29 October 2021 – 31 October 2021

With 55% of the world’s population living in urban areas and an additional 2.5 billion urban residents expected in the next 30 years, and with 65 percent of SDG targets being relevant to cities, it’s no surprise the battle for sustainable development will be won or lost in cities. Mitigating climate change, adapting, and building resilience to the enormous climate related risks the world is increasingly facing, and recovering from pandemic in a way that is just and green, and that puts our planet and its most vulnerable people first, requires a renewed vigour and global joint action towards accelerating the achievement of the SDGs in cities. 

Cities worldwide are demonstrating their commitment to implementing the SDGs and are reporting progress through Voluntary Local Review (VLR) and the UN has recently developed a harmonised global urban monitoring framework The New Urban Agenda provides a blueprint on how cities can drive sustainable development, and in line with this, there is demand to strengthen local institutions. The global flagship programme, SDG Cities complements and supports the efforts of cities worldwide to advance the achievement of SDGs by providing digital tools and expert backstopping to support an interconnected value chain of data and analysis, strategic planning, institutional capacity strengthening and investment in SDG impact projects. It aims to promote collaborative action across a diverse range of actors and recognises exemplary efforts of cities through SDG Cities certification.

The conference, jointly hosted by UN-Habitat and the Municipality of Shanghai, with the Global Sustainability Index Institute, aligns with World Cities Day (WCD) and brings together diverse actors to explore how through collaborative action Cities can be supported to accelerate the achievement of SDGs at scale.