CSCN 2016 meeting
London, 12-13 July 2016
Successful, safe and sustainable cities: making cities fit for the future
Most Commonwealth countries have faced a very rapid growth in urban populations in recent decades but have not managed to develop the national and local government structures to keep up with this challenge. Projections indicate that in the next 15 years there will be an increase in the urban population in the Commonwealth of some 400 million. Urban, municipal and metropolitan governments must be ready to adapt to build resilience against climate change, and play their part in meeting the SDGs.
The meeting took place at Marlborough House in London on 12 July and was opened by Mayor Angela Brown-Burke, Kingston and St Andrew, Jamaica, Rt. Hon Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt. Hon. Lord Howell, President of the Royal Commonwealth Society and Hon. Faiszer Musthapha, Minister of Provincial and Local Governments, Sri Lanka with a welcome video message from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
Prof. David Satterthwaite, of the International Institute for Environment (IIED) and Development spoke to the discussion paper Successful, safe and sustainable cities: towards a New Urban Agenda which was commissioned by CLGF for the meeting.
Those attending had a chance to consider how the CSCN can develop responses and programmes in key areas such as making cities inclusive, safe and resilient, cities as engines of growth, and centres of finance and innovation, smart cities, sustainable cities, and holistic planning. They also looked at local government’s role in the New Urban Agenda, being drafted for agreement by the UN in October 2016 which will address some of the issues around implementation and financing of the SDGs. CLGF has been a key part of the Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments which has been calling for local authorities to have special status at the Habitat III talks and be fully included in the implementation process.
The meeting was supported by Microsoft and the issues raised in the discussions will help shape an action plan for the Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network to work together as a key vehicle to address some of these issues and informing CLGF’s input into the New Urban Agenda preparations.