledger, in order to help facilitate communication between Brazilian citizens and their government, including their participation in the legislative process.

Boyd Cohen, Universitat de Vic, presented on various technological tools emerging in cities around the world, including the tourist lodging app Airbnb and ridesharing app Uber. He noted that, while the collaborative economy can facilitate optimization of underutilized resources, its regulation has many gray areas, such as when landlords acquire apartments to rent on Airbnb, diminishing housing availability. Gabriella Gómez-Mont, Laboratorio para la Ciudad, noted riots related to Uber in Mexico City, and efforts to elevate the conversation to find a workable solution. She described the resulting creation of a mobility fund financed by a 1.5% tax on Uber rides that will help taxis become more competitive and benefit non-motorized transport.

During discussions, participants raised, for instance, the negative implications of living in the periphery and the possibility of creating multiple, interconnected city centers.


Hélène Papper, UN Information Centre for Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, introduced discussions aimed at moving towards a greater democratic, transparent and participatory debate on cities. Josep Roig, UCLG Secretary General, underscored the importance of communications to help implement ideas on a global and local level. Fatimetou Mint Abdel Malick, Mayor of Tevrah-Zeina, Mauritania, outlined local efforts to improve policies for local citizens, saying, “without communication and professional journalists, development is not possible.”

Jeanneth Cervantes, Radialistas Community Radio, illustrated how media creates constructive messages to promote change by helping citizens realize their power. Joan Clos, UN-Habitat Executive Director, raised questions on how to engage citizens through the media, explaining “good urbanization is not achieved at random” and requires negotiations of varied agendas.

Fernando Casado, urban blogger with Seres Urbanos, El País, introduced his initiative, ‘Towards the Human City,’ to collect positive stories from over 500 interviews from over 27 cities, concluding that stories should: engage citizens; be human centered; and be entertaining. Jennifer Lenhart, urban blogger with Guardian Cities, shared perspectives from informal communication in her blog ‘The Urban Observer,’ aimed at sharing examples of urban sustainability from a personal standpoint.

Neal Peirce, Citiscope, invited participants to stay engaged with Citiscope post-Habitat III, to see how cities of the world react and adapt to the recommendations and outcomes.

In the ensuing discussion, participants asked panelists about strategies to, inter alia: represent a voice for all; overcome corruption; support and strengthen policies that advocate for human rights; and create a global alliance for journalists.


THE CONTRIBUTION OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT TO THE COMPETITIVENESS OF CITIES: Mircea Steriu, International Association of Public Transport, presented research on three aspects to a competitive city: economic strength, human capital and physical capital. Stressing that public transportation is an investment, not a cost, he underlined that it induces higher density of jobs and creates high-growth clusters. Steriu also noted it facilitates access to education and diverse higher-paying jobs, quadruples the rate of urban regeneration, and boosts physical activity and health.

David Lucas, Mayor of Móstoles, Spain, and Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP), described how three systems of transportation are interconnected and coordinated in the community of Madrid, allowing better movement of workers and goods and bringing more businesses to the region. Peter Kurz, Mayor of Mannheim, Germany, noted that while the automobile has been in the city’s DNA since its origins, Mannheim is overcoming this, for example, through plans to introduce electric buses with inductive charging to lower noise, particulate matter and climate pollution.

CITIES – THE FUTURE OF HUMANE, EVIDENCE-BASED AND EFFECTIVE DRUG POLICIES: César Gaviria, Global Commission on Drug Policy and former President of Colombia, emphasized the importance of evidence-based policymaking focusing on less violence, protecting human rights, decriminalizing consumption and improving security. Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen, Morocco, lamented that cannabis production is contributing to the loss of traditional agricultural knowledge in the north of Morocco. Noting that a miniscule amount of the income from drug trafficking ends up with the cultivators, he called for international support for projects that can raise the value of local traditional products.

Raymond Louie, Acting Mayor of Vancouver, described Vancouver’s comprehensive drug policy comprising four pillars: prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement. Fabiana Goyeneche, Government of Montevideo, Uruguay, described outreach programmes that target younger citizens by discouraging them from drug consumption but still provide information on risks and healthcare if they choose to consume. She said the city has reduced the cost of emergency services by providing on-site service tents with fruit, hydration, psychological assistance and medical personnel at mass events.

Émile Nakombo, Mayor of Bangui, Central African Republic, advocated addressing drug abuse at the smallest cells of society, so that family members, friends and neighborhoods can care for drug users. Pavel Bém, Global Commission on Drug Policy and former Mayor of Prague, Czech Republic, said Prague implemented programmes to provide syringes and needles, HIV and hepatitis testing, and social care services, resulting in more than 80% of drug users being in contact with services.

MIGRATION AND MOBILITY: Josep Sagarra, Catalonian Fund for Cooperation and Development, introduced the session as one that would focus on the positive effects of migration.

