G7 Core Cities driving recovery
09 June 2021
CLGF took part this month in the first G7 U7 Urban Summit to debate how cities can drive global post pandemic recovery, entitled Cities unlocking recovery and resilience.
This historic event was hosted by Core Cities UK, and saw city leaders and mayors from across the globe come together to co-sign a declaration urging world governments to unleash the potential of cities in post-pandemic recovery.
Mayors from cities in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA as well as the G7 guest countries of Australia and Korea met virtually, ahead of the G7 Summit in Cornwall. CLGF joined other key international city networks, including ICLEI, EUROCITIES, Global Parliament of Mayors and United Cities and Local Government at the event.
Clear vision for role of cities
The signed declaration, of which CLGF Chairperson, Rev Mpho MW Moruakgomo, Botswana is a signatory, called on world leaders to set out a clear vision for the role cities can play in recovery and draw on the expertise of local leaders and mayors. There was also a call for national leaders to provide appropriate resources and freedoms for cities and support city-to-city dialogue, including with places that are still gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic and have low vaccination rates.
Core Cities sent out a clear message to their national counterparts that cities are key to nations reaching Net Zero ahead of the COP26 conference due to be held in the Core City of Glasgow in November.
Urban power to transform
The inaugural G7 U7 summit, a virtual event, is the first of its kind and comes at a time when the future of cities is being debated by policy leaders across the world.
Chair of Core Cities UK and Leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Nick Forbes, said: "Core Cities UK is enormously proud to host this first global gathering of city networks of its kind, and we hope it will become a regular part of the G7 Calendar, adding value to the debates between nation states. We come together with a shared belief in the power of urban places to transform economies and society and a mission to make sure national governments recognise the potential of our cities.”
Effective multilevel governance
CLGF Secretary-General Lucy Slack said: “The Summit is an important opportunity for dialogue and to highlight the role of cities of all sizes in global recovery efforts. Greater local empowerment, access to resources and effective multilevel governance will be vital in enabling cities to lead in delivering sustainable development and achieving zero carbon goals. It is important for global city networks, like CLGF, to amplify this voice and work together to ensure that cities have a say in shaping decisions that affect them.
The declaration recognises that cities across the world have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. It also says they are the places most capable of driving recovery and renewal through greener, more inclusive economic growth, vitally important to the wellbeing of surrounding regions as well as nations.
The declaration states that flows of trade and commerce are largely between cities globally and says urban networks can use and strengthen links to support the trade ambitions of their countries.
It adds that the majority of carbon emissions are from cities, and says that ahead of COP26 in Glasgow cities are strengthening their commitment to a low carbon future, which can only be delivered through local as well as national interventions.
The declaration concludes:
“As globally-facing cities we all share common values of openness, tolerance and the need to address health inequality and sustainability. By continuing our shared dialogue, we can learn from each other and find new ways to turn these values into action.”
The event was hosted by the Core Cities and chaired by Cllr Nick Forbes, following a presentation by Lamia Kamal-Chaoui from OECD, all G7 cities presented and other Commonwealth speakers included: Lord Mayor Sally Capp, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia.
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