WUF11 Report of main proceedings for 27 June 2022

The official opening day of WUF11 was dominated by the themes of solidarity and resilience. Many speakers during the morning’s opening ceremony highlighted the multiple crises affecting cities, from the COVID-19 pandemic to climate impacts, inflation, and armed conflict. In the afternoon, an Extraordinary Dialogue on Urban Crisis Response and Recovery and a Special Session on Urban Recovery Frameworks allowed participants to discuss in depth how cities can respond. Roundtables on Local and Regional Governments, National Urban Policies in a Changing World, Business and Industries, and a Special Session on Urban Data and Circular Economy also convened in the afternoon.

Eleventh Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF11)

Report of main proceedings for 27 June 2022

Originally posted on 27 June 2022 by International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Opening Ceremony

Moderator Anna Butrym welcomed participants to WUF11. Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Poland, said the COVID-19 pandemic showed urban life must be redefined, prioritizing tackling inequalities in cities.

Via video, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said cities are central to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and addressing climate change.

Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director, UN-Habitat, listed five themes for WUF11: housing services and urban development, climate action, urban prosperity, multilevel governance, and post-conflict and post-disaster recovery.

Via video, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev spoke on rebuilding cities in liberated territories and presented his country’s offer to host a future WUF. Colombia’s President Iván Duque Márquez described his country’s development as an “axis of sustainable future,” focusing on green urban development policies and projects.

Grzegorz Puda, Minister of Development Funds and Regional Policy in Poland, pointed to Katowice’s transformation into a modern city and Poland’s growth as examples for WUF11 discussions.

Małgorzata Jarosińska-Jedynak, Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy, Poland, said WUF11 organizers sought to involve the entire city in preparations, including a Youth Council. Underlining the importance of citizen involvement, Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice, attributed his city’s transformation from “industrial to modern” to the work of thousands of residents.

Elisa Ferreria, Commissioner of Cohesion and Reforms, European Commission, stated that there is never a situation where less cooperation is beneficial, and that social and demographic challenges cannot be solved by being blind to the needs of cities and their surrounding areas.

Berry Vrbanovic, Governing President, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), called for both city-to-city and local, regional, and national collaboration to create the enabling environment needed to achieve the SDGs.

Katarzyna Smętek, WUF11 Youth Council, said while WUF’s initiative to establish and work with a Youth Council represented progress, further efforts should meaningfully engage youth calling for systematic inclusion in delegation.

Lewis Akenji, Hot or Cool Institute, emphasized transforming cities by addressing social tensions: rising production vs. dwindling resources; poverty vs. consumerism; increasing waste vs. decreasing sinks. He urged “thriving” cities for people, not cars, with universal basic services; car-free centers; measures of well being; and capacity-building that avoids the “small action trap.”

Mohd Sharif then declared WUF11 officially open.

Extraordinary Dialogue on Urban Crisis Response and Recovery

Emilia Sáiz, Secretary-General, UCLG, stressed the need to transform local systems to increase their efficiency in addressing crises of health, man-made conflict, and natural disasters.

Moderator Nigel Fisher, UN-Habitat, invited speakers to reflect on: the nature and scale of urban crises; how recovery can offer opportunities to accelerate necessary transformations; and the role of mayors as first responders and visionaries.

Leilani Farha, Director, The Shift, said the housing crisis is driven by the extraction of wealth from housing. Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics, said as wars are shifting to cities, civilians suffer the highest casualties and must thus be better protected. Clarissa Augustinus, UN-Habitat, urged agile, fit-for-purpose systems to enhance biodiversity and address housing and other equity issues.

Andy Deacon, Global Covenant of Mayors, explained that local leaders have the tools to “lead the way to the zero-carbon future we desperately need.” Filiep Decorte, UN-Habitat, noted communities need localized data to access resources needed to mobilize action.

