As part of celebrations marking World Cities’ Day 2019 UN-Habitat, International City Leaders (ICL) and the Urban Economy Forum Association will host the 1st Annual Urban Economy Forum in Toronto, Canada. The Forum will facilitate dialogue between cities, financial institutions and the private sector on ways to create sustainable development markets by enhancing the efficiency of urban economy.

The critical role of urban economy in making cities sustainable and resilient was highlighted at the Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016 where member states endorsed the New Urban Agenda. A key goal of the NUA is to “ensure sustainable and inclusive urban economies by leveraging the agglomeration benefits of well-planned urbanization, including high productivity, competitiveness, and innovation.” The Urban Economy Forum will foster strategic finance and economic networking between various stakeholders including mayors, policy makers at national and city levels, international development agencies, academic institutions, scholars and investment facilitators.

First Annual Urban Economy Forum
First Annual Urban Economy Forum

Using the UN-Habitat City Prosperity Index as its template, the Urban Economy Forum aims to catalyze learning and exchange of best practices on financing solutions that will enable cities to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by applying principles of prudent financial management based on the global rapid assessments of financing options for cities carried out by UN-Habitat, UNDESA and IMFG (University of Toronto). The Forum will cover themes ranging from infrastructure and capital budgeting, to financing local government, the role of commercial banks, financial governance of municipalities, real estate and municipal finance and the blue urban economy, with specific focus on futuristic and environmentally sustainable approaches.

In July 2016, UN-Habitat, International City Leaders (ICL), Oxford University, University College London hosted the International Conference on Municipal Finance and Urban Economy at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland bringing together some of the world foremost experts in urban economics to discuss the outcomes and recommendations of the UN-Habitat World Cities Report. One of the outcomes of the conference was a publication titled Finance for City Leaders Guideline: Improving Municipal Finance to Deliver Better Services.

In August 2016, following the success of the conference on Municipal Finance and Urban Economy, ICL, Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and the Institute of Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG) organized a roundtable discussion on Financing the Urban Sustainable Development Goals in Canadian Cities in Toronto. The conference explored the challenges faced by Canadian municipalities in implementing SDG’s Goal 11.

UN-Habitat and ICL are also spearheading establishment of a World Mayoral Network which will be launched at the Forum to create a global community of cities on Sustainable Urban Economy. A Handbook of Urban Economy for City Leaders co-authored by UN-Habitat and the Urban Economy Forum will be launched at the Urban Economy Forum.

For addition information, please visit the conference website:

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