City2City
COVID-19 in African Cities: Impacts, Responses and Policies
27 June 2020 - The report proposes several interventions to promptly and effectively address the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic in Africa at the urban level led by national and local governments supported by international and regional development institutions.

27 June 2020 - COVID-19, a global pandemic declared by the World Health Organization (WHO), is crippling the global economy and upending people’s lives thereby threatening sustainable development across all its dimensions. Africa is also facing the dire consequences of the crisis, necessitating timely response, recovery and rebuilding policies and strategies. Globally, urban areas are the epicenters of the epidemic accounting for most of the confirmed COVID-19 cases.

UN-Habitat in collaboration with UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG), African Development Bank (AfDB), and Shelter Afrique have joined hands to produce this new report: COVID-19 in African Cities: Impacts, Responses and Policies.

The report proposes several interventions to promptly and effectively address the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic in Africa at the urban level led by national and local governments supported by international and regional development institutions.

Download the Full Report Here: https://unhabitat.org/covid-19-in-africa-cities-impacts-responses-and-policies

India's Kerala State Is Combating COVID-19 Through Participatory Governance
26 June 2020 - The left-ruled Indian State of Kerala remains in the global spot for its effective and efficient measures in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. 
26 June 2020 - The left-ruled Indian State of Kerala remains in the global spot for its effective and efficient measures in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. The state captured the Indian news headlines, projecting its potential, strength, and humane approach to the outer world, leaving an operative model that other states can follow.

The government’s apt and adaptive state-interventionist strategy even garnered widespread attention across the world, with international media and academic journals, including that of MIT and Oxford, praising the robustness of the ‘Kerala Model’ of development.

In Kerala, over its formative years, the state government along with its collective organisations and trade unions played an instrumental role in building up a robust public sector, which has given the state the leverage to control pandemics and natural disasters. With its almost 100 per cent literacy rate and its top slot in HDI ranking, the state was always receptive and reactive to progressive change.

But this is one (rather important) part of the larger story. Kerala not only has an efficient government but also has at its disposal a conscious and responsive society of people who are well aware that their role in this deathly fight is as important as that of the government. It is with this collective strength that the southern state of India survived the Nipah Virus and two great floods over the past two years.

In sharp contrast to the state of affairs in the rest of India, Kerala’s lead in the COVID fight has to do with its unique participatory governance, where people worked for the government, complementing the efforts of each other. From providing food items to having media briefs every day, the government made sure that the people were out of starvation and were well informed about the situation. On the other hand, various groups of people came forward to volunteer and made sure that the government policies are implemented on time with effect to ‘break the chain’.

Formation of the Sannadha Sena

The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, called out the youth in the state to join the Sannadha Sena, a community volunteer force formed by the government, comprehending that the government schemes for controlling the crisis needed workforce, other than the state machinery, to be implemented. The online registrations started in March with numerous registrations pouring in to aid the needy.

Though the initial plan was to mobilise around 2.3 lakh able-bodied youth in the age group of 22 to 40, the registrations received a massive response in a month: more than 3 lakh volunteers comprising men, women and transgender people, from different sectors ranging from IT and medical to skilled labourers.

Various organisations, including NGOs, NSS, NCC and Youth Commission called out their volunteers to get involved in the force. Both Kerala’s ruling, as well as opposition parties, also came forward in solidarity to the Sannadha Sena, imploring its members to register themselves with force.

The purpose of the Sannadha Sena was to use its volunteers to provide food, other essentials and physical assistance to those who were under lockdown. After registration, the health authorities examined them and trained them or helping the affected during an outbreak, without compromising their health. The state also gave them the necessary protective equipment and paid for their food and travel expenses.

The Sena comprised of 200 volunteers of each Panchayat, 500 of each municipality and 700 of each corporation. These volunteers enquired in their neighbourhoods whether some residents needed help. They were also vigilant enough to look out for the aged, persons with disabilities, and those who didn't have a home to stay in. The force made sure that these people were taken care of and not ignored. It was through the Sannadha Sena that the government was also effectively able to create a helpline service for assisting the people.

