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Co-transforming Cities: The Power of Synergy in Creating an Inclusive, Sustainable, and Resilient Urban Future

Rishi Chakraborty



Monday, June 27, 2022


Multifunction Hall Room 9
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Integrated Governance in Spatial Planning for a More Just, Green, and Healthy Urban Future
NE 9


In this “Decade of Action” to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, cities are at the forefront of global innovation and economic growth, while grappling with the multidimensional challenges of rapid urbanization, urban poverty and inequality, the climate crisis, and the need to ensure an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient recovery from COVID-19. In order to better address the multiple and interlinked challenges of rapid urbanization, UNDP and UN-Habitat have taken bold steps to bolster their partnership, enhance their collaboration across countries and regions, strengthen integration of VNRs and VLRs, and accelerate the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, the Paris Agreement, and the SDGs, in accordance with the UN system-wide strategy for sustainable urbanization, with a strong focus on local action that is aligned with the needs of countries and cities in their response to and recovery from COVID-19. In particular, UNDP and UN-Habitat have signed an Enhanced Collaborative Framework agreement in December 2020 with a series of global concrete actions for 2021-2022 and a selected cohort of countries and cities for rolling out joint integrated support across five pillars of: 1) National Urban Policies (NUPs): Supporting governments in establishing mechanisms, financing frameworks, platforms, and infrastructure to integrate NUPs into whole-of-government national development and economic planning development efforts. 2) Financing for Development: Supporting governments in developing Integrated National Financing Frameworks for sustainable urbanization and a green, equitable, and resilient recovery. 3) Climate Action: Assisting cities and countries in climate action planning, conducting risk assessments, implementing clean mobility options, accessing climate finance, and integrating urban and human settlement issues into Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans. 4) Urban Resilience: Strengthening the resilience of urban and community-level infrastructure to address physical, social, environmental, and economic vulnerabilities, while facilitating recovery and reconstruction and reducing risk to future disasters, conflict, and climate hazards. 5) Digital Transformation: Driving urban transformation and bridging the digital divide through people-centered approaches to smart cities and digital technologies. As a result, this event will bring together a diverse range of urban practitioners and stakeholders across national and local governments, UN agencies and development partners, IFIs, civil society, academia, NGOs, and the private sector. It will discuss and highlight the urgent and indispensable role of localizing and implementing the Enhanced Collaborative Framework, in particular the pillars of NUPs, Climate Action, and Urban Resilience, for an inclusive and resilient COVID-19 recovery, and to prepare cities and countries for a sustainable urban future.


The specific objectives of this event are to: 1) Explore the key themes and priorities of UNDP and UN-Habitat's Enhanced Collaborative Framework, with a focus on the pillars of National Urban Policies, Climate Action, and Urban Resilience, in engendering an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable urban future. 2) Highlight case studies, initiatives, lessons learned, and concrete action of collaboration and implementation across UNDP and UN-Habitat's country and regional programmes. 3) Exchange knowledge through an open dialogue with urban practitioners and stakeholders across national, regional, and local governments, civil society, NGOs, academia, UN agencies, IFIs, development partners, and the private sector on each of the five pillars of the Framework, and their applicability within the context of their respective organizations, countries, and cities. 4) Identify quick wins, along with core capabilities, expertise, and capacities, that can be integrated into joint collaboration initiatives and be readily deployed and scaled up across cities and countries. 5) Develop a community of global partners in addressing the critical challenges of rapid urbanization and fostering sustainable urban development, with a focus on urban poor, women, slum dwellers, minorities, youth, older people, people with disabilities, migrants and refugees/displaced persons and other marginalized and most vulnerable groups.

Session speakers

Mr. Haoliang Xu
UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Director of Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif
Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
Mr. Yousef Shawarbeh
Mayor of the City of Amman
Municipality of Greater Amman
Ms. Anthea Stephens
Climate & Sustainability Component Lead from the Cities Support Programme at the National Treasury of South Africa
National Treasury of South Africa
Mr. Mytaher Haskuka
Mayor of Prizren Municipality, Kosovo
Municipality of Prizren (Kosovo - unable to select in Country)