Fatma Şahin, Mayor of Gaziantep, Turkey, highlighted her city’s approach in the face of the Syrian refugee crisis, noting a focus on education and peace for children and providing equal access to municipal services for all refugees and the city’s citizens.

Speaking on cities that are attractive to migrants as engines of economic growth, Marcelo Pisani, International Organization for Migration, outlined instruments, such as the Migration Governance Framework and Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative, that support local authorities with migration, adhering to international regulations and maintenance of respect for human rights.

Dolors Sabater Puig, Mayor of Badalona, Spain, spoke in favor of integration and peaceful co-existence, suggesting policies that encourage contact and relationships in order to ease the tendency to blame immigration for all the problems a citizen may be facing. Guillermo Herrera, Government of Carchi Province, Ecuador, demonstrated how local governments from Ecuador and Colombia have created a brotherhood for subnational integration to benefit from the positive impacts of human mobility.

SHAPING THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENDAS – THE ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN EFFECTIVE DEVELOPMENT: Ton Rombouts, Mayor of Den Bosch, the Netherlands, presented a policy brief titled ‘Development Effectiveness and Local Governments.’ Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener, Canada, outlined his work as the UCLG Champion on Development Cooperation and said cities and local governments are capable of transforming the broad parameters of the SDGs into efficient local goals.

Ciro Pérez Silva, Mexican Embassy to Colombia, outlined Mexico’s efforts to increase effective development cooperation. Boubacar Bah–Bill, Mayor of Commune V, Bamako, Mali, outlined opportunities and challenges of municipalities in Mali in localizing the SDGs and noted that decentralization has enabled municipalities to negotiate and manage programmes funded by international partners.

Karina Cáceres, Alianza de las Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil para la Eficacia del Desarrollo en América Latina y el Caribe, said civil society organizations can provide services that states do not, while increasing accountability and transparency.

A SEAT AT THE GLOBAL TABLE – LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AS DECISION MAKERS IN WORLD AFFAIRS: Showcasing the EU-funded project ‘A seat at the global table: Local governments as decision-makers in world affairs,’ panelists debated the process for building an action plan for raising the voices of local authorities within the New Urban Agenda negotiations. Some participants underscored small advancements, such as improvements in credential practices for local governments at the UN, to illustrate changes in decision making at the “global table.” Organizers explained that an Action Plan, an outcome of this project, would be presented on the occasion of the third session of the Second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments. A participant cautioned that gender equality and youth engagement are lacking as part of this plan.

Emilia Saiz, UCLG, called for the reinforcement of the political power of local authorities, adding that local authorities should be the first to recognize the New Urban Agenda. The session concluded by stressing the ultimate goal of the group, ensuring the recognition of the “irreversible internationalization of local governments” in the New Urban Agenda.

LAYING THE PATH FOR INCLUSIVE CITIES – AFFORDABLE HOUSING, GENTRIFICATION, ACCESSIBILITY AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Josep Roig, UCLG Secretary General, highlighted the need for cities to create balance to reduce inequality, especially with respect to: land use, governance, investment and capital, the labor force, technology and the environment.

Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, OECD, said cities have a staggering amount of inequality and launched the report ‘Making Cities Work for All: Data and Actions for Inclusive Growth.’

Federico Gutiérrez, Mayor of Medellín, Colombia, emphasized the need to create quality education, integrate city transportation systems and guarantee urban security to reduce inequality. He said Medellín transformed from being the most violent city of the world to a peaceful one not through “magic,” but through the peoples’ strong sense of belonging. Manuela Carmena, Mayor of Madrid, argued it is necessary to know what is happening within neighborhoods and houses to end inequality, citing a programme to rehabilitate poor quality houses in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

In the context of migrations, Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal and President, Metropolis, focused on living together in the city, in particular ensuring migrants contribute to economic and social solutions. He noted the need to have a balance between openness and vigilance in cities to prevent crime, without over-policing.

TERRITORIAL GOVERNANCE FOR FOOD SECURITY: Benoît Faucheux, French Regions Association, said food security is part of our “collective responsibility” and noted that one major challenge is to feed a growing global population quantitatively and qualitatively. Gabriella Jaramillo, Member Association of Autonomous Provincial Governments of Ecuador, argued there is a need to create new strategies to drive the interaction between rural and urban areas to ensure food security, noting the importance of democratizing land access and motivating youth to stay in rural areas.

Maria Alejandra Saleme Daza, Government of Medellín, stressed that aid-oriented approaches to food security (i.e. provision of subsidies) are not sustainable. Marie-Eve Buist, University of Laval, argued that there is a legal gap at the international level that fails to account for food security, noting that an economic approach remains hegemonic.

Joaquim Oliveira Martins, OECD, called for a change in policy instruments from cash-transfer to more integrated investments, and noted that a multilateral focus for food security neglects the local community. Rafael Zavala, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), highlighted the lack of solidarity between rural and urban areas, pointing to low levels of engagement with local authorities.