Community Kitchen volunteers

Understanding that the lockdown will adversely impact the abilities of people to earn income, the government made a clarion call to establish community kitchens across the state to provide food at a low and affordable cost. Thus, at the decree of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, hundreds of such kitchens mushroomed across 941 Panchayats in the state on March 25.

This led to the formation of an ‘Arogya Sena’, where people volunteered to cook meals in large numbers in community kitchens to make sure that nobody went hungry without getting food. By effectively making use of the ground level resources of the local self-governments and community groups, arrangements were also made to distribute food at free of cost to those who were not able to afford them. In an extraordinary move, measures were also taken to directly deliver these free meals at the footsteps of people who couldn't afford it, thus protecting and valuing their dignity in front of others.

The operations of the community kitchens were conducted in such a manner that two batches of people, one for cooking and the other for distributing cooked meals, were given passes to work in the community kitchens in two timelines, one in the morning to cook the food and other at noon to distribute them, preserving the protocols of social distancing. Food packets amounting to 2.8 lakhs are being distributed a day in Kerala by these volunteers.

Other than the government, several organisations, local clubs and private individuals also sponsored funds to help in running these community kitchens.

Reaching out to families with Kudumbasree

The role of Kudumbasree, a three-tier community network project of women self-help groups, was put to use at multiple levels. Not only were they involved in the setting up of numerous community kitchens in the nooks and corners of the state, but the government was also able to call upon them for various other purposes as well, to reach out to families.

Kudumbashree formed 1.9 lakh WhatsApp groups with 22 lakh neighbourhood group members to educate them about Government instructions regarding COVID-19. They gave a note to all the 43 lakh neighbourhood group members which they discussed at their meetings. The note was regarding details of ‘Break the Chain’ campaign and the need for special care for those above 60 years of age.

Kudumbashree was also involved in preparing and selling lakhs of cotton masks through their 306 tailoring units. Numerous microenterprise units had prepared sanitisers when there was a shortage for it. Also, their tailoring units have prepared cloth bags for supplying it to the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation.

Since the continuous lockdown periods forced people to not go to work, it was hard for families, especially those who were working in the informal sector, to sustain themselves without any source of income. Thus, the government needed to infuse people with the necessary money during the pandemic period. It was through Kudumbasree that the government was able to give away interest-free loans worth ₹2000 crore to the families who needed them.

In places that were noted as ‘red spots’ in Kerala, strict directions were given to the people to abstain themselves from getting out of their houses, except for medical and other emergencies. To enable people to get groceries and other essentials without having them to go out, the local self-governments contacted the local Kudumbasree members and granted them the permission to collect and deliver those essential purchases directly to individual homes, limiting further contamination in those spots.

Active Political and Cultural Organisations

The various political and cultural organisations in Kerala played a crucial role in reaching out to the ordinary people, taking care of each of their struggling families and distributing them with kits of vegetables and essential dry food grains.

Members of both the ruling CPI(M) and the opposition INC decentralised efforts locally and took care of people by regularly ensuring that they were comfortable during the lockdown. 

Over the years, consecutive Kerala governments have adopted unique and joint governance models that combine the efforts of both the government and communities in a people-centric development approach. The state has invested heavily in the public sector, thus decreasing the class disparities in accessing health, as well as other services. An atmosphere of policies guided by the theory of the welfare state and participatory management systems made Kerala’s development indices stand out from the rest of the country.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE LINK: https://www.indepthnews.net/index.php/the-world/asia-pacific/3563-india-s-kerala-is-combating-covid-19-through-participatory-governance

Image by Nicolas DEBRAY from Pixabay 

Online Course - Development and Planning in African Cities
22 June 2020 - As African cities grow, learn how development and planning help urban actors to make cities just and sustainable for all.
22 June 2020 - In the next 35 years, Africa will need to accommodate almost 900 million new urban dwellers. Hundreds of smaller cities are doubling in size every 20 years, half of Africa’s urban dwellers live in informal settlements in precarious conditions, and 75% of these are younger than 35.

Development and Planning in African Cities: Exploring theories, policies and practices from Sierra Leone will explore African cities through the lenses of spatial justice and social diversity, challenging myths and assumptions about urban development and demonstrating how different processes interact and shape the development of a city.

What topics will you cover?