Bogotá’s Mayor Claudia López Hernández recounted seven “waves” of crises in her city, from the pandemic to unemployment and social strife, and the democratic changes and sustainable policies that have built opportunities. Responding to a question about financial challenges, she discussed her initiative of freezing taxes for households while increasing taxes for industries profiting from crises.

Mohd Sharif called for youth and local governments to be given the means to lead on urban crises and warned we are returning to a world of “me, myself, and those I know” at a time when solidarity is needed. Sameh Wahba, World Bank, stated that investing in urban resilience is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Raouf Mazou, UNHCR, stated that cities are absorbing most displaced peoples globally, facing difficulties in the process.

Gilles Carbonnier, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), spoke to the challenges of areas in urban warfare, namely ensuring the protection of citizens, critical infrastructure, and access to essential services.

Emmanuel Jal, independent artist and former child soldier, explained how he used imagination to survive and overcome trauma. He said access to books and education is essential to enable traumatized children to imagine a better future.

On solutions, Carbonnier outlined how health and education services were maintained in Brazilian cities through training service providers. Mazou said supporting refugees in cities rather than urban camps enables better services and integration. Wahba emphasized livelihoods and places as “two critically important dimensions that need to go hand in hand” in crisis recovery. 


Local and Regional Governments: The Local and Regional Governments (LRG) Roundtable featured panels on empowered local governments and caring cities.

The first panel on empowered local governments urged, inter alia:

  • Sufficient resources for providing vital services;
  • Rethinking forms of government, with emphasis on decentralization;
  • Green development;
  • Caring for vulnerable groups, with emphasis on women’s rights and sheltering those experiencing homelessness; and
  • Direct, “non-sovereign finance,” such as municipal bonds for water and large-scale equity partnerships.

The second panel on caring cities urged, inter alia:

  • Implementing lessons from the pandemic, such as creating open spaces, digitally transforming services, and building resilience;
  • Focusing on engaging in dialogue with people affected by crisis, and treating services, like education, as rights, not privileges;
  • Reconfiguring local institutions for innovation and inclusivity; and
  • Taking into account gender equality and the care of the elderly and children.

Emilia Sáiz, Secretary-General of United Cities and Local Governments, closed the roundtable, emphasizing that the LGR constituency is an “ally for multilateralism” and that “a culture of peace is the basis for development.” She prioritized: a “universal agenda” linking issues; decentralization and sharing power; strengthening communities and ensuring they receive necessary services; and human rights as the basis for caring cities.

National Urban Policies in a Changing World: The National Urban Policies in a Changing World Roundtable led by Poland began with a statement from Maimunah Mohd Sharif on the strength of National Urban Policies (NUPs) in fostering intersectoral and inter-regional coordination. Poland’s Minister of Development Funds and Regional Policy, Grzegorz Puda, then outlined the country’s new NUP, which responds to the challenges cities have been facing. After that, the roundtable began with a discussion including ministers and high-level European officials focusing on NUPs from the lenses of:

  • Innovation and technology, with Veronika Remišová, Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia highlighting the importance of data in effective decision-making;
  • Environment and energy transition, where the Deputy Minister of Regional Development from the Czech Republic, Radim Sršeň, spoke of the connection between digitization and resilience, while Ireneusz Zyska, Ministry of Climate and Environment, Poland, discussed diversification of energy sources, and energy sovereignty;
  • Housing, where Klara Geywitz, Germany’s Federal Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Building highlighted the urgent and widespread need for affordable, sustainable, and secure homes;
  • Mobility, where Sweden’s State Secretary to Minister for Housing and Deputy Minister for Employment, Mattias Landgren, noted the need for sustainable, efficient, and safe transportation systems; and
  • Spatial planning, where Karen Van Dantzig, Urban Envoy for the Kingdom of the Netherlands discussed efficient, functional, and beautiful land use when land is limited.

The session concluded with Poland’s Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Waldemar Buda, stressing the need to break through silos and foster cross-sectoral collaboration on urban development.