Makiko Taguchi, FAO, stressed that environmental sustainability must be part of food security initiatives. Henri Rouillé d’Orfeuil, Project ‘100 Sustainable and Responsible Food Initiatives,’ highlighted the need to mobilize consumers as triggers for more sustainable production and consumption of food.

SDGs LOCALIZATION: Johannes Krassnitzer, UN Development Programme (UNDP), reflected that “no one understands the SDGs yet,” which leaves room for critical thinking. Paula Lucci, Overseas Development Institute, questioned how to prioritize among targets and indicators, as well as with other international agreements and agendas. Mpho Moruakgomo, Botswana Association of Local Authorities, called for focused implementation and contextualizing and localizing international agendas.

Christine Musisi, UN-Habitat, explained that the New Urban Agenda will provide a mechanism, with specific drivers, to achieve the 2030 Agenda. Ute Böttcher, Development Partners Network on Decentralisation and Local Governance, presented participatory planning processes to get the SDGs into local development plans.

Sylvie Goneau, Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), shared experiences to engage citizens through a system of evaluations and a social media campaign, while Santiago Gallo, La Federación Latinoámericana de Ciudades, Municipios y Asociaciones Municipalistas, highlighted a manual for mayors to help match the SDGs with local indicators of development. Mohamed Saadieh, Union of Dannieh Municipalities, recounted the development, despite limited resources due to the Syrian refugee crisis, of a mobile app promoting transparency in Lebanon by sharing the government’s budget, income and spending.

Gemma Aguado de la Fuente, UNDP, shared the recently launched Toolbox for Localizing the SDGs, highlighting how to use the online platform to access concrete tools for implementation.

GOVERNING WITH THE CITIZEN – TRANSPARENT AND ACCOUNTABLE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN AN INCREASINGLY URBANIZED WORLD: Carlos Martínez, Mayor of Soria, Spain, and FEMP, said political institutions have lost citizens’ confidence, and therefore FEMP is engaging in efforts to increase transparency, participation and education to regain trust.

Daniel Martínez, Mayor of Montevideo, and Murat Aydin, Mayor of Zeytinburnu, Turkey, outlined efforts to improve information-sharing and transparency through online platforms, including one that allows citizens to vote on development proposals.

Alonso Cerdán, Open Government Partnership, outlined work with 70 countries to provide specific commitments and plans to increase accountability, outlining a pilot project with the same aims in 15 cities around the world. Marcela Restrepo, Transparency International Colombia, said the fight against corruption is a political decision and citizen participation can reduce corruption by having “other eyes” watching the system.

During discussions, participants raised the importance of education to ensure meaningful participation and commented that providing information is not transparency, rather, transparency is explaining decisions.

URBAN INNOVATION – IMPLEMENTING THE SDGs AND THE NEW URBAN AGENDA: Nicholas You, Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation, identified the objective of the awards as sharing knowledge, expertise and experiences among cities to meet current and future challenges. Song Jingwu, Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, discussed the Chinese government’s prioritization of urban development, inviting participants to an upcoming international innovation forum in Guangzhou, China, in December 2016.

Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal and President, Metropolis, celebrated the increasing prominence of the awards, which attracted 60% more applicants this year. Wen Guohui, Mayor of Guangzhou, announced the 15 shortlisted finalists for 2016: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Asunción, Paraguay; Boston, US; Brussels, Belgium; Copenhagen, Denmark; Jakarta, Indonesia; La Paz, Bolivia; Qalyubeya Governorate, Egypt; Luleburgaz, Turkey; Manashe, Israel; Ramallah, Palestine; Songpa-gu, Republic of Korea; Tempere, Finland; Tiajomulco de Zuniga, Mexico; and Malang, Indonesia.

Members of the Technical Committee of the 3rd Guangzhou Award highlighted projects focused on waste management, renewable energy, climate resilience, peace building, public awareness and safety, gender equality, transport systems and youth engagement.

During panel discussions, Monika Zimmerman, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, outlined common characteristics of the chosen finalists, such as being: innovative, effective, significant, replicable and crosscutting. Noting a partnership with Guangzhou, Sunil Dubey, Metropolis, explored elements of a capacity building framework that can help cities implement the SDGs. Arab Hoballah, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), discussed transforming data and information into knowledge.


INCLUSIVE AND TRANSPARENT CITY DEVELOPMENT – TO SHARE SEOUL’S POLICIES AND BEST PRACTICES: Ji-Eun Kin, Seoul, Republic of Korea, stressed the vitality of a bottom-up planning approach to allow citizens’ participation in decision making. He recalled Seoul’s challenge of population loss and described new plans to provide more affordable housing with less public money, such as the 2030 housing project for young citizens, ‘Public Housing around Transit Nodes.’

Joonho Ko, Seoul Institute, focused on bus reform and the reduction of transport time for citizens in Seoul, which were possible, for instance, through changes in bus stops and fare collection methods. He stressed the importance of removing barriers for public transportation, such as better elevators and escalators that can improve accessibility.