Week 1: Introduction to development and planning in African cities

  • What is development? What is planning?
  • Normative crosscutting lenses: spatial justice and social diversity
  • Urban change and the evolution of planning

Week 2: Urban land & informalities

  • Diversity of meanings, values, and functions of urban land
  • Formal and informal urban land markets and tenure systems
  • What are urban informalities? Economic and spatial dimensions of informality

Week 3: Governance & planning

  • Devolution of powers and fiscal autonomy
  • Scales: city-level, metropolitan, regional
  • Participatory planning (planning from below)

Week 4: Urban risk, vulnerabilities & infrastructure

  • Understanding urban risk and coping/adaptation strategies
  • Urban health
  • Co-production of urban infrastructures.

Course Instructors:

  • Andrea Rigon is working on inequalities, diversity and cities in global South. Based at Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London. Founder of Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre. T: @rigonandre
  • Joseph M Macarthy is an urban research expert and a well-established scholar in urban planning and management. He is the Executive director of SLURC and lectures at Njala University.

Who is the course for?

  • The course is open to people from any disciplinary background with a desire to learn about urban development and planning in African cities and potentially to those who would like to pursue a career in urban development or planning.
  • It is suitable for urban professionals who work or may in the future want to work in Sub-Saharan Africa and would like to gain an understanding of how its cities are made and developed.

Start Date: The course is available now and will take four week to complete. The start date is flexible and can be selected on the course website.

To Register and Find More Information on the Course: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/african-cities

Launch of six Voluntary Local Reviews in Costa Rica as a tool for SDG acceleration
On the 6th of December, the UNDA-14 Project lead by UN-Habitat with UNECE, UNDESA and UCLG will be launched with an online workshop gathering pilot cities and implementing partners. The project aims to advance socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and SDG localization in Eastern European and Central Asian countries in transition: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Serbia by harnessing the potential of VLRs.

Launch of six VLRs in Costa Rica

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On the 30th of November, six municipalities in Costa Rica will present the first VLRs of the country: Atenas, Belén, Escazú, Goicoechea, Puriscal and Sarchí. This pioneering activity is part of the initiative “Cantones ProODS” that provides support to the Municipalities to localize the SDGs, this is led by Mideplan, IFAM and UN Costa Rica. UN-Habitat has supported the development of the VLRs.

The session is organized by IFAM, Mideplan, UN Costa Rica and UN-Habitat and will be developed in Spanish.

The event will be broadcasted through Facebook and YouTube following these links:

The Future We Create: How Innovation Can Advance Disability-inclusive Development
On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3rd), we invite you to join a leading-edge UNDP webinar, which will provide a platform to exchange good practices, discuss challenges and identify solutions on innovation that supports disability-inclusive development.

The Future We Create: How Innovation Can Advance Disability-inclusive Development

Webinar by UNDP | 6 December 2022 | 8:00 - 9:30 am Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Description

Innovation that does not consider knowledge, skills and experience of persons with disabilities and does not address the barriers they face can further exacerbate discrimination and exclusion, reversing our progress towards sustainable development and inclusive futures.



International Sign Language (ISL) Interpretation and live captioning (CART) will be provided during the event.

Register here: bit.ly/FutureWeCreate

Heads of Ukrainian communities learn best governance practices of Estonia and Sweden

With the support of UNDP and the EU, leaders of communities in eastern Ukraine took part in an international visit, where they gained valuable experience and knowledge, opened up new opportunities and established partnership relations

Heads of Ukrainian communities learn best governance practices of Estonia and Sweden

Published by UNDP on 28 November 2022

With the support of UNDP and the EU, leaders of communities in eastern Ukraine took part in an international visit, where they gained valuable experience and knowledge, opened up new opportunities and established partnership relations.

Participants of the international study visit, 24-29 October 2022. Photo credit: Viktor Huzun / UNDP in Ukraine

Kyiv, 28 November 2022 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, with the financial support of the European Union, organized an international study visit to Estonia and Sweden on 24-29 October 2022. The topic of the visits was the study of the best practices of effective crisis response and management, the implementation of development projects at the local level, and the study of ways to improve the quality of regional project development.