Business and Industries: This roundtable focused on how to increase private sector engagement in sustainable city development and how the private sector can help address financial bottlenecks. Participants were presented with two success stories: the Regent Park revitalization project in Toronto, Canada; and the Lagos Inland Waterways Program in Nigeria. A panel of experts then discussed ideas to overcome challenges in private sector participation, including: 

  • Increasing cities’ capacities to absorb public funding and private investments including for procurement, resettlement, and project development;
  • Social contracts that articulate a long-term vision that can survive electoral cycles;
  • Sound performance metrics and local sustainable development indicators to improve transparency and accountability;
  • Engaging stakeholders around solutions, rather than projects;
  • Involving all stakeholders, including the private sector, as early as possible in planning to ensure that the right solutions are procured;
  • Mobilizing local capital; and
  • Digital ecosystems to share knowledge and experience, thus allowing the scaling of successful projects.

One panelist noted that investment in municipal projects is often hindered by miscommunication about risk, with others agreeing that greater transparency is needed to allow investors to make informed decisions on whether a project is “investable,” and which types of capital are needed.

Special Sessions

Urban Recovery Frameworks: Moderator Nigel Fisher, UN-Habitat, noted international recovery partners tend to “parachute” into urban environments without fully understanding local realities.

Filiep Decorte, UN-Habitat, said urban recovery frameworks (URFs) offer integrated approaches to recovery but are difficult to implement when national and bottom-up frameworks are disconnected. Ryan Knox, UN-Habitat, gave a presentation on URFs piloted in Syrian cities. These were developed with local partners and sought to strengthen institutional arrangements.

In a first panel on governance and urban displacement, Martha Gutierrez, GIZ, said citizen consultations were essential when cities are confronted with an influx of internally displaced peoples. Lars Gronvald, European Commission, said the urban level is where multiple partners articulate a common strategy. Manuel de Araújo, Mayor of Quelimane, said there is a case for the management of crisis response to be allocated to local governments. Fatma Şahin, Mayor of Gaziantep, emphasized social justice as a key element of crisis recovery.

In a second panel on cultural heritage and financing, Yevhen Plashchenko, Ministry of Development of Communities and Territories of Ukraine, highlighted that the needs of Ukrainian refugees must be addressed in host countries now and Ukraine later when the country will prepare for their return. Ieva Kalnina, Swedish Association for Local Municipalities and Regions, noted it was preferable for humanitarian actors to work with local governments rather than NGOs. Wahba, World Bank, said both people-centered and infrastructural interventions are needed in crisis recovery.

Urban Data and Circular Economy: In the first segment of the special session on data and the circular economy (CE), Donald Simmonds, CitiIQ, discussed how simplified indicators could overcome data literacy issues, while Charles Mwangi, Kenya Space Agency emphasized that alongside data, open-source tools were needed to improve data uptake. Naledzani Mudau, South African National Space Agency, discussed data’s role in improving services, assessing risk, and managing utilities within informal settlements. Matt Benson, ThinkCity, explored how data could spur change, but expressed the importance of engaging the people behind the statistics. Angie Palacios, Corporacion Andina de Fomento, highlighted the divide between the growth in data availability, and the utilization of data by decision makers.

In the second segment, Mike Higgins, Circularwise, noted a primary barrier to achieving CEs lies in effectively communicating information to industry leaders. When discussing the support CEs required, Fedra Vanhuyse, Stockholm Environment Institute, mentioned open-source assessment frameworks, opportunities for resource recovery, and mapping the impact of transition. Jenni Philippe, Edge Environment, mentioned a shift beyond waste management and recycling was needed to develop a holistic vision for a CE measurement framework. Oriana Romano, OECD, cited the lack of government conviction and financial systems as barriers to achieving CEs. Umesh Madhavan, The Circulate Initiative, spoke specifically to CE gaps in ocean plastics, identifying them as a systems problem requiring significant investments to solve.