Blanca Cardona, UNDP Seoul Policy Centre and Seoul Metropolitan Infrastructure Headquarters, highlighted the importance of transparency and anti-corruption policies to rebuild Seoul following civil war. She noted some key components of these policies, such as: a project management system; an automated subcontractor payment system; and electronic human resources management.

CULTURE 21 LAB – OPERATIONALIZING CULTURE IN SUSTAINABLE CITIES: Jordi Baltà, Agenda 21, and Lucina Jiménez, ConArte, moderated the session, underscoring the strategic role of culture for urban sustainability. Several panelists representing cities from Latin America, Asia, Canada and Europe debated why culture should be prioritized in cities as a tool to promote sustainability.

Participants argued that culture is a manner to articulate several strategic priorities, including economic development. On challenges, they mentioned the difficulties to coordinate and convince all sectors of public administration that culture is relevant for sustainable development and added that cultural policies have been evolving mostly in silos. However, panelists showed how the Culture 21 programme has been a concrete manner to share lessons on these synergies, creating new avenues for local and global cooperation. The session also described projects on inclusiveness that can improve public security, for example through the expansion of art spaces, and emphasized the importance of citizens’ engagement in cultural policies to ensure ownership.

THE LANCET SERIES ON URBAN DESIGN, TRANSPORT AND POPULATION HEALTH: Thiago Hérick de Sá, University of São Paulo, focused on the effects of transport and land use for health in cities. He underscored the importance of governance for coping with these challenges and identified risk exposures, such as traffic, air pollution, social isolation and mental diseases.

James Sallis, University of California, underscored several diseases that are growing because of unsustainable transport systems. He described studies on the health consequences of transport modes and land use, noting that high levels of carbon emissions bring huge health risks, and called for a radical shift towards public transport systems.

Mark Stevenson, University of Melbourne, identified two audiences for The Lancet papers: decision makers and scientists. He focused on how to improve research in order to reach decision makers. He suggested: policy-relevant research; improved communication with policymakers; enhanced advocacy among scientists; greater mobilization of public opinion; and clarification of costs and cost-effectiveness for authorities.


STRONGER, MORE ACCOUNTABLE LOCAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS: Gültan Kışanak, Mayor of Diyarbakır, Turkey, said each of the 102 members of the Union of Southeastern Anatolia Region Municipalities has two mayors, one male and one female, and aims for 50% of Council members to be female. Maureen Friar, Huairou Commission, outlined the Commission’s work on providing a gender lens on Habitat II, and now Habitat III, and its work on advocacy, land rights, governance, and disaster and climate change resilience.

Greg Munro, Commonwealth Local Government Forum, highlighted examples of participation, such as a mayor’s listening tour and an educational programme to increase understanding of local budgets. Dirk Schwenzfeier, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, outlined Germany’s two-leveled decentralized local democracy and highlighted the example of Cologne, Germany, which included citizens in planning the city budget.

Maria Fare, UN SDG Action Campaign, outlined a 2014 survey called ‘My World,’ which got 10 million responses and helped influence the 2030 Agenda. She announced plans for a similar ‘My City’ survey, as it is now time for implementation of the SDGs.

CULTURE AS A DIMENSION IN URBAN TRANSFORMATION: Eduardo Vázquez Martín, Government of Mexico City, said, via video message, that culture plays an essential role in the development of societies. María Claudia López, Government of Bogotá, emphasized how cultural values can help the victims of armed conflict feel a sense of belonging and community.

Won Hee-ryong, Governor of Jeju, outlined efforts to sustain their cultural heritage in a modern world, especially with their work to sustainably revitalize their old downtown. Karim Hendili, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said cities are living heritage, and that culture should not be absent from development and urban planning. Sun Kanglin, Beijing, China, highlighted culture as the “soul of the city” and outlined Beijing’s policies to promote culture in development.

Lucina Jiménez, ConArte, said culture is often the last to be included in development programmes and the first to be cut if there are financial constraints. Guy Pilon, Mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Canada, and Michel Vallée, Government of Vaudreuil-Dorion, outlined examples of increased participation and inclusion through culture that earned their city the second edition of the ‘International Award UCLG – MEXICO City - Culture 21.’

DRIVE BOTTOM-UP NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, UCLG-Africa, engaged panelists in discussions on collaborations among national and subnational governments to strengthen bottom-up, integrated approaches to development.

Hugo Siles, Minister of Autonomy, Bolivia, outlined the shift from a centralized to decentralized government during the social and cultural revolution in Bolivia. Simón Gaviria, Director of National Planning, Colombia, shared experiences using in-depth analysis to simplify decentralization.

Emil Elestianto Dardak, Regent Mayor of Trenggalek Regency, Indonesia, illustrated strategies to engage communities on the “front line” in order to harness synergies with national development agendas. Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, Mayor of Libreville, Gabon, discussed their success in aligning local and national development plans, supported through a mandate from the Prime Minister.