The establishment of cooperation between the amalgamated communities of eastern Ukraine and the municipalities of Estonia began in 2019 within the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme support. The visits studied Estonia's acquired experience in decentralisation processes, particularly e-governance and democracy. As part of the partnership activities, the forum "Estonia's experience for eastern Ukraine: e-governance, decentralisation, business" was also held, which later became the basis of new strong connections between the Ukrainian and Estonian communities.

Frederik Coene, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, noted that the study of the best European governance practices, in particular, the work and structure of local authorities, inclusive regulation, fair and efficient provision of public services, is essential for creating a favourable environment for the country's recovery.

"The government of Estonia was one of the first to support Ukraine in granting the status of a candidate for EU membership. The experience of Estonian partners is invaluable for Ukrainian communities on their way to recovery,” he added. “In many contexts, there is a strong connection between governance and peacebuilding, which is why our efforts with a focus on good local governance are designed to help community leaders build better and more effective policies on the ground.”

This year's study trip aimed to provide participants with a deeper understanding of the concepts of anti-crisis governance in the municipalities of Estonia and Sweden to adopt the best management experience for implementing best practices during the post-war recovery of Ukraine. Among the participants were representatives of the communities of Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, Sumy and Kharkiv oblasts.

The impressive agenda included visits by the participants to the Ministry of Finance of Estonia, the Tallinn City Council, the Association of Municipalities of Estonia, the Estonian Rescue Board, the Rakveri City Administration, the Agency for Business and Innovation, the Embassy of Ukraine in Estonia, meetings with members of the Ukrainian community in Estonia, as well as visits to the Stockholm City Council and the Sweden's government agency for development cooperation (SIDA).

Jaco Cilliers, interim UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine, noted that UNDP comprehensively supports local government authorities, especially in the frontline oblasts of Ukraine, providing tools for training, expert exchange of experience and consulting on new directions of development.

“As a result of the visit, five communities have already started negotiations on establishing partnership relations with the municipalities of Estonia, Sweden and other EU countries, which will facilitate the exchange of international experience in carrying out comprehensive reforms, organizing administrative territories and local self-government,” he added. “We at UNDP are doing everything necessary to support local communities to contribute to sustainable peace and achieve long-term development results effectively.”

The study visit was organised with the support of the UNDP within the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme and the European Union's financial support.

Background

The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) is being implemented by four United Nations agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). Eleven international partners support the Programme: The European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.

Media enquiriesYuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail: yuliia.samus@undp.org

Retrieved from https://www.undp.org/ukraine/press-releases/heads-ukrainian-communities-learn-best-governance-practices-estonia-and-sweden

What did COP27 accomplish and what actions can we expect as a result?
  • Held in Egypt, COP27 was dubbed the Africa COP, providing an important opportunity to table issues critical to the continent; and the COP of implementation, where pledges would be translated into action on the ground.

  • The most talked about achievement of COP27 was that an agreement was finally reached to establish and operationalise a new loss and damage fund. Beyond this, progress was underwhelming, but while there were disappointments, there were significant gains, too.

  • Antonia Gawel, Head of Climate Change, and Nathan Cooper, Lead Partnerships & Engagement Strategy at the World Economic Forum, look back at the highlights of COP27 and show which wheels it has put in motion.

What did COP27 accomplish and what actions can we expect as a result?

Published by World Economic Forum on 23 November 2022

Authors:

  • Antonia Gawel, Head, Climate; Deputy Head, Centre for Nature & Climate Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
  • Nathan Cooper, Lead, Partnerships and Engagement Strategy, Climate Action Platform, World Economic Forum

Unpicking the key learnings from COP27

COP27 was dubbed the Africa COP and the implementation COP. It provided an opportunity to table issues critical to the continent and a chance to turn the words, drawn up at COP26, into action. Confronted with a global food and energy crisis, increasing extreme weather events and record greenhouse gas concentrations, COP27 was a key milestone to instill renewed solidarity between countries and deliver on the landmark Paris Agreement.

The World Economic Forum hosted over 50 interactive sessions, bringing together over 800 leaders spanning sectors, generations and countries. These sessions drove multistakeholder action across areas as broad as raising climate ambition, financing the Net-Zero transition, accelerating industry decarbonisationwater securityadaptation financeocean innovation and more.

