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UNECE Sustainable Cities Week promotes sustainable urban development for a resilient future

World Habitat Day (5 October), celebrated this year under the motto Housing for All: A better Urban Future, is an invitation to reflect on the state of cities and on the basic right to adequate shelter. UNECE will celebrate it throughout its annual Sustainable Cities Week, around the following events:

  • Roundtable “In focus SDG11” (5 October 2020)
  • 1st UNECE Forum of Mayors (6 October 2020)
  • 81st session of the Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management (6 - 8 October 2020)
  • Annual meeting of the United for Sustainable Smart Cities (U4SSC) Initiative (9 October 2020)

The Roundtable “In focus SDG11”, organised in co-operation with the Geneva Cities Hub and UN-Habitat under the title Supporting city actions for a resilient future, will give a voice to representatives of 11 city networks (United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities (VVSG), C40, International Council for Local Environmental Initiative (ICLEI), Mayors Migration Council (MMC), Woman Friendly Cities Challenge (WFCC), Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC), Association Internationale des Maires Francophones (AIMF), Covenant of Mayors, Eurocities, Rainbow Cities Network (RCN)); 8 UN agencies (UNECE, UN-Habitat, WHO, OHCHR, UNDRR, ITU, UN DESA, UNHCR) and 2 research centres (Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), University of Geneva). 

The Forum of Mayors – a first in UNECE’s history – will gather cities to share their approaches to build back better from COVID-19 and beyond. 39 Mayors from Europe, North America, Central Asia and the Caucasus will discuss City Action for a resilient Future, sharing their solutions to make cities more sustainable, greener, cleaner and “people-smart” places for all. Mayors will be invited to endorse the Geneva Declaration of Mayors.

The 81st session of the Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management will discuss the outcomes of the Forum of Mayors, challenges to housing affordability, and hear presentations of smart sustainable city profiles prepared by UNECE for the cities of Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan), Trondheim, Aalesund and Rana (Norway). It is also expected to endorse the Guidelines on tools and Mechanisms to Finance Sustainable Smart Cities Projects and suggest approaches to conducting SDG Local Voluntary Reviews for cities.  

The Annual meeting of the United for Sustainable Smart Cities (U4SSC) Initiative will close the UNECE Sustainable Cities week on 9 October. It will gather representatives from 16 UN Agencies and interested countries, cities, academics, NGOs and private sector organisations to discuss the outcomes of U4SSC in 2019-2020. The meeting is organised by UNECE in cooperation with ITU and UN-Habitat.  

Useful links:

  1. Details on the SDG 11 Day: https://www.unece.org/housing/sdg11day2020.html
  2. Details on the Forum of Mayors: https://forumofmayors.unece.org/index.html
  3. Details on the 81st Session on the Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management: https://www.unece.org/index.php?id=53377
  4. Details on the UNECE Sustainable Cities Week 2020: https://www.unece.org/index.php?id=53673