Access the full PDF report here:

Retrieved from

WUF11: Highlights and images of main proceedings for 27 June 2022
The themes of solidarity and resilience were woven into many of the events of the 11th World Urban Forum’s (WUF) first day. During the morning’s Opening Ceremony, Polish officials, including the Prime Minister of Poland and the Mayor of Katowice, reminded participants of the long and complex history of Polish cities, which ranged from post-War recovery and responding to COVID-19 to, most recently, taking in millions of refugees since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

Eleventh Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF11)

Highlights and images of main proceedings for 27 June 2022

Originally posted on 27 June 2022 by International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Speakers cut the ribbon to open WUF11.

Want to dive deeper on today's talks? Ready the Earth Negotiations Bulletin daily report.

Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Poland

Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Poland

In UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif’s opening remarks, she called the WUF a unique forum to share uncomfortable truths about our cities, including their inequalities, the war in Ukraine, global inflation, and the climate crisis. Youth were frequently described as necessary partners in tackling these issues, with a representative of the WUF11 Youth Council – the first of its kind – closing the ceremony by urging participants to include young people more systematically in their delegations.

Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat

Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat

Similar themes were also heavily featured in the Extraordinary Dialogue on Urban Crisis Response and Recovery that took place in the early afternoon. Observers such as Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics, noted that the nature of wars is changing as they increasingly take place in cities. Artist Emmanuel Jal evocatively explained how he used imagination to survive his traumatic childhood. The Dialogue also heard from several mayors about their experiences managing crises, including Bogotá’s Mayor Claudia López Hernández, who recounted her experience of seven “waves” of crises in her city, from the pandemic to unemployment and social strife.

The National Urban Policies in a Changing World Roundtable focused on a presentation from the Polish government on their National Urban Policy (NUP). Afterwards, the roundtable discussed NUPs from the lenses of: innovation and technology; environment and energy transition, housing, mobility, and spatial planning.

Local and Regional Governments Roundtable panelists shared ideas, many drawn from challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, on empowering local governments and building caring cities. Participants stressed the importance of decentralization, inclusivity, adequate resources, and rights-based approaches.

Participants in the Business and Industries Roundtable discussed ideas to increase private sector engagement in sustainable city development, including ways to improve collaboration and stakeholder engagement and increase transparency for investment decisions.

During a Special Session on Urban Recovery Frameworks, speakers considered ways for international partners to work more fairly and effectively with local governments in recovery efforts, including by trusting these are the primary experts in local realities. Speakers also discussed the current and future needs of refugees who left Ukraine since the war.

In a Special Session on Data and the Circular Economy, panelists stressed that the challenges they face lie in communicating benefits to decision-makers, not in an absence of knowledge and expertise. Panelists showcased their work and noted areas of friction they encountered.

Read a more detailed report of the proceedings from each session here:

Retrieved from

Photos by IISD/ENB | Diego Noguera.

Multi-level Action for Equitable and Sustainable Cities

Decision-makers and experts explore how to deliver on the promise of multi-level action to make cities more equitable and sustainable. This session will also serve as the official reveal of the 2021-2022 WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities finalists.  

Multi-level Action for Equitable and Sustainable Cities

WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities invites you to attend this virtual and in-person session at WUF11 in Katowice, Poland

The event can be live streamed or attended in-person at WUF11 (Multifunction Hall, Room NE 101). General registration for WUF11 (free) is required for all attendees. Register here or use the mobile app.


  • Wednesday, June 29, 2022

  • 16:30-18:00 Central European Summer Time (CEST)


This event led by WRI, in partnership with SDI, C40 and ICLEI, will demonstrate how national, state and city/metropolitan governments can collaborate to make cities around the world more equitable and sustainable. We will share concrete examples of how these actors might work together with each other and with key stakeholder groups, to put equity at the center of decisions related to cities and climate.