Clark Somerville, FCM, shared progress in Canada to bring local representation into federal elections. Josep Lluïs Alay, Government of Barcelona Province, explored complexities of empowerment and governance, highlighting the Xarxa Plan. Rosario Bento Pais, European Commission, shared work being done to support decentralization in the EU based on territorial approaches to development.

In ensuing discussions, participants raised questions on, inter alia: developing plans that extend past the terms of government officials; overcoming political differences and biases in public policy planning; and controlling balance and neutrality in terms of access to natural resources.

TERRITORIES TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE LOCAL ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES: Tom Dallessio, Next City, framed the session saying territories need to define the intersection between the economy and sustainability in achieving the 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda.

Despite challenges caused by international and national economic policies, Gerardo Pisarello Prados, Government of Barcelona, said they have generated local policies creating both social and environmental benefits. Juan Mari Aburto, Mayor of Bilbao, Spain, outlined Bilbao’s transformation from a “dirty” industrial city to a green one, citing examples of cleaning up the city’s river, transferring industrial zones to gardens and focusing on cultural tourism.

Dina Oyun, Mayor of Kyzyl, Russia, highlighted efforts to overcome geographic isolation and electricity shortages in the Tuva Republic and generate sustainable development by investing in tourism and becoming a transportation gateway between Europe and Asia.

Monika Zimmermann, ICLEI, said even if all cities in the world consume resources at the rate of current leaders in urban sustainability, planetary boundaries would still be breached. She highlighted that a “territorial approach” is a phrase often used, but not well understood and called for a new term to better illustrate the benefits of all levels of government working together.

With respect to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Ronan Dantec, Senator from Loire-Atlantique, France, challenged cities to ask whether their actions are really contributing to “saving the planet.” Ana Giros Calpe, Suez Environment, outlined examples of public-private partnerships and concluded that intelligent cooperation works and will continue to do so.

BUILDING THE SPIRIT OF SOLIDARITY: Luc Martens, Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities, reflected on finding happiness in connection with others, describing solidarity as an attitude and a practice. Carlos Martínez, Mayor of Soria and FEMP, called public officials “starring protagonists” in the development of a tolerant, just and free society. Fatimetou Mint Abdel Malick, Mayor of Tevragh-Zeina, revealed how she has had to “cry for help” on behalf of her constituents, calling solidarity a vocation we must carry in our hearts.

Several panelists shared concrete examples of solidarity in practice, with Isaac Ashai Odamtten, Mayor of Tema, Ghana, noting that competition should not derail the need to stand together. José Cruz-Osorio, UNDP, identified elements of solidarity in the 2030 Agenda, while Paulson Pierre-Philippe, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, brought forward the harsh realities on the ground that are a result of natural disaster and unbalanced distribution of wealth and resources, requiring solidarity as social justice.

During ensuing discussions, participants raised, inter alia, challenges in providing solidarity for cities destroyed by conflict and the need for education to develop values of solidarity.

THE RIGHT TO THE CITY AT THE HEART OF THE URBAN AGENDA: Patrick Braouezec, President of Plaine Commune, France, urged the creation of cities of solidarity, not exclusion. Soo Kim, Government of Gwangju, Republic of Korea, said Gwangju is a city of human rights and outlined efforts to continue this status. Jan van Zanen, Mayor of Utrecht, the Netherlands, emphasized his city’s role as a true human rights city focusing on healthy living.

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, Government of Mexico City, outlined efforts to create a new constitution for Mexico City, with human rights at the core. Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona, said that in Barcelona the “neo-liberal city,” riddled with privatization and speculation, has failed, especially in guaranteeing human rights. Bahram Ghazi, OHCHR, said institutionalized urban-level mechanisms are needed to achieve human rights.

Alison Brown, WIEGO, addressed the need to not marginalize the informal work force. Pablo Benson-Silva, Occupy Wall Street, said that young people engage in politics differently, and politicians often patronize their efforts. Abdoulaye Thimbo, Mayor of Pikine, Senegal, highlighted challenges his city faces in achieving the Right to the City due to migration and private interests.

FINANCING THE NEW URBAN AGENDA: Luiz de Mello, OECD, presented the findings from the study ‘Subnational Governments around the World - Structure and Finance: A First Contribution to the Global Observatory on Local Finances.’ He highlighted that even being a particularly large subnational government does not necessarily imply policymaking autonomy.

Luis Revilla Herrero, Mayor of La Paz, noted that Bolivia has one of the lowest budget allocations for local authorities (11% of the national budget), adding that the challenge is not only distribution, but also the effectiveness of financial resource use. Daria Cibrario, Public Services International, alerted panelists to: the large tax evasion of big companies; an unparalleled transfer of risk from the private to the public sector; and the impact of international trade agreements on local authorities’ budgets and autonomy.