Was COP27 a success?

COP27 did not progress commitments or show evidence of significant action by countries to further draw down global emissions. Every year and every COP is critical to progress this key objective – without it, the world will not limit the global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. By this measure, COP27 was a missed opportunity and potentially a step back.

On the other hand, as the ‘Africa COP,’ the issues of critical importance to developing economies, including climate adaptation and loss and damage were brought to the fore, rebalancing the negotiations and reinstating trust between parties. A breakthrough agreement to provide loss and damage funding for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters was seen as a success, although details of the fund still need to be fleshed out.

What did COP27 achieve?

When you work on climate day in and day out, you come away from every conference feeling that more could have been achieved. While we didn’t leave COP27 as hopeful as we would have liked, there were many positives leaving us optimistic for the future.

Alongside the agreement reached on loss and damage, it was also encouraging to witness China and the US reopen their conversation on tackling climate change, and to see adaptation dialogues begin on enhancing resilience for 4 billion people living in the most climate-vulnerable communities by 2030.

The largely untapped innovative finance model (enabled by COP negotiations, that monetises avoided or reduced emissions through carbon markets) was tapped into by African nations, who announced a carbon market partnership. Under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, countries can work together to raise money for much-needed decarbonisation and adaptation projects, through trading carbon credits on regional or international markets.

Then, at the G20, which ran alongside COP27, the Indonesia Just Energy Transition Partnership was launched to help finance the energy transition. This is important because coal contributes to three-quarters of the power sector’s CO2 emissions and coal needs to be phased out almost six times faster than it has been over the past five years to align the power sector with well below a 1.5 degrees Celsius global average temperature rise.

The private sector stepped up

We also saw the private sector take a major role at COP27, particularly across the areas of climate ambition, low-carbon technology and climate adaptation. It was recognised that the adaptation market could be worth $2 trillion per year by 2026, with the developing world standing to benefit from much of this. Thousands of leaders at COP27 also committed to working towards 1.5 degrees Celsius.

We were also proud to announce the First Movers Coalition's expansion, from 25 members when it was launched at COP26 to 65 members, which includes companies and governments. Those First Movers sent a $12 billion market signal to pull forward critical, low-carbon technologies of the future to decarbonise the cement and concrete industry.

More than 100 CEOs and senior executives of large multinational corporations, all members of the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, signed an open letter to leaders at COP27 committing to work side-by-side with governments to deliver bold climate action and encourage all businesses to accelerate the Net Zero transition by setting science-based targets, disclosing emissions and catalysing decarbonisation and partnerships across global value chains.

Additionally, major agricultural trading and processing companies launched the Agriculture Sector Roadmap, which moves the industry towards science-based, transparent and traceable actions to avert and reverse deforestation. And, 26 countries signed a global MOU that 100% of new truck and bus sales will be zero emissions by 2040.

Beyond COP27 Leaders On The Road Ahead

We also heard some largely uplifting thoughts at one of the COP27 closing panels Beyond COP27 Leaders On The Road Ahead. From a national perspective, James Mnyupe, Presidential Economic Advisor to the Office of the President of Namibia, said he was pleased to have “mobilised about $63 million in grant funding to get various projects underway in Namibia, that will help us with mobilising concessionary financing." He added: "And we also mobilised about €500 million of a framework loan, that will be available to us in very concessionary terms as well.”

Speaking on behalf of business, Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group (IKEA Retail), said he had come away from COP27 filled with optimism for the commercial sector in particular: “I want to call out the companies here who are not waiting for legislation or pledges, but realise by their own ethical and moral motivations and understanding that sustainability and climate are not about making sacrifices. It might be about making upfront investments and taking some leaps of faith, but it's really about being a winner in the economy,” he said.

Anish Shah, Managing Director and CEO of Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group, added that it was time for business to: “Make it personal and ask what is the impact on the society that I live in? What is the impact on my company and on me as an individual, and not just in terms of threats, but also in terms of opportunities?”

Janet Ranganathan, Managing Director of Strategy, Learning and Results at the World Resources Institute (WRI), added every individual on the planet has a part to play too: “We need citizens to be holding countries accountable to see the policies being put in place and the money mobilised, otherwise it's all for nothing,” she said.