The session will draw on research by WRI and partners in the World Resources Report, Towards a More Equal City, and the Coalition for Urban Transition’s Seizing the Urban Opportunity. The session will also serve as the official announcement of the 2021-2022 WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities finalists, showcasing how to adapt to uncertainty and disruption in equitable and sustainable ways.

We will feature a range of national, regional, local and community leaders as well as experts, working to unpack how to deliver on the promise of multi-level action means by exploring themes of urban infrastructure, service delivery, finance, data and governance. The audience will learn how multi-level action can help advance the principles of the New Urban Agenda, driving transformative climate action and a rapid shift to more equitable and sustainable cities.

Decision-makers and experts will explore how to deliver on the promise of multi-level action to make cities more equitable and sustainable. This session will also serve as the official reveal of the 2021-2022 WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities finalists.  


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Air pollution kills – Evidence from a global analysis of exposure and poverty
Globally, poor air quality is estimated to cause some 7 million deaths each year, as it increases the risk of a wide range of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Yet the exposure to and impact of air pollution are not equally distributed. Air pollution is particularly prevalent in industrializing developing economies. Less stringent air quality regulations, the prevalence of older polluting machinery and vehicles, subsidized fossil fuels, congested urban transport systems, rapidly developing industrial sectors, and cut-and-burn practices in agriculture are all contributing to heightened pollution levels. The lack of affordable quality healthcare services further increases air pollution related mortality.

Air pollution kills – Evidence from a global analysis of exposure and poverty

Originally posted on 18 May 2022 on World Bank Blogs | Authors: JUN RENTSCHLER and NADIA LEONOVA

Traffic and pollution, Cairo, Egypt. Photo: Kim Eun Yeul / World Bank Traffic and pollution, Cairo, Egypt. Photo: Kim Eun Yeul / World Bank

And within countries, poorer and marginalized communities are often more exposed. Low-paying jobs are more likely to require physical outdoor labor, leading to heightened exposure. Pollution sources, such as industrial plants or transport corridors, are disproportionately located in low-income neighborhoods. And as air pollution increases, housing prices go down, which in turn reinforces the low-income status of neighborhoods. In short, as health, well-being, and productivity suffer, air pollution can reinforce socio-economic inequalities .

Figure 1. Average annual PM2.5 concentrations in Southeast Asia 

Chart 1

Source: Rentschler & Leonova (2022) based on van Donkelaar et al (2021)

Poor people’s exposure to harmful air pollution.

While many studies have focused on air pollution in rich countries, a better understanding of the interplay between air pollution and poverty is crucial for several reasons. Studies from high-income countries on the health risks associated with air pollution may not be directly transferable to low-income communities, where the nature of occupations and healthcare differ substantially . The health and productivity implications of air pollution will impact the socio-economic prospects of developing countries. This is especially significant in low-income countries, which tend to still have relatively low anthropogenic air pollution levels compared to more industrialized middle-income countries. Here, there is still an opportunity to ensure that development progress does not come hand in hand with intensifying air pollution and the associated detrimental effects on health and well-being .

2.8 billion people face hazardous air pollution levels

In a new study, we provide a comprehensive account of the relationship between ambient (outdoor) air pollution exposure, economic development, and poverty in 211 countries and territories. It presents global exposure estimates for the World Health Organization’s 2021 revised fine particulate matter (PM2.5) thresholds. In addition, we provide estimates of the number of poor people exposed to unsafe PM2.5 concentrations. The findings are based on high-resolution air pollution and population maps with global coverage, as well as subnational poverty estimates based on harmonized household surveys.

Our estimates show that globally 7.3 billion people, or 94 percent of the world population, face air pollution levels considered unsafe by the WHO (annual average PM2.5 concentration over 5 μg/m3). For 2.8 billion people pollution levels are hazardous – with PM2.5 concentrations over 35 μg/m3, which implies a mortality rate that is more than 24 percent higher than in safe areas.

