Published on Sustainable Cities

Urban 20: Inclusive, climate-resilient, and sustainable growth key to the future of cities

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With nearly 70% of the global population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, the world needs cities and towns more than ever before to play a leading role in tackling the greatest challenges of our time. 

That is why, last year, over 30 mayors from around the world met at the First Urban 20 (U20) Mayors Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to discuss ways to help countries achieve urban sustainability, inclusion, and prosperity.

Next week, city leaders will gather again at the Urban 20 Mayors Summit in Tokyo, Japan, to continue their conversations and further unlock cities’ tremendous potential in driving inclusive, resilient, and sustainable urban development. Together, they aim to develop a joint position and collective messages to enrich the discussions of national leaders at the forthcoming G20 Summit through their unique urban perspectives.

U20 cities believe that cooperation between all levels of government is essential if cities want to achieve their development goals. The second U20 Summit commits to identify the linkage between the local sustainable development strategies and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly in three main areas:  

  1. Climate action: U20 cities are committed to the goals of the Paris Agreement by setting targets and developing pathways toward decarbonization by 2050, and helping cities and citizens effectively respond and adapt to climate change.
  2. Social inclusion and integration: The goal of the U20 is to achieve more inclusive, peaceful, safe, and discrimination-free cities, in which every city dweller can have free and fulfilling lives regardless of their race, age, socio-economic status, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
  3. Sustainable economic growth: As the world makes accelerated technological advances, U20 aims to promote inclusive economic development and solve urban challenges by harnessing digitalization and emerging technologies, and to enhance local governments’ access to finance for sustainable infrastructure.

The World Bank Group remains committed to supporting U20 cities in turning ideas for sustainable urbanization into concrete actions and impact. 

  • During the U20 Summit, the World Bank, its Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will be exploring – together with city governments and partner organizations – options for collaboration, such as the provision of technical assistance for cities.   
  • The World Bank will also facilitate meaningful conversations and knowledge exchange among U20 cities through multiple engagements.

In this video, World Bank Senior Director Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez (@Ede_WBG) and Lead Urban Specialist Horacio Terraza (@TerrazaH) look ahead at what discussions and activities to follow at the Second U20 Mayors Summit, taking place in Tokyo from May 20-22, 2019.  Join the conversation on social media using hashtag #Urban20.



Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez

Former Regional Director, Africa, Sustainable Development Practice Group

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