Youth raise their voice

One group of people certainly getting their voice heard at COP27 were the future generations, whose very planet that they inherit from today’s generation is at stake. Pato Kelesitse, Global Shaper at Gaborone Hub and Founder of Sustain 267, said: “When we use our money as young people, we need to know that whatever we're giving it to is what we're voting for. Whatever we're giving our money to is what we're demanding. So when businesses come to COP27 they need to know that if you're not going to get us closer to 1.5. You are not going to be getting our money.”

Looking ahead to COP28

For those companies who have not yet fully embraced ambitious climate action, the message from youth, civil society and business at the forefront of this agenda at COP27 was clear: the private sector has a unique role to play to provide the capital and solutions to meet our global climate goals. With the results of the Global Stocktake Process published at COP28 and the UN setting out its recommendations for robust climate action from non-state actors, 2023 will be about countries and companies showing how they are meeting their climate commitments, while pressure is still on to ramp up ambition.

The Annual Meeting in Davos will be a key milestone to build on the progress made at COP27 and to kick off the Road to COP28. Over 2,500 leaders from government, business and civil society across the world will gather in the Swiss town from 16-20 January 2023 to focus on the theme 'Cooperating in a fragmented world.' Find out more here

Original Article

Why these are the smartest and most sustainable cities
  • The IESE Cities in Motion Index compared 183 cities to determine the world’s smartest and most sustainable cities for 2022.

  • London heads the list for its strong human capital, international profile, urban planning, and governance.

  • Europe is home to the largest number of smart cities, with Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Oslo, and Copenhagen all earning a spot in the top ten.

Why these are the smartest and most sustainable cities

Published by World Economic Forum on 21 November 2022

Authors:

  • Joan Enric Ricart Costa, Professor of Strategic Management, IESE Business School, University of Navarra
  • Pascual Berrone, Professor of Strategic Management, IESE Business School, University of Navarra

Summary:

The IESE Cities in Motion Index compared 183 cities to determine the world’s smartest and most sustainable cities for 2022. Cover Image: João Barbosa/Unsplash

The world's cities, already grappling with ageing populations, multifarious social demands, and digital divides, are groaning under the strains of climate change and pandemic fallout. The economic and social consequences of the tragic war in Ukraine are likely to add additional stressors in the form of unemployment, inflation, segregation, and migration.

In this context, it’s more important than ever to diagnose where cities stand in terms of sustainability and quality of life for inhabitants - and to start building urban resilience to withstand future challenges.

But where to start? It’s a daunting task, but all cities should undertake a process of strategic review. In addition to assessing where they currently stand, cities should also consider their future priorities and what they aspire to be. IESE Cities in Motion Index offers a platform for a comprehensive initial diagnosis of the cities and, through comparative analysis, aims to serve as the first point of reference.

The IESE Cities in Motion Index evaluates 183 cities in 92 countries based on 9 criteria to determine the world’s smartest and most sustainable cities for 2022.

The IESE Cities in Motion Index evaluates 183 cities in 92 countries based on 9 criteria to determine the world’s smartest and most sustainable cities for 2022. Image: IESE Business School

The index compares 183 cities globally, looking at 114 criteria grouped into nine dimensions: human capital, social cohesion, economy, governance, environment, mobility and transportation, urban planning, international profile, and technology.

It's an unusual index in its scope of coverage – the cities are scattered across 92 countries - and its long-term vision of cities that puts people first in their various and complex needs. We look at standard metrics such as GDP per capita, and less traditional items like the number of electric vehicle charging points, how many museums and galleries there are, and how cities rate racial tolerance.

The top ten most sustainable cities

1) London. London’s human capital, international profile, urban planning, and governance lifted it to first place in this year’s ranking. The city's drawbacks flow from the U.K.'s weaker capital in social cohesion and environment.

2) New York’s economy is its biggest strength, but the city also stands out in areas of mobility and transportation, urban planning, human capital, and international profile. Like London, New York is relatively weaker in its social cohesion and environment.

3) Paris ranked well in its international profile, mobility and transportation, and human capital but tiered lower in its environment.

4) Tokyo sports a strong economy, international profile, governance, and technology. The city ranked lower in its urban planning and mobility and transportation.