George McCarthy, Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, noted the ambition of the New Urban Agenda, which will require an annual €4-5 trillion investment in infrastructure alone over the next 20 years. Rémi Rioux, French Development Agency (AFD), highlighted the Agency’s goal to support urban sustainability, mentioning that AFD currently spends €8 billion per year but expects to reach €12 billion annually by 2020.

Marco Kamiya, UN-Habitat, spoke on the “atlas of urban expansion,” a tool to analyze city development that can be used by several partners, and noted the manual ‘Finance for City Leaders,’ which helps empower local leaders and will be launched at Habitat III.


INTERMEDIARY CITIES: Brian Roberts, Urban Frontiers, highlighted the role of intermediary cities, which are often neglected as focus shifts to metropolitan cities.

Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen, and Edgardo Pamintuan, League of Cities of the Philippines, raised points on the value of participation, sharing examples from national processes to calibrate the concerns of all inhabitants. Marcelo Cabrera, Mayor of Cuenca, Ecuador, added the importance of engaging universities to promote public wellbeing.

Jantine Kriens, Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG), provided examples of how Dutch intermediary cities work together to improve the economy and address challenges such as providing shelter for refugees.

Ahmad Kamareddine, Mayor of Tripoli, Lebanon, revealed challenges in recovering from internal fighting, identifying methods used to overcome financing needs.

Vladimir Azevedo, Mayor of Divinópolis, Brazil, drew attention to the value of mayoral networks to address governance challenges. Nassénéba Touré, Mayor of Oudienné, Ivory Coast, showcased efforts in her region to rehabilitate infrastructure, promote public-private partnerships, attract investments and develop South-South and triangular partnerships.

In ensuing discussions, panelists addressed: cultural integration; economic, social and environmental dimensions of intermediary cities; competition between displaced local populations and refugees; and linkages to international agendas such as the SDGs.

METROPOLITAN AND PERIPHERAL CITIES: Octavi de la Varga, World Association of the Major Metropolises, moderated the session, which focused on three sets of questions related to governance, economic development and sustainability.

Aromar Revi, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, highlighted job creation, notably for youth, as one of the major challenges for large cities. He illustrated how cities can simultaneously be a center for economic opportunities and places where risks are concentrated, such as with the occurrence of natural disasters.

Panelists highlighted financial constraints and multi-level governance tensions as common challenges. Globalization, they said, accelerates international competition and can disrupt social policies, exacerbating inequality. Revi recalled that cities’ climate footprints must be reduced and that a low-carbon plan should be adopted in all cities. Varga concluded the session by outlining some of the key recommendations of the GOLD IV report, which calls for: new modes of governance based on transparency and collaboration; greater strategic planning; infrastructure improvement; expansion of greener metropolitan areas; and the inclusion of the Right to the City at the heart of cities’ development.

REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS: Maria Julia Reyna, Government of Santa Fe, Argentina, said regions deserve a space to exchange and reflect on experiences regarding public policies. Sarath Ethnayake, Chief Minister of Central Province, Sri Lanka, outlined national and regional efforts to localize the SDGs.

Benoît Faucheux, Government of Centre-Val de Loire Region, France, emphasized the need for solidarity between rural and urban areas and the role regional governments can play in reducing this divide. Rashid Seedat, Government of Gauteng, South Africa, outlined work initiated by the regional government for the three cities of the region to have a common approach to achieving the SDGs.

Stefano Bonaccini, President of Emilia Romagna, Italy, outlined plans to achieve sustainable development through: consuming less soil; initiating a circular economy approach; and investing in renewable energy.

Didier Alberto Tavera Amado, Governor of Santander, Colombia, said problems in his region often originate from rural-to-urban migration and outlined efforts to tackle this. José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, International Labour Organization, emphasized the need for improved collaboration at all levels to create better work for everyone.

LOCALLY ELECTED WOMEN: Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, celebrated the advancement of women in the UN, explaining that increased access to power for women decreases the risk of corruption. Fatimetou Abdel Malick, Mayor of Tevragh Zeina, encouraged gender equality, noting it benefits all of society.

Several panelists contributed personal experience in overcoming inequality and capacity gaps in order to be able to lead and address gender equity. Manuela Carmena, Mayor of Madrid, warned against the “trap to access power by becoming like men,” sharing policy approaches to support feminine leadership. Fatma Şahin, Mayor of Gaziantep, stated the inclusion of women is “not an option, but a necessity.”

Ibon Uribe, Mayor of Galdakao, Spain, outlined necessary political commitments to ensure fair gender participation and representation. Célestine Ketcha Courtès, Mayor of Bangangté, Cameroon, called for toolkits to empower women to overcome financial and capacity barriers in order to participate in politics. Other panelists highlighted initiatives such as using caravans to reach rural women.


PRACTICAL SESSIONS – THE ART OF STRATEGIC FACILITATION: Sogen Moodley, Municipal Institute of Learning, eThekwini, South Africa, led this forum on how to facilitate learning sessions, noting that all good facilitations should have ground rules. Participants shared their expectations for the session, such as understanding how to deal with conflict and document the learning achieved.