Figure 2. Share of population exposed to PM2.5 concentrations over 15 μg/m3

Figure 2

One in ten people exposed to unsafe air pollution live in extreme poverty

We estimate that 716 million people living in extreme poverty, calculated as living on less than $1.90 per day, are directly exposed to unsafe PM2.5 concentrations; of these, 405 million, or 57 percent are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Further, 275 million people living in extreme poverty are exposed to hazardous PM2.5 concentrations (over 35 μg/m3). Approximately one in ten people exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution live in extreme poverty –making them particularly vulnerable to prolonged adverse impacts on their livelihoods and well-being. For the extreme poor, the same air pollution level likely means increased severe health risks compared to higher income households, as the effects of air pollution are compounded by other poverty risk factors in addition to inequitable access to affordable healthcare.

Pollution is highest in middle-income countries

Yet, the estimates also show that the vast majority of people breathing unsafe air are located in middle-income countries, where 5.5 billion people are exposed to hazardous PM2.5 levels (over 35 μg/m3) – compared to just 40.5 million in low- and high-income countries combined. As a share of the overall population, PM2.5 exposure is also by far the highest in middle-income countries. About 64.5 percent of people in lower-middle-income countries are exposed to PM2.5 levels over 35 μg/m3, compared to just 4.4 percent in low-income countries and 0.9 percent in high-income countries .

global exposure

Towards healthier lives and better livelihoods

Our study affirms the case for targeted measures that reduce the pollution intensity of economic growth – for instance, supporting the uptake of clean technologies and fuels. In addition, measures are needed to directly address the disproportionate exposure of poor people to pollution. For example, improving the provision of affordable and adequate healthcare in large urban centers can help reduce mortality. Mandating transparent accounting for environmental and health externalities in planning decisions can help to steer pollution sources, like industrial zones, away from low-income communities. Finally, removing incentives that perpetuate the over-consumption of polluting fuels can yield a double dividend for poor people. For instance, fossil fuel subsidies are well documented to benefit richer households disproportionately, but the air pollution externalities associated with subsidized fossil fuel consumption are also a burden that can be borne disproportionately by poorer households.

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Accelerating the Shift to Nature-Positive and Climate-Proof Urban Futures
This session will showcase ongoing efforts to uptake approaches to urban development aligned with the need to take urgent climate action by UrbanShift cities and countries. It will highlight their leadership and ambition in building equitable, zero-carbon futures where both people and planet can thrive. The event will enable exchanges on best practices among cities and between local and national governments, across regions.

UrbanShift: Accelerating the Shift to Nature-Positive and Climate-Proof Urban Futures

Date and Time: Wednesday, June 29, 2022 | 14:30-16:00 Poland Time

Venue: ICC: Voices from Cities Room A at the Eleventh Session of the World Urban Forum in Katowice, Poland


The need for cities to transform their development trajectory has never been more urgent. Emissions are rising, cities being responsible for 70% of global greenhouse emissions, so are climate impacts on urban communities. For cities to make peace with nature and achieve a sustainable urban future that supports both people and the planet, business as usual is not an option: new planning and governance models are crucial, and we need to implement them with all hands-on deck. 

Nature-positive and climate-proof urban development can only be scaled up through multi-level governance, effective business models, and integrated approaches. The UrbanShift programme supports more than 23 cities in building equitable, low-carbon futures and seeks to accelerate a movement of urban innovation among cities that reverberates around the world. 


  • Showcase best practices and leadership of UrbanShift cities and countries
  • Enable exchanges of best practices and lessons learned vertically and horizontally
  • Raise ambition of local and national governments in delivering transformational action on sustainable urbanisation practices that support nature positive urban development, climate mitigation, and increased resilience for urban communities
  • Highlight opportunity of sustainable urbanisation as a contribution to climate ambition, a green and resilient recovery, and the achievement of the SDGs

Register and learn more here:

The deadline for registration is Wednesday, June 25.

