CITIES AND REGIONS are ideally positioned to make catalytic changes and to transform the global agendas into concrete actions: they are places where people live, where poverty is tackled, where prosperity is generated and where women and youth are empowered. Being closest to the people, local governments are key policy-makers, ensuring among others, that affordable housing, public spaces, access to basic services for all, and that cities are climate resilient through adapted and innovative solutions. The Sustainable Cities Dialogue in Strasbourg showed how local governments are already taking ownership of the global agendas, organizing awareness-raising activities and implementing Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development by engaging all local stakeholders from the grass-roots and up. We have heard the commitment of national governments to work with communities, the private sector and to establish mechanisms of dialogue and cooperation with other levels of governments towards the achievement of sustainable cities. The challenges of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development are complex and they cannot be faced alone. The Sustainable Cities Dialogue in Strasbourg was precisely organized to facilitate and encourage mayors and ministers to find joint solutions. This report reflects the richness and plurality of voices and perspectives from different continents, cities, places and levels of government in implementing Sustainable Development Goal 11. It brings attention to the kind of collaboration needed across all levels of governance to achieve our common agenda. UN-Habitat, together with its key partner United Cities and Local Governments, is proud to bring these lessons learned to the United Nations High Level Political Forum in New York in July 2018, and in particular to the first Local and Regional Government Forum being hosted during this Forum. Multilevel, inclusive and innovative governance can unlock the potential of urban areas and territories, and to leave no one behind. Urban governance is the string that holds all SDG 11 targets together, while multilevel and multi-stakeholder partnerships, nurture the urban dimensions of Sustainable Development Goals. We need to ensure that dialogue amongst the different spheres of government happens in a constructive, coordinated and long-term way. For this, the New Urban Agenda provides a clear path, and invites us to renew the institutional and governance structures to make them the driver of sustainable urban development and to transform our cities into livable, intelligent and sustainable places. The New Urban Agenda can also help us localize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a unique opportunity to increase local democratic governance and to achieve together this vital plan for the people and the planet.
This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.