5) Berlin is a well-balanced city, performing well in many dimensions, notably in its governance, urban planning, and human capital. Its weakest flank was the economy.

6) Washington D.C. is robust in human capital, technology, governance, and urban planning – but can improve in social cohesion and the environment.

7) Singapore’s technology and international profile are standout areas, while environment and mobility are the city state’s weaker capacities.

The last three cities to fill out the list are northern European cities that tend to perform well across a variety of dimensions. Amsterdam (8) fares particularly well in technology, Oslo (9) in the environment, and Copenhagen (10) in social cohesion and environment.

IESE Cities in Motion Index Top 10 smartest sustainable cities

IESE Cities in Motion Index Top 10. London tops the list of the world's smartest and most sustainable cities. Image: IESE Business School​​​​​

Revealing regional comparisons

The severity of pandemic-fuelled economic swings since 2020 has been critical for cities. In previous editions – this is our eighth – cities advanced and declined for a multitude of reasons. In this edition, the weight of the economy was decisive.

Dublin, one of the few cities to expect economic growth, jumped to 18th overall. Buenos Aires (103), which competes with Santiago (75) for regional dominance in our ranking, fell far behind its regional rival, battered especially by the economy.

Regional comparisons are also revealing. Europe, overall, is home to the largest number of smart cities. While many have been buffeted by the pandemic, the underlying strengths and quality of life in European cities, held them in good stead.

Cities in developing countries are still struggling across most metrics, and the recent economic and health crises have added to those struggles. All African cities included in the index are at the bottom of the overall ranking: while the region wasn’t as adversely affected by the pandemic as initially expected, the health crisis has had serious economic, political, and social consequences. Latin American countries are also near the bottom, a particular cause for concern since it’s one of the regions with the highest urban concentration on the planet.

Asian cities that perform well tend to get a boost from their expanding economies and their promotion of technology. Technology is also where a handful of Middle Eastern cities – Dubai and Abu Dhabi – fare best, although generally, the region has a long way to go in creating smart, sustainable cities.

Economics are also a decisive factor for US cities: six of the top 10 cities in the economic dimension are American; none of the top ten cities in social cohesion or environment is American.

Criteria for IESE Cities in Motion Index most sustainable cities

Criteria used by IESE Cities in Motion Index to determine the most sustainable cities in the world. Image: IESE Business School

Expanding urban resilience

In the past, urban resilience has focused on readiness for a natural disaster. We must expand our understanding of resilience beyond infrastructure to encompass sustainable ecosystems, innovative activities, equity among citizens, and connected territory.

City managers should be able to lead by example, guided by the principles of justice and collaboration and by a vision of the future that includes all citizens. The concept of smart governance, which includes accurate diagnosis, a clear vision, and a multidimensional approach to managing challenges, is crucial.

And it’s not just the responsibility of the public sector. Developing urban resilience - the ability of cities to overcome adverse circumstances, whatever they are - can only be achieved if all stakeholders are involved.

The public sector, private companies, civic organizations, and academic institutions must work together and take a holistic approach to what makes a city not only viable, but livable, just, and resilient.

For more information:

Download the full Cities in Motion Index 2022 report

Go to the interactive map and calculator

Download our Cities in Motion Index 2022 infographic

Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/11/why-these-are-the-smartest-and-most-sustainable-cities/?utm_source=sfmc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2789441_Agenda_weekly-25November2022&utm_term=&emailType=Agenda%20Weekly

How Just Transition can help deliver the Paris Agreement
This new report unpacks why a just transition is central to delivering the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, analyses key global and regional trends, and explores what a just transition means for UNDP’s work. 

How Just Transition can help deliver the Paris Agreement

Published by UNDP Climate Promise

How a Just Transition can help deliver the Paris Agreement

The importance of just transition is now recognized

A green transition to a net-zero future is key to unlocking the Paris Agreement’s global climate goals. However, if not managed well, the required socioeconomic transformation runs the risk of further increasing social inequality, exclusion, civil unrest, and less competitive businesses, sectors, and markets. Increasingly, countries are acknowledging these risks and in turn are taking action to integrate a just and equitable transition of their economies into their short- and long-term climate plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Long-Term Strategies (LTS).

While the concept of just transition is widely used to advocate for social justice and equity in climate action, there is no universally accepted definition, and the perception varies between countries and regions. For UNDP, just transition is fundamentally about principle, process, and practice. UNDP’s framework of support therefore involves increasing country awareness of the principles of a just transition, strengthening their ability to engage in just transition processes, and developing capacity to implement just transition practices. 

UNDP analysis reveals that, as of 31 October 2022, just transition principles are now reflected in 38% of NDCs, 56% of LTS, and a growing number of high-profile global initiatives. More, however, needs to be done.

UNDP’s framework for incorporating just transition in NDCs and LTS 

UNDP has been working through the Climate Promise to support countries to connect the dots between climate action, social inclusion and gender equality, and sustainable development.

As part of these efforts, four key entry points have been identified for integrating just transition into NDCs and LTS:

Just Transition Framework

  1. Assessments;
  2. Engagement through social dialogues and stakeholder engagement;
  3. Institutional, policy, and capacity-building support; and
  4. Finance.

Under the Climate Promise, UNDP has supported, or is supporting, 34 countries and territories to strengthen just transition across these four areas (see map below).

Download the report to learn how UNDP is partnering with SerbiaSouth AfricaCosta RicaIndia, and Antigua and Barbuda on their visions for a green, just, and net-zero future.

Continue reading: https://climatepromise.undp.org/research-and-reports/how-just-transition-can-help-deliver-paris-agreement

Download the full report here: https://climatepromise.undp.org/sites/default/files/research_report_document/UNDP_Just_Transition_Report_0.pdf

or access the PDF attachment of the full report.

How Just Transition can help deliver the Paris Agreement

This new report unpacks why a just transition is central to delivering the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, analyses key global and regional trends, and explores what a just transition means for UNDP’s work. 

How Just Transition can help deliver the Paris Agreement

Published by UNDP Climate Promise

This new report unpacks why a just transition is central to delivering the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, analyses key global and regional trends, and explores what a just transition means for UNDP’s work. 

How a Just Transition can help deliver the Paris Agreement

The importance of just transition is now recognized

A green transition to a net-zero future is key to unlocking the Paris Agreement’s global climate goals. However, if not managed well, the required socioeconomic transformation runs the risk of further increasing social inequality, exclusion, civil unrest, and less competitive businesses, sectors, and markets. Increasingly, countries are acknowledging these risks and in turn are taking action to integrate a just and equitable transition of their economies into their short- and long-term climate plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Long-Term Strategies (LTS).

While the concept of just transition is widely used to advocate for social justice and equity in climate action, there is no universally accepted definition, and the perception varies between countries and regions. For UNDP, just transition is fundamentally about principle, process, and practice. UNDP’s framework of support therefore involves increasing country awareness of the principles of a just transition, strengthening their ability to engage in just transition processes, and developing capacity to implement just transition practices. 

UNDP analysis reveals that, as of 31 October 2022, just transition principles are now reflected in 38% of NDCs, 56% of LTS, and a growing number of high-profile global initiatives. More, however, needs to be done.

UNDP’s framework for incorporating just transition in NDCs and LTS 

UNDP has been working through the Climate Promise to support countries to connect the dots between climate action, social inclusion and gender equality, and sustainable development.

As part of these efforts, four key entry points have been identified for integrating just transition into NDCs and LTS:

Just Transition Framework

  1. Assessments;
  2. Engagement through social dialogues and stakeholder engagement;
  3. Institutional, policy, and capacity-building support; and
  4. Finance.

Under the Climate Promise, UNDP has supported, or is supporting, 34 countries and territories to strengthen just transition across these four areas (see map below).

Download the report to learn how UNDP is partnering with SerbiaSouth AfricaCosta RicaIndia, and Antigua and Barbuda on their visions for a green, just, and net-zero future.

Continue reading: https://climatepromise.undp.org/research-and-reports/how-just-transition-can-help-deliver-paris-agreement

Download the full report here: https://climatepromise.undp.org/sites/default/files/research_report_document/UNDP_Just_Transition_Report_0.pdf

or access the PDF attachment of the full report.