Jeannette Vélez Ramírez, Global Actions and Solutions, stressed the need to clearly define the structure and scope of a session. Speaking about online facilitation over longer periods, Harold Jarche, Jarche Consulting, suggested the facilitator’s role is partially to encourage willingness to try something new, noting no one’s learning is ever finished. Kubeshni Govender, Black Earth Consulting, noted learning is ultimately a human experience and that, for it to be a lasting one, it should be followed by action that embeds the learning.

On what makes a good facilitator, Moodley highlighted the importance of “content neutrality,” planning, maintaining trust and managing group dynamics. He compared the various roles that facilitators play to those of architects, pilots and guides. On whether facilitators are born or made, he suggested our natural facilitation abilities are trained out of us, leaving us with tendencies to: be overly cautious; use closed communication; and talk, tell and prove instead of listen, ask and help.

PRACTICAL SESSIONS – MOBILITY: Manfred Poppe, Connective Cities, explained that the goal of the event was to share lessons on urban mobility in the context of SDG 11 (make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable). The session was divided into four small group discussions on: challenges of mobility in the context of social inequality and urban sprawl; public-private partnerships on public transport; gender violence and urban mobility; and sustainability and inter-mobility.

Attendees advocated for better urban mobility, which implies physical and psychological safety for all citizens, independent of class, age, origin and sexual identity. They also highlighted that sustainable public transport improves public health and enhances women’s safety in cities, while boosting environmental protection.

To wrap up the session, rapporteurs from each group presented key success factors and recommendations identified during the discussions, underscoring, inter alia, the need for: strong political support; increased underlying scientific data; enlarged networks of cities to promulgate good practices; improved fiscal incentives; enhanced civil society organization; better communication on the benefits of public transport for health and public security; and greater promotion of alternative modes of transport, such as bike lanes.

CONCEPTS AND TRENDS: Kubeshni Govender, Black Earth Consulting, said this session was about “praxis” – the intersection of practical application and theory.

Harold Jarche, Jarche Consulting, presented two models for learning, grounded in the process of seeking a network, making sense of knowledge through a community of practice, and sharing back through one’s network. To this end, Sara Hoeflich, UCLG, recounted changes UCLG made in their network, such as augmenting Twitter and other social network communities, creating policy communities and implementing peer-to-peer action learning.

Cézar Busatto, Government of Porto Alegre, Brazil, cautioned against networks that eventually become excessively dependent on public funding. He described how Porto Alegre created the new concept of “local solidarity governance” in 2000, with the vision of having collective responsibility.

Erik Vergel, University of Rosario, presented maps that facilitate understanding of segregation dynamics in relation to urban problems and public space. He called for learning to manage a city, not just to plan one. Josep Roig, UCLG Secretary General, suggested we risk not being able to run cities well if we do not adopt the tools younger people are creating and using for learning.


On Saturday morning, 15 October, Josep Roig, UCLG Secretary General, launched the GOLD IV report, titled ‘Co-Creating the Urban Future.’ Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal and President, Metropolis, stressed the need for fiscal tools and resources to help cities improve.

Patrick Jarry, Mayor of Nanterre, France, expressed satisfaction regarding the report’s work on the Right to the City and the role of periphery cities. Josep Lluís Alay, Government of Barcelona Province, summarized the chapter on territories, which play a key role as intermediaries between national and local governments, but face challenges in realizing their full potential.

Brian Roberts, Urban Frontiers, outlined the report’s findings on intermediary cities, arguing their role needs to be elevated at Habitat III for them to unlock their development potential. Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen, emphasized intermediary cities’ potential to generate economies of scale and reduce GHGs.

Edgar Pieterse, African Centre for Cities, explained that the report tries to capture the dissonance the world is experiencing with respect to having an increasingly powerful global understanding, as well as increasing populism, extremism and intolerance, which existing institutions are incapable of coping with. He therefore argued for a new institutional model and radical forms of decentralization and localization.


On Saturday, 15 October, the UCLG World Council, which is UCLG’s principle policymaking body, elected the new UCLG President for 2016-2019, Mpho Parks Tau, Councilor of Johannesburg, South Africa, and President, South African Local Government Association. The World Council also adopted the Summit’s outcome document, ‘The Bogotá Commitment and Action Agenda.’

THE BOGOTÁ COMMITMENT AND ACTION AGENDA: In the Bogotá Commitment, which builds on the Manifesto for the City of 2030, local and regional governments note the majority of the world’s population is urban and underscore the current context as one of unprecedented opportunity.

Highlighting that local and regional governments must translate normative ideals into concrete policies and that the answers generated in urban settlements will pave the way for global solutions, they call for, inter alia: action at the local, country and international level; recognition of local and regional governments’ efforts; and commitment from their peers to engage in international action through active participation in local government networks and coordination and consultation mechanisms.