Urban-rural linkages and ecosystem restoration
Urbanization and ecosystems are profoundly intertwined. As urbanization takes over more land and has greater impacts on ecosystems, and as towns and cities of all sizes demand ecosystem services (food, fiber, water, energy, etc.), flows of people, goods, services, information, capital, etc. define and drive urban–rural linkages in complex and intricate patterns.

Urban-rural linkages and ecosystem restoration

Publication date: 

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

Resource type: Global Land Outlook

This is a working paper for the signature report of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Global Land Outlook published in March 2022.

As urbanization takes over more land and has greater impacts on ecosystems, and as towns and cities of all sizes demand ecosystem services (food, fiber, water, energy, etc.), flows of people, goods, services, information, capital, etc. define and drive urban–rural linkages in complex and intricate patterns.

The paper provides case studies, analysis and recommendations for land and ecosystem restoration at the urban-rural interface at a time of heightened urgency on multiple fronts on local, national, and international levels. It provides an overview of how selected cities and subnational governments have utilized specific entry points or pathways to restoration through, for example, land-use planning, biodiversity protection, urban forestry, open-space conservation and food system transformation.

Access the full publication here:

Ninth Session of the Africities Summit
The upcoming ninth edition of the Africities Summit will be held from the 17th to 21st of May 2022 in Kisumu, Kenya. The theme of the 9th Africities Summit is “The Role of Intermediary Cities of Africa in the Implementation of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and the African Union Agenda 2063”. 

Ninth Session of the Africities Summit (17-21 May 2022)

For the first time ever, an intermediary city, Kisumu City – Kenya, will host the 9th Edition of Africities Summit, from the 17th to the 21st of May 2022. The theme for the 9th Edition is, ‘The Role of Intermediary Cities of Africa in the implementation of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations and the African Union Agenda 2063’.

Africities is a Pan Africa conference that is convened by the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa’s (UCLG-A) and brings together the leadership of cities and sub national governments and their associations for the advancement of decentralization and local governance aimed at improving the living standards of the citizens.

Africities Summits have been held every three years since 1998 when the first meeting was held in Abijan, Ivory Coast. Other Cities to host the summit include Johannesburg-South Africa, Dakar-Senegal and Marrakech-Morocco (twice).

Register here:

Official program:

Learn more about the summit and its sessions here:

Green Upgrading in Informal Settlements
In this one-hour webinar, we will hear from practitioners in India, Egypt and Brazil that are utilizing green building methods for upgrading informal settlements to be resilient, healthy and low-carbon. 

Green Upgrading in Informal Settlements

Date: 10 May 2022 | Time:  -  | Online 

With rapid population growth, rural to urban migration and the expansion of urban boundaries, climate vulnerability continues to threaten cities globally. Low-income urban residents are particularly susceptible to being impacted by climate change as they are more likely to live in high-risk areas such as floodplains and steep slopes, and often lack access to basic infrastructure and services, like electricity and drainage, that could reduce these risks.

As 2.5 billion people are expected to be added to the world’s urban population by 2050, increasing energy use and emissions production as well as climate risk, cities must play a leading role in climate change mitigation to avoid a global temperature rise greater than 1.5°C while also improving the living conditions, health and safety of all their residents.

In this one-hour webinar, we will hear from practitioners in India, Egypt and Brazil that are utilizing green building methods for upgrading informal settlements to be resilient, healthy and low-carbon. Participants will share community stories and best practices to learn from and we’ll discuss how these pilots can be scaled to promote low-carbon living in low-income areas.


  • Dr. Ahmed Sadda, Associate Minister for Civil Society Support & Health Affairs and Executive Director for the Civil Society Support Fund, Speaking on the Hayah Karema project in Egypt
  • Professor Salah El-Haggar, President of Egypt Green Building Council, Speaking on the Hayah Karema project in Egypt
  • Dr. Ronita Bardhan, Assistant Professor of Sustainability in the Built Environment at University of Cambridge, Speaking on a project in India
  • Nina Rentel, Director of Social Technologies, Gerando Falcoes
  • Emiliano Detta, Deputy Director - Mexico, KfW
  • Robin King, Director of Knowledge Capture & Collaboration, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities


  • Sumedha Malaviya, Program Manager, WRI Buildings Initiative

Register here:

Cover Photo from Unsplash:

Localizing Action for the Ocean: Local and Regional Governments Special Event (2022 United Nations Ocean Conference)
This Special Event will create an opportunity for local and regional governments and their networks, national governments, and other stakeholders to exchange experiences and good practices of SDG 14 implementation at the local level. It will be a space for local and regional governments and other stakeholders to announce specific Ocean Action Commitments.

Localizing Action for the Ocean: Local and Regional Governments Special Event (2022 United Nations Ocean Conference)

Sat 25 Jun 2022, 10.00 am Portugal Time (GMT+1)

Location: Matosinhos, Portugal


Savethedate flyer

The 2022 UN Ocean Conference offers a unique opportunity for cities and regions to mobilize and demonstrate leadership in taking action to protect our ocean and ensure that the ocean and its accompanying coasts are sustainably managed.

Local and regional governments, and their associations and networks, recognize that the protection of the ocean is pivotal to the conservation of common and natural resources. Ocean and maritime ecosystems are a paramount source of biodiversity, food and jobs, and represent cultural values deeply embodied by traditional communities, islands and coastal cities. The Special Event will be an opportunity to stress the presence of ‘urban-ocean linkages’, and how local and regional governments should be engaged in global efforts and decisions to protect the ocean and maritime resources, including food. The Special Event will also highlight the crucial role of multi-level governance and multi-stakeholder collaboration to strengthen the science-policy interface, as well as to improve data systems and seek innovative solutions at all levels.

Additionally, it will facilitate a discussion on opportunities and initiatives that can support sustainable adaptation for coastal cities and regions, including financing innovation and scaling up Ocean protection.

This Special Event will be hosted by the City of Matosinhos and organized in collaboration with UN DESA, UN Global Compact, the Climate Champions Team and networks of local and regional governments gathered in the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability, Regions4, Ocean & Climate Platform, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG),Resilient Cities Network and the International Association Cities & Ports (AIVP). The event is supported by the cohosts of the 2022 UN Ocean Conference – the Governments of Portugal and Kenya.

Learn more and register here:

Download the PDF of the concept note from the attached document.

Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change (Third Part of IPCC's 6th Assessment Report)
The IPCC has finalized the third part of the Sixth Assessment Report, providing an updated global assessment of climate change mitigation progress and pledges, along with the sources of global emissions, in relation to long-term emissions reduction goals. Chapter 8 reviews key mitigation challenges, implications, and opportunities for urban systems and settlements.

Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change (Third Part of IPCC's 6th Assessment Report)

by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) | Originally published on 4 April 2022


The full list of chapters include:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction and Framing
  • Chapter 2: Emissions trends and drivers
  • Chapter 3: Mitigation pathways compatible with long-term goals
  • Chapter 4: Mitigation and development pathways in the near- to mid-term
  • Chapter 5: Demand, services and social aspects of mitigation
  • Chapter 6: Energy systems
  • Chapter 7: Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Uses (AFOLU)
  • Chapter 8: Urban systems and other settlements
  • Chapter 9: Buildings
  • Chapter 10: Transport
  • Chapter 11: Industry
  • Chapter 12: Cross sectoral perspectives
  • Chapter 13: National and sub-national policies and institutions
  • Chapter 14: International cooperation
  • Chapter 15: Investment and finance
  • Chapter 16: Innovation, technology development and transfer
  • Chapter 17: Accelerating the transition in the context of sustainable development

Access the full report, summary for policymakers, technical summary, individual chapters, and annexes here:

Download the PDF of the summary for policymakers in the attached document.