Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Today, more than half of the world's population lives in the cities. Projections by specialized United Nations agencies indicate that by 2045, the number of city dwellers should reach 6 billion. Cities are centers of cultural and economic development. The onset of the Coronavirus pandemic has brutally reminded us of the environmental, health, safety, food, etc. challenges. which cities have been confronted with and which municipal leaders and all local actors are called upon to deal with. They will have to plan the growth of cities and guarantee residents access to essential services. In recent years, the international community has acquired important instruments for the future of the world and the well-being of populations. These are the 2030 Agenda adopted in September 2015 at the 70th United Nations General Assembly to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda, adopted in October 2016 in Quito, at the 3rd United Nations Conference on housing and sustainable urban development (Habitat III). The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets demonstrate the scope and ambition of the new universal agenda, which will require a substantial effort in analyzing the context, formulating national and local policies and mobilizing human resources, technical and financial for its implementation. This ideal will only be achieved through mobilization at all levels to ensure that “no one is left behind”. In this context, cities are also positioning themselves as spaces for implementing sustainability, resilience and recovery strategies. In these spaces, communities, territorial actors and various social legitimacies, grouped around their elected authorities, ensure strong citizen participation and commitment based on inclusive governance approaches that devote part of the city's budgetary resources to ensuring the adequate provision of basic needs. These still timid initiatives have proven, all over the world, to be powerful levers for sustainability, post-pandemic resilience and the pursuit of the objective of transforming our cities for a better urban future.
This networking session proposed by Enda ECOPOP during the 11th World Urban Forum will strengthen the dialogue of experiences in terms of inclusive and participatory governance. It will promote the latest innovations attempted in cities on the concept of participatory budgets, in response to this key objective of transforming our cities for a better urban future. Specifically, this will be through presentations made by decision-makers representing countries and cities, civil society practitioners and academics, researchers from Africa, America, Asia and Europe i) to strengthen knowledge on innovations and participatory budgeting mechanisms as tools for inclusive governance, and ii) to share on the progress, achievements and challenges of participatory budgeting approaches as mechanisms for co-construction between a multitude of actors at the various levels of urban governance , to transform cities for a better urban future.