The Action Agenda, intended to guide local and regional governments’ actions post-Habitat III, contains recommendations for: local action (how subnational governments can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs, Paris Agreement, Sendai Framework and New Urban Agenda); national action (how to reform national legal, institutional and policy frameworks); and international action (how to secure local and regional governments’ rightful place at the global table, especially in terms of global governance, international financing and decentralized cooperation).


Following the meeting of the UCLG World Council, Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor of Bogotá and Host of the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders, thanked outgoing UCLG President Kadir Topbaş for his leadership, and welcomed the newly-elected UCLG President, Mpho Parks Tau. Tau thanked the city of Bogotá for its hospitality, and said that the “road now leads to Quito,” stressing the need to ensure that the voice of local and regional governments is heard and contributes to creating sustainable cities for the people.


Habitat III: Habitat III aims to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable urban development, assess progress and accomplishments to date, address poverty and identify and address new and emerging challenges. The conference is expected to result in an action-oriented outcome document and the establishment of a ‘New Urban Agenda.’  dates: 17-20 October 2016  location: Quito, Ecuador  contact: UN-Habitat  phone: +1-917-367-4355  email: www:

2016 UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI) Global Roundtable and Annual General Meeting: The 2016 UNEP-FI Global Roundtable and Annual General Meeting will bring together finance stakeholders from various sectors, including government, civil society and the UN, to discuss the role of the global financial sector in addressing the sustainable development and climate change agendas. Among the topics to be addressed is SDG 11.  dates: 25-27 October 2016  location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates  contact: UNEP-FI  email: www:

World Cities Day 2016: Designated by the UN to take place every 31 October, World Cities Day promotes the international community’s interest in global urbanization, encourages cooperation on capitalizing on opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributes to sustainable urban development around the world.  date: 31 October 2016  location: worldwide  contact: UN Habitat  email: www:

Marrakech Climate Change Conference: The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22), 12th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 12), 45th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 45) and Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 45), and the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1) will convene in Marrakech to continue work under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  dates: 7-18 November 2016  location: Marrakech, Morocco  contact: UNFCCC Secretariat  phone: +49-228-815-1000  fax: +49-228-815-1999  email: www:

Second High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation: Convening under the theme of ‘Towards Inclusive and Accelerated Implementation of the 2030 Agenda,’ the meeting will provide a platform for Heads of State and Government, ministers, heads of international organizations, business and civil society to showcase successes, as well as identify and scale up innovative approaches to sustainable development.  dates: 28 November - 1 December 2016  location: Nairobi, Kenya  contact: Rahim Kanani  phone:+1-212-906-5367  email: www:

C40 Mayors Summit: The sixth biennial C40 Mayors Summit will bring together C40 mayors from all over the world and hundreds of urban and sustainability leaders to advance urban solutions to climate change and highlight the leadership role of cities in addressing climate change.  dates: 30 November - 2 December 2016  location: Mexico City, Mexico  contact: C40  email: www:

2016 Guangzhou International Urban Innovation Conference: Hosted by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, UCLG, the World Association of the Major Metropolises and the City of Guangzhou, the Conference will convene under the theme ‘Urban Innovation - Build a Community of Common Destiny.’  dates: 6-8 December 2016 location: Guangzhou, China  contact: Guangzhou International Urban Innovation Conference Secretariat  phone: +86-206-628-9392  email: www:

2nd International Conference on Urban Management and 1st International Conference on Women and Urban Life: Organized by the Deputy Office of Women’s Affairs and Tehran Urban Planning and Research Center, this conference will examine the nature of women’s changing involvement in different social, cultural and economic areas, with a view to improving women’s lives throughout the world.  dates: 11-12 December 2016  location: Tehran, Iran  contact: Deputy Office of Women’s Affairs  email: www:

UCLG Culture Summit: Themed ‘100 Actions on Culture in Sustainable Cities,’ the UCLG Culture Summit, building on the first UCLG Culture Summit held in March 2015, will respond to the growing importance of culture in local development. It will serve as the meeting point of cities and local governments committed to the successful implementation of policies and programmes on culture and sustainability.  dates: 5-7 April 2017  location: Jeju, Republic of Korea  contact: City of Jeju  www:

46th Sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies: SBI 46 and SBSTA under the UNFCCC will convene during the first sessional period of 2017.  dates: 8-18 May 2017  location: Bonn, Germany  contact: UNFCCC Secretariat  phone: +49-228-815-1000  fax: +49-228-815-1999  email: www:

XII World Congress Metropolis: With the theme ‘Global Challenges: Major Cities in Action,’ the 12th World Congress of Metropolis will help promote political messages and declarations from the world’s mayors, showcase good practices from around the globe and enrich debate between different levels of urban management.  dates: 19-23 June 2017  location: Montréal, Canada  contact: Congress Secretariat  phone: +1-855-77-TRIBU  email: www: