The first Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on the World Cities Report (WCR) 2020 was held between May 7 and 8, 2019 at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting was made possible by generous support from the International City Leaders in partnership with the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Cities Pavilion, the Center for the Development of International Cooperation and Urban Economy Forum. The main aim of the EGM was to review and develop the theme and content of the next WCR 2020 titled: The Value of Sustainable Urbanization. The EGM provided a platform for dialogue and debate on the theme of the WCR 2020, with UN-Habitat staff members and external experts from different regions of the world serving as facilitators and discussants for the proposed chapters of the Report.
The EGM began with an introduction of the ECO Cities Pavilion, which is an initiative that provides opportunities to its member cities to introduce their developmental and infrastructural capacities to potential partners. The Pavilion is a joint programme with the Center for the Development of International Cooperation, International City Leaders Platform, International City Leaders Platform Impact Fund, and International City Leaders. During the EGM, experts presented proposed chapters on the following topics: emergence of urbanization as a key policy agenda in international development; emerging urban trends; unpacking characterizing the value of sustainable urbanization from the economic, social, intangible and environmental perspectives; role of innovation and technology in fostering the value of sustainable urbanization; investing in the value of urbanization; role of local governments and other stakeholders in enhancing the value of sustainable urbanization; the New Urban Agenda and the value of urbanization. The EGM also witnessed the launching of the ECO Cities Pavilion book Towards Prosperity, which includes the ten key sustainable development projects in the pioneer city.
The second EGM on the WCR 2020 will take place in Kavala, Greece in September as side event of the Mayoral Conference, which will focus on the theme of the WCR 2020: the Value of Sustainable Urbanization. The municipality of Kavala and MOHA Research Center will support the conference and EGM. ICL will continue to collaborate with UN-Habitat in the preparation of the WCR 2020.